Swing Vote (2008) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy
Disney || PG13 - 120 minutes - $34.99 || January 13, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-01-08


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Joshua Michael Stern
Writer(s): Jason Richman & Joshua Michael Stern (written by)
Cast: Kevin Costner, Madeline Carroll, Paula Patton, Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane, Stanley Tucci, George Lopez, Judge Reinhold


Theatrical Release Date: August 1, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Inside the Campaign: Making of Swing Vote
  • Music Video


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (DOlby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Bud Johnson (Costner) is just your average guy living in New Mexico with his 'too smart to be his' 12 year old daughter Molly (Carroll). On the eve of the 2008 Presidential Election, Bud promises his daughter he will vote but after getting fired from his job, he decides to go drinking and never makes it. Molly manages to sneak into the voting booth and attempts to cast a vote when the machine turns off making the vote null.

And what do you think happens next? It comes down to a tie. Both candidates are tied on Electoral votes and only one county remains left in one state to be counted (apparently every other county in New Mexico is even as well?) and Bud's vote will decide who the next President of the United States will be (or remain in office). That's when all the chaos starts for Bud and Molly. The candidates; President Andrew Boone (Grammar) and Democrat Donald Greenleaf (Hopper), both try to "connect" with Bud to help win his vote.

Yeah, the plot is ridiculous and simply wouldn't happen in the real world. It would never come down to one person as there are checks and balances in place to help insure that (and even then...c'mon!). But for the sake of the review, let's roll with that. Bud has ten days to make up his mind and day by day we see him becoming increasingly stupider. What once was an easy decision on Day 1, became almost a chore for Bud at Day 8 when all these crazy "issues" he has never heard of suddenly pop up that he has to decide which side he is on (followed by that candidate supporting whatever his decision was - regardless if it was opposing what they originally told the public).

My main issue with the film is the ridiculous run time. 120 minutes that could have been easily trimmed down to a solid 90-95 minute flick. Too many times we get filler scenes that essentially do nothing but fluff the film out and try and make it more family oriented (a visit to Buds estranged wife for instance). No wonder the box office was a disaster sitting at roughly $16 Million; who was the film supposed to appeal to? Families? Politicians?

Swing Vote is worthy of a rental but that's it. It has no replay value to it and for all the fuss that Costner made about financing the film he is really not 'in the game' with his performance. Little Madeline Carroll is the one to watch here who clearly shows her acting chops are up to a more involving film in the future.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All special features are presented in HD.

Commentary with Director/Writer Joshua Michael Stern & Writer Jason Richman

Deleted & Extended Scenes (with optional commentary; 10 Minutes) - 5 additional scenes that were rightfully cut. Nothing of any real interest here - the film already feels about 30 minutes too bloated.

Inside the Campaign: Making of Swing Vote (12 Minutes) An incredibly basic Making of that is essentially a fluff piece. No real information on the film is given, just a way for the actors to discuss how wonderful the other cast members are.

Also included is a music video by Kevin Costner and his band.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Swing Vote is presented in 2.40:1 (AVC) on a 50GB Disc. Disney has done a fantastic job on this release - flesh tones look perfect, colors vivid, and only a slight bit of grain is present making the film feel incredibly real and lifelike.

Disney has included an English 5.1 DTS MA Track for this release. For some reason, Disney continues to flip-flop between DTS MA and TrueHD for its releases (no idea why), but I'm happy with the end result. Dialog is crystal clear and rears actually felt fairly active for such a dialog-driven film.



.::OVERALL::.

Swing Vote is a forgettable film that is something one might want to see once - and that's it. Sketchy performances with an unlikely plot make this a rental at best.