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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good comedy with some heartfelt moments
I really enjoyed this film. It's about the relationship a father has with his daughter. Yes, it is set against the backdrop of the american presidential elections, but the real story is how "Bud" (played by Kevin Costner) turns his life around and rediscovers the important things in life - those people close to you. Great performances from Madeline Carroll, Kevin...
Published on 28 Sep 2009 by Rumpole

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining and enjoyable film
Swing Vote is a hugely enjoyable film. We know that the votes of one US state can decide the outcome of a presidential election but this film takes this idea to the extreme and shows what could happen if the vote of one citizen became the crucial factor.

Bud (Kevin Costner) is, let's face it, a blue-collar single parent loser. He drinks too much, doesn't work...
Published on 24 Sep 2009 by Wynne Kelly


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining and enjoyable film, 24 Sep 2009
By 
Wynne Kelly "Kellydoll" (Coventry, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Swing Vote [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
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Swing Vote is a hugely enjoyable film. We know that the votes of one US state can decide the outcome of a presidential election but this film takes this idea to the extreme and shows what could happen if the vote of one citizen became the crucial factor.

Bud (Kevin Costner) is, let's face it, a blue-collar single parent loser. He drinks too much, doesn't work too hard and continually lets down his young daughter. But she is bright and perceptive and is very concerned with civic responsibility - and makes it plain that she wishes her father was too.

When it is made public that the result of the presidential election now rests with just one person there is an immediate media frenzy and Bud's identity becomes known. There follows a cynical courtship of him by both candidates desperate to be the winner.

In the early part of the film I thought that it was going to be a film about politics with no real politics in it. I was wrong. When Bud mentions that he is fairly relaxed about people's private lives the Republican latches on to this and suddenly promotes gay marriage. When he says that he is not very happy about Mexican workers being brought in to his factory to work at lower rates the Democrat candidate reverses his earlier stance and decides to stand firm on immigration. But daughter Molly watches everything and is determined that her father should make the right choice in the end.

It is all great fun - but with some serious points being made. The cast is strong - especially Kostner - and Kelsey Grammer and Dennis Hopper are both excellent. The opening sequence shows beautiful scenes of small town America.

A pity that the DVD was a bit basic - no extras and no subtitles.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good comedy with some heartfelt moments, 28 Sep 2009
This review is from: Swing Vote [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
I really enjoyed this film. It's about the relationship a father has with his daughter. Yes, it is set against the backdrop of the american presidential elections, but the real story is how "Bud" (played by Kevin Costner) turns his life around and rediscovers the important things in life - those people close to you. Great performances from Madeline Carroll, Kevin Costner, Dennis Hopper, Kelsey Grammer and Paula Patton. There's some great comedy in here that will make you genuinely laugh as well as a great story. This is a perfect Sunday night in movie that everyone will love!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does it win my vote?, 22 Nov 2009
By 
Kevin (Leeds) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Swing Vote [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
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Swing Vote is an American political comedy. Set in a small town in New Mexico, the story follows Bud, an out of work single father, who has little interest in anything except beer and sports. Although it's obvious he loves his daughter, Molly greatly, the two are very different characters, she being much more concerned with the bigger picture - politics being part of that. Kevin Costner plays the part of trailer-trash Bud convincingly. Molly attempts to use her father's vote, but the electronic machine fails, and records an error. A far fetched chain of events is triggered that brings the presidential election waiting for New Mexico's five electoral votes to decide the winner. New Mexico law dictates that anyone's vote that failed to be counted must be re-cast, Bud is traced and it falls on him to decide how the state will vote, and therefore, who will be the next President of the United States.
The two main politicians in the movie, Kelsey Grammer playing the incumbent Republican President, and Dennis Hopper, the Democrat candidate, provide most of the comedy in the movie, as the two throw their principles and dignity aside as they fight it out, trying to win Bud's approval, and vote.
Grammer plays the role of a Republican President perfectly, his is probably the best performance in this film. Hopper was disappointing, giving a rather cold and lackluster performance. The film is amusing, but crosses in to just plain silly on occasion. It feels like a 'family film' although there is occasional bad language. The soundtrack fits the film well, with The Marshall Tucker Band's "Can't You See" featuring, and a performance from Kevin Costner and Modern West (on stage as Bud's own band), performing their excellent "Backyard" in one scene.
Overall, whilst this movie isn't particularly clever, and is likely to be forgotten, it's not without it's charm, and the film does try to be sincere about the American political system in places, especially at the movie's excellent climax. An enjoyable watch, but no classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars God save America..., 19 Nov 2009
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Swing Vote [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
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Swing Vote has a premise that Frank Capra would love - what would happen if the only one who could break a dead tie in an election and decide the next president was a small-town deadbeat with no clue about politics and no concept of civic responsibility? Unfortunately, what it doesn't have is Frank Capra to direct or Robert Riskin to write it, so for much of Swing Vote we're left with a film with a few good gags spread around the supporting cast that never really makes enough of the comic potential, choosing instead to opt for the tried-and-tested but oh-so-familiar road to redemption and reconciliation formula instead as Kevin Costner's out-of-work single father learns to take responsibility for himself and pride in his country. Not that the latter is made any easier when the two rival candidates - Kelsey Grammer's Republican president and Dennis Hopper's Democrat contender - bend over backwards to win his all-important vote, abandoning all their own principles along the way. While it's fun to see the Republicans suddenly become the party of the environment and the Democrats adopt anti-abortion, anti-immigration policies in campaign ads targeted at one man based on their misinterpretation of his off the cuff comments, Costner doesn't really have the comic ability to make the lead grab his share of the laughs: he tries hard, but timing and the odd pratfall aren't his forte and he misses as many as he hits. It's only in a dramatic scene with his drug addicted ex-wife where he's freed from the need to be a loveable idiot and show some fire that he really hits his stride, only to lose what little advantage that gives him in the predictable God-Bless-America speechifying of the finale.

It's certainly not a terrible film, and for all the comic mileage it gets out of them it allows both political candidates their moments of humanity and dignity: Hopper is increasingly uncomfortable as he abandons his principles, urged on by Nathan Lane's campaign manager who is all-too convincingly desperate not to lose another election, while Grammer's president is allowed his moment or two of quiet dignity. And Madeline Carroll as Costner's daughter-cum-parent manages to steer her scenes away from cheap sentiment in a way that the star isn't always able. But at the end of the day, it's as forgettable as it is easy to watch - a little more bite and a lot more satire would have made the world of difference.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and endearing film, 26 Sep 2009
By 
shpadoinkle - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Swing Vote [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
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I really enjoyed this film. Yes, it's fairly American, but that didn't bother me. 'The West Wing' is uber-American, and that is still one of the best TV shows ever. I'm not saying thsi film is as good as The West Wing, but it is warm, intelligent, and well-written. It has a soul.

Kevin Costner plays Bud Johnson, a cross between a redneck and Jeff Lebowski. I'm not sure whether it's his acting skills, or the fact that I just really like Kevin Costner, but his portrayal of a lazy semi-alcoholic father is somehow endearing. Madeline Carroll is perfectly cast, playing Molly, his super-responsible and intelligent 12 year old daughter. She is not in the least bit 'child actory'.

The plot revolves around Bud accidentally becoming the one voter who decides on the next president. On paper (or screen), this may sound ridiculous, but it's all part of the quirky charm of the film. And as the whole electorate becomes represented by one man in the film, it allows for some gentle and witty criticism of the hypocrisy of electioneering. Thankfully, the film never comes down strongly on either side of the political fence. Both the Republicans and the Democrats are played humorously and yet sympathetically by great character actors Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane, and Stanley Tucci.

But this film isn't really about politics - it's about the relationship between Bud and his daughter, and his developing sense of what is means to be a father. Throughout the film, Bud's attitude to citizenship mirror his attitude to being a parent.

This is a sweet and uplifting film and I can heartily recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bush/Gore election parody is far less amusing than the real life events, 14 Oct 2009
By 
Matt Aylott (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Swing Vote [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
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Self infutuated wiffle it may be, but Swing Vote does make interesting viewing.

The premise is that Bud (Kevin Costner's character) is a down-on-his-luck, ignorant and lazy alcholoic who's 12 year old daughter Molly (Madeline Carroll) is the complete opposite, bright, charming and with an appetite for politics. Its the national elections and Molly, knowing her father won't vote, takes matters into her own hands and casts Buds vote but an unfortunate mishap means the vote is invalid and must be recast. And in a further (and I must say slightly unrealistic) turn of events Bud's recast vote will decide who will become the next president of the US of A. The parody of the Bush/Gore election fiasco is clear but the ensuing 'hilarity' of the film is far less amusing than the real life events.

It still makes interesting viewing even if you have a hard time believing anyone can be so lazy and ignorant as Costner's character and the events seem too far fetched. Costner's acting is nothing short of inept but what saves the film is a great supporting cast (including president Kelsey Grammer and presidental candidate Dennis Hopper). The funny but far fetched lengths the candidates go to to win Bud's vote are actually quite funny and well written. However, it is the young Madeline Carroll as Bud's daughter who really stands out and has some of the best lines of the film.

Worthy of spending a few bob on but nothing to change the face of cinema.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad - a decent attempt, 24 Sep 2009
By 
This review is from: Swing Vote [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Swing Vote is a pretty light affair, taking a look at the election system in the US.
Bud is a no-hoper, useless American, who (through actions of his daughter) winds up being the swing vote in a presidential election.

The acting is solid, the story is pretty good (if a tiny bit slow), and if you know anything about the system and American politics, then you will likely have a few laughs at the expense of the campaign managers, media pundits and politicians - all of whom are characatured quite well, if simplistically.

Kelsey Grammer is great as the Republican president, and Dennis Hopper is equally good as the Democrat. Molly, Bud's daughter is a superb new talent who should have a long career in acting.

Entertaining, not too taxing, it would be a nice quiet night in.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something a bit different, 28 Sep 2009
By 
I. H. C. Mellor "mihcm" (Milton Keynes) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Swing Vote [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We enjoyed this film, suitable for all the family, although it does help to understand how US Presidents are elected, hence a '12'. There is some mildly strong language in it, but nothing too much. The story is based around Bud Johnson played by Kevin Costner and his duaghter Molly. Bud is a lone parent living in a 'mobile' home. His daughter sets off a chain of events on election day which end up with her father, Bud, holding the single overiding vote to elect the next president of the USA. Needless to say all hell breaks loose and we see Bud being treated to electioneering on a 1-2-1 basis by both candidates. It is a very interesting and enjoyable film.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Film For Children With A Grown-Up Conscience!, 16 Oct 2009
By 
Mr. N. Morgan "Green Knight" (High Wycombe, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Swing Vote [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
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At first sight Swing Vote appears to be a humourous children's/family tale about how "socially conscious (and conscientious) Daughter reforms Deadbeat Dad". In reality the film is an awful lot more!

The film script simply, deftly and in a mildly humorous way portrays many grown-up observations on the sleazy and hypocritical nature of election campaigning & canvassing in a democracy-based political system and depicts how as a result, the rank & file electorate can become so disillusioned with the corrupt nature of politics and the seemingly hopelessly & powerless position the individual voter seems to be in. "Voter Apathy" in other words!

OK, so having been made aware of the real nature of political campaigning, the film then goes on to show how on occasions (and a VERY big and totally unlikely one at that) one person's vote really can make a difference!

A personal favourite scene for me is when reformed Deadbeat Dad hosts a live election debate on TV (a-la the famous Nixon/Kennedy debate) and relays the contents of a letter he received from an anonymous dad like himself:- "I would like to ask the candidates why my wife and I both have to hold down two jobs each and work all hours just to provide the bare necessities for our two children - in what is the richest nation in the world?" Powerful stuff, nes pa?

To sum up, Swing Vote is a heartwarming, very watchable and enjoyable children's film with some very powerful conscience-pricking messages for the not-so-young!

Recommended for all ages!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Chuck McChuck Gets Drunk On Power, 15 Oct 2009
By 
Mr. M. A. Reed (Argleton, GB) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Swing Vote [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
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At best, improbable, as all narratives are - after all, a realistic film would usually several months and have a lot of boredom, sleeping, and eating in it - "Swing Vote" takes a vaguely plausible event, and magnifies it, whilst using it as a blunt hammer to smash the vagaries of the Policial System.

Kevin Costner is a mostly hungover, barely employable redneck - lets call him Chuck McChuck - whose vote in a tiny town can decide the whole Presidential election. Since the two candidates are a Not Loopy Dennis Hopper, and Kelsey Grammar, you could easily say that such a decision is as straightforward as using a water cannon to brush your teeth. Costner is both plausable and terrifying, because its easy to be stupid and to be so stupid you don't even know it. The basic creature of comforts meanwhile wanders uncaring through the whole thing.

If there's one thing I dislike about stories like this, its that it plots itself into a corner, and then gives up. After 112 minutes to preamble and discussion, the crux of the film would be, for some, what happens when he walks into the room. That's what we want to see. But this, like many others, eschews this Main Event completely. Maybe the point of the journey is never to arrive, but that's a decision I like to make, not have made for me. Whilst taking a predictable and annoying abdication of narrative resolution with the whole Walking Off Into The Distance ambiguity, I have to point out, this isn't a great work of art where the Ambigious Ending does anything much than mildly annoy.

Like many films, "Swing Vote" exists in a reality where the only country that exists, and every other country is a mere plot detail. Far be it for me to criticse that, but it is a little insular.

It's by no means a bad film, but a confused one. Uncertain wether to walk the line between satire and gentle comedy, it falls between both points and fails to convince at either. The point of this is clear and fairly effective, but Swing Vote promised more than it delivered. Just like politics then.
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Swing Vote [DVD] [2008]
Swing Vote [DVD] [2008] by Joshua Michael Stern (DVD - 2009)
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