Warning: This film does not come out this week and makes its home market debut on the 13th. However, the Blu-ray screener arrived early and I was able to get the review done this week.
Swing Vote - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
First a quick note, I only have the Blu-ray at the moment and can not directly compare it to the DVD.
Swing Vote stars Kevin Costner and newcomer Madeline Carroll as father and daughter, although their dynamic is a little reversed with her basically raising her father, who has lost his way. The film starts on election day with Molly trying to convince her father to vote. However, he loses his job that day and instead of picking her up and driving her to the polling place so she can watch him exercise his civic duty, he gets drunk at the bar. But instead of letting him miss the election, she sneaks into the polling place to vote for him, but an electronic error means his vote didn't count, and according to New Mexico law, he has the right to recast his vote in a timely manner. None of this would really matter, except his vote would break the deadlock for New Mexico, which would break the deadlock for the presidential election.
In short, he gets to decide the next president of the United States.
As I mentioned last week when talking about An American Carol, there are two pitfalls that most political satire falls for. One is putting the politics ahead of the comedy, the other is trying to please both sides by being "fair and balanced." An American Carol fell for the former, while Swing Vote fell for the latter. It's not a terrible movie, but it is just so mediocre. The family drama between HREF=http://www.the-numbers.com/people/KCOST.php>Kevin Costner and Madeline Carroll is the best part of the movie, while the comedy is lightweight and the politics is less than convincing. It is worth checking out, but it doesn't have the replay value necessary for a purchase over a rental.
I don't think it would be unfair to say this movie bombed at the box office, so there's no surprise that the extras on the Blu-ray are a little on the light side. There's an audio commentary track with the director / co-writer and his writing partner. It's a rather standard track that doesn't really stand out compared to the others I listen to while I review movies. Next up are ten-and-a-half minutes of deleted scenes, also with optional audio commentary track, a 13-minute making-of featurette, and finally a music video.
Swing Vote is the epitome of a rental. Not a terrible movie, but not a good one either, and the extras are only average. The overall package doesn't have the replay value needed for a purchase over a rental, and when it comes to renting, neither the DVD nor the Blu-ray seem to have a solid advantage over the other.