movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Being a politically-driven person, it’s quite hard to ignore a movie with a title/premise/gimmick like this!

HAIKU REVIEW: What a great gimmick:
Political comedy!
Nope. Not really. Meh.

PEOPLE: Kevin Costner — and he was absolutely great as an alcoholic single father. 11yo Madeline Carroll plays his daughter — she was a computer voice in Resident Evil: Extinction..weird. And then you have Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane, and Judge Reinhold rounding out the cast. There’s also a lot of people playing themselves: Willie Nelson, Arianna Huffington, Larry King, Bill Maher.

QUIRKS: The idea of some trailer bumpkin registered independent having 10 days to make the most important decision in the free world rates as a 10 out of 10 on the gimmick/quirk scale. This really is a great premise, albeit not at all realistic.

MORALS: Voting makes a difference. Vote!

POLITICS: The movie mostly avoided taking any partisan or political stance. I find that to actually be a big fault of the movie. They had a chance to make a statement, and instead chose to be neutral. With all that is wrong in the world, I equate neutrality with complacency — to the point of complicity. To not care is to assist the evildoers.

BAD STUFF: So this movie is billed as a political comedy, but it’s actually a father-daughter drama with comedic elements. It’s mostly about a father’s relationship with his daughter. And that is what drags this movie down from its potential as a great movie, to simply an entertaining movie with a disappointing end.

Yes, the ending sucks. You really don’t get any resolution about the swing vote itself. [highlight for spoilers] You don’t actually get to even see the final debate, or even see how he voted. He walks into the poll, and the credits roll. You get resolution about the father/daughter relationship. The name of this movie is really just a ploy to get us to watch some frickin’ father-daughter drama, and the ending is quite disappointing. I had rated the movie as 4 stars while watching it (because I happened to pause and visit the Netflix page in the middle), but of course had to change that rating by the end:

CONCLUSION: Generic pass: 3/5 stars on Netflix, 6/10 on IMDB. The ending and relationship crap ruined it. They should have stuck to politics, like the title implies. I wonder if a different title would have set up expectations. Of course, if a title had properly set up what this movie was about, I probably never would have watched it. The swing vote / politics parts were FRICKIN’ AWESOME though. I was LOVING IT. There were many 5 star moments. It just didn’t hold up. It’s great that Kevin Costner became politically aware, but if the only way this can happen to middle america is by something as unrealistic as this plot — then our democracy has no hope.

RECOMMENDATION: Extreme political fans, Kevin Costner fans, and fans of dramas about parental dynamics, and alcoholic parents might be able to enjoy this one.

MOVIE QUOTE: Molly Johnson: All the world’s great civilizations have followed the same path. From bondage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy back to bondage. If we are to be the exception to history, then we must break the cycle, for those who do not remember the past are condemned top repeat it.

COINCIDENCES: (Quarantine, Swing Vote) 2 movies in a row where people using video cameras for the news have to ask someone they’re filming to not use as much profanity, and then later some of the same people turn on live TV news coverage to try to figure out what is happening right where they are.

Mood: Repo! The Genetic Opera – Zydrate Anatomy
Music: Kreator – Suicide In Swamps