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David Poland

By David Poland

The Swing Vote Campaign That You Should Have Seen

13 Responses to “The Swing Vote Campaign That You Should Have Seen”

  1. bluelouboyle says:

    Funny stuff. Have you seen it, Dave? Any good?
    Trailer makes it look like Tin Cup with Politics. Which could be good, as I love Tin Cup.

  2. SpooneyG says:

    Ha! Those are great, I especially love the reference to the grade school elections in the first one, that cracks me up.
    I have a chance to go to a Swing Vote screening tonight if I can just get out of work in time. I really want to get to it — I definitely feel like this movie is going to have some elements of Dave and some of Tin Cup.

  3. RoyBatty says:

    These have been up on YouTube for two months. I think they have been seen, just not by enough to matter.

  4. chris says:

    It is not good, bluelou. But I didn’t like ‘Tin Cup,” either.

  5. Dunderchief says:

    I liked Tin Cup, but this thing should be avoided like the plague. It will hurt your brain, it’s so bad.

  6. Cadavra says:

    Good God, am I the only one who recognizes this picture as a stone rip-off of Garson Kanin’s THE GREAT MAN VOTES, right down to the little girl? When did plagiarism no longer become a crime?

  7. scooterzz says:

    actually, the post recognized it some time ago…

  8. Wrecktum says:

    Swing Vote is good. Don’t let the haters hate.

  9. scooterzz says:

    wrecktum — i didn’t hate it but i sure didn’t like it… i’m guessing it’s going to sink pretty fast…. there’s a whole lotta forced charm going on in this one…..

  10. LexG says:

    But doesn’t much of middle America love Costner’s charm, forced or not?
    Dude is a WAY bigger draw to this day than he gets H-Town credit for; Most of America still loves this guy and will follow him just about anywhere… though wonk-ish political satire tends to flop even when well-done.

  11. bluelouboyle says:

    Costner should do another western. Open Range was fantastic. If he can do that on $15 million…

  12. scooterzz says:

    lex — you’re right about the charm thing…and this movie prob won’t lose any money…. it just isn’t very good…. i guess i just want my time back….
    and — there’s a part of me that thinks audiences don’t want to see an election movie any more than they want to see a ‘sand’ movie…..i’m thinkin’ a different title might’ve been a good move….

  13. Joe Leydon says:

    Have you noticed the split between “Top Critics” and the entire critical mass over at Rotten Tomatoes? 77 % percent of the top critics give Swing Vote upbeat notices. But when all the critics are counted — only 31 % approve. Does this say something about the divide between established critics (most of them writing for MSM) and lesser-known reviewers (most of them writing for other outlets)?

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This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin