There's a new giant billboard for a Kevin Costner film right at the 80/101 interchange in SF, the same spot I saw the legendary poster for the Costner-Kutcher Coast Guard buddy movie The Guardian. This must be a prime spot for Costner advertising, probably because bumper-to-bumper traffic reminds people of The Postman.
I try to keep abreast of all the latest Costnerian developments. I own (and am right now wearing) a t-shirt for Costner's band, Modern West. I re-watched Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves last month, and recognized my overgrown hairstyle in Costner's mullety wig. So I was excited to learn there was a new addition to the Costner canon.
[Digression: Much has been written about Costner's wretched British accent from that movie, but a fresh look at the film reveals that Christian Slater's accent is even worse. He sounds like he's doing an impression of Jack Nicholson doing an impression of Costner's bad accent, only about two octaves higher. My theory is that the producers cast Slater once they realized how bad Costner's accent was, in order to distract the audience. This also explains the casting of Keanu Reeves in Bram Stoker's Dracula (to distract from Winona Ryder's accent), and Cameron Diaz in Gangs of New York (to deflect attention from DiCaprio's terrible brogue.]
The title "Swing Vote" led me to believe that this movie was going to feature Costner as a baseball player. I think America is eager for Costner to play an athlete again, even though he's 53. Instead, this movie is about a presidential election. Here's the synopsis:
Kevin Costner stars as Bud Johnson, an apathetic, beer slinging, lovable loser, who is coasting through a life that has passed him by, except for the one bright spot in his mundane existence, his precocious, over achieving twelve-year old daughter, Molly. She takes care of them both, until one mischievous moment on Election Day, when she accidentally sets off a chain of events which culminates in the presidential election coming down to one vote, her dads.
Suddenly, Bud Johnson, the nobody, becomes the voice for everybody when the world realizes that his vote will be the one that elects the next president. Politicians invade the small town of Texico, New Mexico and its unwitting inhabitants, waging war for Bud's vote.
So disappointing. Costner isn't a baseball player, Bill Maher makes an appearance as himself, and worst of all, Kelsey Grammer plays the president. I have an unnatural dislike for Grammer when he's not playing Frasier Crane or Sideshow Bob. My sisters don't like him either. Here's a conversation I had with my sister Molly about Grammer:
Sean: What has Kelsey Grammer been doing since Frasier went off the air?
Molly: Um, cocaine?
The only good thing about this premise is the potential for punny headlines for negative reviews:
Swing...and a Miss for Costner
America votes "No" on "Swing Vote"
I'd Rather Swing From a Noose Than Watch This Movie Again
Swing Vote opens on August 1, in theaters everywhere.