Friday, May 16, 2008

CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR DVD Review

CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
ROG’S VIEWPOINT - 3 CAMS

RATED R

The true story of how Texas congressman Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks) secretly helped to bring about the end of the Cold War. With the assistance of disgruntled CIA agent Gust Avrakotos (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and wealthy Houston socialite Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts), Wilson secured the funding to arm the Afghanistan rebels in their fight against the Russians in the 1980s. “Charlie Wilson’s War” is a mildly entertaining and interesting look at events that ultimately changed history. Based on the book by George Crile, this wry political commentary is at its best when Tom Hanks and Philip Seymour Hoffman share screen time. Extremely well-acted, but it is another fine Hanks performance that is eclipsed by Hoffman - who easily grabbed a supporting actor nomination. When the two stars aren’t together on screen, the movie slows down considerably. The supporting players add little to the landscape. While it’s great to have Julia Roberts back, her radiant moments amount to nothing more than an extended cameo. The enchanting Amy Adams also gets too small a role as personal assistant to the boozing womanizer Wilson, who was surrounded by beautiful women in and out of the office (earning the film its “R” rating). Director Mike Nichols gets the most out of Aaron Sorkin’s witty screenplay, which is reminiscent of “The West Wing” (created by Sorkin). But this is not quite "Graduate" work for Nichols.
DVD Extras: A "making of" featurette and a profile on the real Charlie Wilson.

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