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3.8 out of 5 stars
143
3.8 out of 5 stars
Charlie Wilson's War [Blu-ray]
Format: Blu-ray|Change
Price:£12.99+ £1.26 shipping


TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 17 May 2016
A wild, wacky but true story of an outrageous character who changed the course of the world. A screenplay by The West Wing maestro Aaron Sorkin. An all-star cast which is also an all-talented cast including the likes of Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Those should be the making of an amazing film. And they nearly are. Nearly, but not quite.

Charlie Wilson's War is the real life story of how an undistinguished American congressman found a purpose to his political career beyond enjoying the drink, drugs and women - helping the Afghan opposition to the then occupying Soviet military forces. What started as a relatively small $5 million increase in US covert funding for the Afghan opposition spiralled over time into a multi-billion dollar operation.

Tempting as it is to exaggerate the impact of any one person when retelling part of history, in this case most of that change in support for the Afghan opposition - and the huge influence it had on defeating the Soviet military - does indeed seem to be down to Charlie Wilson.

The real man himself features in two fascinating extras on the DVD and in the actual film is portrayed skillfully by Tom Hanks. Many of the other performances are also fine, and the script sizzles at times with Sorkin's trademark intense verbal wit. But the film also has its flaws, such as the uneven interweaving of at times surprisingly amateurish looking attempted footage of war scenes.

So a very enjoyable film about a fascinating example of a politician finding a way to use a relative humble position in the political pecking order to change the world - but not quite the all-time classic movie its ingredients gave hope for.

One annoyance about the DVD - it comes with an enforced, non-skippable, four minute long advert at the start. The advert is for a good cause (UNICEF) but even so, it's a long sequence to be forced to watch.
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on 5 July 2015
I just love true movies. And with a cast like this. Brilliant. Definitely recommend. I kind of lost some of the detail about how things magically got done, but then I'm not very bright.
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on 3 March 2017
What can you say. Fabulous....... All three main characters play an excellent part. Definitely recommend
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on 14 July 2015
Brilliant! I am sure that the same kind of scenarios are playing themselves ouy begind the scenes every moment of our lives.
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on 15 February 2016
It is funny, smart and witty. Tom hanks and Julia Roberts are fab, so is the late Philip Seymour. Highly recommended
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on 3 August 2017
Really good film
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on 17 August 2017
Thank you.
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on 25 October 2017
Another great movie. Arrived as expected. Excellent service
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on 8 June 2008
This is a great movie, a cinematic version of Waugh's 'Scoop', but aimed oh-so-sharply at the blithe enthusiasm and well-meaning idealism that funds freedom fighters as they engage your enemy, and then wrings its hands as they metamorphose into terrorists and turn their weapons against you.

As the director of 'Catch-22', Nichols is on very secure territory. This film, and the book that inspired it are salutary satirical warnings against the dangers of nation building.

Hanks's urbane and engagingly predatory Representative sharks his way through 1980s Washington, and forms part of an unlikely trio that includes Right-wing ideologue Julia Roberts and troubled CIA agent Philip Seymour Hoffman. Wilson becomes aware of the need to support the anti-Communist mujahdeen in Afghanistan, and uses every kind of leverage to boost their funding.

Hoffman steals the film with a great performance, and Hanks isn't far behind. Roberts disappoints, not really due to her acting, more to the difficulty of making such a downright odd character accessible.

There are come cute references to the early 80s (Bowie singing 'Let's Dance' a bit anachronistic as I recall) and a great small part by the luminous Emily Blunt. The sub-Airwolf special effects are most charitably regarded as symbolic of the protagonists cartoon-level attitude to the violence they're organising. The chilling reference to the bitter fruit of the failed state of Afghanistan on 11/9/2001 is well done.

A great war film; 'Mr Smith goes to Washington' for the class of '86.
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on 15 September 2011
Cheaper to buy all three as opposed to just Charlie Wilson's War!

Bizarre pricing policy

Hadn't seen Capote before - and it's really really good (though not particularly commercial)
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