15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Good film but spoiled by UNICEF fundraiser,
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This review is from: Charlie Wilson's War [DVD] (DVD)
We had great expectations of a hilarious film with a message. Although the story was gripping from the beginning, the fun really started about halfway through, when Philip Seymour Hoffman got into the action. Julia Roberts was disappointing, more reminiscent of Devil Wears Prada than the character in this film. Tom Hanks was excellent.
This was a nice mix of entertainment, thrill and political message. The exchanges between Hanks and Hoffman are very funny. The film gives a light-hearted insight into the American political and lobbying system, contrasted with the more serious side of war, as seen in the refugee camps. Then at the end of the film we are reminded about what happened after Russia pulled out of Afghanistan. This is pointedly brought out in the scene on the balcony. Do watch out for it. It leaves you thinking.
But the real negative of this DVD is the forced UNICEF AIDS fundraising sequence at the beginning. It lasts 4 minutes and cannot be stopped, paused, fast-forwarded or turn off. And whatever you do, don't touch the menu key while you are watching the film otherwise you have to endure the whole 4 minute sequence again. Personally, I would not buy this DVD knowing what I know now. Emails to Universal Studios about it just bounce back.
So, in summary, quite a good film but not good enough to live with the UNICEF sequence at the beginning. No matter how much you might respect the work of UNICEF.