|Genre: Drama, Adaptation, Biopic and War |
|Running Time: 97 min. |
|Release Date: 12/21/2007 (Wide) |
MPAA Rating: R for Strong language, nudity/sexual content and some drug use.
Distributor: Universal Pictures Distribution
Based on the true story of how Charlie Wilson, an alcoholic womanizer and Texas congressman, persuaded the CIA to train and arm resistance fighters in Afghanistan to fend off the Soviet Union. With the help of rogue CIA agent, Gust Avrakotos, the two men supplied money, training and a team of military experts that turned the ill-equipped Afghan freedom-fighters into a force that brought the Red Army to a stalemate and set the stage for conflicts in the Middle East that still rage to this day.
Iíd been eagerly anticipating this release for months, each week hoping that one of the prescreening passes I receive would say, Charlie Wilsonís War. But it never happened. So, along with the throngs of post Christmas movie goers, I fought crowds and traffic for my turn to see if the wait had been worth it. I can now say resoundingly, ďIt certainly was!Ē
This film has something for about everyone. Tremendous acting by Hanks, Roberts and particularly Philip Seymour Hoffman is packaged with a great historical (albeit, stylized) story. The film editors seem to have included actual footage in many scenes. Our political system, something most of us love to make fun of until we actually consider replacing it with something else, takes the sort of bashing usually reserved for an airing of Saturday Night Live. But in the end, while the methods employed by the congressman from Texas and the son of an ice cream maker from Greece seem all together implausible, they work not only to bring about the end of the cold way but to keep us laughing out loud for most of the movie.
Itís nice to see a film actually live up to the hype and Charlie Wilsonís War certainly does. It has already received 5 Golden Globe nominations and I would expect it may improve on that when the Oscars are announced. If you only get out and see one film this year, I would heartily recommend it be this one.Grade: A
12/28/2007 - Bob Stanza