Should I Buy the Charlie Wilson’s War DVD?

Charlie Wilson’s War DVD CoverCharlie Wilson’s War is now on DVD (well, as of a few hours from now). The movie, which stars Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Julia Roberts, really didn’t do that great in theaters despite the cast, the writing talent (Aaron Sorkin of “The West Wing” fame) and timing. One can attribute its modest failure to many things, including the fact that it is one of many flops in 2007 having to deal with the Middle East, or that it just didn’t look that good in the previews.

Thankfully, Charlie Wilson’s War was one of the surprising delights of the holiday season, as the movie is hilarious most of the time and meaningful the rest. Hanks, about the last person you’d expect to play a cocaine-snorting, womanizing senator, does a pretty good job, though it’s Hoffman who steals the show as a bitter CIA agent. Roberts is disappointing, though she doesn’t have much to work with given her character.

You can read my full Charlie Wilson’s War movie review here.

As for the DVD, there’s not much here, and one wonders whether this is in anticipation of a 2-Disc Collector’s Edition sometime in the near future. There are only two notable special features: “The Making of Charlie Wilson’s War” and “Who is Charlie Wilson?”

The making-of is mildly interesting, though it has a lot of talking heads all complimenting one another. The most interesting aspect is the look at the real Charlie Wilson, who tells the filmmakers to do depict him as sleazy as they want to – he won’t deny using drugs or having sex with prostitutes. Nice. That’s the honesty we want to see from our politicians!

Unfortunately, by the time I got to watching “Who is Charlie Wilson?”, all of the interesting facts and interview pieces had been used up in the previous featurette. A lengthier, independent documentary would have been much more interesting than a quick summary made for the DVD.

Ultimately, the movie makes it worth the purchase, but if you are a bonus features kind of guy, the Charlie Wilson’s War DVD is not for you.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: DVD Releases, Movie Reviews
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