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Charlie Wilson's War

December 1979 the Russians invade Afghanistan while the Cold War is at its peak. The CIA wants to support the Afghan freedom fighters, de Islamic Moedjahedien but doesn’t want to make it too obvious so the budget for helping them with arms is only around 5 million dollars as “more money would look suspicious”.

Charlie Wilson is a congress member from Texas who’s always ready to help someone with a vote as his state is the only one that never wants anything and as such he can live a pretty easy life. Whenever someone needs something, they can always depend on Charlie to help out in exchange for some favour later on. After going to Afghanistan to see what’s going on there, Charlie decides to engage himself to help the Mudjahedien more as he believes that a retreat of the Russians from Afghanistan may very well be the best way to defeat the Soviet empire. Together with his extremely wealthy lover Joanne Herring and CIA agent Gust Avrakotos he starts assigning more and more budget to the fighters in the Afghanistan and turn them into a modern army with a holy mission to rid the country from the Russians…

Sound and Vision:
The image quality overall is very good thanks to a high bitrate. The contrast, color palette, sharpness and amount of detail are plentyful and except for the historic footage that’s used here and there no flaws like dirt, grain or damage are present.

The movie is centered around dialogue mostly and as such does its job nicely. Don’t expect anything to blow you out of your chair, but clear dialogues and some subtle use of the surround speakers and subwoofer are the thing here.

Extras:
– Making Of Charlie Wilson’s War: standard Making Of featurette where cast & crew talk about the movie
– Who is Charlie Wilson?: A feature on the character of Charlie Wilson including real footage of the man giving interviews. Nice to see that also the real Joanne Herring gets to talk a bit here.

Conclusion:
Ever since 9/11 Afghanistan and Iraq have received quite some attention from movie makers and Charlie Wilson’s War is the latest to be added in that list. It tells the story of how one member of congress, Charlie Wilson, managed to get more and more budget towards fighting the Russians in Afghanistan during the cold war by helping the local Mudjahedien in getting decent weaponry. As such it’s a nice setup, especially given the good acting of the cast but unfortunately the film will not make a lasting impression. For that things are a bit too shallow and the fact that this arming of the Mudjahedien resulted in the startup of the Taliban and finally Al Quaida only gets five minutes attention at the end.

Still, Charlie Wilson’s War is entertaining and should be seen as such. If you don’t mind the lack of depth, you’ll have 95 minutes of movie watching to look forward to.

Our Score:
6.0

posted in: DVD, Reviews, Universal
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