Review: ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’

Public indifference is a major theme of "Charlie Wilson's War" and it's one that resonates through the film's DVD release.

Public indifference is a major theme of “Charlie Wilson’s War” and it’s one that resonates through the film’s DVD release.

For the theatrical run of “Charlie Wilson’s War,” Universal Pictures hoped that a Julia Roberts-Tom Hanks teaming would put people in theaters. Despite the production’s gloss and polish, audiences failed to respond to the Mike Nichols-directed political drama. The film’s DVD release does little to rescue this true-life tale of a Texas congressman who helped bring down the Soviet Union from the dustpan of history.

The disc’s basic options and menu design reflect the bare minimum of effort by Universal. There are two featurettes, imaginatively titled “The Making of ‘Charlie Wilson’s War” and “Who is Charlie Wilson?” In an interesting reverse, the making-of includes almost equal amounts of time celebrating the film’s writer (“West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin) and director Mike Nichols. Beyond those bits of novelty, however, these featurettes fail to stretch beyond typical EPK materials.

And while “Who is Charlie Wilson?” might fawn excessively over the film’s flawed hero, interviews and archival footage do give enough context to show that Tom Hanks’s amiable performance is rooted in the truth of the man.

As this film fades from public consciousness, it seems unlikely that this title will ever see an edition any more special.

Other notable DVD releases for the week of April 22:

Click here to read Variety’s film review of “Charlie Wilsom’s War.”

Charlie Wilson's War

April 22; $29.98


Universal Studios
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