Wednesday, January 2, 2008

"We Fucked Up The End Game"

When it was over, everyone in the theater just sat there, did not twitch or move a muscle. I can only assume that like me, they were absorbing the message or maybe some were just too stunned to leave.

I can only say that I was frozen, even though I knew all about it and have often thought how it might have been, I could not move. All I did was stare at the names rolling down the blackened screen. I may have been sitting with my jaw dropped but I'm not sure.

Now I have never done this before, review a movie that is, and I may never do it again. I'm probably not very good at it, don't really even know how to go about it. But damn, what a fine movie Charlie Wilson's War is.

We get to know a little about the type of person Charlie (Tom Hanks) is as he soaks au naturel in a hot tub with a schemer and 3 rather fine looking young ladies (all nekked). The schemer is trying to sell him on some kind of TV show with one of the young ladies as the star. He wants $29,000 from Charlie.

Charlie is a hard drinking, skirt chasing (and catching) Congressman from Lufkin, Texas and he does not come across as one that would be challenged to make a difference in the world. According to Gust Avrakotos (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) Charlie's most impressive accomplishment had been to get re-elected five times.

Then antagonist Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts) convinces him that he should visit with the President of Pakistan (ironically introduced as "not having killed Bhutto") in an effort on her part to increase the funds Congress has provided to support the Afghan insurgency against the mighty, atheist Soviet Union.

And so it begins. This is a genuine, funny and heartbreaking look at how one man convinced Congress and an odd pairing of Israelis and Muslims to covertly fund the demise of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan (and subsequently in the world). It is also an insightful look at how this country does business. If only we had not fucked up the end game!

While Hanks does his usual fine job, Hoffman is outstanding and should win the best supporting Oscar. If you have not seen this movie you are missing one of the best.


mielikki said...

MM and I intend to see this very soon. We watched a documentary on Charlie last week, and we were intrigued. Thanks for the review!

Bubblewench said...

Sounds good. I like PSH... he was awesome in Capote.

julie said...

Same thing happened when I saw it. People just sat there at the end. I think it was that "Gee, maybe we should have done something when we had the chance" realization.

Go Go Guy said...

Don't know you and you don't know me...just wanted to say great review.

Great review!

DaddyKaos said...

Thanks Greg.

Fudzzz said...

hey DaddyK, I just finished watching the movie at home. Excellent review!

Just like you, I was already familiar with the events that went on during that war (I live in Pakistan btw). However, I too was stunned at the end, the way the message was delivered and Wilson's quote that was displayed before the credits rolled. I totally agree PSH shoulda gotten a supporting role Oscar. He was brilliant.

I'm glad I saw the movie. I would never have known about Charlie Wilson and how integral he was for Afghanistan's victory. Very insightful movie.

Anyways, I wrote a blog (my first) a couple weeks ago regarding similar experiences one has at the end of very meaningful movies, so I thought I might as well link that here:

Thanks for the great review. I'm gonna watch Capote tomorrow. You recommend any other PSH movies? Only other one I've seen him in is The Talented Mr. Ripley. Alright, this message is too long. Take care.