Month: December 2008

The Art of Covert “War”: Review for “Charlie Wilson’s War”

Posted on Updated on

Do you know who Charlie Wilson is? I didn’t think so. Well, neither did I. Though an unknown name compared to that of John McCain, Osama bin Laden, and others who are frequently in the news for their political views and sucesses, Charlie Wilson was rather famous in 1980. As a matter of fact, we are a little indebted to him. This movie, based upon the novel by George Crile, chronicles the order of operation put into by Charlie Wilson. At first, before his great success, we see him as a womanizing alcoholic who doesn’t really care that much about politics, until he sees something on the news about Communism in Iraq. And in that viewing of that little television program, he decides to help out…and in a very big way. He is helped by Texan socialite Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts, fabulous as always), a very conservative right wing socialite. How rich is she, according to the film, she is the sixth ricjest person in Texas at that time. Also on his side is CIA Operative Gust Avrakotos (Phillip Seymore Hoffman), who would be Charlie’s right hand man. This is an entertaining and extremely engaging film, a little about corruption, a little about love, a little about politics, but all about knowing what to do. The cast is exceptional, which is no surprise when you have three Oscar winners anchoring the film (Hanks won two for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump, Roberts won for Erin Brokovich, and Hoffman won for Capote). Amy Adams also is excellent, making a slightly underwritten role all her own. Her bubbly persona is perfect for the character’s optimism. Julia Roberts creates the Southern twang with ease and efficiency, making Joanne, who could have easily portrayed as being a complete jerk, a sensitive and caring character. Tom Hanks is quite wonderful as Texas Congressman Wilson, making a womanizing alcoholic into a hero. This film is very loose and easy, fun to watch more than once, and fits snugly into its 92 minute running time. With wonderful acting all around, and a fantastic script by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing), a really good movie. You don’t have to be a political pundit to enjoy this entertaining movie.

Grade: A- 

I, Robot: Review for “Wall-E” 3-Disc Special Edition DVD

Posted on Updated on

Pixar is honestly one of the most amazing studios ever. More amazing than MGM, more fantastic than Universal, and more exciting than 20th Century Fox. Not only because of the amazing visuals they provide for all of their films, but also because of their acclectic choices of films. Even though their is a small taste of a Pixar film in each, they’re all different and wonderfully so. Toy Story was an adult tale disguised as a kid’s film, with it’s catchy humor and great voices. A Bug’s Life was the second venture into computer animation and it was just as satisfying. With each new Pixar film, a new adventure was experienced by all audiences and pleasure is the feedback and reception the guys, like Brad Bird (director of The Incredibles and Ratatouille) and John Lasseter (directer of Toy Story and Cars), have been getting ever since. Wall-Eis the newest of the bunch. I was a little hesitant due to how fast the studio has been churning out films, great or otherwise (they’ve already got a new film planned for May 2009, UP). But with his wonderfully emotional binocular eyes, Wall-E warmed the hearts of virtually everone on the planet. Wall-E, a trash compacter whose job it is to clean up the mess we left on Earth 700 years ago, is very lonley and spens his time collecting trinkets he finds and watching Hello, Dolly!But his life turns around when a sleek probe named EVE lands to collect any vegetation. It’s nerd love at first sight. And that is what makes this film so amazing: love. as you can tell, I’m very sappy and an easy target for filmmakers out to make audiences cry. Even though its political message is a little strong for me, its fantastic characters and wonderful storyline make it worth it. The new DVD contains two discs in a , at first confusing, eco-friendly package. The first disc has that wonderfully cute and funny Presto. It also features the new, and equally funny short film BURN-E. There is also a fascinating documentary about Ben Burtt, who also did the sound effects for Star Wars, and how he created the sounds for Wall-E. The second disc has funny vignettes and a brilliant new documentary called The Pixar Story. It chronicles the studio from its humble beginnings at Lucasfilm to its blockbuster films like Cars. The third disc is one of my favorites. It has a DisneyFile Digital Copy which allows you to carry the entire film on your computer or your iPod. A truly amazing film, you can bet it’ll win for Oscar’s Best Animated Feature.

Film: A

Features: A

The Pixar Story: A-

Overall: A