Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Poster Review: Charlie Wilson's War

If there's one thing we can be sure of after looking at the poster for Charlie Wilson's War, it's that this movie must be filled with mind-blowing twists and turns. How else to explain why they would make a poster that gives you absolutely no clue what the movie is about? Is it a comedy or a drama? Suspense? Thriller? Seems nobody in marketing wanted us to know.



First, we find ourselves confronted with this tag line.



Stiff drink? Check. Mascara? Check. A lot of nerve? Unverified. "Who says they couldn't bring down the Soviet empire." Holy non-sequitur, Batman! Is that what we've been talking about here? Ok, Soviet empire: check. Shall we move on?

No, wait a second. Let's take a closer look at the last sentence in their little tag. "Who says they couldn't bring down the Soviet empire" has a period at the end. Is that a statement? Sounds like a question; punctuated like a statement. "Who's on first. And furthermore, Who says Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Philip Seymour Hoffman couldn't bring down the Soviet empire."

The conversational nature of this poster continues at the bottom.



I don't know. I don't know if you could make all this up. I have no idea what the movie is about, other than Tom Hanks and Julia Robert wearing nice clothes and dancing (or just grabbing each other's arms - who can say for sure?), with Philip Seymour Hoffman getting all cock-blocked in the background. But, hey, nice work with the punctuation this time around.

Fast fact: written by Aaron Sorkin.



Not to harp on this too much, folks, but his last effort was Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Ok, he probably has enough goodwill stored up with his fans from that whole West Wing ordeal. And this movie seems to be about politics (I think, maybe, possibly), which likely means Sorkin is back in his comfort zone. Still... I really hated Studio 60.

So then we've got Hanks and Roberts making googley eyes at each other. Or I suppose they're making cold, calculating, political espionage, bring-down-the-Soviet-empire eyes at each other. (Oh no! This movie isn't gonna have Tom Hanks doing a Russian accent, is it?) Then you've got Hoffman skulking around in the background, doing his version of Irwin Mainway.



Boy, that Hoffman sure does look shady, doesn't he?

Forgive me but, overall, I see this poster as a dramatic failure. It takes a movie I know nothing about, does nothing to inform me about it, and does not entice me with its visuals or wordplay. With any luck, the movie itself will be a little bit better.