Saturday, June 7, 2008

Videos, again

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007) Savor the sex scene which opens this one (featuring Marisa Tomei and Phillip Seymour Hoffman) because it's about all the happiness you'll see. The plot is built around a robbery gone wrong, apparent from the second scene, but just how wrong, you'll not know until it's over. Got the Oscar for best screenplay, and it's not hard to see why. Four stars out of four.

Charlie Wilson's War (2007) A carousing but socially-aware Texas Congressman (Tom Hanks) is unable to ignore the 1980 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and uses his connections to get something done about it. The lead character is likable (hey it is a Tom Hanks role!) and solid performances from supporting cast members Julia Roberts and Phillip Seymour Hoffman bolster him and the plot to keep the story from being a documentary or seeming preachy. Three stars.