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Charlie Wilson's War
(2007)
Album Cover Art
Composed and Produced by:

Co-Orchestrated and Conducted by:
Pete Anthony

Co-Orchestrated by:
Jeff Atmajian
Brad Dechter
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Varèse Sarabande
(December 18th, 2007)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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ALSO SEE




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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you specifically enjoyed what you heard in the film, and especially if you seek James Newton Howard's exotic material for Afghanistan and his memorable adaptation of Handel's "The Messiah" into a battle cue.

Avoid it... if you have difficulty with eclectic scores that have no clearly cohesive direction, because the Handel piece so dominates the rest of this score's disjointed parts that it's not a particularly fluid listening experience.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,679
WRITTEN 10/7/10
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Howard
Howard
Charlie Wilson's War: (James Newton Howard) It seems impossible to imagine that any Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts film with an overwhelmingly positive critical response could slip through the theatres without much notice, but disappointing box office returns were the destiny for the outstanding 2007 dramatic political comedy Charlie Wilson's War. The amount of talent assembled for this production was deep with Academy Award nominations and wins, living up to expectations with its smartly written, entertaining, and well paced examination of an American congressman's role in diverting countless millions of dollars to the cause of the Afghan mujahaddin's fight for freedom against occupying Soviet forces. Anyone looking for an intelligent and mostly accurate picture (in all the major details) about how America contributed to the socio-political landscape that preceded the Taliban in Afghanistan will be surprised by how witty Charlie Wilson's War can be. The machinations of backroom lobbying and deal-cutting in America's appropriations process and interesting portrayals of life on the ground in Afghanistan are told through the story of this titular congressman, a Texan who just happens to also enjoy women and parties. A decent acting performance from Hanks (and a merely passable one by Roberts) is overshadowed by the widely praised supporting role for Philip Seymour Hoffman as a CIA operative. Charlie Wilson's War represented the first collaboration between accomplished director Mike Nichols and equally experienced composer James Newton Howard (replacing a Ry Cooder rejected score in this case), whose schedule of assignments coincidentally caused a sudden burst of notable releases at the end of 2007. The role of the music in Charlie Wilson's War was likely conceived as one meant to accompany the picture in a distantly supporting role rather than take center stage; a variety of source usage and a concentration on conversation rather than melodrama placed this score in a conservatively secondary role from the start. That is, however, with one monumental exception that got the attention of many critics and mainstream movie-goers. Whereas the majority of Howard's contribution to Charlie Wilson's War is carefully mundane in its rendering, the composer's alteration of the Overture from George Frideric Handel's "The Messiah" into an action cue was controversial in its ironic placement. Outside of this genuinely funny (and, for those not privy to the connection between its choral lyrics and the battles on screen, likely curious) application of a famous classical theme, there isn't much to write home about in the rest of the soundtrack.



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VIEWER RATINGS
233 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.32 Stars
***** 74 5 Stars
**** 33 4 Stars
*** 50 3 Stars
** 47 2 Stars
* 29 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 33:13
• 1. Charlie Wilson (3:03)
• 2. Telex Machine (1:32)
• 3. Jailbait (1:06)
• 4. Refugee Camp (5:11)
• 5. It's Up to Me (2:48)
• 6. The Belly Dancer (2:41)
• 7. Turning the Tide (8:33)
• 8. Where's It At, Charlie? (1:12)
• 9. Balcony (1:29)
• 10. Honored Colleague (6:09)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes a list of performers, but no extra information about the score or film.
Copyright © 2010-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Charlie Wilson's War are Copyright © 2007, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 10/7/10 (and not updated significantly since).
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