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Argo

2012 thriller directed by Ben Affleck.

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Argo

  • Oct 12, 2012
Rating:
+5

If Argo did anything besides make me grab a complete stranger in the movie theater for fear of the hostages lives, it was prove once and for all that Ben Affleck is a great director.  He has proven his stuff in the past with Gone Baby Gone and The Town, but Argo has affirmed that he can direct the crap out of anything.  It has the perfect mix of tension, action, drama, and laughs and may be one of the best movies I have seen all year.  You may expect a dry telling of a hostage negotiation you have never heard of, but Argo is a masterfully crafted story that will have you on the edge of your seat. 

The movie is a hodgepodge of emotions.  Going in I thought this would be a political drama mixed with action.  Here Affleck mixes everything from politics, to insider Hollywood humor, to a thriller-drama.  Anyone could have messed this movie up, but Affleck squeezes every possible drop of emotion out of every scene.   He captures the perfect feel of the movie, from panic in the embassy right down to a grainy camera work that movie goers would have seen in the late seventies.

Right as all the information seems overwhelming in DC, Ben Affleck's character Tony Mendez comes up with his plan to free the escaped hostages held up in a hostile Iran.  They plan to free the six that made it out of the embassy by going into Iran as a movie company looking to scout a desert location.  It is at this point that Mendez goes to Hollywood to create a back story for their fake movie.  There they meet two Hollywood producers played outstandingly by John Goodman and Alan Arkin.  Throughout the California scenes the dialogue is littered with inside Hollywood jokes that everyone in the audience is able to enjoy.  They create laugh out loud moments that help to relieve the audience from becoming too overwhelmed.  And while Goodman is good Arkin is great, he steals all the big laughs.  Laughs I wasn't even expecting to get when I first sat down to watch this movie.

If the first half of the movie is about the planning and the set-up then the last half of the movie is about the execution of the plan.  The drama and tension is set high in the first 10 minutes of the movie as the Iranians take over the U.S. embassy, so by the last 45 minutes of the movie I was literally on the edge of my seat and if I didn't biologically know I had to take in oxygen at least every three minutes I wouldn't be able to tell you if I breathed.  I didn't know this story at all before watching this movie, and since it was recently declassified chances are you didn't either.  My biggest suggestion is don't look anything up.  Allow this story to happen and allow yourself to experience the gamut of emotions that Mr. Affleck wishes you to experience.

The only mistake that Ben may have made is casting himself as the male lead.  I don't agree with all the criticism he has taken in the past about his acting, I actually believe he can be a good actor, especially when he is playing a d-bag.  Here he is supposed to be a patriotic stoic thinker.  And that is what he is, almost to a cardboard cut out precision.  He is so stiff in the movie, and it stands out even more by the cast he puts around him.  Even the hostages as unrecognizable actors do a better job than this household name.  I wonder if anymore could have been made of the movie if he had cast someone else in the lead, but hey he is directing, I'd probably cast myself too.

Argo has it all, and does a great job at hooking you into the material.  While every part of the movie was great, there was no point in which I was hoping they would cut to another scene.  I was engulfed in all of it.  Come award season expect some major praise coming for ArgoA

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More Argo reviews
review by . October 26, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         In late 1979, at the height of the Iranian Revolution, fifty-two Americans were taken prisoner and held hostage by Islamic militants after they seized control of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. The six diplomats that managed to evade capture took shelter in the homes of various “friendly country” ambassadors, including that of Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor. The covert plan to rescue them, a joint venture between the government of Canada …
Quick Tip by . May 31, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
One of the films that I had missed in theaters was director Ben Affleck's "Argo", which by now have won the best picture award in the 2013 Oscars.      I realize that I am late in writing a full review for this film. "Argo" is an espionage drama based on real-events that took place in the late 70's and even has given some light to the tensions between Iran and the U.S. back then.      The film is impeccably executed, Affleck succeeds …
review by . December 29, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Argo doesn't pump the brakes on any short notice. It's not one sided, it doesn't force the viewer to think more than it needs to, and it sure avoids a hostage crysis within the borders of our beloved theaters. It comfortably delivers a great dose of adrenaline by polishing one of the most interesting CIA stories of hot-zones extractions and intelligence gathering ever revealed to the press.             Ben Affleck, unlike in his career as …
review by . March 26, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
Secret operation thrillingly brought to the screen
During the 1979 take-over of the American Embassy in Tehran, six Americans escape and are hidden in the Canadian Embassy. The CIA hatches a plot to get them out by having them masquerade as members of a Canadian sci-fi film project.      What a stunning movie. It is unbearably tense and the ending left me breathless and in tears. Director/Star Ben Affleck does a wonderful job and it's all the more harrowing because it's a true story. John Goodman and Alan Arkin play Hollywood …
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