Thursday, April 11, 2013


Argo - 120min – R

This is the second historical movie I have seen recently and I have to say it was masterfully done. I was so drawn into the movie that I was scared for characters I knew were going to be ok. It was very intense and built to make you unsure. Ben Affleck reaffirms that he is a marvelous storyteller with this spectacular story based on a real life event. Some events were altered for dramatic effect, but because it so well executed you can forgive its inaccuracies. I give this movie a well deserved Green Light and a mighty Argo #@&* yourself.

In 1980, the US Embassy in Iran was taken over and Americans were taken hostage by rebel forces. There were six people who saw the imminent takeover and fled, seeking shelter with Ken Taylor (Victor Garber) the Canadian Ambassador. Ken keeps them at his house at great risk to himself and his family. The CIA extraction expert, Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck), starts working possibilities to get six Americans safely out of Iran at a time when being an American is a capital offence. The mostly likely plan is a long shot but a long shot is better than no shot. They start working on a cover story of a Canadian film crew looking for locations to shoot a science fiction movie: ARGO. With the help of makeup artist John Chambers (John Goodman) and movie producer Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) they set up everything to give the cover story legitimacy

The attention to detail of the time and of the people who were living these events is remarkably done. It’s almost a must when you are doing a film like this that you mirror the people who lived this event as much as you can. I was young when this happened but I remember this being all over the news. It was interesting to see this unfold from the people point of view even it was fictionalized. Some may criticize that this movie did not stick to the facts, that type of movie is called a documentary. This was a political spy drama. This story clearly states this is based on the events.

This movie received an Oscar for best picture and it was well deserved. Ben Affleck made a comment that when he was up there before he thought it was a onetime event a random chance of luck. This work should serve as proof that luck had nothing to do with his Oscar wins. He is a skilled storyteller and has a practiced hand when it comes to movie making. Was he slighted for not getting the best director award? I would say no, it was tough competition he was definitely a very close second.

This is one that I am strongly considering putting into my collection. I have thought of making a Fat Samurai Collection of movies, this is one that should go in because of its great storytelling and its powerful performances.

Warning Spoilers!!!!! Please Show your CIA Badge to see what’s behind this link!!!!!

They use the shaky camera in some scenes but one of two things are happening, they only used it to help set the tone of the sense and I did not notice it, OR movies have used this so often that I am now immune to noticing it. I think its the first reason.

The phrase Argo fuck yourself is uttered by Alan Arkin’s character when a particularly dogged member of the press is pressuring him on a definition of what the title means. This is now kind of an inside joke. I saw it on a tweet and thought Oh my god how rude, but after seeing the movie I understand. The characters use that phrase in the film almost like saying good luck to each other on the success of this mission. So if you hear that, smile and nod and go see this movie so you will be an insider as well.

Canada needs to be highlighted more in this story, it was primarily through efforts of Ken Taylor and John Sheardown’s(who does not even make an appearance in the movie) that the lives of those six were saved. If you enjoyed the movie as much as I did try and get some back ground on these two heroic figures who are the true heroes of this story.

Newspaper article scanned into Google

What do you think about the movie, have you seen it? Do you think it was not all that? Tell me about it.