Monthly Archives: October 2012

Argo

Hey! I’m back!
I’ve missed my blog and going to the movies, and I really have no excuse for falling behind. I paid the price in having to choose from all the movies out there I want to see right now, like right this second, like all in one day.
“Looper,” “Seven Psychopaths,” and yes, I admit, “Pitch Perfect” are all on my list. And that’s not including the fare at the budget theater I didn’t make it to the first time around. There is “Lawless” and maybe “The Bourne Legacy.” Sadly “Beasts of a Southern Wild” escaped before I could see that one in the theater.
But, all that is okay because I am very happy with my choice today: “Argo.”
I am still a little on edge because of it, but in a very good way. Ben Affleck’s done it again. He’s got it down when it comes to turning true events, lives and cities into a film as a star, director and producer.
This time he chose the Iran hostage crisis from 1980 and focusing on the rescue of six U.S. embassy workers who escape when the building is raided. They take refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador, waiting for their way out.
Meanwhile, moving from the end of the 1970s into 1980, the CIA is trying to devise a solution that will safely bring one man, Tony Mendez, in and out of the tumultuous country with six hostages on his arm.
Mendez, lauded by the CIA and government for his mission, staged the production of a movie and pretended the six Americans were his crew. It all happened in two days as the Iranian people were starting to learn there were six people who escaped from the embassy, who they were, and where they were hiding.
That was the intense part that literally made my hands shake during the movie. But there was some relief from those tense moments too. Affleck had the opportunity to mix in some dark humor as John Goodman (John Chambers) and Alan Arkin (Lester Siegel) helped Mendez navigate making a fake science fiction movie seem realistic for the reason to ensure security in the world and the reputation of the CIA.
I wondered how Affleck decided what the balance would be between the two very closely-knit story lines and how to break down a worldwide crisis into two hours. I have read about some criticism of the film’s inclusion of all the history, but I still think Affleck’s storytelling is effective and true of heart.
Overall, I don’t really think there is a target audience for “Argo.”
“Looper” may draw in more science fiction fans and those who are intrigued by the film because Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in it (me).
Surely “Pitch Perfect” is marketed to the ladies, but it was actually Andy Greenwald who I heard rave about that movie.
So, if you find yourself in a dilemma of what to see at the multiplex, try “Argo.”
Ben Affleck wasn’t always one of my favorite actors but he is growing on me, especially when he pulls off a triple threat like this film or “The Town.”
I enjoy his casting choices too and familiar faces showing up in his films. Take one of the hostages, Lee Schatz, for example. Who is he? None other than Lucas from “Empire Records.”
That’s a fun fact (at least for me)  totally unrelated to “Argo,” but it goes back to Affleck’s smart choices down to roles for key players and extras.
I would only make one request, and maybe it’s a risk of “too much of a good thing,” but I think it would be really interesting to see Affleck and Matt Damon work together again. It would have to be the absolute right movie but based on what I’ve seen and their choices of late, it can be done.

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