Product Classification: Movies

Title: Argo

Release Date: 2013

Director: Ben Affleck

Writers: Chris Terrio (screenplay) and Tony Mendez (book)

Cast: Ben Affleck (Tony Mendez), Bryan Cranston (Jack O’Donnell), Alan Arkin (Lester
Siegel), John Goodman (John Chambers), Victor Garber (Ken Taylor), Tate Donovan (Bob Anders), Clea
DuVall (Cora Lijek), Scoot McNairy (Joe Stafford), Rory Cochrane (Lee Schatz), Christopher Denham (Mark Lijek), Kerry Bishé (Kathy Stafford), Kyle Chandler (Hamilton Jordan), Chris Messina (Malinov), Zeljko Ivanek (Robert Pender), Titus Welliver (Bates)

Budget: $44.5 million

Studio: Warner Home Video

Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen

Rated: R (Restricted)

Language: English, Spanish

Subtitles: Spanish, Portuguese, French

Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)

Number of discs: 2

‘Argo’ is the movie that has awoken the Iranian government to the power of suing. Apparently the pariah state (according to Western interest at least) feels that the movie portrayed them in a bad light and are therefore threatening to sue; to the mild amusement of MSNBC commentators. Anyway this flick is a dramatization of a joint CIA and Canadian Secret Service operation which took place in 1980. The mission was intended to rescue 6 fugitive American diplomats who were caught up in the politics of the revolution in Iran when the USA-supported Shah was deposed. In fact that event was a very important one because it set the scene for the ongoing diplomatic skirmishes between the two nations as they attempt to find a lasting solution to their big problems.

Movie Highlights

It is now politically correct to portray America as the strong sword of justice against an irrational Iranian regime that refuses to accept the ordained control by Western powers. However if Iran continues to develop at the current rate then perhaps Hollywood might create a much more nuanced portrayal of those momentous events. Anyway the action is dramatic with the hostage crisis starting in 1979 when a group of Iranian revolutionaries invaded the American Embassy and took several hostages. Six people managed to escape and entered the official residence of the Canadian Ambassador. The CIA was ordered to get the six out of the country.

Tony Mendez was the exfiltration expert who devised a cunning plot to hoodwink the Iranian authorities. First they would create a phoney Canadian film project which would consider the circumstances surrounding attack. That would give them an opportunity to smuggle the diplomats out as part of the production crew. Using contacts in Hollywood, Mended managed to create the daring ruse. He was the associate producer of the phoney project and headed to Iran on that pretext. Meanwhile there was a bit of drama as the Iranian authorities begun to slowly piece the truth together. The charges on the project and even the White House were not entirely optimist about the chances of success.

This is one hostage crisis flick that Hollywood was waiting for because it portrays both the film industry and the American state in a good life. The action is dramatic and the actors are actually quite convincing. Ben Affleck is particularly effective although that was not a casting decision that we were originally impressed with. This is a highly fictionalized account of the events so do not expect to get a history lesson. Nevertheless the premise is quite interesting and you might want to see what exactly got the current Iranian government angry. It is also a great thing to see Ben Affleck coming into his own as a director and producer.

To us ‘Argo’ is a great thriller that is excellently directed and produced. It is a major triumph for Ben Affleck whose career seems to be going from strength to strength. The rest of the cast are equally impressive.

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About Ed Stanley

I am a bit of a 'junkie' when it comes to any electronics. Everything that's new and old. Having been around the stuff all my life since our family has had a shop for three generations. I aim to make each review informative and entertaining. Any thoughts - please make a comment. Anything you want me to review, please send me an email or comment below.

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