Director: Ben Affleck
Writer: Chris Terrio, Joshuah Bearman
Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman
Plot: Argo is based on the true story of a group of hostages who pose as a film crew scouting locations for a Science Fiction movie in order to escape from Iran.
So what did you think?
Adam – This tension filled spy/hostage rescue film will have you on the edge of your seat, despite already knowing the films eventual conclusion. Affleck continues to impress behind, as well as in front the camera. Overall this film was a nice surprise entry into my top ten of the year.
Scotty - Argo was a good to great movie with a solid script, decent humor and likable characters. The film was also educational at some level and it was good to get some of the details (although changed for Hollywood) of an important part of our recent history. I also found it pertinent to our overseas issues today.
Griff – This is one of few movies that I have seen this year that seemed like a true Oscar contender. Affleck has really proven that he is a director to watch. This is a nice thriller from start to finish and was really well acted.
Any thoughts before you saw the movie?
Adam – I was fearful that this film was going to end up as stuffy as the last 1970’s spy film we reviewed, TTSS. Thankfully, this film humanizes the characters and the film does not get bogged down with snooze inducing plot points.
Scotty – I had heard that everyone thought this was the best movie and an easy Oscar winner, so needless to say I was looking forward to a quality film directed and starred in by local star Ben Affleck.
Griff – I have enjoyed everything that I seen so far with Affleck at the helm so I was hoping for good things.
Did you think this movie was fresh and/or innovative?
Adam – A fresh spin on a well worn story from recent history that you may in fact not be as familiar with as you originally anticipated. The audience will appreciate the illumination of the behind the scenes mechanizations of the governments espionage units. All set in an eerily similar backdrop of political spin and animated discourse.
Scotty - I thought the plan to get the hostages out of Iran was innovative but you knew how it was going to end and how the film would be done, so innovative is a stretch.
Griff – I always struggle with this question and come back to it last. The movie was an enlightening look at our nations history and the events that led up to the hostage crisis. I thought it was very well done and fresh feel to it for movie that is based on events that happened when I was in 3rd grade.
Did you think the script was well written?
Adam – Indeed it was, if someone had described the plot of this film to you, you would have a hard time picturing as riveting a tale as that which unfolded on screen. The films script simply oozes authenticity without sacrificing its dramatic and comedic elements.
Scotty – I thought script was solid, I am a fan of historical event films as long as they are done with minimal embellishments and speak to the raw truth of the situation and I felt that this film did that.
Griff - For the most part I thought the script was great. Everything moves along at a great pace and they do a nice job of ratcheting up the tension. It does start to border on being a bit contrived and silly at the end but this is forgivable.
Was there a performance you really liked or really hated?
Adam – I find myself a bit torn with regards to this question. It would be hard to choose which was more impressive, the understated way Affleck approached his portrayal of Tony Mendez or the glorious comedic paring of Arkin and Goodman. Word on the street is Arkin and Goodman are considering other projects together and one can only hope this potential repairing comes to fruition.
Scotty – I loved Alan Arkin and found him to be the best character in the whole film, John Goodman in also great in these types of roles where he does not have to carry a film.
Griff - The two biggest stand outs for me were Alan Arkin and John Goodman. Both of them were excellent and stole every scene they were in.
Do you remember a song from the movie?
Adam – So many good tunes to choose from this week. I am going to go with The Rolling Stones tune Little T&A. I might be guilty of being a bit sentimental with this pick, as it’s off the first stones album I purchased, Tattoo You. Yes, for all you fact checkers that was in 1981 and was purchased on vinyl.
Scotty - I heard some Zeppelin, a little Van Halen and Dire Straits but I would say I liked the VH song “Dance the Night Away.”
Griff - Lots of great songs in this one. Aerosmith, Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones…Take your pick.
What was your favorite line?
Adam – “Brace yourself, its like talking to those two old fucks on The Muppets.”
Scotty – “Argo fuck yourself!”
Griff – “John Wayne’s in the ground for 6 months and this is what’s left of America.”
What would have made this a better movie?
Adam - If at the films conclusion we had nuked Iran.
Scotty – Nothing really, this movie was well done and a solid depiction of the hostage situation in Iran.
Griff - As much as I enjoyed the movie, I thought the end got a bit over done and bordered on being goofy. Otherwise I don’t really have any complaints.
Is it worth seeing in the theater? Or could you have waited for the DVD/Stream?
Adam - I would go and check this film out at the theater. It is clearly one of the top films of the year. Although, I have been wrong before, it would be surprising if this film does not get some recognition at Oscar time.
Scotty – Besides wanting to know what everyone is talking about this film could be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home but there will be a lot of talk about Oscars and if you are like me you like to see these films prior to the Academy Awards.
Griff – If you want to be hip to the films come oscar time, then you should go check this one out. Definitely worth a watch.
What other movies would you recommend if someone enjoyed this film?
Adam – It’s got more action, but the world war two soccer/escape drama Victory (1981), starring Michael Caine, Pele and Sylvester Stallone is a good watch.
Scotty – I got nothing
Griff - Munich comes to mind. If you want to check out something a little off the beaten path try The Parallax View (1974) with Warren Beatty.
Any final thoughts on this movie?
Adam – If a film is in search of a director you could do a hell of a lot worse than getting Ben Affleck to helm your project.
Scotty – Argo was well done through and through and had yet another strong performance by Alan Arkin. If I could choose any supporting male actor for the role of an older man he would be my choice. Ben Affleck put together a great cast in this film and he continues to impress me in the Director’s chair, hell I would rather see him there then in a film. This all being said I do not think it is an Oscar lock in any way, shape or form, not that it was not good but it just missed great in my opinion.
Griff - Argo is on my short list of really good films that I have seen so far this year. I am looking forward to Affleck’s next project. I think he has really found his niche behind the camera.