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Argo (2012)

Director: 
Writers: 
Cast: 
Released:  Friday, October 12, 2012  
Length:  120 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros.
Genre: Drama
Rating: Argo is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaUnder 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

Synopsis

Based on true events, “Argo” chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis–the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades. On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, a CIA “exfiltration” specialist named Tony Mendez (Affleck) comes up with a risky plan to get them safely out of the country. A plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies.

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Argo images are © Warner Bros.. All Rights Reserved.


Argo 4K Review


The 1980 hostage crisis in Iran held the world captivated as we watched the drama unfold and prayed for the safe return of the innocent people being held.  With eyes fixed on Tehran, there seemed no end to the standoff, as the rebels kept control of the United States Embassy for 444 days.  Lesser known were the six Americans who fled the Embassy and were holed up at the Canadian ambassador's home.  Argo, based on real life events, tells the story of the daring CIA rescue mission to get the six Americans out of Iran.

Racing against the clock, the United States needed to come up with a plan to extract those six Americans safely.  With all kinds of ideas being thrown around, including having them flee on bicycles, CIA agent Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) formulates a plan to get them out by having them pose as a Canadian film crew scouting locations for their new film. 

In order to set up this attempted escape, Mendez had to first create a fake movie studio, find a script, and present a "table reading" with actors as if the movie was really going to get made.  Once in Iran, Tony had to get the Americans on board to easily present their fake credentials and lives in order to get out of the airport.  While things didn't go completely according to plan, the six Americans, along with Tony, made it back to the United States.

There is no wonder Argo was nominated for seven Academy Awards and winning three – including best picture.  It is simply a well-written, beautifully filmed piece of cinema with a terrific cast.  It is also directed and produced by Affleck and is one of his best films – both on and off screen.  The Homage to All the President's Men is certainly fitting and the grainy picture quality was purposeful and effective.

The 2160 Ultra High Definition video is sharp and crisp.  It captures the 1980 filming style beautifully transporting us back a quarter of a century ago.   It's amazing to see how far we have come technology-wise in a short amount of time and Affleck's shooting style portrays that extremely well.  The DST-HD Master 5.1 audio is clear, but the mix was off as I kept needing to adjust the volume in order t hear the dialog, which can become rather annoying.

The combo pack also comes with a bonus Blu-ray that includes a 1080p copy of the film as well as a all of the sets special features:

  • Audio Commentary: Director Ben Affleck and writer Chris Terrio take us through all aspects of the film from conception to completion.
  • Absolute Authenticity (HD, 11 minutes): a short production featurette focusing on Affleck's attention to detail about the real life story.
  • The CIA and Hollywood Connection (HD, 6 minutes): Affleck, Terrio, Goodman, and Mendez discuss Hollywood and it's use and effectiveness for the CIA mission
  • Escape from Iran: The Hollywood Option (SD, 47 minutes: A television documentary discussing the events of the "Canadian Caper"  

Even knowing this is a true story and we know the ending, it is still compelling enough to watch it over and over again.  Affleck does a wonderful job of filling us with a sense of suspense and apprehension.

You would be amiss to forgo buying this cinematic treasure on 4K UHD.  Add it to your collection today!

Grade: A

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