Argo — Takes Off — Videos

Posted on February 2, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Communications, Culture, Entertainment, Films, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Psychology, Raves, Reviews, Strategy, Technology, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Argo  —  takes off

Raymond Thomas Pronk


CIA meeting with Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) and Jack O’Donnell (Bryan Cranston)

Credit: the peoples movies

“Argo” is loosely based on the declassified true story of the escape from Iran of six U.S. embassy staff members orchestrated by CIA exfiltration specialist Tony Mendez (played by Ben Affleck) that saved real lives using a fake science fiction fantasy film as a cover story.

The film opens with the Nov. 4, 1979 seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran by several hundred militant Islamist students who take the embassy staff hostage. Fifty-two embassy staff were held for 444 days until President Jimmy Carter left office on Jan. 20, 1981. Six diplomats escaped from the embassy and were hiding in the home of the Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor (Victor Garber).

Affleck and company have managed to seamlessly synthesize a thriller/comedy/suspense hybrid. When in Washington the film is a thriller as the CIA, State Department and White House react to the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. When in Los Angeles, the movie is a series of one-liners and inside jokes about the Hollywood scene. When in Tehran the movie is an intense edge-of-your seat suspense story.

Chris Terrio’s screenplay masters the massive details of these shifting scenes and city locations into a credible and convincing narrative with humor and wit. In a pivotal meeting of CIA and State Department operation officers exploring exfiltration scenarios, Mendez says, “Exfils are like abortions. You don’t wanna need one, but when you do, you don’t do it yourself.” The CIA and Mendez are tasked with the exfiltration operation.

Mendez comes up with a plan to get the six diplomats out of the country as part of a fake Canadian film production crew scouting for primitive lunar-like locations in Iran.

Mendez and his CIA supervisor, Jack O’Donnell (Bryan Cranston), enlist the help of an Oscar-winning film makeup artist, John Chambers (John Goodman), that the CIA has used in the past to create disguises. Chambers in turn contacts veteran film producer Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) and together create a phony movie studio and publicity for a fake science fiction film called “Argo.”

In “Argo,” Affleck was outstanding both in front of the camera as Mendez and behind the camera as director. This is Affleck’s third and best feature film direction after two solid films, Gone Baby Gone (2007) and The Town (2010).

In January “Argo” won the Golden Globe awards for best drama and director, the Producers Guild of America Theatrical Motion Picture award and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture award.

“Argo” takes off as a Hollywood blockbuster with worldwide box office receipts exceeding $190 million and seven Academy Award nominations including best picture, supporting actor (Alan Arkin), film editing (William Goldenberg), original score (Alexandre Desplat), sound editing (Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn), sound mixing (John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia) and adapted screenplay (Chris Terrio).

“Argo” faces stiff competition from “Lincoln” for best picture and adapted screenplay. However, I believe “Argo” will win at least four Academy Awards for best editing, original score, sound editing and sound mixing at the 85th Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 24.

For sheer excitement, humor and suspense, and outstanding ensemble acting by the entire cast, “Argo” is an entertaining must see movie and Oscar contender.

Film rating: A

Raymond Thomas Pronk is host of the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 3-5 p.m. Fridays and author of the companion blog

Trailer : Argo Official Trailer #1 (2012) Ben Affleck Thriller Movie HD

Argo Featurette (2012) – Ben Affleck Movie HD

DP/30: Argo, director/actor Ben Affleck

DP/30: Argo, screenwriter Chris Terrio

Ben Affleck, Tony Mendez Interview on ‘Argo’: Director, Inspiration Discuss Film

Argo’s Real-Life Hero

Argo – Interview with Ben Affleck

Argo – Interview with Bryan Cranston

Ben Affleck On Best Director Snub – The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Alan Arkin & John Goodman – Argo Interview with Tribute

Beyond The Trailer : Argo Movie Review 2012 : Beyond The Trailer

Argo Movie Review – Just Seen It

Argo – Movie Review by Chris Stuckmann

Argo – Movie Review

Argo – Movie Review

ARGO Press Conference | Festival 2012

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