Director Ben Affleck has compiled a wonderful and small list of films that bring substance, relevance, and real depth of cinema to the table. Once a man on the verge of fading in to obscurity, Affleck has now really re-invented himself as a man who has something to contribute to the world of cinema that doesn’t involve a smile and a cleft flash. Ben Affleck has revealed himself to be an understated and often under appreciated cinematic artist, who can often explore the worlds he chooses with great complexity and restraint. “Gone Baby Gone” remains his truly unnoticed masterpiece, but Affleck has managed to completely topple the last film, with thrillers and dramas that provide audiences with something unique and bold, while exploring themes of redemption, salvation, and hatred.
“Argo” is a film based heavily on historical accounts, but Affleck manages to transform it in to a worthwhile and excellent thriller. But where Affleck could easily avoid any and all facts and transform “Argo” in to a stylized and sensationalized blockbuster, he skirts the edges slightly, to deliver a calculated and well paced dramatic thriller teeming with intrigue and violence and very little heroes among us. Within the picture, we’re given the skilled but utterly unassuming Tony Mendez, as played by Affleck. While the man can surely seize the hostages and sneak them out of Iran, he’ll surely fall victim to the violence, should he fail. His only accomplices are two middle aged Hollywood veterans, aiding him in his mission that can only watch and hope for the best as Mendez slides in to Iran to rescue his clients and ensure their safety. “Argo” is surely one of the most exciting and thrilling films of 2012, and I anxiously await to see what more Affleck can bring to the world of cinema as a filmmaker.
Featured in the fully packed Blu-Ray and DVD combo is the Picture in Picture Eye Witness account in full HD. There are accounts of every moment during the operation, as well as interviews with folks involved including Jimmy Carter, Tony Mendez, and Bob Anders respectively. There are also first hand accounts by the folks involved in the operation during the film. There’s also a commentary with Director Ben Affleck and writer Chris Terrio who explore the storyboarding, casting, performances from the cast, and the combination of fiction and reality to create “Argo.”
There’s the seventeen minute “Rescued from Tehran: We Were There,” discussing the events of the house guests, the eleven minute “Absolute Authenticity,” discussing Ben Affleck’s work in researching the film’s historical events. There’s the six minute “The CIA and Hollywood Connection” that’s a brief recounting of the movie, and finally the forty seven minute “Escape from Iran: The Hollywood Option,” the 2005 television documentary that discusses the 25th anniversary of the Argo Canadian operation that recounts many of the experiences from the hostages and in the Iranian war. One of the best films of 2012 is now in Blu-Ray and DVD and is well worth the re-watch, as director and star Ben Affleck has delivered an excellent historical thriller that will keep audiences clutching their seats from beginning to end. It’s a wonderful re-watch, and an instant classic.