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DVD Shopping Bag: Argo

History, The Affleck, and the Oscars

By Robert T. Trate     February 19, 2013
Source: Mania.com

This week the DVD Shopping is going to take a bit of a departure and touch on a “fringe” movie instead of a straight up genre pic. Argo does have some spy elements and a Sci-Fi pic is involved with the plot. So, yes, it is a fringe movie for Mania.


Argo and the Affleck

 

The first time I saw the trailer for Argo I was intrigued. The second I saw Ben Affleck, I pulled back my excitement a bit. I am a fan of Gone Baby Gone (see review). However, The Town left me scratching my head and completely flat. The praise for Jeremy Renner’s performance left me wondering if I had seen a completely different movie, to say nothing of the blank stares supplied by Blake Lively. Plus, I can’t understand why Jon Hamm is in anything besides Mad Men. So with all this apprehension and dislike of Affleck’s sophomore effort, what did it take for me to see Argo? Simple, history. 


Argo and History


Now, I know that Argo is “based” on a true story. The words “based” have come to mean that this isn’t the whole truth. Schindler’s List (out March 5th on Blu-ray) is just one of several historic movies where scenes or moments are exaggerated for dramatic effect. Even as I sat there in the theater enthralled with whether or not these people would escape, I started to think they probably just walked right out the airport and got the plane. This scene is also most too dramatic. Yet, as I walked out of the theater, I wanted to read Antonio Mendez’s book. Not only was the true story fascinating, but how they used a Hollywood movie to do it, as well. I immediately wanted to search old trade magazines for Argo ads and hope that someone somewhere had a teaser poster. It’s thrilling to know that a genre that is often scoffed at and looked down upon was the means to save someone’s life. Scoffed at, that brings us to...


Argo and the Oscars


I fail to see why Ben Affleck has been neglected by the International Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for a Best Director nomination. The film itself has several nominations, including Best Picture, so why doesn’t Affleck get his nod, too? They don’t have to give him the statue, but a nomination is more than worthy for a man who shaped a Best Picture Nomination. This reminds me of the 1998 Oscars where Saving Private Ryan won Best Cinematography, Best Effects, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Film Editing, Best Sound, and Best Director, but not Best Picture! What? That was the first year I started to see the Oscar’s in a different light and purely a political one as it pertains to Hollywood. Affleck’s snub is just further affirmation. 


My pick of the week is Argo. I found it to be a highly entertaining film and one that not only got me interested in one particular moment in history, but reaffirmed to me that I love the greatest genre of all, Science Fiction.

 

Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. Argo (Blu-ray/DVD Combo+UltraViolet Digital Copy)
2. The Running Man [Blu-ray]
3. The Monster Squad [Blu-ray]
4. The Thief of Bagdad [Blu-ray]
5. The Nest (BluRay/DVD Combo) [Blu-ray]

ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS

4 Assassins Starring Miguel Ferrer, Will Yun Lee, Oliver Williams

Closure Starring Victor Browne, Stephanie Drapeau and Kevin Sizemore

Factory Starring John Cusack, Jennifer Carpenter, Dallas Roberts

Innocent Bystanders Starring Stanley Baker, Donald Pleasence, Dana Andrews

Innocent Bystanders [Blu-ray] Starring Stanley Baker, Donald Pleasence, Dana Andrews

The Mooring Starring Hallie Todd, Thomas Wilson Brown, Karli Blalock

The Package [Blu-ray] Starring Dolph Lundgren, Steve Austin, Darren Shahlavi

Special Forces Starring Djimon Hounsou and Diane Kruger

Sushi Girl [Blu-ray] Starring Tony Todd, Noah Hathaway, James Duval and Andy Mackenzie

Top Gun (Two-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / Digital Copy)

ANIME

Kamisama Dolls: Complete Collection

Kamisama Dolls: Complete Collection [Blu-ray]

Letter Bee: Collection 2

CARTOONS

Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake 4

Jayce & The Wheeled Warriors - Volume 2 - 33 Episode Set Starring Jayce, Gillian and Herc

Marvel The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! Volume Six Starring Hulk and Capt America

Monsters, Inc. (Five-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition : 3D Blu-ray / Blu-ray / DVD Combo + Digital Copy) Starring John Goodman, Billy Crystal, James Coburn and Steve Buscemi

Monsters, Inc. (Three-Disc Collector's Edition: Blu-ray/DVD Combo in DVD Packaging) Starring John Goodman, Billy Crystal, James Coburn and Steve Buscemi

Street Sharks - The Complete 40 Episode Series Starring Ripster. Jab, Streex and Big Slammu

CLASSICS

Easter Parade [Blu-ray] Starring Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford and Ann Miller

Julius Caesar [Blu-ray] Starring Charlton Heston, Jason Robards, John Gielgud

Julius Caesar Starring Charlton Heston, Jason Robards, John Gielgud

Les Miserables [Blu-ray] Starring Jean Gabin, Bernard Blier, Bourvil and Daniele Delorme

Les Miserables Starring Jean Gabin, Bernard Blier, Bourvil and Daniele Delorme

COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style

Best in Show [Blu-ray] Starring Jennifer Coolidge, Christopher Guest

Criterion Collection

On the Waterfront (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Marlon Brando, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger and Eva Marie Saint

On the Waterfront (Criterion Collection) Starring Marlon Brando, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger and Eva Marie Saint

HORROR

Bath Salt Zombies Starring Josh Eal, Ethan Holey, Dave Parker, Jackie McKown, and more Brandon Salkil

Cool As Hell Starring James Balsamo, Billy Walsh, Lauren Adamkiewicz

Dead Genesis Starring Alex Mallari Jr., Jonathan Steen Emily Alatalo

Fangoria Presents: Axed Starring Jonathan Hansler
Haunted Dollhouse Starring Jessica Morris, Meredith McClain, Tim Thomerson, Tracy Scoggins Robin Sydney

Hollow Starring Sam Stockman, Jessica Ellerby and Emily Plumtree

Lake Placid: The Final Chapter Starring Paul Nicholls

Lake Noir Starring Michael J. Gonzalez, Geno Romo and Bob Olin

Mary Mary Bloody Mary (3D and 2D Versions) Starring Cristina Ferrare, David Young and John Carradine

The Monster Squad [Blu-ray] Starring Duncan Regehr, Tom Noonan, Andre Gower and Stephen Macht

The Monster Squad Starring Duncan Regehr, Tom Noonan, Andre Gower and Stephen Macht

The Mooring Starring Hallie Todd, Thomas Wilson Brown, Karli Blalock

The Nest (BluRay/DVD Combo) [Blu-ray] Starring Robert Lansing, Lisa Langlois, Frank Luz and Terri Treas

Night of the Demons 2 [Blu-ray] Starring Cristi Harris, Christine Taylor, Rod McCary

Night of the Demons 2 Starring Cristi Harris, Christine Taylor, Rod McCary

Prison (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray/DVD Combo] Starring Viggo Mortensen, Chelsea Field and Lane Smith

Riddle Starring Val Kilmer and William Sadler

Sinister [Blu-ray] Starring Ethan Hawke, Fred Dalton Thompson and James Ransone

Sinister Starring Ethan Hawke and Fred Dalton Thompson

Snow Shark Starring Michael O'Hear and Jackey Hall Sam Qualiana

TerrorVision / The Video Dead (Bluray/DVD Combo) Starring Gerrit Graham, Mary Woronov and Chad Allen

Virgin Murders Starring Elias Castillo, Shane Dean Aneliese Roettger

MODERN CLASSICS on BLU-RAY

Anna Karenina (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Argo (Blu-ray/DVD Combo+UltraViolet Digital Copy) Starring Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin and John Goodman

Insider [Blu-ray] Starring Al Pacino, Russell Crowe, Christopher Plummer

Irreconcilable Differences (Special Edition) [Blu-ray] Starring Ryan O'Neal, Shelley Long, Drew Barrymore and Sharon Stone

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY

Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike Starring Samantha Mathis, Jason Beghe, Esai Morales

Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike [Blu-ray] Starring Samantha Mathis, Jason Beghe, Esai Morales

The Complete Adventures of Flash Gordon Starring Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers, Frank Shannon

Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome (Unrated Edition -Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet... Starring Luke Pasqualino, Ben Cotton, Lili Bordan and Mike Dopud

Highlander 2: Renegade Version [Blu-ray] Starring Sean Connery, Christopher Lambert, Virginia Madsen

Highlander 2: Renegade Version Starring Sean Connery, Christopher Lambert, Virginia Madsen

New Order Starring Franco Nero and David Wurawa

The Running Man [Blu-ray] Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Brown, Jesse Ventura

Seeds of Destruction [Blu-ray] Starring Adrian Pasdar, Stefanie von Pfetten, James Morrison

Seeds of Destruction Starring Adrian Pasdar, Stefanie von Pfetten, James Morrison

The Terminator (Remastered) [Blu-ray] Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lance Henriksen, Michael Biehn

The Thief of Bagdad [Blu-ray] Starring Douglas Fairbanks

The Thief of Bagdad Starring Douglas Fairbanks

Timekeeper Starring Katie Johnston, Zachary McLemore, Pierrino Mascarino, Daisy Nystul, Tom Gulagar Anthony Medwitz

TV LAND

Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) Starring Emilia Clark, Michelle Fairley, Maisie Williams

Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season Starring Harry Lloyd, Mark Addy, Alfie Allen and Sean Bean

The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams: Season Two Starring Dan Haggerty, Denver Pyle and Don Shanks

Naked City: 20 Star-Filled Episodes Starring Paul Burke, Horace McMahon, Carroll O'Connor and Ed Asner

 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 10
1 
doublec 2/19/2013 3:45:39 AM

 Haven't seen Argo yet, as the subject matter doesn't interest me. After the last election I've had my fill of political movies for a while.
I am glad to finally see someone who shares my feelings on The Town. I never got what the big deal was either. And I agree completely that Blake Lively is a moderately  pretty face and absolutely nothing else.

jedibanner 2/19/2013 6:21:51 AM

Ben Afleck is the worst actor in the past 20 years to be on screen but he's one of the best director that has come in the industry in the past decade.

Sometimes it's good to realize you are not good at something but that you excell in something else.

Now Game of Thrones season 2 is out today, FINALLY!!!

CyanideRush 2/19/2013 6:25:13 AM

 To be perfectly honest, Doublec, Argo goes to great lengths to minimize the politcal aspects of the historical situation that the film is based on. The context is there to setup the story, but the film purposefully never condemns or approved of either side of the conflict. It really focuses down on the plight of those people, rather than taking a grander approach and making it political. 

-Chuck

ultrazilla2000 2/19/2013 6:34:35 AM

 If you think Affleck is "the worst actor in the past 20 years"...then you really need to watch more movies.

jedibanner 2/19/2013 7:16:12 AM

ultrazilla2000, trust me...I have...

joelr 2/19/2013 8:02:58 AM

@Jedi Affleck is a better direct than actor for sure, but he was excellent in Hollywoodland.

Chuck is right- Don't skip Argo for politics, they are almost nonexistent.

The Town won't light you on fire, but it's a decent crime film in the vein of The Friends of Eddie Coyle etc.

shac2846 2/19/2013 11:44:41 AM

 doublec there is virtually little politics in Argo I think you were misinformed. It is not a right or left or even and idealist movie it is a good thriller and I think that's all Affleck really wanted it to be. 

Loved the town. I'll agree that Lively is a moron and can't act but the story and directing was really good and that is why I was interested in argo. The historical aspect was an added bonus. I think affleck is going to be a director to watch in the coming years. 

redhairs99 2/19/2013 12:16:13 PM

 Yeah, Affleck has been so far pretty darn good behind the director's chair.  Not a great actor but any means, but service to good depending on the role.  In Argo, he doesn't have a lot to do other than blank stares, so he does well here.  Also, he's pretty good when he's playing a dick, see Mallrats and Dazed & Confused.

Oh and...

Affleck was da bomb in Phantoms, YO!

blankczech 2/19/2013 11:46:09 PM

 Agree with joeir - Affleck was excellent in Hollywoodland,

and with CyanideRush - Argo was not very political. 

Don't undertstand those who question what the big deal was about "The Town."  What big deal?

karas1 2/20/2013 11:22:11 AM

I enjoyed The Town.  I like heist movies as a genre and I thought the robberies, car chases and action in general were wonderful fun.  The personal stories of the characters were interesting enough but as far as I'm concerned, they were an excuse to have a movie with darring robberies in it.

Argo was similar in that the personalities of the characters were interesting enough to keep the attention but it wasn't a movie about great performances.  It was about adventure and daring doo and a great escape in the face of overwhelming odds.  Good times.

1 

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