Posts tagged "Jimmy Carter"

Argo

Argo


2012
Written by Chris Terrio (screenplay) and Joshuah Bearman (article)
Directed by Ben Affleck

Worst. Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Ever.

The story of how the CIA created a fake science fiction movie as a cover in order to rescue Iranian hostages is a story that has become legend in the world of internet movie discussions. Over the years, the story became repeated and linked to again and again, building as articles and books sprang up to be linked to, blowing the minds of movie fans new to the tale each time it appeared. It’s one of those true life things that is impossible to make up, as it sounds too far fetched to be real. But it is real, and it’s so real it has passed on to legend. Like all good legends, someone made a movie about it!

Argo is both the name of the fake CIA movie and the name of this film. History comes alive as we enter the world of 1979-1980. From the old school three bar Warners production logo to the final scene of thousands of dollars of vintage toys, we are in the past. There is a very quick comic book history lesson of Iran’s history up to 1979, followed by vintage news reports of US/Iranian tensions that will be sprinkled throughout the film to show the building tension between both sides. It is interesting how the US/Iranian tensions are still relevant now over 30 years later, the same basic issues and anger are present.

Too busy being awesome to listen to the haters

Cast members become unrecognizable beneath their period haircuts and clothing, make up applied to best ape their real world counterparts. The fashions, the cars, Tom Brokaw with black hair, typewriters, everyone smoking everywhere, the Hollywood sign in ruins, it’s all there. Events I only have the faintest recall of due to my other priorities of being in the terrible twos.

But the film is more than a picture of the past. The cast is solid. Affleck put together a powerhouse ensemble of great actors. They blend into the roles.

We open just as the Shah has been overthrown, people are rioting in the streets as revolution runs rampant. The US embassy is besieged both inside from people wanting visas out, to the mob outside yelling at the gates. But they come over the top, storming the compound and capturing everyone. Six US employees manage to escape and hide out, eventually settling at the home of the Canadian ambassador. The Iranians don’t know anyone is missing, yet. But there is no easy way to get them out. So it’s time to come up with some plans.

Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) – CIA agent and expert in disguise. Comes up with the crazy plan that’s just so out there it might work. Sadly this is also a case of white-washing, as Tony Mendez is Latino.
Jack O’Donnell (Bryan Cranston) – Mendez’s boss and supporter, helps deal with the levels of bureaucracy in Washington. Can think fast on his feet while stuff is hitting the fan.
John Chambers (John Goodman) – Academy Award winner John Chambers is one of the best makeup artists in the world. He also does some jobs on the side for the CIA. Which is the connection they need to bring him on for the most important job of his life.
Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) – Hollywood producer brought in to help set up the fake movie and production company. I don’t think he is a real person, as Robert Sidell was the main person helping John Chambers, but Arkin is great as the washed up producer even if it is fantasy.
This is how Hollywood really works.

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1 comment - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - October 5, 2012 at 1:54 am

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