Argo DVD Review: CIA Goes Hollywood

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Argo has arrived, fresh off of its continuing awards season sweep, on DVD, Blu-Ray and digital download. Movie Fanatic received the combo pack that features both formats and there are a bevy of extras that are sure to astound.

Argo Blu-Ray

Ben Affleck directed this true story of six Americans who escaped the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran. They would be turned away by the British Embassy and the New Zealand Embassy before finding refuge at the Canadian Ambassador's home. As teased in the Argo trailer, Affleck's film tells the real life efforts of a gifted CIA agent Tony Mendez (Affleck) who hatched a plan to use a fake movie as a guise to have the six Americans pose as a Canadian film crew scouting locations for a sci-fi film called... Argo.

As we stated in our Argo review, this is by far Affleck's best work as a filmmaker and he crafts tension that is palpable, even in a scene with people just standing around. Also, given Iran and its still-in-the-headlines ways, the film has a timely feel to it that is inescapable. According to our recent Oscar Watch: Predicting Best Picture, the true story is on its way to winning Best Picture. And now, you can own what the Academy will call the year's most outstanding film as it is released February 19.

The Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack that we received contains over four hours of bonus material. And it is all worthy of the powerful film it documents.

Among the highlights for Movie Fanatic is the picture-in-picture feature that runs the entire movie if the viewer so chooses that features eyewitness accounts of the harrowing ordeal. And the Rescued from Tehran: We Were There further showcases the real people who lived under the shadow of getting caught and killed.

Perhaps it's the fact that we are Movie Fanatic, but the most enjoyable of all the featurettes are Argo: The CIA & Hollywood Connection and Escape from Iran: The Hollywood Option. One of the reasons we feel Argo will take Best Picture at this year's Oscars is because Tinseltown would like to pat itself on the back for its patriotic duty, conducted in silence in the late 1970s.

Those two previously mentioned documentaries show how it was a truly natural fit for the land of make-believe and the clandestine agency that lives between the black and white and color worlds of real life to work so well together.

Argo is already a front-runner for DVD and Blu-Ray of the year... even though the calendar is still young.

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As a Brit I strongly object to your juxtaposition of 'true story' and Affleck's line that they were turned away by the British and the Kiwis. This was as far from the truth as could possibly be, and a bit of research online including Wikipedia would have told you so. We are tired of being depicted as the villains in fictional Hollywood films, but the distortions of historical truth are unforgivable.

Argo Quotes

It's got horses in it, it's a Western.

Lester Siegel

If we wanted applause, we would have joined the circus.

Jack O'Donnell

Argo Review

To borrow the tagline of Argo, the movie may have been fake -- but the mission was real. The Ben Affleck-directed film, based on the...

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Argo Trailer

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