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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - March, 2013

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"Argo" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Heinonen

movie-march-2013-argo

Synopsis

In 1979, the Shah of Iran has fallen and fled to the USA for asylum while the Ayatolah has taken over ruling Iran.  Every day there are protests outside of the United States Embassy, calling for the return of the Shah to face trial, until finally the protesters decide to breach the wall and storm the buildings.  While almost everyone is taken hostage, a group of six employees manages to escape the building and seeks refuge in the home of the Canadian Ambassador.

Tasked to rescue them from Tehran is CIA operative Tony Mendez.  Dismissing ideas like bicycling 300 miles to the border through the mountains, he comes up with the idea of shooting a fake movie in Iran.  Armed with a script, a fake office, and fake press coverage, he sets out to make a daring rescue that could easily cost him his life.

Specifications

  • Warner Brothers
  • 2012, Color, Rated R, 2 Hours
  • 1080p
  • Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
  • English, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin
  • Directed by: Ben Affleck
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

The winner of Best Picture for 2012, Argo is a wonderfully suspenseful film, even if you go in knowing exactly how it turns out.  The movie picks up fast, and never really stops moving along at all.  All the actors, even Ben Affleck, do a really good job in their roles.  From the costumes down to the settings and the decor, everything brings out the feeling of the late 1970's and really pulls you into the movie, making it feel like the actual event.  A decade ago, I don't think anyone would have picked Ben Affleck as someone that would be one of the better directors working today, but he has done a fantastic job with Argo and made a deserving winner.

Technical

Overall Argo looks fantastic on Bu-ray.  Most shots are superb and incredibly sharp, with loads of detail that comes through.  A few shots fall just short of this, so it's not perfect, but it really doesn't distract at all and makes for a wonderful image.  The soundtrack is much better than I expected, with very good use of the surrounds to build ambience and bring you right into the action.  The opening raid on the embassy has wonderful use of the surrounds and subwoofer, and later scenes continue this.  A really great transfer for a great film.

Extras

Director's Commentary (Ben Affleck is great on commentary), PIP Commentary, and multiple Featurettes, as well as a DVD and a Digital Copy.