Sunday, October 14, 2012

CinemaBabble: Just like fiction. But it's not. Mostly.

The Flick: Argo

The Peeps: Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, Victor Garber, Kyle Chandler, Tate Donovan, etc, etc.

The Dealio: Behind the scenes of the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979, something is afoot: a plan to spirit six American embassy workers, who are seeking refuge in the Canadian Embassy, out. Based-with embroidery, I am sure- upon the story of one EXFIL (exfiltration expert), Tony Mendez, this story tells how it really went down. Mostly. An unusual blend of humor, snarkiness, almost unbearable tension and high drama, Argo is a nearly perfect concoction that just will not let you remain uninvolved. Even though the events unspooled over 30 years ago, there is a timeliness, a depressing familiarity,  about the entire tale. You know how you want it to turn out, you know how it did turn out and yet, all still seems brand new and immediate, with everything   hinging  on a nuance or chance event. This is what makes it such good film-making. That, and, of course,  Alan Arkin.

The Grading Session: 4.998 pengies out of 5. A scintilla of a pengie off for a needlessly draggy mid-section. The casting, however, was spot-on and clearly, a great deal of effort was made to keep the portrayals as close to the originals as possible. Also, that creeping sense of fear, contagious panic, tension and horror was as real as if watching a news report. As always, your mileage may differ.

Lessons Learned: There is literally no such thing as a bad idea in intelligence. Or, apparently, an unintelligent one (Bikes? In winter? Across the mountains? Really.). Then this: no matter what people tell you, you can get a movie package together in less than a week. You just need to have it  underwritten by the CIA. Or the State Department. Or, well, you get the picture. l
Lastly this:There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home.

Notable Quotables:  A toast, a reply, a theme: 'Argo Eff Yourself!'

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