Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Victor Garber, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Rory Cochran, Scoot McNairy, Christopher Denham, Kerry Bishe, Kyle Chandler.
Rated: R. Drama/History. Running Time: 2 hours.
Ben Affleck, right? Bursts into our collective consciousness with 1997’s Good Will Hunting, which he starred in and co-wrote with pal Matt Damon. All time classic, they won an Academy Award for Original Screenplay. Then what happens? Matt Damon plays The Talented Mr. Ripley, goes all Jason Bourne on us, and we just KNOW this guy is the brains and acting talent of this duo. Meanwhile, Ben is cranking out movies that range from mediocre to pure shit. Forces of Nature, Gigli, Jersey Girl, Daredevil, Surviving Christmas. Do I need to go on? Well a funny thing has happened on the way to forever being late night television joke fodder. Much to the chagrin of Leno, Letterman, Kimmel, Fallon et al, Ben is on a freaking roll! It started in 2007 with his directorial debut of Gone Baby Gone, the big screen adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s book, starring his brother Casey Affleck (who I always thought was the better actor btw.) Great movie, Ed Harris, Morgan Freeman; check it out. Then he writes, directs and stars in the awesome 2010 flick The Town. The story of Charlestown bank robbers that also stars Jeremy Renner, who ironically is starring in the new series of Bourne movies, is absolutely fantastic! If you’ve never seen it, shame on you. Which brings us to Argo. Ben stars and directs again, and as you all know by now, Argo won the Oscar for Best Picture. Getting snubbed for a Best Director nomination definitely aided that victory IMO, but Argo certainly belonged on the short list, and Ben remains white hot.
Argo is based on the true story of 6 American diplomats trapped in revolutionary Iran during the hostage crisis. They are the only ones who make it out of the American Embassy, while an unlucky 52 are held captive for a total of 444 days. The film depicts the harrowing tale of how the CIA plans to extract them from this impossible situation. Affleck’s character, CIA agent Tony Mendez, devises a ballsy plan to fabricate the production of a science fiction movie and pretend that the 6 Americans are part of the film crew scouting a locale. The premise is truly awe-inspiring and the tale is brilliantly depicted. Argo is an emotionally charged ride through edge of your seat suspense and desperation induced empathy. Affleck continues to impress us as viewers and seamlessly transitions into the upper eschelon of Hollywood talent. He almost persuades me to take back all of the foul things I said about him back in the day (circa 2002) when he was caressing & smooching J.Lo’s butt crack in the ‘Jenny From the Block’ video. (See visual below)
Luckily, Ben has learned from said mistakes. That by no means erases the past, but it has changed my perception of the handsome star. It appears that Mr. Affleck does not only have talent, but a working brain as well. He could have fooled me a decade ago.
You’re something Maria! I almost peed my pants with the booty smooch pic. Okay Argo. It was cool learning about this “truth is stranger than fiction” story. How they kept it quiet all those years is remarkable. Who knew we had heroic Canadians too. (Just kidding, some of my best friends are Canadians, eh?) This is a really good movie, well-written, wonderfully acted and had me engaged and squirming on the couch throughout. Arkin and Goodman (who seems to be in every movie these days) were especially entertaining in their far too few scenes. But all that being said, Best Picture of the year? No way. I haven’t seen all the movies nominated, but Silver Linings Playbook was by far the best movie I saw last year. I would rank Django Unchained higher, and I think The Town was a better Affleck movie too. Honestly, it’s really kind of silly comparing good/great movies and declaring one the winner anyway, but that’s what human beings like to do. So, I only have one thing left to say to you, if you don’t like my review, “Argo fuck yourself!”
I love that! And I am so pleased that Ben has wised up. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching his evolution from career suicide to Oscar regular. He’s hotter than ever. I believe Argo is just the tip of the iceberg and Affleck has a lot more tricks up his sleeve. That being said, I much prefer his work behind the camera. Not that he isn’t easy on the eyes, because believe me – I enjoyed the workout scenes in The Town. But he’s just got so much more to offer as a writer and director. Keep up the good work and good luck digging yourself out of that Oscar speech hole with the Misses.
Ross’ Rating: 4 Gummy Bears out of 5.
Maria’s Rating: 4 Gummies.
(To see more on Affleck’s Oscar speech buzz click the link: http://www.express.co.uk/news/showbiz/389057/Jennifer-Garner-Ben-Affleck-s-Oscars-speech-was-a-compliment)