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Argo - 30/10/2012 10:36:34 PM   
Empire Admin


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Post #: 1
RE: Affects finest moment..... To date. - 31/10/2012 2:24:49 PM   

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Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Bristol
I saw it last night at a Cineworld Preview Screening and thought it was excellent. Affleck is three for three in my book as a director. A fantastic period thriller with great performances from an all-star cast. Plus Desplat created a fantastic score for the film.

Tense, exciting and surprising funny.


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Post #: 2
RE: Affects finest moment..... To date. - 2/11/2012 2:38:56 PM   


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Joined: 1/10/2005
Agreed, I saw it at the packed out Town Hall for the opening gala Leeds International Film Festival last night.

Perfectly paced with enough humour (Goodman and Arkin) thrown in to lighten the tone of the film, It could have been very heavy going without the humour. As said before the film has some incredibly tense, edge of the seat moments (especially the end) that draw the viewer right into the dramatic turmoil.

I've just posted today about Ben Affleck's ongoing development as a Film Maker, he is certainly becoming a hot property in the directors chair in my opinion. He hasn't failed to deliver in his last 3 outings (Argo, The Town & Gone Baby Gone).


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Post #: 3
RE: Argo - 4/11/2012 1:24:01 AM   


Posts: 99
Joined: 11/9/2012
No kidding, when I first saw the title of this film I thought it was about Argos - the catalogue store! I was disappointed to find out it was about something far more frivolous so I didn't pay to see it in the cinema and went to see Dredd 3D for the 100th time.
Post #: 4
RE: Argo - 5/11/2012 9:55:09 AM   


Posts: 3
Joined: 31/10/2012
I have not watched this movie but heard from one of my friend then there is lot of suspense in this movie. That is the best part of this movie. I am also planing to watch this movie.

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Post #: 5
RE: Argo - 8/11/2012 6:40:46 PM   


Posts: 355
Joined: 23/6/2006
Whilst everyone will remember the Iran Hostage Crisis from 1979 to 1981 as it was one of the biggest news reports in history, many might not know the Canadian Caper, in which six American diplomats who evaded capture during the seizure of the United States embassy in Tehran, Iran. Previously told in an old television movie, this factual story is retold by director Ben Affleck, but in a bizarre perspective.

As the six diplomats hide in the home of the Canadian ambassador, the US State Department begins to explore options for "exfiltrating" them from Iran. Inspired by watching Battle of the Planet of the Apes with his son, CIA specialist Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) conceives the plan of making a fake movie called Argo and to have the diplomats pretend to be Canadian crew as Mendez tries to extract them from the country.

Given the synopsis is so out there, it must be true as the advertisements of the film do indeed say: “Based on the declassified true story”. Focusing on the CIA’s involvement on the Canadian Caper, Affleck’s third directorial outing deals with Tony Mendez’s mission as he visits Hollywood, contacting make-up artist John Chambers and fictional film producer Lester Siegel (both humorously played by John Goodman and Alan Arkin). Together, the three set up the fake development of Argo, a "science fantasy" in the style of Star Wars.

The Hollywood involvement provides a sense of humour, in particular from Alan Arkin in top funny mode, while showing the “preparation” of a film that clearly rips off George Lucas’ space opera, along with the addition of Flash Gordon-styled clothing; PS look out for the cylon extras. As you think the comedy is going to be the centre of the piece, the film never forgets the political situation in Iran. Affleck as director manages to successfully jumble the politics of the time, the comedic Hollywood involvement and the presentation of being an intense thriller.

As well as being the director, Affleck in the lead role isn’t doing a very showy performance although his hair and beard stand out, but is subtly convincing as an ex-field agent who is determined to achieve this mission and while there isn’t much about his family life, his performance is engaging enough. Despite an all-star supporting cast including Bryan Cranston, Philip Baker Hill and many more, the non-star diplomats are terrific as you can see the fear in their eyes as they face this life-and-death situation, with the standout being Monsters’ Scoot McNairy as the most sympathetic one who worries most about the mission.

Whilst there is a level of dramatization in Chris Terrio’s screenplay certainly in its third act, the conclusion wraps everything up too neatly, Ben Affleck’s third (and best) directorial feature is both funny and thrilling.

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Post #: 6
RE: Argo - 8/11/2012 7:08:45 PM   


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Affleck continues to impress in the director's chair, bringing an appropriate and convincing 70s period vibe to the look and composition of the film by mixing newsreel footage with faithful recreations of events, as evidenced by the real-life photos shown over the end-credits. He also pulls off a tricky balancing act in depicting both the seriousness of the hostage situation and the absurdity of the rescue plan. The early parts of the film, detailing the fabrication of the phony Hollywood production Argo, delivers some light-heartedness courtesy of John Goodman and Alan Arkin, and also pokes fun at the inherent fakeness of the film-making industry (there's a great self-deprecating line about directing). But Affleck is careful not to let this undermine the sobering drama of the Iranian scenes, dispensing with the humour as the mission swings into action and builds to a nail-biting climax, which employs some dramatic license to get the pulse racing, but forgivably so. In the acting stakes, Affleck is fine (it would be rather mean to call him the magical piece of timber in the Argo, but I wanted to use that joke), but this is more of an ensemble piece and everyone pulls together well. And, in this month of Movember, nice to see some fantastic 70s moustache action, even if they are overshadowed by Affleck's rather natty beard. All in all, an enjoyable film and another feather in Affleck's cap. Argo and see it. (7/10)


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Post #: 7
RE: Argo - 9/11/2012 2:30:22 PM   


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Thought this was excellent. Edge of the seat tension and razor ship one liners. Everything you could hope for. I've read complaints about the 'mawkish' ending - didn't really see it that way personally but can see where people are coming from. Go see it.

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Post #: 8
RE: Argo - 10/11/2012 8:24:59 PM   


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From: Leeds
This is brilliant, a really solid flick from Affleck. I can't remember the last time a film had me on the edge of my seat so much, Affleck cranks the tension to breaking point (especially during the climax) and your heart will be racing by the end. It's really impressive film-making.


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Post #: 9
RE: Looks Shit - 13/11/2012 3:53:33 PM   


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ORIGINAL: burtbondy
The Town was average mediocrity with an sappy ending straight out of chick flick.

I know. Who'd have thought he'd follow her to the airport and tell her how much he loved her....
Post #: 10
RE: Looks Shit - 14/11/2012 11:45:20 AM   
Dr Lenera


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Joined: 19/10/2005

Militants storm the US embassy in Tehrain on November 4, 1979, in retaliation for the country’s support of the recently deposed Shah. Although most of the embassy staff are taken as hostages, six evade capture and hide in the home of Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor. With the escapees’ situation kept secret, the State Department begins to explore options for “exfiltrating” them from Iran. CIA specialist Tony Mendez, brought in for consultation, points out the fundamental weaknesses in all of the proposals for how to do so, but is at a loss to suggest an alternative until he gets an idea while watching Battle For The Planet Of The Apes on TV with his son: create a cover story that the escapees are Canadian filmmakers, scouting exotic locations in Iran for a similar film….

There was a time when Ben Affleck had become a bit of a laughing stock with his abysmal performances in film like Gigli and Pearl Harbour [and this is coming from someone who likes Pearl Harbour]. He started to appear in more and more films where he showed clear awareness of this, but it was behind the camera where he began to surprise us. With Gone Baby Gone and The Town he revealed he had considerable talent as both a director and a writer. Affleck did not have much to do with the script of Argo, but it is another fine achievement and for me is his best directorial effort yet. The premise of an attempt by the CIA to rescue some people trapped in Iran sounds like something Chuck Norris and his ilk would have been in back in the 80’s, while the idea that the rescuers are pretending to be folk who are making a science fiction Star Wars rip-off could also lead one to believe the film is a John Landis-style farce. However, the events depicted in the film are true, bar the odd alteration, omission or elaboration for drama [most notably towards the end], so Affleck and writer Chris Terrio, based on an article by Joshuah Bearman, decided the right thing to do was do the story in a realistic manner.

And well….It works. You really feel you are there, so convincing is everything, but the movie is thoroughly entertaining too, though more for adults than kids or teenagers who just want car chases and explosions every fifteen minutes. I should reiterate that this is not an action movie; there are some guns fired but nothing in the way of shoot-outs, fights etc. However, so absorbing and gripping is the film that it just doesn’t need them, yet it is in no way a deadly sober, ‘worthy’ drama, it is also packed with humour, the sort of humour that doesn’t drown out the seriousness but somehow adds to it because it makes us like these people even more and desperately want their plan to succeed. Of course the fact that this is based on true events will mean that many will know how things pan out, but I don’t think everyone will, so I won’t give it away!

The beginning of the film does a superb job of giving, via a combination of drawings, photographs and real footage, those not ‘in the know’ the background to the events that we are about to see. As I watched, I was reminded again of how many people who were saying how wonderful the ‘Arab Spring’ was going to be obviously didn’t think of what happened in Iran in 1979, when the dreadful Shah was deposed and the just-as-dreadful [or even worse] Ayatollah Khomeini replaced him, but that’s enough of politics, which is something that scriptwriter Chris Terrio mostly avoids wading into. The early scenes give a vivid impression of the uprising, mixing staged action with what looks like real shots, though maybe they weren’t real; it’s hard to tell, but it sure works. What doesn’t work so well is some irritating shakycam and one-second edits – come on, Ben, you’re better than this crap that most action directors seem obliged to do, and I really got sore eyes this time, but the sequence is soon over, and a sensation of the total chaos is certainly conveyed, so let’s forgive this for now shall we?

We switch to the CIA and then Hollywood, and it takes half the film for the mission to get underway, but you’ll probably be so entertained that you won’t even notice. As we witness the attempts to get this fake science-fiction film off the ground, there is a healthily cynical attitude to Hollywood, the place and business where everyone lies and the press can always be quickly leant on to spin something. It’s such fun watching and listening to the concepts for the film Argo, especially a party where people walk about dressed as often familiar variations on characters that we know [there’s what looks like a blue Chewbacca], though I couldn’t help looking at the cool movie posters on the walls [and cult movie fans look out for Adrienne Barbeau, who doesn't seem to have changed much]. Affleck even gets away with a potentially awkward sequence where footage of hostages being executed in Iran is intercut with cast members of movie cast members at a table reciting the script, which seems to be full of cloth-eared dialogue in the George Lucas manner [yes, I love Star Wars, but the dialogue is often pretty bad, you have to admit!]. The light hearted elements never jar with the seriousness of the situation, and once our would-be rescuers arrive in Iraq, even though there’s more talk than movement for quite a while, the suspense increases and increases until we get to the climactic scenes which are as edge-of-seat as you can imagine. I could describe them, and you may think they don’t sound like much, but honestly, I was totally gripped even though I knew the ending. A touch of schmaltz in the final scene is therefore entirely justified.

This film has one of the best scripts in ages, especially with the way Terrio packs it with funny lines. There are more laugh-out-loud bits than in most actual ‘comedies’ that have come out this year, and many of them are delivered by the always fantastic Alan Arkin, who can always be relied on to make something mildly amusing sound hysterical. Look out in particular lines involving bicycles, John Wayne and the Muppets! I could have done with more scenes involving the people intended to be rescued, people who I didn’t feel I knew as much as I ought to have, and Affleck can’t resist casting himself in the lead role [as a Latino, though he makes no effort to sound like one!] though truth be told he’s not as bad as usual, even if he still thinks staring into space indicates that his character is thinking. No complaints about his direction though [well, except for the beginning!] which shows a considerable grip of film craft while never being showy apart from a few bits where wild camera pans are used to help convey the tense atmosphere.

The score by Alexandre Desplat compliments the film very well. If I have one major criticism about this film, it’s that it virtually ignores the wider picture which has direct links to what is still going on these days in the Middle East. Though undoubtedly a huge deal to those who were involved, it was a small part of a huge situation, and the film doesn’t care to give much context apart from at the very beginning. It seems a little dishonest, but then the filmmakers wanted to avoid being controversial anyway, so maybe it was a good idea! Overall, this is a fine picture that performs a good balancing act and actually could so easily have gone wrong. And, though it looks more Starcrash than Star Wars, I would pay to see Argo the science fiction film. I wonder if there’s a copy of the script that wasn’t destroyed….

Rating: 8.5/10


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Post #: 11
RE: Looks Shit - 14/11/2012 12:12:07 PM   

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From: A breaking rope bridge in the middle of the jungle

ORIGINAL: burtbondy
Afflek is one of the most overrated directers working today. The Town was average mediocrity with an sappy ending straight out of chick flick. The film he made before that with his brother was even worse. Such a no mark of a move i cant even remember what it was called.

Thanks for the informative non-comment not about Argo. Please do continue to review films you've not seen by talking about other films instead.


Post #: 12
RE: Argo - 26/11/2012 7:17:37 PM   


Posts: 41
Joined: 25/8/2007
Top film. Really enjoyed this intriguing , and to me, unknown tale. If it was true fact is much more amazing than fiction. That is not to detract from the story as told, it is very well done.
Two other observations.
1. Nothing gives the period feeling more authenticity than having people smoke on planes.
2. Alan Arkin steals every movie he makes. And without seeming to make an effort.


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Post #: 13
RE: Argo - 3/12/2012 2:43:47 PM   
film man aidy


Posts: 350
Joined: 8/3/2007
Absolutely brilliant. Gripping, funny, and unexpectedly touching. It reminded me of why i love quality cinema so much.

LIGHT SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Loved the 'Jack Nicholson' cameo, and to nod to Battlestar Galactica filming. The last scene with the Star Wars figures in the background did showcase a slight error - The 'Early Bird' stand with the character names on had every figure in it's correct place apart from the Jawa and Sand person, who were the wrong way around... Very geeky error admittedly...


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Post #: 14
RE: Argo - 5/12/2012 10:20:08 PM   
Darth Marenghi


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Joined: 10/10/2010
From: Manchester
A brilliantly tense and well-directed thriller from Affleck, although during the end credits when Carter refers to Tony Mendez as "one of the greatest CIA agents of all time", I did mentally add "...OF ALL TIME!".


Invisible Text for SPOILERS: "color=#F1F1F1" Spoiler text "/color" , then change the quotation marks to square brackets.

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Post #: 15
"If we wanted applause, we would have joined the c... - 20/12/2012 1:49:12 AM   


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Joined: 19/10/2012
While not as good as Gone Baby Gone or The Town, Ben Affleck's Argo holds its own as an entertaining, intelligently crafted thriller, and John Goodman and Alan Arkin give fine performances that help lighten the mood.

< Message edited by movienut707 -- 20/12/2012 1:53:58 AM >

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Post #: 16
RE: "If we wanted applause, we would have joined t... - 2/2/2013 4:48:52 PM   

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All this kicked off when I was but a mere sprog at the tender age of 1 year old, that's a long time ago folks. So Affleck steps up to the podium with an attempt at an epic, gritty, realistic political rollercoaster which is based on a true story where there wasn't actually that much danger truth be told.

Based on true events and more recently an article about the whole charade. The story involves a small group of Americans trapped in Iran after the US embassy was stormed and taken by militants. The group pretty much hide away in various places, moving around somewhat with the help of other foreign embassy folk until the Canadian Ambassador 'takes them in'. From there on the CIA conjure up a plan to extract the lost escapees by hoaxing the scouting of a major motion sci-fi picture and pretending the six Americans are crew members.

On the visual side of things this film did impress me, its pretty flawless as Iran is recreated right down to small details that were captured on film at the time (a man strung up by a large crane downtown). The clothes, hairstyles, cars, interior decorations, technology etc...are all spot on and captures the late 70's perfectly. The cast are all terrific and perform beautifully, I admit I don't know who most of them are (the escapees mainly) but they do a sterling job.

Alan Arkin is by far the best thing going for the A list actors on show. His gruff, rude outspoken manner is brilliant for his character of the film producer 'Lester Siegel' (fictional character), great Hollywood type name too. John Goodman is here again!! this time he does a good job as old Hollywood makeup artist John Chambers. Not only is his calm demeanor very likeable and pleasant but he actually looks like the guy too.

When it comes to the lead role of 'Mendez' played by Affleck I gotta take a step back from my enjoyment of the film. Like I say I did enjoy the film, but a nagging thought in my head just keeps telling me Affleck gave or saved the best meatiest role for himself...simply because it was his film and he could.
Yes Affleck does OK in the role, there is no machoism going on, no over the top acting, its all very straight laced and plain. But the fact his character was Latino and I don't think Affleck really looked like the guy either kinda makes me wonder why he just didn't cast someone more appropriate. Yes I realise what I just said doesn't mean Affleck wouldn't be good for the role and not give the right performance, but because he was the director I just sense a bit of self indulgence really. Meh! but that's just me.

So yep this was truly daring stuff, the kind of thing you'd half expect to hear from a dashing WWII adventure by us crafty Brits hehe. As usual though we do have the problem of the Yanks taking a lot of credit for themselves and ignoring everyone else. As with a few other war stories, certain other parties involved in this plot have unfortunately been given a bit of the cold shoulder. To the common viewer it won't make a difference of course but to those involved it has been noticed and caused a slight stir.

Most of the film is a build up for the finale which doesn't disappoint I guarantee. The whole finale is a bit predictable naturally but it still grabs you by the collar. Even the build up is interesting which surprised me as I expected lots of dull political/government spiel from lots of grey suited blokes with thick rimmed glasses and hair partings you could sail a boat down.

The film in general, I must give kudos to Affleck and his team for what they have achieved. Despite the need for adding a few Hollywood moments to rack up the tension like the runway chase and various sweat inducing confrontations, the film is reasonably accurate and highly enjoyable. Probably the most exciting tense ride I've experienced in a film for sometime where no one actually gets shot or killed!.

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Post #: 17
RE: "If we wanted applause, we would have joined t... - 5/2/2013 3:13:01 PM   


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Joined: 5/2/2013
Why's there so much fuss about Afflek not getting an Oscar nod, It's a good film but, there's nothing here outstanding. What's with the soundrack, there shouldn't be any, just incidental

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Post #: 18
Excellent - Enjoyed Every Minute - 25/2/2013 12:21:05 AM   


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From: Greece
Great film, great tension, enjoyed it from start to finish. - 'nuff said

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Post #: 19
- 28/2/2013 2:05:06 PM   


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Post #: 20
BENNIFER DONE GOOD.... - 1/3/2013 7:57:49 AM   


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Joined: 14/7/2008
A good little film with a little history lesson thrown in. God knows why Affleck wasn't given a best director nom at the Oscars - without a doubt he should have got one. Great performances all around from the talented cast - especially Alan Arkin who steals every scene he's in. Argo is worth the money and a good night out at the flicks. You won't be disappointed. FOUR STARS

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Post #: 21
- 3/3/2013 2:21:54 AM   


Posts: 35
Joined: 28/6/2012
argo fuck yourself!

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Post #: 22
Argo Fuck Yourself - 4/3/2013 4:16:50 PM   


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Joined: 4/3/2013
Exfil. Asked me what that meant last week and I would have told you it was perhaps something to do with science.
Now, however, we know that exfiltration is the process of extracting personnel from enemy territory. In this case, it is with the assistance of a Hollywood producer, an Oscar-winning make-up artist and an entirely fabricated sci-fi film.
Last week, as well as not knowing what an ‘Exfil’ is, I had no idea about the 1979 attack on the US Embassy in Tehran, Iran. A mob of Ayatollah-supporting Iranians raided the embassy, taking all the US staff inside hostage.
But six members of the consular staff escape the embassy and eventually end up at Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor’s (Victor Garber) home where they are sheltered as supposed personal friends, knowing they might face public execution if they are caught.
This is where Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) steps in. While watching a few minutes of Planet of the Apes on TV, Mendez, the resident CIA Exfil expert, comes up with a plan. A plan which even the highest members of the CIA grudgingly admit is “the best bad idea we’ve got”.
As part of the rescue mission, the six house guests would pose as a Canadian film crew who’ve travelled to Iran to scout a location for a science fiction epic. The plan would entail supplying them with fake Canadian passports and flying out from the airport right under the noses of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
With epics by Hollywood stalwarts such as Steven Speilberg’s Lincoln, or Katherine Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty vying for Oscar gold, Affleck has had it hard in making this film the best. But he did an amazing job- both starring and directing the film. He already proved his directing skills in The Town (2010) which is another action packed movie. Affleck makes it so you can sense the tension, feel the beads of sweat, perhaps because those tensions haven’t gone away. And Affleck knows that.
He also does a spectacular

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Post #: 23
RE: Argo Fuck Yourself - 6/3/2013 10:10:39 PM   

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From: Leicester
An absolutely brilliant film. Even though I knew that the hostages got out safe and sound, I was still on the edge of my seat. Film making at its finest.


One small quip though, Britain and NZ did help in the effort. Naughty, naughty Hollywood *tut tut*.


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Post #: 24
RE: "If we wanted applause, we would have joined t... - 8/3/2013 6:05:13 PM   
Willy Wood


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Joined: 28/1/2013



Why's there so much fuss about Afflek not getting an Oscar nod, It's a good film but, there's nothing here outstanding. What's with the soundrack, there shouldn't be any, just incidental

I agree it's an ok movie but there's nothing exceptional here, it's just ok.

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Post #: 25
RE: "If we wanted applause, we would have joined t... - 18/3/2013 12:33:29 PM   

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From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
Absolutely great film.
Edge of my seat the entire way through and I learnt alot about a situation I was largely ignorant about.

Affleck has now cemented himself as a great director. Good performance by him too.


Invisio Text for Spoilers
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Post #: 26
Superb - 25/3/2013 11:15:54 AM   
Mr Gittes


Posts: 524
Joined: 3/2/2013
I loved this movie. Very entertaining, gripping and intense. More than anything, the editing is incredible too; a perfectly paced film. I wouldn't say it's flawless and, if I could, I'd give it four and a half stars but because I love it so much I'm gonna round it up to five. Yeah, I do that a lot but trust me, it's justified.

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Post #: 27
Average - 28/5/2013 9:08:38 AM   


Posts: 221
Joined: 3/11/2005
Usually when I'm not very excited about a film it turns out to better than I expected. Unfortunatly in this case it wasnt. It was good but only for the last ten minutes. Affleck is good as were alot of the cast and he is clearly a good director but I just wasnt gripped at all, if anything I found large parts of this pretty boring. How this won best film at the oscars I will never know. A solid 3.

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Post #: 28
RE: Average - 7/6/2013 11:06:39 PM   

Posts: 9768
Joined: 30/9/2005
Just seen this... can't remember the last time I watched a film and was tense from start to finish... brilliant stuff. Facts aside, its a great film, and might just deserve that Oscar. How Affleck wasn't nominated though... jeez.

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Post #: 29
Argo - Movie Review - Will Frey - 2/7/2013 5:31:14 PM   
Will Frey


Posts: 11
Joined: 2/7/2013
Argo tells a true story of bravery and chivalry in modern day Iran, where one man has a plan to make the fakest movie in history to save six lives. It’s hybrid take on new-age camera movements and old-school angles and techniques gives the movie a timeless feel – something I believe is harder to so than most people think. One example of this shift in generation is when the said six lives – former embassy workers hiding from rebels at an ambassadors house – are forced to hide in the cubby as they are having a splendid dinner. Such hostility in such a short amount of time – it reminds you just how real these events were when they took place.
Affleck was his usual self as an actor - not bad. He wasn't great but he wasn't terrible. The rest of the cast were perfectly on point - Arkin, Goodman, McNairy all had awesome moments throughout the movie, pulling they're weight with Affleck at the directing chair.

8/10, definitely worth the $7.50 at the movie theater.


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Post #: 30
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