Argo

“Sat down to write these up yesterday. But then Mom called, and then I started otherwise procrastinating, and then by the time I was actually gonna start writing LJ went down. Okay, universe, I get it.

Really quick, before we get into the adventure that was Argo, a quick recap of the adventure that was my NYC trip on Saturday. I went to see Grace and If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet. The former’s cast included Paul Rudd and Michael Shannon. The latter, Jake Gyllenhaal. Oh yeah. That all happened. Dawnie Darko and Donnie Darko, together if only for ten seconds at the stage door. !!!!

I ended up oversleeping the next day, waking up 15 minutes after the time I said I’d need to jump in the shower in order to catch my double at the Common. Scrambled frantically to get there in time. This being opening weekend for a Ben Affleck movie in Boston, I was especially concerned about getting a seat. But you know what’s cool about seeing a Ben Affleck movie opening weekend? The crowd response. Unless it’s a special screening, its rare that there’s applause at the end of the film. There was at Argo. And it was very much deserved.

The two sentance review I texted someone afterwards was “”Argo was kinda brilliant. Unique premise and an interesting mix of suspense and levity””. I stand by that statement. The first half hour or so, I was tense. The kinda tense you get from suspense or horror films. Granted, all the Eli Roth-esque stuff I’ve been watching may have had a hand in that, but still the premise of the film is kinda nerve wracking. The hostage crisis was a scary situation and there’s a very in-your-face depiction of it. Then you throw in the whole fake sci-fi movie thing, and the tone completely changes. You can thank John Goodman and Alan Arkin for that. That unlikely duo had what seemed like a lifelong bromance of chewing scenery. I definitely lit up everytime they were on the screen.

Now a story. Once upon a time, there was an actor. His name was Ben Affleck. He was a good old Boston boy, who had plenty of Hollywood success with his bestest buddy Matt Damon. But soon the time came when the two friends had to build their own careers separately. Matt had a string of successes and franchises. As for Ben, well lets just say he made some questionable choices. Before he became a permanent punchline, Ben switched gears a little bit. Along with stepping away from the spotlight for a bit, he decided to step behind the camera. He started with something he knew well, and directed his brother in a Boston movie. Rave reviews. He then pulled double duty in front of and behind the camera, but stayed close to home, both figuratively with the subject matter and literally with the location. More rave reviews. Now he really knows what he’s doing. So he gets more ambitious. Spends even more time in front of the camera and pulls the subject even farther from home. Cue the rave reviews.

The aforementioned balance of suspense and levity is just phenomenal. Such a strange balance, but masterfully acheived. Affleck really pays attention to detail. IMDB trivia explained some of the techniques he used to get the 70s feel on the actual film, and I read some soundbites from John Goodman who praised his method. Goodman’s been around. He knows what he’s talking about. So if he says Affleck is the man, he’s the \m/ man. If you don’t agree, then Argo \m/ Yourself.

Argo – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

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