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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ARGO: Declassified Extended Edition - List of New Special Features & Items included
Most people, myself included, really enjoyed "Argo". If you don't already own the film, this Extended Edition might be the way to go. But if you already own the original blu-ray release, then is it worth an upgrade? Well, hopefully the details below will help you make a decision.

Included on the blu-rays:
- Theatrical Edition of the movie
- Extended...
Published 17 months ago by JMM

versus
68 of 88 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Surprised but not
I can't understand why I feel so differently from everyone about this movie. All I heard were good things, so despite a very average trailer I rented Argo. It was indeed as average, as cliche, as contrived as I expected. We all know the ending, but I was assured that it would still be suspenseful and gripping. It was not. I'm sure all the things that happened on the...
Published 23 months ago by Kimberly C.


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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ARGO: Declassified Extended Edition - List of New Special Features & Items included, August 29, 2013
Most people, myself included, really enjoyed "Argo". If you don't already own the film, this Extended Edition might be the way to go. But if you already own the original blu-ray release, then is it worth an upgrade? Well, hopefully the details below will help you make a decision.

Included on the blu-rays:
- Theatrical Edition of the movie
- Extended Edition of the movie (an extra 10 minutes added to the film)
- 3 New Special Features + all the special features from the previous blu-ray release

Included in the box set:
- 40-page book premium featuring behind the scenes photos, production notes, bios and more
- Argo One-Sheet Poster (you know they are going to fold it to fit it in the box, so it will have creases right down the middle)
- Map of Tehran movie locations (14" x 20")
- Reproduction of Tony Mendez's CIA ID card

So if you enjoyed the movie, then you might want to consider picking this up. I'm interested in seeing if the extra 10 minutes of footage improves the film (not that it needs improvement); and with three all-new special features and the book/memorabilia from the film, this set might be worth it.

********

FULL LIST OF SPECIAL FEATURES:

Brand New Features (exclusive to this blu-ray set):
1. Argo Declassified - Tony Mendez's daring operation gets honored as part of the CIA's 50th anniversary
2. Ben Affleck's Balancing Act - Balancing humor, politics, Hollywood and international intrigue as only Affleck and his team could do
3. Argo F*** Yourself - Ben Affleck leads an all-star review of Argo's classic line

Additional Features (from the old blu-ray release):
4. Picture in Picture: Eyewitness Account: Relive the takeover of the US Embassy in November of 1979 and the daring rescue mission in January of 1980 through the eyes of those that lived it.
5. Feature length audio commentary with director Ben Affleck and writer Chris Terrio
6. Rescued from Tehran: We Were There - President Jimmy Carter, Tony Mendez and the actual houseguests recount the real-life harrowing experience they endured.
7. Argo: Absolute Authenticity - From characters to heart-stopping action, Ben Affleck's eye and ear for hard-hitting realism and attention to exacting detail has become his signature as an A-list filmmaker.
8. Argo: The CIA & Hollywood Connection - Director Ben Affleck and former CIA agent Tony Mendez give a firsthand view of the actual documents and cover story used to create the phony movie Argo that had all of Hollywood believing in.
9. Escape from Iran: The Hollywood Option - Escape from Iran commemorates the 25th anniversary of the "Canadian Caper," taking us back to this startling affair through the direct testimony of the Americans who found sanctuary at the Canadian embassy in Tehran, and the Canadians who risked their own safety to shelter their closest neighbors.
10. Tony Mendez on Tony Mendez - Former CIA agent Tony Mendez shares additional details and stories from the mission
11. A Discussion with the Cast of Argo - Ben Affleck joins Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Clea Duvall and Rory Cochrane for a live conversation about their experiences while making Argo
12. The Istanbul Journey - Ben Affleck shows us why Istanbul was the ideal place to shoot Argo
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390 of 443 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars... "This is the BEST bad idea that we have", October 28, 2012
This review is from: Argo (DVD)
"Argo" (2012 release; 120 min.) bring the story, based on true events but fictionalized for Hollywood purposes, of how CIA operative Tony Mendez (played by Ben Affleck) goes to Iran to help rescue 6 Americans who are holed up in the Canadian Ambassador's residence ever since Iranian fanatics violently took over the US Embassy compound. In order to get the 6 Americans out of Iran, Mendez proposes that they pose as Canadian film makers, who are in Iran scouting for appropriate locations to film Argo, a Star Wars-like adventure. When the various options and alternatives (foreign teachers? agriculture specialists? no, film makers!) are presented to US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, he looks incredulous, but when reassured about the various options available that "they are all bad ideas. but this is the BEST bad idea we have", Vance blesses the mission. In order to lend credibility to the idea that he is involved with this fake movie, Mendez and his Hollywood connections set up a fake film company, with a fake film production office, and a fake script, etc. Once in Iran, Mendez gets in contact with the Group of 6, and they are slowly but surely preparing to try and escape out of Tehran.

Several comments: first and foremost, this is a terrific, tense and rousing historical drama, the likes of which we don't get to see often enough anymore these days. In fact, the whole movie experience feels like the movie was made in the late 70s (check out the classic Warner Bros. logo that opens the movie). It is equally clear that a number of events were fictionalized in order to advance the drama in the movie (just to name one: the chase to the plane at the end is a complete fabrication but makes for tense viewing). Other missed facts are harder to understand (for example: at the beginning of the movie, the narrator states that the Shah was "installed by US and British forces in 1953" when in reality he had ruled since 1941 as successor to his dad).

This movie is a tour de force for Ben Affleck, who stars, produces and directs. The days of the "Bennifer" ridicule are long gone! "Argo" is his third movie as a director (after 2007's "Gone Baby Gone" and 2010's "The Town"), and it seems that Affleck is either incredibly lucky, or simply getting better and better with each movie. I'll bet on the latter. There are several other choice performances in "Argo", including Alan Arkin and John Goodman as the Hollywood connections providing the fake film production house, but also Bryan Cranston as Tony's CIA superior. In all, this is truly Hollywood at its very best: a smart, tense, engaging drama/thriller, proving once again that you don't need to have the world blown up in smithereens every 5 minutes to engage an appreciative audience. "Argo" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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129 of 156 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tense, intelligent, and even quite funny, November 24, 2012
This review is from: Argo [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Ben Affleck continues to prove himself one of Hollywood'd best, most intelligent 'mainstream' film-makers.
In Argo he manages to combine nail-biting suspense created with a minimum of violence or standard movie
action, a sharp, dark sense of humor about the weirdness of both espionage and Hollywood, and makes a film
about getting American hostages released from Iran without giving in to jingoism.

Affleck even takes the time at the beginning of the film to put the Iranian revolution into a larger context of prior American
involvement and manipulation in Iran's politics, thus making the Iranians' hostage taking horribly wrong, but also somewhat
human and understandable.

The story itself is a doozey, and definitely fits into the `you'd never believe it if it weren't true' mold. Using a fake movie as a
cover-up for a long- shot rescue operation sounds like a bad episode of `Mission Impossible' (or even `Get Smart'). But here
it is, a part of history.

I have only two small complaints about the film. First, other than Alan Arkin's and John Goodman's deliciously funny performances
as the Hollywood end of the deal, not many of the other characters are given as much texture as they might, especially considering
how strong the cast is. Perhaps the fear was slowing down the film with character details, but I would have gladly watched a few
minutes more to know these people better on a human level.

More problematically there are a number of key moments where the suspense is trumped up needlessly by throwing in some very
"Hollywood" conceits (coincidences, physical impossibilities, the real story of the climax being abandoned in favor of more overt
dramatics, etc) in a film that didn't need them, a film where the whole point is how real world spy operations are miles from what
we usually see in films.

Neither of these flaws seriously damage a very, very good film, but I couldn't help some minor disappointment when I felt the film go for
the `movie moment' over truth. But this is still a highly entertaining and intelligent thriller, and that's to be applauded.
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170 of 215 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but inaccurate, October 21, 2012
This review is from: Argo (DVD)
ARGO is a well-paced and well-acted movie that takes us back to a seminal moment in modern U.S. history, the 1979-1980 Iranian hostage crisis that ushered in the Reagan era. The film focuses on a little-known footnote, the so-called "Canadian Caper," in which six American diplomats bluffed their way out of Iran by posing as a Hollywood production crew scouting a location for a sci-fi film.

The film stars Tony Mendez, a CIA artist and technician (played by director Ben Affleck) who thought up the ruse. He enlists Hollywood makeup artist John Chambers (John Goodman), who won an Oscar for Planet of the Apes and also designed Spock's ears in Star Trek and had helped Mendez upgrade CIA disguises. Aided by a Hollywood producer (Alan Arkin), they mount an elaborate back story, complete with a script, storyboards, posters, and ads in Variety magazine for the bogus movie (Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light).

Although the larger landscape of the Iranian revolution is accurately presented, history buffs may be disappointed that the details of the operation itself are distorted almost beyond recognition. Affleck's character looms larger than life, while the American diplomats and their Canadian hosts are poorly developed cardboard foils for his heroics. This slant is not so surprising, given that the film is based on Mendez's 2002 memoir, The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA.

But it has earned the film the ire of Canadians, who say it trivializes their pivotal role in the rescue. Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor (Victor Garber), who harbored the fugitives and was instrumental in their rescue, is portrayed as a passive innkeeper taking orders from the CIA. In media interviews, he has called the film "total fiction" and "absolute nonsense."

Affleck has responded to this criticism by noting that, like many Hollywood productions, the movie purports to to be "BASED on a true story," rather than BEING a true story. "We're allowed to take some dramatic license," he reportedly said. "There's a spirit of truth."

The distortions do not end there. A second CIA agent who accompanied Mendez into Iran is absent altogether, as are all mention of a series of potentially fatal blunders by Mendez and the CIA. For example, the CIA map showed the incorrect location for the Canadian Embassy where the agents were supposed to meet their contacts. And on the morning of the escape, Mendez actually overslept, according to accounts of the rescue released after the CIA declassified it in 1997.

The actual exit was also far less dramatic than portrayed in Argo. As described by Mendez in a lengthy narrative on the CIA's official website, the departure went as "smooth as silk"; "The Iranian official at the checkpoint could not have cared less" about the group's paperwork as he stamped the fake passports and exit visas that allowed them to escape onto a waiting Swissair flight (that was delayed due to a minor mechanical problem, not depicted in the film).

Still, While Mendez is overly glamorized in Argo, the CIA is not. The agency is portrayed as willing to sacrifice the diplomats in order to avoid potential international embarrassment.

Shane Bauer, one of three American hikers taken hostage by Iran in 2009, tweeted another flaw, regarding its depiction of the Iranian people: Every Iranian except the maid and the Shah loyalists in the embassy lobby are depicted as "thugs or part of an angry mob."

Yet despite - or perhaps because of - all of its distortions, omissions and biases, Argo still works. It is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that is both entertaining and historically relevant. I recommend it.
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68 of 88 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Surprised but not, February 12, 2013
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I can't understand why I feel so differently from everyone about this movie. All I heard were good things, so despite a very average trailer I rented Argo. It was indeed as average, as cliche, as contrived as I expected. We all know the ending, but I was assured that it would still be suspenseful and gripping. It was not. I'm sure all the things that happened on the tarmac are made up. I'm sure the ringing and ringing and ringing telephone at production offices was made up. All these amateur devices to pep up the story and play to American audiences, the strange and incomplete story about Affleck and his family (it seemed like they wanted to go somewhere with it and then abandoned it), the exaggerated hair and make-up - it was all so . . . did I already say amateurish? I cannot believe this country or the Hollywood community might actually take this film and bestow upon it all accolades that I strongly feel should go to Lincoln.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intense, high tension and well executed film., March 18, 2013
This review is from: Argo (DVD)
Argo is Ben Affleck's third movie he has directed and he is 3 for 3. This movie deals with the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis in which Iranian revolutionaries stormed the American Embassy and took everyone hostage, but six managed to escape. The movie focuses on getting those six out before they are captured and executed.

The movie begins with a brief history of the region, and how the US and British government had controlled the country and its resources for decades until Iran revolted and forced the Western designated Shah out, but now demanded he return and face punishment. After taking the embassy the CIA comes up with a plan to get the six out. Tony Mendez, the operative who orchestrated the plan, comes up with an idea to create a fake movie and have the six pose as film crew and ultimately get out of the country.

The acting is very solid, Ben Affleck and Bryan Cranston do great jobs as the CIA agents fronting this mission. John Goodman and Alan Arkin are also great as the movie producers fronting the fake movie.

The last half hour of this film is very intense and nerve wracking, and it will have you on the edge of your seat. All said and done this is a fast two hour movie that is never boring. Do give this movie a view if you want to watch a great thriller.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies I have seen in a long time, March 10, 2013
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This review is from: Argo [HD] (Amazon Instant Video)
Finally a movie with substance, inspired by true events and inspirational. It gave me sense of the good in Americans and the fact that there are good people in our government who are willing to take risks to help others and have the courage to do the right thing, gave me inspiration and hope. What made this movie so wonderfully entertaining was also the fact they didn't have to use curse words in every sentence or sex, nudity and depravity to make a great movie that was pretty awesome, inspiring, entertaining, humorous and wonderfully good to watch. The directors, producers, script writers etc of this movie just proved that great movies can be made without all the cursing, sex, occultism and gory violence that is pushed down our throats everytime we look for entertainment...Why can't 90% or more of our movies inspire our families like this instead of the other way around? Hollywood, take care of the next generation what they learn and see in movies is what this nation will become in the future..lets give our children some good nourishing mind food...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ARGO deserved the Oscar, March 7, 2013
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This review is from: Argo [HD] (Amazon Instant Video)
The story is very exciting and I love the self effacing humor Hollywood does on itself. If you love tension and excitement based on a real life story (with some fiction added) you will enjoy this movie.
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27 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't live up to the hype., February 22, 2013
The story is fascinating, but the movie wasn't all that great. I was really distracted by Ben Affleck's performance. I get that he was trying to be stoic and serious, but his face literally did not change expression once during the entire film. Can he act? Don't answer that. The rest of the cast was good, but there weren't any stand out performances or particularly memorable scenes. I did like the intro. But, overall this gets a thumbs down.
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24 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Once was enough, February 18, 2013
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Despite all of the media hoopla, this is little more than a made-for-TV movie. Most of the acting is flat; the suspense is contrived; and the only memorable performances come from John Goodman and Alan Arkin - and then only briefly. Ben Affleck again plays Ben Affleck - this time in Iran. Rent it, don't buy it - you will have no desire to view it twice. Once was enough.
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Argo (Blu-ray)
Argo (Blu-ray) by Ben Affleck (Blu-ray - 2013)
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