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Argo Archives - ShowBizCafe.com

Argo Archives - ShowBizCafe.com

Jack Rico

By

2013/01/10 at 12:00am

Exclusive! Argo’s Real Tony Mendez: “I’m Not Hispanic”

01.10.2013 | By |

For the Latino moviegoers who have already seen Argo or those who will now see it due to the 7 Oscar nominations it received today from the Academy, you might be submerged into the controversy that has arisen from the big reveal in the movie… Ben Affleck who directs and stars in “Argo“, is named Tony Mendez, an obvious Latino. So why did Affleck (an Irish guy) play him as opposed to a true Latino actor? What did Tony Mendez, the real life CIA agent that inspired the film, think? And is he really Latino (I couldn’t find any detailed news on his heritage on the web)? Many Latinos are upset at Affleck’s logic here so I decided to go to the main source – Mendez himself. In this exclusive interview, I asked him about his Latino roots, Affleck’s decision not to hire a Latino thespian to play the lead role and much, much more. Read More

Karen Posada

By

2012/10/11 at 12:00am

Argo

10.11.2012 | By |

Argo

Argo’ is a thrilling, nail-biting film that will keep you fully entertained with its captivating storyline and nearly perfect production. This political thriller is able to captivate the audience, by injecting dry humor, some mild action and focusing on the task at hand without getting too politically confusing. I think director Ben Affleck did a fantastic job giving the film the exact feel for the time it is set in, late70’s early 80’s; everything from the shots, to the outfits, cars, colors and even music, blend in masterfully to deliver what I would call one of the best dramas of the year.

 

Based on a true story, when the Iranian revolution reached its peak six Americans escape an attack on the American Embassyn in Tehran and take shelter at the home of Ken Taylor (Victor Garber), the Canadian Ambassador’s house. CIA exfiltration specialist Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) comes up with a wacky plan to try to get the Americans back home. With the help and support of Jack O’Donnell (Bryan Cranston), Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) and John Chambers (John Goodman), he ventures into a mission that made history.

 

The film gives a concise background on some of the facts of the story without getting too profound or complicated; it explains it all in a very original way. There are different uses of camera work, from areal shots to hand held cameras, and although it gets dizzying at points it makes it all the more believable and real, as the shots look like the original revolt. This movie succeeds in getting the audience inside the story and even though it doesn’t try hard at making a connection with the characters, since it only gives vital information, it manages to create a bond regardless.

 

I can’t recall the last time I was so tense watching a movie, it is so nerve wracking at times that you easily feel scared and nervous for the characters, because that’s how engrossing the story gets. Affleck effortlessly portrays the most levelheaded character in the film, being able to control every situation without seeming mechanical. He gives a solid performance even using body language, to explain what he’s feeling or thinking. I’m happy to say that Cranston finally was given a character worthy of his acting skills, something I’ve only had the opportunity of seeing in his TV show ‘Breaking Bad’; here he’s the actor I’ve come to admire. Arkin and Goodman give us the comedic relief that helps with the tension created by other parts of the film and it’s done in the subtlest way without taking importance from the rest of the movie. Part of this comedy also comes from the film mocking governmental entities as well as even the director himself. The locations, sets, wardrobes, cars, etc., help give the film authenticity, which is another key element to its success.

 

There are some scenes that add to the already felt tension of the film, which make them a little too fictional or planned which can take away a bit of the realistic aim of the film. Also, although I think it works that we don’t get much of an inside on the lives of the characters, except for vital pieces and very few personal conversations; a little more could have been given to add to the connection the audience has with the six Americans in Iran as well as with Affleck’s character.

 

This movie has the ability to literally keep you at the edge of your seat, providing some of the most intense, nail-biting scenes I’ve ever experienced in a movie theater. Scriptwriter Chris Terrio gave such a solid compact story that Affleck was able to create a class A film, with some help from producer Grant Heslov and George Clooney. You truly feel like a part of the film, so much so that at points you want to elbow some of the characters for their actions. The film gives an inside look into a story that was classified until 1997 and that many people might remember living it. Having been part of history some may already know the outcome of the film, either way it’s all about the top-secret intense journey it takes us on. 

Jack Rico

By

2012/10/11 at 12:00am

‘Argo’: Ben Affleck plays a Latino character

10.11.2012 | By |

'Argo': Ben Affleck plays a Latino character

Latinos are seriously EVERYWHERE. In Ben Affleck‘s and George Clooney‘s brand new movie ARGO, based on a true story, Affleck himself plays Latino CIA Agent, Antonio Mendez, a man with a problematic personal life, but very skilled at his professional one. The movie never acknowledges the Latino nationality in anyway besides the name and the real life picture of the man himself at the end of the credits. 

The plot for Argo goes like this: “Argo” chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis, focusing on the little-known role that the CIA and Hollywood played—information that was not declassified until many years after the event. On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, the Canadian and American governments ask the CIA to intervene. The CIA turns to their top “exfiltration” specialist, Tony Mendez, to come up with a plan to get the six Americans safely out of the country. A plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies.

Mendez, who was born in Eureka, Nevada in 1940, and is Latino from his father’s side, moved to Colorado as a teen and went on to study at the University of Colorado. Mendez barely speaks Spanish, but nevertheless was able to join the CIA in 1963 and worked in South Asia, Southeast Asia and Middle East. Prior to joining the agency, Mendez was an artist (worked as an illustrator and tool designer for Martin Marietta) and now works on art full time. His work in the agency frequently dealt with forging foreign documents, creating disguises and handling other graphical work related to espionage.

In today’s instant information age, it seems inconceivable that the entire operation in ARGO remained top secret until it was declassified by President Clinton in 1997. Surprisingly, even after Tony Mendez recounted the events in his 2000 book, Master of Disguise, and, later, Bearman detailed them in Wired, most people remain largely unaware of a story that even Affleck admits “sounds utterly absurd. I understand that, because it seems completely unbelievable, but the fact that it happened is what makes it even more fascinating.”

‘Argo’ is a thrilling, nail-biting film that will keep you fully entertained with its captivating storyline and nearly perfect production. This political thriller is able to captivate the audience, by injecting dry humor, some mild action and focusing on the task at hand without getting too politically confusing. I think director Ben Affleck did a fantastic job giving the film the exact feel for the time it is set in, late70’s early 80’s; everything from the shots, to the outfits, cars, colors and even music, blend in masterfully to deliver what I would call one of the best dramas of the year.

This movie has the ability to literally keep you at the edge of your seat, providing some of the most intense, nail-biting scenes I’ve ever experienced in a movie theater. Scriptwriter Chris Terrio gave such a solid compact story that Affleck was able to create a class A film, with some help from producer Grant Heslov and George Clooney. You truly feel like a part of the film, so much so that at points you want to elbow some of the characters for their actions. The film gives an inside look into a story that was classified until 1997 and that many people might remember living it. Having been part of history some may already know the outcome of the film, either way it’s all about the top-secret intense journey it takes us on. 

Jack Rico

By

2012/10/01 at 12:00am

The 6 Must See Movies of October!

10.1.2012 | By |

The 6 Must See Movies of October!

October is upon us and awards season will begin its stride. However, there aren’t enough Oscar worthy films this month to excite us. However, October will provide us with one gem, one which will probably go down as the Best Picture of 2012 – “Argo” by director Ben Affleck (yes, the guy from Gigli). Also, we cannot forget it is Halloween month, a month where Hollywood exhibits its slew of cheesy but fun horror films. Movies like “Friday the 13th,” “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Halloween” are no longer a part of the October lineup, but instead, we are being introduced to intriguing new indie fright efforts from new directors and writers. Here, we select what we think are the best of the bunch (and we’re not including Paranormal Activity 4).

 

6. The House I Live In (Documentary, October 5th, No Rating)

Plot: From the dealer to the narcotics officer, the inmate to the federal judge, a penetrating look inside America’s criminal justice system, revealing the profound human rights implications of U.S. drug policy.
Why you should see it: With a US presidential election coming up in November, if you are at all interested in your social landscape, the new doc ‘ The House I Live In’ (I keep on thinking of the Frank Sinatra song and ten minute short he won an Academy Award for back in 1946) is a must see movie that analyzes our government’s status on the war on drugs. No other documentary has targeted the topic on the business of the US drug more than this film. It’s insightful yet discouraging. What you think you know is nothing compared to the reality of it. 

5. Frankenweenie (Comedy, Animation, Horror, Sci-Fi, October 5th, Rated PG)

Plot: Young Victor conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences.
Why you should see it: Tim Burton hasn’t really been at the top of his game since “Big Fish” in 2003. Great creative minds usually got through a slump that sometimes can last a decade or even more. But now, Burton seems to be waking up from his with his new animated 3D movie “Frankenweenie”. Riffing off the classic tale of Frankenstein, this is a story he’s been devising ever since he was a kid. The result today is everything that made you remember why Burton was one of the more respected directors of our generation. He desaturates all color from this film to concentrate and tackle the deep emotions a child goes through with friendship, death and moral responsibility. To say “Frankenweenie” isn’t his best work in years would be a flat out lie. The animation is crisp and razor sharp and the 3D is crystal clear. When you think about a perfect Halloween film for kids, not too scary and with a great message, you will from now on think of Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie”. An Oscar nomination in the Best Animation category is guaranteed. 

4. The Sessions (Drama, October 19th, Rated R)

Plot: A man in an iron lung (John Hawkes) who wishes to lose his virginity contacts a professional sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) with the help of his therapist and priest (William H. Macy).
Why you should see it: When it comes to indies, it’s hard to find a better actor than John Hawkes. He is by far one of the more underrated actors in Hollywood. Every time he has appeared on screen, whether it’d be on television or film, he has left an indelible mark on many who have seen him perform. The most memorable is perhaps his performance in “Winter’s Bone” where his face became almost synonymous with that of American rural poverty. This time he exercises his versatility to play someone completely different – a clean cut invalid looking to lose his virginity with a surrogate. Many are calling this true story crazy, but many are also applauding it’s honest and genuinely touching journey without the saccharine. Fantastic spirited performances also accompany the film that only enhance the quirky yet poignant narrative to a crowd pleasing result. 

3. V/H/S (Horror, October 5th, Rated R)

Plot: When a group of misfits is hired by an unknown third party to burglarize a desolate house and acquire a rare VHS tape, they discover more found footage than they bargained for.
Why you should see it: Found footage horror films have become all the rage since “The Blair Witch Project” premiered in 1999 at the hands of Hispanic director Eduardo Sánchez. “ V/H/S” might be one of the best ones on a Top 10 list. The first sequence is so tough to get through, many are said to have almost walked out. With its creepy, archaic VHS quality visual and style, 10 directors make 10 vignettes that are sure to make you not only pee in your Levi jeans, but arguably, hurl onto someone’s head in front of you. Now that’s horrific! 

2. Sinister (Crime, Thriller, Horror, Rated R, October 12th)

Plot: Found footage helps a true-crime novelist (Ethan Hawke) realize how and why a family was murdered in his new home, though his discoveries put his entire family in the evil path of a supernatural entity.
Why you should see it: This is hands down the horror film we’ve all been waiting to see this year! Ethan Hawke has been making some good films as of late (Daybreakers, Brooklyn’s Finest, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead) and this one looks like no exception. The cinematic quality and the effective “sinister” construction of the harsh suspense will leave many who see it unsettled after they walk out of the theatre. The differentiating factor of this horrible nightmare experience compared to many other terror movies is that it develops its main character well, thus, creating a story that not only sucks you in, but truly scares you from the very first shot. Get ready to cry, scream and be utterly frightened!

1. Argo (Drama, Thriller, Rated R, October 12th)

Plot: As the Iranian revolution reaches a boiling point, a CIA ‘exfiltration’ specialist (Ben Affleck) concocts a risky plan to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador.
Why you should see it: After ‘The Master’ and ‘The Life of Pi’ premiered in festivals to lukewarm receptions, the political thriller ‘Argo’ is the one film looked upon to salvage the 2012 year as its Best Picture. With humor, drama, action and magnificent performances, actor/director Ben Affleck has fine tuned his directorial craft to create a sharp, astutely enjoyable cinematic experience that goes down as his best work yet and arguably unrivaled this year. This well-rounded film exceeds expectations on almost every level and even leaves you fully entertained. The Oscar will no doubt nominate this film for various awards and will be no surprise if it wins Best Picture and Best Director for Ben Affleck. 

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