S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(Ben Affleck, 2012)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Warner Home Video
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 38,932,180,922 bytes
Feature Size: 31,576,639,488 bytes
Video Bitrate: 22.85 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: February 19th, 2013
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3738 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3738 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Chinese 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
/ DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
/ DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
English, Chinese, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai none
•Feature Length Picture in Picture: Eye Witness Account
• Commentary by Ben Affleck and writer Chris Terrio
• Rescued from Tehran: We Were There (16:51)
• Behind the Scenes - Argo: Absolute Authenticity (11:19)
• ARGO: The CIA & Hollywood Connection - Escape From Iran: The Hollywood Option (6:05)
DVD of the Feature - Ultraviolet Digital Connection
Description: Based on real events the dramatic thriller "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.
When militants seize control of the U.S. embassy in Tehran during the height of the Iranian Revolution, CIA agent Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) creates a fake Hollywood production in order to fool the terrorists into releasing a group of U.S. diplomats in this Warner Bros. docudrama based on actual events. Affleck directs from a script by Chris Terrio, with George Clooney handling producing duties. Alan Arkin, John Goodman, and Bryan Cranston co-star
It’s a little-known fact that Ben Affleck – celebrity totty, tabloid
bait and esteemed filmmaker – has a degree in Middle Eastern affairs
from the University of Vermont. It’s a qualification he puts to good use
in ‘Argo’, a nail-biting thriller based (fairly loosely) on real events
which, for the majority of its length, manages to avoid the expected
Hollywood clichés about the Middle East and promote a balanced view of
America’s dealings with that troubled region.
At one point in “Argo,” a smart, jittery thriller about a freakish and little-known chapter of the Iranian hostage crisis, a Hollywood producer says that history starts as farce and ends up as tragedy. He seems, as someone rightly points out, to have it backward. But as a professional dissembler, he knows better. Because much like the revolutionary shock troops who seized the United States embassy on Nov. 4th, 1979, and turned the crisis into gripping political theater watched by the entire world — tune in tomorrow when America goes on trial, with the special guest star the Ayatollah Khomeini — the producer knows that historical events alone don’t cut it. You need lights, camera, action.Excerpt from Manohla Dargis at the NY Times located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Argo arrives on Blu-ray from Warner and the much-lauded film gets a deserving 1080P transfer. The image quality looks strong but it does have a teal-heavy appearance. This is dual-layered with an acceptable bitrate for the 2-hour film. Skin tones seem true and contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels. Archival news footage is window-boxed but looks color-enhanced. Daylight scenes are more impressive but no noise was evident. This Blu-ray has a some depth and generally detail is strong considering the camera is so kinetic. I couldn't find anything notable to complain about - this appears to be a decent replication of the theatrical film.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio comes in a strong DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at a robust 3738 kbps. It exports the aggressive effects of the film with depth and crisp separations. The score is by Alexandre Desplat (Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom and Polanski's Carnage to his credits) and is supported well by the lossless audio. There are some nice subtle touches to this film's sound - picked-up expertly by the uncompressed track. It can be frequently impressive. My Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
There are some extensive supplements including both a Feature length Picture-in-Picture with multiple eye witness accounts and historical perspective of the onscreen activity - included as well is a thorough commentary by Ben Affleck and writer Chris Terrio detailing information on both the script and the production with frequent comments on basing the film on the authentic events. We also get three featurettes; 'Rescued from Tehran: We Were There' runs 17-minutes with rescued participants, Behind the Scenes - Argo: Absolute Authenticity runs 11-minutes focusing on accurate details of the plot and 'ARGO: The CIA & Hollywood Connection - Escape From Iran: The Hollywood Option' is a shortish 6-minutes on the historical connections. There is a DVD of the Feature with an Ultraviolet Digital Connection ability.
January 31st, 2013
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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