Blu-ray Review: 2013 Best Picture Winner ‘Argo’ Given Educational Edition

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CHICAGO – Ben Affleck’s stellar “Argo” won three Oscars last night, including Best Picture of 2012, and Warner Bros. very purposefully timed the Blu-ray and DVD release to capitalize on the film’s wave of success. But they didn’t cut corners to do so. This is one of the best Blu-ray releases in some time, with a stellar collection of special features that don’t just enlighten viewers on the art of filmmaking but offer detailed histories of the true story that just won the Best Picture Academy Award. Blu-ray rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

How many Blu-ray special features can boast the participation of an ex-President of the United States? While you watch “Argo,” you can access picture-in-picture interview footage with the real major players of the event portrayed, including President Jimmy Carter and Tony Mendez, the CIA Exfiltration Specialist played by Ben Affleck in the film, and many of the “House Guests,” the six people who escaped the hostage crisis in Iran and needed rescuing from the home of the Canadian Ambassador. The picture-in-picture approach not only adds depth to the film experience but allows one to see how much detail Affleck both used and discarded. The interview subjects reveal the points in which Affleck made the story a bit more Hollywood while also making clear how much of what really happened is in this film.

If you watch the picture-in-picture, you’ll see and hear a lot of the same interviews as in the other special features. Most of the bits in the film itself are included in other places. The special features, as a whole, are fantastic. They are well-produced, well-directed, and include the interviews you want to hear from the Hollywood players of 2012 and the real people involved. And the transfer is a beauty, as are most WB HD transfers. Overall, it’s a release befitting a Best Picture winner.

Argo was released on Blu-ray and DVD on February 19, 2013
Argo was released on Blu-ray and DVD on February 19, 2013
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

As the Iranian Revolution takes over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, six Americans escape. Now only one man can get them out from behind enemy lines. Tony Mendez is a brilliant CIA agent who specializes in impossible escapes, but his new plan is as daring as it is desperate. Disguised as a film crew, Tony and the fugitives must hide in plain sight, where the slightest slipup could end in instant death. Academy Award winner Ben Affleck directs and stars in a thriller based on an unbelievably true story. The powerful cast includes Emmy Award winner Bryan Cranston and John Goodman, as well as Academy Award winner Alan Arkin.

Special Features:
o Picture In Picture: Eyewitness Account
o Rescued From Tehran: We Were There
o Argo: Absolute Authenticity
o Argo: The CIA And Hollywood Connection
o Escape From Iran: The Hollywood Option
o Feature Length Commentary

“Argo” stars Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Kyle Chandler, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Rory Cochrane, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Scoot McNairy, and Chris Messina. It was written by Chris Terrio and directed by Affleck. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on February 19, 2013. content director Brian Tallerico

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