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"Argo" and "Flight" are top shelf
March 4, 2013 - Mike Donahey
Yours truly and my better half spent part of the weekend viewing “Argo” and “Flight” on DVD.
We had missed both during their theater run.
“Argo” was Oscar-worthy for best film, although readers of past blogs know I was rooting for “Lincoln.” Regardless, director Ben Affleck did an exemplary job. He cemented his reputation as a top-flight talent with “Argo,” following his successful “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town.”
Affleck was motivated by and worked from a book detailing the Iranian hostage crisis of some 34 years ago, making it relevant and compelling. Additionally, he was sincere and conscientious in his lead role as CIA agent Tony Mendez, working diligently behind the scenes to help six Americans escape Tehran, Iran, while surrounded by thousands of enraged, anti-Americans. Alan Arkin (nominated for best actor in a supporting role) and John Goodman were ideal as Hollywood-types who made the ruse of a fake science fiction film believable.
Those who remember the Iranian hostage crisis will appreciate “Argo’s” building of suspense, detail and facts.
Denzel Washington’s delivers another outstanding performance in "Flight" perhaps equaling his Oscar-winning role as a nasty, bad cop in “Training Day” several years ago. (Washington was nominated for best actor in “Flight,”).
In "Flight", Washington plays a highly-skilled, but alcoholic pilot who eventually builds up the courage to face the insidious disease at great personal consequences to himself and career.
“Flight” details a harrowing sequence of an airliner plummeting to the ground as Washington and copilot struggle to get control. It will not be shown as an in-flight movie.
Goodman re-appears in “Flight” as Washington’s buddy who provides him everything from alcohol to cocaine to erotica. Joining Goodman is an excellent supporting cast of Don Cheadle, Bruce Greenwood, Tamara Tunie, Kelly Reilly and Nadine Velaquez.