Hypable Movie Review: ‘Argo’

2:30 pm EDT, October 12, 2012

There’s something about mixing a thriller with “based on a true story” that shouldn’t work. The inherently thrilling aspects of most films lie in the unknown. It is for this reason that Argo is so marvelous; it’s a film that will have you on the edge of your seat throughout, regardless of whether you know the outcome or not.

Set during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, where the US embassy in Tehran was taken over and 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days, Argo tells a slightly separate and thrilling story of a CIA mission to rescue the six people who escaped the embassy, and were hiding out in Tehran. Affleck takes a wonderful approach in the opening act in establishing the look of the era, thanks in large part to terrific production design and over all attention to detail. What’s more is that through a combination of grainy, archival footage and masterful recreation, the film is able to set-up the hostage situation in a thrilling manner that places you directly inside the U.S. Embassy.

Yet Argo, which is based off the 2007 Joshuah Bearman Wired article “How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans From Tehran”, focuses on the plot to rescue these six escaped U.S. citizens, who are holed up at the residence of the Canadian Ambassador (Victor Garber). Affleck also stars in the film as Tony Mendez, a CIA agent who concocts an absolutely ludicrous plan to break them out by posing as a Canadian film crew making a fake sci-fi film, Argo. Teaming up with Oscar-winning makeup artist John Chambers (John Goodman) and Hollywood producer Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin), the plan is actually able to get off the ground.

Argo

Among the terrific ensemble cast in the CIA hierarchy are Bryan Cranston, Kyle Chandler, Chris Messina, and even veterans Philip Baker Hall and Bob Gunton, who appear in a scene together, in which they are referred to as “the two old guys from The Muppets.” Obviously, there are a lot of characters to worry about, and because of that the second act does tend to sag a bit, but it is with lines like this that screenwriter Chris Terrio and Affleck ensure the less thrilling moments doesn’t feel overly long.

Rounding out the film’s ensamble cast are the six escaped hostages, played by Scoot McNairy, Tate Donovan, Kerry Bishe, Clea DuVall, Rory Cochrane and Christopher Denham. Richard Kind also has a rather amusing scene as an obnoxious Hollywood script salesman whoLester Siegel must deal with. The cast is fantastic, in part because the complete the look of the film. The hair, makeup, and costumes are all extremely well done and effectively transport us to the era, with Ben Affleck’s assured direction driving it all home.

Argo

If this wasn’t already the case, Affleck has once and for all proven his calling in directing. Argo not only marks the third successful directorial outing for Affleck, but his is best. The tension the film is able to achieve during the film’s final act is nothing short of miraculous, considering that the majority of audiences will know the outcome. Perhaps because the idea of this rescue operation is so ridiculous that “true story” aspect makes the film all the more impressive, with Affleck not shying away from historical and archival references to get this across.

Argo is expertly made from the opening credits using the classic Warner Bros. logo from the 1970’s, to an edge-of-your-seat, thrilling finale that will leave you breathless. Affleck is a talent to reckon with behind the camera, steering the events in unforeseen directions that will thrill even the historical and political aficionados in the audience. While there is clearly some dramatic license taken here, the thrills in Argo feel genuine, as audiences will be able to place their trust in Affleck to deliver not only an immensely entertaining and thrilling film, but one that sets its sights outside the constraints of a mainstream Hollywood film.

Grade: A

Rated: R (for language and some violent images)

Argo opens in theaters on October 12, 2012.

‘Glee’ alum Mark Salling indicted on child pornography charges

The actor is facing a lot of jail time.

4:55 pm EDT, May 27, 2016

Following an arrest in December, Glee star Mark Salling (who played Puck on the Fox series) is now facing child pornography charges.

A federal grand jury has charged the 33-year-old actor with two counts of child pornography after a search of his home turned up “thousands” of images and videos involving children, TMZ reports. He will be arraigned in early June.

Salling’s charges potentially come with big sentences: 5 to 20 years in prison for receiving child porn, and another 20 years for possessing it.

After Glee went off air last year, Salling has worked on only one project: The action movie Adi Shankar’s Gods and Secrets which is slated to hit theaters later this year.

The actor has been in trouble with the law before — he was sued for sexual battery in 2013.

After filing for divorce from Johnny Depp earlier this week, Amber Heard has now filed a restraining order against the actor after alleged domestic abuse.

TMZ reports Heard went into a Los Angeles courtroom this morning to file the restraining order and shared photos of physical abuse by Johnny Depp, including bruises from this past weekend. “Heard claims after he allegedly hit her he offered her money to stay quiet, but instead she filed for divorce first thing Monday morning,” TMZ says. Heard reportedly “has video of one of the beatings.” TMZ’s report includes a graphic photo of the bruises the actress received from Depp.

Update: The restraining order has been granted.

Heard says she’s been physically assaulted “various times during their marriage,” according to TMZ, and believes there’s “an immediate threat of harm.” Hence the restraining order.

The report adds, “We’re told cops told Amber they would find Johnny and arrest him if she gave a statement about the alleged violence, but she refused. Officers told her if she changed her mind she could call them. As far as we know, she has not gone back to the cops.”

Johnny Depp is currently in the middle of promoting Alice Through the Looking Glass, which opens in theaters Friday.

Depp and Heard married last year after three years of dating. A photo of the couple at this year’s Grammy Awards is below.

DCOM marathon schedule: See full list of movies and when they air

The mega marathon begins Friday, May 27 and runs into June!

10:00 am EDT, May 27, 2016

The highly-anticipated Disney Channel Original Movie marathon began Friday, May 27 at 10 a.m. eastern and runs through the holiday weekend. See the complete DCOM marathon schedule here!

When Disney Channel says they’re running a DCOM marathon, they mean it. The network will be airing 51 DCOMs from Friday to Monday ahead of this summer’s release of their 100th DCOM, Adventures in Babysitting (debuting June 24). Who needs Memorial Day festivities when you can sit inside and enjoy Disney Channel classics all weekend?!

After Monday they’ll continue to air a couple more movies every night until they eventually air all 100 DCOMs. That’s right! Every single one of ’em is returning to television between now and late June.

Below is the complete list of DCOMs airing from Friday, May 27 into the middle of June. Since many are airing in the overnight hours, you’ll probably want to set up your DVR. Or in case you want to watch them again. And again.

DCOM Marathon Schedule

Friday, May 27

10:00AM Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama
11:20AM Read It and Weep
12:55PM Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior
2:40PM Jump In!
4:15PM Lemonade Mouth
6:15PM Zapped
8:00PM High School Musical 2
9:55PM The Cheetah Girls 2
11:45PM Zenon the Zequel
1:25AM Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge
2:55AM Twitches Too
4:25AM Alley Cats Strike!

Saturday, May 28

6:25AM You Wish!
8:05AM The Proud Family Movie
9:50AM Quints
11:25AM Horse Sense
1:10PM Cow Belles
2:50PM Twitches
4:30PM The Even Stevens Movie
6:15PM Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie
8:00PM Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam
9:50PM Princess Protection Program
11:30PM The Cheetah Girls: One World
1:05AM Zenon: Z3
2:40AM Halloweentown High
4:20AM The Thirteenth Year

Netflix DCOMs High School Musical

Sunday, May 29

6:00AM Right On Track
7:45AM Full-Court Miracle
9:35AM Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook-Off
11:20AM Brink!
1:10PM Double Teamed
2:55PM Rip Girls
4:35PM Motocrossed
6:20PM Cloud 9
8:00PM Teen Beach 2
9:55PM Bad Hair Day
11:40PM How to Build a Better Boy
1:20AM Pixel Perfect
2:55AM The Other Me
4:30AM Genius

Monday, May 30

10:00AM Stuck in the Suburbs
11:30AM Halloweentown
1:05PM Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century
2:55PM Smart House
4:25PM High School Musical
6:15PM Camp Rock
8:00PM Descendants
10:05PM Teen Beach Movie
11:55PM Cadet Kelly
1:50AM The Cheetah Girls
3:35AM Johnny Tsunami

Camp Rock DCOM

After Memorial Day Weekend, Disney Channel will air two more DCOMs each night. Here’s the schedule so far (again, set your DVRs because these air late!)

Wednesday, June 1
12:00AM Return to Halloweentown
1:40AM Can of Worms

Thursday, June 2
12:00AM Going to the Mat
1:40AM Miracle in Lane 2

Friday, June 3
12:00AM The Suite Life Movie
1:40AM Ring of Endless Light

Saturday, June 4
12:00AM Invisible Sister
1:40AM Now You See It…

Sunday, June 5
12:00AM Girl vs. Monster
1:40AM Phantom of Megaplex

Monday, June 6
12:00AM Tru Confessions
1:40AM Tiger Cruise

Tuesday, June 7
12:00AM Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire
1:40AM Under Wraps

Wednesday, June 8
12:00AM Den Brother
1:40AM Go Figure

Thursday, June 9
12:00AM Avalon High
1:40AM Jett Jackson: The Movie

Friday, June 10 and beyond
As of right now Disney Channel hasn’t released the schedule beyond June 10.

Which DCOMs do you plan to watch during the Disney Channel Marathon?

Related: The best DCOMs on Netflix

Related: The best DCOMs from the ’90s

Next week we’ll be launching a fun new game here on Hypable where we’ll seek your help in ranking every single DCOM in the history of DCOMs. It’s probably a good idea to watch as many of these as possible so you can brush up on your knowledge base and rank them accurately!