Blu-ray Review “Argo: The Declassified Extended Edition”

Actors: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman
Directors: Ben Affleck
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: December 3, 2013
Run Time: 129 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 5 out of 5 stars

But now we all now how amazing “Argo” was. Ben Affleck has really proven himself to be one of the best directors in the business right now. The upcoming caped crusader (Batman, for all you non-comic book fans), Affleck has delivered such a comeback and cleaned up the awards with this film. “The Declassified Extended Edition” is a 129-minute cut of the film (which is nine minutes longer than the theatrical version). This similar approach was taken with Affleck’s “The Town” as it was also given an extended director’s cut as well. I wouldn’t say that the extra minutes make or break the film but the film still is very enjoyable. Packed with tons of additional goodies and a bunch of new special features makes this a must have for any fan of the film.

Official Premise: 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.

Besides the extended cut, this release also features a 64-Page In-Depth Book with Behind-the-Scenes Argo Photographs, an Argo: A Cosmic Conflagration Movie Poster Reproduction (14″ x 20″), Map of “Argo” Movie Locations (14″ x 20″) and an ID Card Prop Replica. Warner releases this film with an UltraViolet Digital Copy. The 1080p transfer is fantastically presented, while still able to keep the 70′s/80′s feel of the film. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio also delivers one hell of a track. Alexandre Desplat’s score really gets to shine as well and adds quite a lot of tension for this film. Overall, this film packs a very impressive release in the audio/video department.

This release included all the extras from the previous Blu-ray release, as well as a ton of new special features on top of them. The first of the brand new extras include “Argo Declassified” which follows Tony Mendez getting honored as part of the CIA’s 50th anniversary. “Ben Affleck’s Balancing Act” focuses on Affleck’s blending of the humor, politics, Hollywood and international intrigue in the film. “Argo F*ck Yourself” features Ben Affleck talking about Argo’s classic line.

The rest of the extras are from the previous release but still equally amazing. “Picture in Picture: Eyewitness Account”, which is the bet of the bunch. It includes interviews with key people from the Iran hostage crisis, including survivors Tony Mendez, as well as President Jimmy Carter and many more. The audio commentary track with director Ben Affleck and writer Chris Terrio is also not to be missed. It is very engaging and informative. If you enjoyed this film then both the PIP option and commentary track are highly recommend for repeat viewings.

“Rescued from Tehran: We Were There” is another engaging featurette with interviews from President Carter, Tony Mendez and more as they chat about their experiences. ”Absolute Authenticity” is a featurette with Affleck chatting about how much work went into this production. “The CIA and Hollywood Connection” is a chat with Affleck, Terrio, Goodman, and Mendez as they discuss the CIA working with Hollywood. Lastly, “Escape from Iran: The Hollywood Option” is the 2005 television documentary focusing on the 25th anniversary of the film’s event, presented in standard definition.

Get Argo Extended Edition on Blu-ray December 3rd, just in time for the Holiday Season!