Tag Archives: Victor Garber

Argo (2012, Ben Affleck)

Ben Affleck is a calm, assured director; Argo is something of a distant film. He never lets himself take the spotlight, but he also doesn’t let any of the supporting cast take it either. He casts the film beautifully–whether it’s Clea DuVall and Scoot McNairy as some of the people Affleck’s trying to rescue or John Goodman and Alan Arkin as Affleck’s Hollywood sidekicks–every performance in Argo’s perfect.

And Kyle Chandler too. Can’t forget him. He’s amazing in his handful of scenes.

But the perfection–the end credits roll with pictures of the actual people and the film went out of its way to cast on look–comes at a price. Affleck never lets loose. Every moment of Alexander Desplat’s score fits, but he never gets enthusiastic. The most stylish thing in the film is the seventies era Warner logo at the opening. Otherwise, Affleck is way too precise.

The result is an exceptional docudrama; but Affleck’s methodical and procedural approach hurts it a little. The one place Affleck does create something singular is with his recreations of the Iran hostage crisis. If his character’s attempts at rescuing the stranded people is the film’s main emphasis, the recreation comes second. The plight of the people? A distant third.

The postscript has the film’s most personality. Director Affleck gleefully calls back to his own childhood; he does it in a very controlled setting, however. He never lets the technical enthusiasm loose to infect Argo, which is too bad.

3/4★★★

CREDITS

Directed by Ben Affleck; screenplay by Chris Terrio, based in part on a book by Tony Mendez and an article by Joshuah Bearman; director of photography, Rodrigo Prieto; edited by William Goldenberg; music by Alexandre Desplat; production designer, Sharon Seymour; produced by Grant Heslov, Affleck and George Clooney; released by Warner Bros.

Starring Ben Affleck (Tony Mendez), Bryan Cranston (Jack O’Donnell), Alan Arkin (Lester Siegel), John Goodman (John Chambers), Victor Garber (Ken Taylor), Tate Donovan (Bob Anders), Clea DuVall (Cora Lijek), Scoot McNairy (Joe Stafford), Rory Cochrane (Lee Schatz), Christopher Denham (Mark Lijek), Kerry Bishé (Kathy Stafford), Kyle Chandler (Hamilton Jordan), Chris Messina (Malinov), Zeljko Ivanek (Robert Pender), Titus Welliver (Bates), Keith Szarabajka (Adam Engell), Bob Gunton (Cyrus Vance), Richard Kind (Max Klein), Richard Dillane (OSS Officer Nicholls), Omid Abtahi (Reza Borhani), Page Leong (Pat Taylor), Farshad Farahat (Azizi Checkpoint #3) and Sheila Vand (Sahar).


RELATED

Green Lantern: First Flight (2009, Lauren Montgomery)

There’s a certain amount of competence to the plotting in Green Lantern: First Flight. It’s too bad the filmmakers didn’t pay the same attention to the characters. The film basically lifts the plot structure from any number of established sources–Star Wars, The Matrix, a little Superman here and there–to tell this origin story about a superhero who isn’t so much a superhero as a intergalactic cop; why isn’t he a superhero? Well, superhero sort of suggests he isn’t doing things because it’s his job.

The story barely has any scenes on Earth, so a lot of time is wasted showcasing interesting looking–I think they’re supposed to be interesting looking, the animation isn’t particularly detailed oriented–aliens. The design owes a lot to the Star Wars prequel trilogy, those unexplained law of physics breaking architectural creations. There’s also a huge disregard for human–sorry–alien life and it feels immature, even before the silly ending, where screenwriter Burnett’s experience from writing “The Smurfs” must have come in handy.

There are also these strange CG-aided sequences, which are just idiotic. I’m guessing they included them to look cool or something, but it just draws attention to the difference in animation methods.

The voice acting is okay. Christopher Meloni lacks any personality as the lead, but the character isn’t written with any so it fits. Michael Madsen isn’t awful. John Larroquette and Kurtwood Smith are decent. Victor Garber, however, is a weak villain.

It’s a nearly acceptable seventy minutes.

1/4

CREDITS

Directed by Lauren Montgomery; screenplay by Alan Burnett, based on the DC Comics character created by John Broome and Gil Kane; edited by Rob Desales; music by Robert J. Kral; produced by Bruce W. Timm; released by Warner Premiere.

Starring Christopher Meloni (Hal Jordan), Victor Garber (Sinestro), Tricia Helfer (Boodikka), Michael Madsen (Kilowog), John Larroquette (Tomar Re), Kurtwood Smith (Kanjar Ro), Larry Drake (Ganthet), William Schallert (Appa Ali Apsa), Malachi Throne (Ranakar) and Olivia d’Abo (Carol Ferris).


RELATED