This is the best bad idea we have.

Watched Argo last night while going through boxes of paperwork from my parents’ house.

I can’t believe this is a decade old. It holds up really well. Sure it’s a period piece,” but it’s also so well-made.

First, the cast

It’s so good. Obviously, Ben Affleck is on the poster. To be fair, this might be peak Affleck—although a friend wanted to champion for Phantoms.

Anyhow, you’ve got the other guy and gal from Halt and Catch Fire, a kid from Space Camp, and the chief from Get Smart*.

But wait, there’s more.

  • What’s her name from that high school horror movie.
  • The one who knocks.
  • Roseanne’s fake husband—who was actually in the CIA for Atomic Blonde.
  • An extra from Mad Men.
  • The old man from Alias!
  • Coach from Friday Night Lights
  • One of Al’s thugs from Deadwood.
  • The less funny guy from The Mindy Project.
  • Assorted white guys playing 80s bureaucrats.

Yes, fine, also nostalgia

Right from the jump, you have the 8mm footage in the opening sequence to anchor you in the period. That’s not historical footage. They distributed cameras to various cast and crew to shoot.

The scene when Mendez is talking on the phone to his son showcases the simplicity of entertainment in the 80s.

Father: What are we watchin’?”

Son: Battle for the Planet of the Apes.”

Father: Tell me, what channel is it on?”

Also, how ephemeral entertainment was pre-DVRs and streaming.

Dialog: A compelling case on its own for three Academy Awards

Sure, it’s backed up with extraordinary direction and editing, but this movie has dozens of great lines.

You’re an associate producer at best.

Argo fuck yourself.

If he could act, he wouldn’t be playing the Minotaur.

Brace yourself; it’s like talking to those two old fucks on The Muppets.”

I did a movie with Rock Hudson one time. If you wanna sell a lie…

You get the press to sell it for you.

If we wanted applause, we’d have joined the circus.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is our pleasure to announce that alcoholic beverages are now available as we have cleared Iranian airspace.

When the flight attendant announces the above, the sense of relief is palpable. Note that this scene was set up beautifully when the team arrives in Tehran.

This is the best bad idea we have, sir. By far.

This has become part of my vocabulary, usually shortened to the title of this post. Since I own my own business and I autocross, the opportunities come up way more often than you’d think.


When in doubt, pretend you’re Canadian. Seriously, though, if you’ve not seen it or it’s been a while, Argo is on Netflix through the end of the month.

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