Argo, Still Fresh Tomato

By Steed Dropout
Oct. 24, 2012

Berkeley, Ca


“Argo Fuck Yourself is a running joke from the movie, Argo which continues to fill theaters weeks after its national release last month.

Argo Fuck Yourself is WW2 military usage, like Kilroy Was Here, or In-like-Flynn (Errol, WW2 era actor, a successful womanizer.)

Photo by Ted Friedman.

Argo “only dropped 15% to $16.6 million, last weekend, making it the best hold for a non-holiday live action film on record,” according to the Bible of Showbiz — Variety

“I see that $90 million’s in the cards, and $100 million’s a possibility,” said WB distribution chief, Jeffrey Goldstein, who’s optimistic about Argo’s Oscar prospects and expects an early 2013 rerelease for Academy voters. That presumes we ever come off the screens,” he added.”

The film is projected by both Ebert and Roeper to win this year’s Oscar.

The film has a 95% approval rating with audiences and critics. If there was ever an Oscar shoe-in, this is it.

The plot revolves around a CIA ruse to pose as Canadian filmmakers to rescue six Iranian hostages, based on a true story about the 1979-81 Iranian Hostages.

Argo is a suspense melodrama, Hitchcockian political-thriller, with a light comedic touch, in scenes involving comic actors John Goodman, and Alan Arkin. You can almost hear a time-bomb clicking, as the suspense builds.


Argo is not the first american film to use film crews as a cop-op. And “Last Shot,” may be only the most recent (2004).

It would be difficult to compare two such different films as Argo and Shot, and unfair to use such a comparison for a critique of either film. Yet, both films share the film-crew angle.

Whereas Argo is a heavy melodrama, Last Shot is a light-hearted comedy, comparable to the Bob Hope film, My Favorite Blonde (1942) with Madeleine Carroll, a take-off on Hitchcock’s 39 Steps, starring Carroll.

Last Shot, was not a successful film at the box office (467,000 domestic gross), nor with reviewers and audience, achieving a weak 5.7 Rotten Tomato score.

Ebert and Roeper gave it two two thumbs, though.

Yet this is a vastly underrated comedy. It has scenes so funny, I won’t give them away. The comic bits are howlingly funny. At Berkeley Reporter we follow strict rules blocking plot points. We hope we didn’t say too much about the Argo story.

Last Shot is the true story of an FBI agent, who pretends to be making a movie to catch a Gotti-like union crook in Provincetown, RI, only to wind up optioning a real script called, and set in Arizona.

How the script-writer, Mathew Broderick, and the F.B.I. agent-producer, Alec Baldwin work out their creative east-coast-west-coast differences — that’s the tale.

Along the way Toni Collete, originally an Australian comedian, and less well-known comedians doing some very funny schtick provide a laugh-a-minute. We can’t say anything about Toni Collet’s bit, except to note it’s totally X-rated. The film is filthy-funny.

There are funny dark-barking routines, and the funniest barking dog bits since Richard Prior’s Dobermann routine.

This is a sub-genre within the main category — crime film. It’s a crime film comedy, a rare breed. We’ll just name a few, like Brother Orchid, Hollywood Homicide, Some Like it Hot, the Fuller Brush Man, to name but a few. Beverly Hills Cop! Miss Congeniality (1 & 2); Analyze This/That!

Every comic actor takes turns in these films, and the Last Shot seems to know that. The real stars of the film are the producer-director’s FBI pals. The actors are always in character, saying funny things as FBI agents that might not be as funny if they weren’t FBI.

This little credited howler is available at Netflix, and and IMDb.

Damn. I almost did a non-smutty piece, but Argo Fuck Yourself allows me to continue my expletive string. And, of course, there’s the valuable linguistic research I provide.

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