Argo Ultra HD Blu-ray Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-06-2016, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Argo Ultra HD Blu-ray Review



Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

83



Details:

Studio and Year: Warner - 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 120 minutes
Genre: Drama/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, Victor Garber, Tate Donovan, Clea Duvall
Directed by: Ben Affleck
Music by: Alexandre Desplat
Written by: Chris Terrio
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 6, 2016


" Based on the Declassified True Story"


My Take:

I Reviewed Argo when it was originally released on Blu-ray and have included my comments from that review here. The ratings for the 1080p audio/video and bonus content will be the same as they are identical to the original release. New comments and ratings for the new Ultra HD video are below.


The movie was fake, the mission was real. As a fan of films based on real life stories I was immediately drawn to Argo. As far as human interest stories go they don’t come much better. I was a young teenager when the hostage crisis broke out in Iran and I have clear recollections of many of the images, news broadcasts and nationwide focus that resulted. I honestly don’t remember the rescue of the six “Houseguests” being credited to the Canadians but just remember seeing them on the news and so forth. More than that I remember the seemingly unending plight of the hostages and the harrowing 444 days they spent pent up in that embassy in Tehran. Seeing them finally come home in 1981was truly a joyous event.

Argo focuses on the “Houseguests” a group of six Americans that slipped out of the embassy’s “backdoor” and found refuge in the home of the Canadian Ambassador Kenneth Taylor. The film paints a vivid picture of the steps taken to devise a plan to get an operative into Iran and back out with the six Americans in tow. This wasn’t going to be the run of the mill rescue in the kick ass and don’t bother taking names aspect. With 60 other Americans lives hanging in the balance escalating matters by direct means wasn’t on the table for the regime making the decisions.

The film makes every attempt to authentically portray the various scenarios that unfolded behind the scenes. This included the lengths necessary to conjure up a plausible reason for a movie crew to scout locations for their film in Iran as well as the trickling decisions and indecisions that at any moment could have spelled disaster. It all came down to a hand full of people, none of whom were anywhere near the top of the decision making chain, that made a plan and a goal to make it work come hell or high water. At the end of the day a little luck, a lot of guile and the support of a nation saw it through.

Argo isn’t your typical story of heroes but as far as films that depict daring, courage and tension go it’s assuredly riveting. It grabs hold right at the start and doesn’t let go. There isn’t time for deep character building which is fine since we see them as credible based upon the factual nature of the storyline. The screenplay does a superb job of establishing a foundational correlation between the characters while integrating thematic melodrama and effectively building suspense. The finale is an emotive white knuckle ride that defines the essence of excellent filmmaking.

The cast as an ensemble is simply marvelous. It is made up of a variety of quality actors both primary and supporting that lend credibility to the film. Standouts in my opinion are Bryan Cranston, Scoot McNairy, and the tandem of John Goodman/Alan Arkin the latter of whom literally steals every scene he is in. I also appreciated the plethora of cameos, including the likes of Zeljko Ivanek, Bob Gunton, Kyle Chandler, Richard Kind, and my girl Adrienne Barbeau, who still looks great at 67.

I found Argo deserving of the accolades it received. I appreciate its authentic approach, cohesive narrative, staunch direction, and strong performances. It is a brilliant thriller that is among the best films released in 2012.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for language and some violent images.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element):



UHD Presentation: 80
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color & WCG:
  • Resolution:
  • Visual Impact:



Ultra HD Blu-ray has finally been released and eager enthusiasts are ready and willing to see what it has to offer. For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Argo comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.2 Mbps.

In looking at Argo and comparing my notes, I found its presentation on Ultra HD Blu-ray was reminiscent of my impressions of The Town on UHD. It’s a period film that adheres to sepia tones and color grading, which ultimately leaves some sequences appearing less visually engaging than others. That comes across with its presentation in Ultra HD which was rendered from a 2K DI and up-converted to 4K. Color reproduction is consistent, with primaries like blue and red appearing richer, and more delineated. Secondary hues look great, although not appreciably better. The increase in resolution isn't always on display, especially in wide angle shots, although I believe that this is innate to the photography. Close-ups tend to offer better refinement and deeper resolvable texture on surfaces and physical features compared to the Blu-ray. The improvements are subtle but present.

The same is true when comparing the video's dynamic range. Exterior sequences offer the slightest hint of added punch which gives the image appreciable visual pop. Like the Blu-ray rendering, the darkened highlights in low-lit environs, can be hit or miss but it most respects, have appreciable dimension and resolvable detail. Fleshtones are reproduced beautifully, with a natural and pleasing tonality. Viewing Argo in Ultra HD didn’t make for an especially compelling viewing experience however I found it to be a complimentary improvement over the 1080p Blu-ray presentation.


Blu-ray Video:


Video: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



Argo comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 21 Mbps.

This video presentation has a filmic quality that doesn’t always lend itself to razor sharp images however resolution is excellent as both people and objects are rendered with clear definition that at times is meticulously resolved. The color palette isn’t a diverse one and sticks mainly to tamped down secondary hues with splashes of primary colors that render a cooler overall aesthetic that coincide with the film’s period specific elements. Flesh tones are on the bland side but fit right in with the visual style of the video. Contrast is bold which adds dynamic emphasis to sequences containing bright elements. Blacks are nice and deep which provides plenty of pop when onscreen with mixed content. Scenes containing uneven and/or dim lighting reveal discernible detail in shadowy backgrounds and darkened areas. Grain is readily apparent in varying levels that at times draw attention to it. Otherwise I found little to complain about and thought that this one looked great.


Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Argo Ultra HD Blu-ray
    Disc 2: Argo Blu-ray
  • Eye witness account: feature length picture-in-picture interactive in-movie experience – Interjected video commentary with real the life participants depicted in the film
  • Audio Commentary with Director Ben Affleck & Writer Chris Terrio
  • (HD) Rescued from Tehran: We Were There – 16 minute featurette
  • (HD) Argo: Absolute Authenticity – 11 minute featurette
  • Escape from Iran: The Hollywood Option – 46 minute 2005 documentary
  • Digital HD Copy



Final Thoughts:

Based on true events, Argo is a captivating thriller that chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis-the truth of which was unknown to the public for decades. It comes to Blu-ray from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack featuring fair Ultra HD video quality, solid high definition audio/video, and a good supplemental set. I really enjoy this film and am glad to now own it on Ultra HD Blu-ray. I am not certain that the improvement in video quality, in and of itself, warrants an upgrade. I would say that if you’re a fan, equipped for Ultra HD Blu-ray, give it a rent and go from there.






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player
Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano Gloss finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
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Ralph C. Potts
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Last edited by Ralph Potts; 12-06-2016 at 04:44 PM.
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-06-2016, 01:51 PM
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Ralph. still the same question. I never owned this movie. Is it worth to buy it? Does it have good replay value? Thanks.
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-06-2016, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roudan View Post
Ralph. still the same question. I never owned this movie. Is it worth to buy it? Does it have good replay value? Thanks.
Greetings,

I believe it does. Watching it for this review, I found it as engaging as ever...


Regards,
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-06-2016, 03:21 PM
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Honestly I find it to be one of his better performances, its very engaging.
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-06-2016, 11:31 PM
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It's supposed to have a 4K DI according to IMDb.
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