Oscar buzz at the box-office this weekend

This weekend two potential Oscar bound films hit the big screen.

“Argo” is based on true events about the Iranian revolution. A CIA specialist devices a risky plan to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador. The Hollywood twist in this one is a fake production of a sci-fi film is concocted to cover up the escape plan used to save the six Americans. Think “Wag The Dog” but on a drastically higher level.

The reviews so far have been stellar, and Ben Affleck continues to build his reputation as a director. Affleck who has been criticized for his roles in the past, is now being praised for his control and maturity on set. Affleck has directed a slew of successful movies in the past few years that involve a setting he’s most familiar with; Boston. Affleck was raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has mastered the craft of showing what it’s like to live in particular areas of Boston. Now with a bigger vision insight, Affleck has raised his own barriers, and has put himself in the drivers seat with “Argo,” as discussed in a recent interview he did with the Chicago Tribune.

“I’ve consciously taken on material that’s a bit too much for me but not an overreach. The first movie, just about performances. “The Town,” I learned how to work broader material, develop tension, direct bigger scenes, action sequences. “Argo,” I experimented with film stock, widened the scope of my geography. It’s a period movie, which is also a stretch but not outside my understanding. I would do a special-effects movie, maybe. I have nothing against that kind of thing. What Ridley Scott did with “Alien” and “Blade Runner” — I would love to try something like that, if it had the tone of what I’m making now.”

Affleck has had some abominations take place during his acting career, but who hasn’t? He is now steering his own ship, and steering far away from flops like “Gigli” and “Daredevil,” and instead maturing with recent hits like “Gone Baby Gone,” “The Town,” and “State of Play.” What Affleck is doing is transitioning into a career that has the potential to leave a mark for future generations.

“Argo” has a strong cast that includes Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, and John Goodman. You can be sure “Argo” will have a strong presence during the award season this year.

“Argo” is a certified fresh pick at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.

If “Argo” is just not your thing, then you have the quirky “Seven Psychopaths” releasing this weekend.

Marty (Colin Farrell) is a struggling writer who dreams of finishing his screenplay, “Seven Psychopaths”. Billy (Sam Rockwell) is Marty’s best friend, an unemployed actor and part time dog thief, who wants to help Marty by any means necessary. All he needs is a little focus and inspiration. Hans (Christopher Walken) is Billy’s partner in crime. A religious man with a violent past. Charlie (Woody Harrelson) is the  psychopathetic gangster whose beloved dog, Billy and Hans have just stolen. Charlie’s unpredictable, extremely violent and wouldn’t think twice about killing anyone or anything associated with the theft. Marty is going to get all the focus and inspiration he needs, just as long as he lives to tell the tale. — (C) Official Site

Sounds psychotic doesn’t it?

“Seven Psychopaths” is written and directed by Martin McDonagh the man who gave us “In Bruges.” If you haven’t seen “In Bruges” it’s worth the rental. It’s one of Colin Farrell’s best roles, and defines the oddness of dark comedy.

The cast will drive the film, but the story will take it above and beyond its expectations. “Seven Psychopaths” is a certified fresh pick at 90% on Rotten Tomatoes.

So depending on what you fancy this weekend, the movie theater has an exhilarating thrill ride, or a quirky odd dark comedy, both of which aim to please.

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