Ben Affleck: 'Argo' reviews mostly those of the raving variety

CREDIT: Warner Bros.

Today’s pop-culture roundup finds Ben Affleck’s “Argo," Babs vs. Mitt, a dose of Honey Boo Boo, other things, and the mystery music video.

BOX-OFFICE PEEK: per the Los Angeles Times, "Argo" takes you back. Not just to the dark days of the 1979-81 Iranian hostage crisis but to a brighter, earlier time, when Hollywood regularly turned out smart and engaging films that crackled with energy and purpose. Very much like Clint Eastwood before him, actor turned actor-director Ben Affleck not only has a passion for those kinds of throwback entertainments, he knows that the only way to get them on the screen effectively is to do the work himself.”

MEANWHILE: The race is on, per The Hollywood Reporter, “Argo has a shot at crossing $20 million in its debut and beating Taken 2 for the weekend, though anything beyond $15 million would be considered a good start by Warner Bros., considering the film should have a long run as awards season continues to heat up.”

NOT A FAN: per E!, That would be Babs, “Mitt Romney can count one person out of his team of celeb supporters: Barbra Streisand. The singer ribbed the Republican presidential candidate onstage Thursday during a performance in New York City, slamming his desire to cut funding to PBS.”

SPEAKING OF WHICH: More Babs, per the New York Times, “I’ve come home at last!” Those words sung by Barbra Streisand from the “Sunset Boulevard” showstopper, “As If We Never Said Goodbye,” elicited a roar of welcome from the sold-out crowd at the 19,000-seat Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Thursday evening. Ms. Streisand’s return to her roots for two concerts (the second on Oct. 13) was a sentimental homecoming and a royal act of noblesse oblige in which a show-business monarch regaled the adoring subjects of her native province in a concert that was steeped in Brooklyn lore.”

SOUNDS YUMMY: Or not, per People, “Watch out, Martha Stewart! The stars of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo have some of their own culinary tricks to share with viewers. "I think the family's favorite meal is sketti," Mama June reveals on an episode of the TLC hit. Sketti, it turns out, is spaghetti noodles topped with heaps of butter and liberal squirts of ketchup.”

NEW SQUEEZE: Pun intended, per Celebuzz!, “Kate Upton is officially off the market. The 20-year-old Sports Illustrated swimsuit model — who recently posed nude for Cosmopolitan‘s November issue – is dating baseball MVP Justin Verlander, multiple family members confirm to Celebuzz.”

HERMAN: Remember the catchy theme song?, per Entertainment Weekly, “So much for that Munsters reboot! NBC announced (Thursday) that Mockingbird Lane, the high-concept update of the ’60s black and white comedy, will run instead as a one-hour Halloween special on Oct. 26.”

TAYLOR SWIFT: Of rolling thoughts, per Rolling Stone, “Over the course of several conversations in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville with writer Brian Hiatt, Swift reveals recurring anxiety dreams ("I have a big fear of things spiraling out of control"); talks about her deliberately incautious approach to romance ("You have to fall in love really fast, without thinking too hard") and explains why she's dating an 18-year-old ("I have rules for a lot of areas of my life – love is not going to be one of them").”

THE TAX MAN: He’s on the line, per Access Hollywood, “Two celebrities are on a notable list in California, but it’s not exactly the A-list. The state’s Franchise Tax Board says singer Dionne Warwick and actor Steven Seagal are among the top 500 people and businesses owing the most in unpaid taxes.”

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS?: Negative, per Radar, “Despite his hopes to the contrary, Dr. Conrad Murray will NOT be home for Christmas, as the beleaguered former cardiologist is not eligible to commute the rest of his four year jail sentence to house arrest, is exclusively reporting. Murray. . .was convicted last year of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the shocking death of pop superstar Michael Jackson.”

AND FINALLY: Today’s mystery music video.

--Skip Wood (Follow me on Twitter @DaybreakSkip)