DVD & Blu-ray review: Argo (15)

Ben Affleck, DVD/ Blu-ray (120mins)

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The Independent Culture

Argo is further proof, after the excellent Gone Baby Gone and efficient The Town, that Ben Affleck is an accomplished film-maker. The 1979 Iranian hostage crisis is the catalyst for this bizarre true story, in which a CIA agent (Affleck) sets up a fake fantasy film in order to smuggle six Americans, hiding at the Canadian embassy, out of Tehran. He recruits a foul-mouthed producer (Alan Arkin, excellent as always) to assist him. Convincing characters, a sharp, funny script and a tense finale make this a worthy Oscar winner.

Game of Thrones: Series 2 (18) Various directors DVD/Blu-ray

Sean Bean is greatly missed and some strands of George R R Martin's fantasy epic drag a tad, but this is still hugely addictive hokum. Young Arya Stark (Maisie Williams, left), the “bastard son” Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Peter Dinklage's canny Tyrion remain the most empathetic characters, while Lena Headey, Charles Dance and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau are all deliciously poisonous as the Lannisters. It's an exquisitely mounted examination of power and savagery.

Love (15) William Eubank, DVD/Blu-ray (18mins)

“Sometimes when I wake up I feel like I'm still sleeping,” maintains Gunner Wright's isolated astronaut, Lee Miller, in this bold, confusing micro-budget sci-fi. Love starts with an American Civil War battle, before jumping 170 years to Miller, who is stranded in orbit alone on a space station. Left to his own devices, the spaceman unravels and starts, as Bowie would have it, floating in a most peculiar way. Wright admirably carries this claustrophobic drama.

Children's Film Foundation: Volume 2 – The Race Is On (PG) Various directors, DVD/Blu-ray (176mins)

“We have to be careful who we talk to,” says Michael Crawford's cheeky scamp, leader of the Battersea Bats gang, in the first of these energetic CFF tales, Soapbox Derby, from 1957. However, the standout short film here is 1980's farcical Sammy's Super Shirt, in which Reggie Winch's lucky T-shirt becomes indestructible (“It has a completely new molecular structure”) after accidentally ending up in a research lab. It turns him into a mini-superhero. Simple, perky tales of adventure, which will appeal to those of a certain (mine) age.