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posted: 2/21/2013 9:28 AM

Tension-filled 'Argo' makes great viewing on DVD

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  • Agent Tony Mendez (director Ben Affleck), right, works with Hollywood insiders (John Goodman, left, and Alan Arkin) to help rescue Americans trapped in Iran in "Argo."

      Agent Tony Mendez (director Ben Affleck), right, works with Hollywood insiders (John Goodman, left, and Alan Arkin) to help rescue Americans trapped in Iran in "Argo."

 
 

'Argo'

This terrific dramatic thriller, based on true events, is one of the best -- and most lauded -- films of 2012. Winner of the Golden Globe and many other awards, as well as an Oscar front-runner, "Argo" tells the story of a stranger-than-fiction CIA plot to get escaped hostages out of Iran.

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Ben Affleck directed, produced and stars as Tony Mendez, a CIA expert who is called upon during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. Americans are being held hostage, but six managed to escape and are hiding out at the home of the Canadian ambassador. The challenge of getting them out before the Iranians realize they are missing falls to Mendez. His plan is a wild one: The CIA, with help from a Hollywood director (Alan Arkin) and an expert makeup man (John Goodman), sets up a film company that needs to scout foreign locations for a sci-fi movie. Meanwhile, they will give fake film company identities to the six escapees who must be ready to act their parts in the dangerous scheme and leave Iran when the time comes.

You'll be on the edge of your couch as you sweat out the nail-biting sequences as the Americans try to get out of Iran before the people in charge figure out who they really are. The entire film is well-crafted, filled with a wonderful mix of tension and humor.

'Undefeated'

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2011, this inspiring story follows the North Memphis Manassas High School football team during one entire season. The boys are from the inner city, and they have it tough. The film features three of the boys as well as their volunteer coach Bill Courtney, who is the main focus of the story. He has a wife and four kids, but he sets out to teach these troubled young men the game of football and instill important life lessons -- fundamentals, teamwork and respect. This is truly an inspiring film, and one that is worthy of the Academy Award.

'Celtic Thunder'

People discovered "Celtic Thunder" through PBS performances. Their ninth special, filmed in Dublin, mixes traditional Irish music and international hits, while also showcasing Celtic legends and history. The mix of old and new, music and storytelling, makes for great viewing. You'll also hear songs such as "Danny Boy," "Scarlet Ribbons," "Life With You," "My Land," "Voices," "Now We are Free," "Star of the County Down" and many more.

'Rod Stewart: Storyteller 1984-1991'

Fans of Rod Stewart have waited for this collection of videos to be released. Featured songs include: "Downtown Train," "This Old Heart of Mine," "Some Guys Have All the Luck," "The Motown Song" and more.

Available next week

• "The Master"

• "A Simple Life"

• "Carol Burnett Show: This Time Together"

• "Classic All-Star Commercials"

• "Eagles: Farewell From Melbourne"

• "Holy Motors"

• "Reagan Presidency"

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