CATEGORIES DVDs

The killer DVD this week is 'The Social Network,' the current favorite of critics and audiences alike for a front-row seat as this year's Oscars -- it's been topping all the lists of the major critics' groups, and its director, David Fincher (no stranger to making films about outcasts, misfits and sociopaths -- see 'Se7en,' 'Alien3,' 'Fight Club,' 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button'), has been nominated for best director by the DGA. Next up is a film that won't get any awards but, for its own camp reasons, is a heck of a lot more fun to watch: 'Piranha 3D,' about flesh-eating fish that take a vacation from eating each other to feast upon fresh college meat at a Spring Break vacation resort. Hmmm ... that's kinda what Mark Zuckerburg does in 'The Social Network.' Enjoy.



'The Social Network'
What It's About: Mark Zuckerberg was a Harvard undergrad in 2003 when he came up with (or stole) the idea for Facebook, and, with a coterie of friends, began a flurry of programming that was to become -- some six years later -- the gorilla-in-the-room among Internet social networks. Director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin take a post-modern interpretive look at the history behind Facebook, with dueling narratives and points-of-view -- from Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), his co-founder and former best-friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), and others left strewn by the wayside as Zuckerberg stopped at nothing to bring his vision to life. It's part cyber-thriller, part romance, part expose, part-biodrama -- and all well-acted, well-scripted and well-directed.

It's Kinda Like: 'Startup.com' meets 'Rashomon'

What We Say: 'The Social Network' has been friended with more critics' awards and nominations than any other film this awards season -- it just received a Directors Guild of America nomination for David Fincher for best director, an award that generally is a bellwether for the Oscars -- so for that reason alone, if you haven't seen this tale of greed and sociopathological behavior, then you must. Watching 'The Social Network' is like being a rubbernecker on the freeway -- you're totally enthralled at the carnage that Zuckerberg leaves behind him as he relentlessly marches forward in his Machiavellian effort to create the biggest social network in the universe. The film is a cautionary tale for all future generations.
• Extras: The two-disc set includes a commentary by director David Fincher and another by writer Aaron Sorkin, Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer and Josh Pence; deleted scenes; and tons of behind-the-scenes featurettes.
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Watch 'The Social Network' trailers
'The Social Network' Unscripted


'Piranha 3D'
What It's About: Lake Victoria is Spring Break haven for college kids -- every year thousands of scantily-clad guys and girls party on the lake's placid shore. But this year is different -- an underground earthquake has opened up an underwater cave that's been home to prehistoric flesh-eating fish, and thousands of the little piranhas have been released into the lake. And they're hungry for new food sources. Guess who's coming to dinner.

It's Kinda Like: 'Where the Boys Are' meets 'Jaws'

What We Say: This remake of the 1978 Joe Dante-directed, Roger Corman-produced horror thriller ups the ante on the original by juicing up the carnage, the laughs and the gratuitous nudity. There's no real surprises here (until the end, of course): You know which bawdy young girls and which nasty young guys are going to be devoured by the man-and-women-eating fish. On the hero side there's the semi-outcast teen (Steven R. McQueen), the town's upstanding female sheriff (Elisabeth Shue) and the wacky scientist (Christopher Lloyd). The film plays out exactly as expected -- with a great sense of campy self-referential humor -- beginning with a Richard Dreyfuss reverse-'Jaws' encounter. Pure fun.
• Extras: Commentary, behind-the-scenes featurettes and deleted scenes.
Rotten Tomatoes Reviews | Buy DVD | Save DVD to your Netflix queue
Watch 'Piranha 3D' trailers

Best in Blu-ray: 'America,' 'Raging Bull,' 'Dances With Wolves' and more

Other New January 11 DVD Releases:
'The Absent': A high school science teacher loses his mind after falling for his prize student; the absentee list grows as his murderous twin brother tries to hide his secret.
'Alpha and Omega': Two young wolves at opposite ends of their pack's social order are thrown together into a foreign land and need each other to return home.
'The Hessen Conspiracy': In 1945 a group of American officers discover a stash of German jewels -- the Prussian Crown Jewels -- hidden in a castle outside Frankfurt, and try to fence them when they return to the States.
'Love Hurts': A newly separated father has to learn how to date again with help from his teenage son, who himself dreams of conquering one girl's heart.

Check out other new January 11 DVD releases at OnVideo.

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