This week: David Fincher's little drama about the creators of Facebook is a strong contender for Best Picture and the cheesy, bloody update of a '70s killer-fish flick is trashy fun at home—especially in 3D.
The Social Network: Love him or loathe him, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) changed our lives forever. In less capable hands, the story of Facebook's inception at Harvard and the betrayal between friends that followed could have been a boring legal drama, but director David Fincher has instead crafted the defining movie of a generation. (Read the full review with extras info in Disc-y Business tomorrow.)
Piranha (2010): This remake of the '70s flick of the same name is shamelessly cheesy in spirit and outrageous fun if you are willing to get out of Oscar mode and check your brain at the door. As the title promises, a school of prehistoric piranha has been unleashed into a lake where hundreds of spring break students—apparently all tanning and carb-burning majors—are gyrating to bad music and bobbing in the water as potential fish food. Elisabeth Shue plays the sheriff trying to save young hides from a feeding frenzy, Jerry O'Connell is a sleazy Girls Gone Wild-type promoter cruising the lake, and look for cameos by Christopher Lloyd and Jaws star Richard Dreyfuss. There are boobs, blood, body parts and fish flying at you, so up the ante with Piranha 3D on Blu-ray 3D if you want to replicate the theater experience. In any dimension, this new Piranha helps take a bite out of Oscar snobbery. Best extras: The DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D each contain many behind-the-scenes featurettes, a commentary track and deleted scenes. Blu-ray Bob's Verdict: Buy Me
Once Upon a Time in America: Sergio Leone's final film is an epic gangster movie that stars Robert De Niro as a Prohibition-era gangster who returns to Brooklyn over 30 years later to confront the ghosts of his past, including his best friend and partner in crime (James Woods). The 229-minute 1984 drama was butchered for its American release, which broke Leone's heart (he never made another film). Now, finally, Once Upon a Time in America has been restored to its original glory and is being released uncut on both DVD and Blu-ray—the movie is divided into two parts on two discs for the DVD; the BD fits the entire film on one disc. Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain a film historian commentary and a making-of documentary. Blu-ray Bob's Verdict: Buy Me
Dances with Wolves: Kevin Costner directed and starred in this Best Picture Oscar winner about a Civil War-era army lieutenant who ends up befriending the Sioux Indians—the very people he was sent to protect a remote outpost from. This 20th anniversary edition arrives with new extras just in time to remind a new generation about where the plot of Avatar originated. Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain commentary tracks, a retrospective documentary, the original making-of featurette, a music video and a Dances photo montage; the BD adds an interactive military rank and social hierarchy guide, an interactive "Real History or Movie Make Believe?" feature and "A Day in the Life on the Frontier." Blu-ray Bob's Verdict: Buy Me
Also New This Week: Alpha and Omega, The Great Debaters (BD), The Long Kiss Goodnight (BD), Raging Bull: 30th Anniversary Edition, Rob Roy (BD) and Sordid Lives: The Series