RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: The Social Network and Piranha

Plus, a couple of new Criterions, a couple of anniversary editions, and more.

by | January 11, 2011 | Comments

This week brings us a few anticipated choices on home video, starting with David Fincher’s much talked about biopic of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. It’s since been revealed that many of the details in the film may have been fictionalized, but that hasn’t detracted from all of the Oscar buzz surrounding it. Then, we also have a surprisingly well-received horror remake by Alexandre Aja, and our last new release brings us a poorly received animated film. Aside from those, there are also a couple of new films getting the Criterion Blu-Ray treatment, a couple of classics getting anniversary editions, and a Sergio Leone drama in hi-def for the first time. Check out what’s new this week!


The Social Network

We have so many ways of creating social alienation through media that 150 years from now anthropologists will dig up our cultural artifacts and think all this forced loneliness was intentional. At least Aaron Sorkin’s whispery and biting high-IQ script poses the issue as a self-defense mechanism; the response of a smart but sensitive wallflower to his MIT brethren’s exclusive social structures. Who better than cold-as-ice David Fincher to bring the wintery Boston college campus to stingingly sharp relief? And if you don’t care about The Social Network as “cinema” you’ll likely care that everyone’s talking about it — maybe not as much as they’re talking about Black Swan but you’ll find there’s surprisingly less lesbian action on this FaceBook than you anticipated.


Piranha 3D

As blockbusters go, it seemed the biggest contribution Piranha 3D seemed destined to make to last summer was screening in an air-conditioned room — except that critics largely enjoyed the film to the tune of a Certified Fresh 75%. A remake of American International Picture’s 1978 classic took the already ludicrous prehistoric-fish-come-a-swimmin’ premise and added naked coeds and a crew making a deep discount version of Girls Gone Wild (the director of which suffers an explicit and moral punishment). The ultimate scene of annihilation manages to hold one solid tone of flawed logic for like… 20 minutes, which is pretty impressive. Our era’s answer to big-screen schlockmeisters, Eli Roth, appears momentarily as a DJ, and if you can believe that, Elisabeth Shue as a police chief, Doc Brown as a fish specialist and a mysterious army of death-dealing guppies will pose you no trouble whatsoever. Blu-Ray offers 3D capabilities.


Alpha and Omega

In a year that brought us the likes of Toy Story 3, Despicable Me and How To Train Your Dragon, there was little room in the pack for this mismatched wolf adventure — as the slim box office pickings and howlingly bad critical response showed. Still, there may be enough here to please younger, more undemanding viewers, with some bright, inoffensive character design and amiable voice work from stars Justin Long and Hayden Panettiere. Maybe not the fitting epitaph for the late Dennis Hopper, sadly, but at least he has one more film in post-production to mark his final official role. Featurettes and trivia games are included in the extras.


Once Upon a Time in America Blu-Ray

What turned out to be the great Sergio Leone’s final film (he passed away in 1989), Once Upon a Time in America began as a script he adapted while filming Once Upon a Time in the West and finally went before the cameras — it was the director’s great labor of love — in 1982. Robert De Niro and James Woods lead the epic story of two New York youths and their rise through the world of early-20th century organized crime, with supporting performances from Elizabeth McGovern, Joe Pesci and Jennifer Connelly (in her very first screen role). The film was notoriously slashed from its four hour original running time for its theatrical release, leaving a disordered version that Leone hated. Thankfully the Blu-ray release — which should look (and sound) magnificent, as per all the filmmaker’s work — includes the restored version, so you can sink deep into Leone’s vision (and Ennio Morricone’s impeccable music).


Dances With Wolves – 20th Anniversary Blu-Ray

It was a huge hit at the box office, it solidified Kevin Costner’s status as a leading man (and a skilled director), and it won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Why, then, isn’t Dances With Wolves more respected 20 years on? For one thing, it beat out GoodFellas for the Oscar; for another, its overly reverent tone can sometimes make it seem like a quaint artifact of the Politically Correct early 1990s. Still, there’s plenty to enjoy in this sweeping, gorgeously filmed Western that features strong performances, epic scope, and painstaking attention to historical detail. Plus, if Dances With Wolves depicts Native Americans in an overly noble manner, it stands as a powerful corrective to decades of degrading images of Indians in Hollywood. The 20th Anniversary Edition Blu-Ray comes loaded with special features, including historical docs, a making-of and retrospective featurettes, commentary from Costner and others, trailers, and much more.


Robinson Crusoe on Mars – Criterion Collection Blu-Ray

Robinson Crusoe on Mars may sound like a cheap direct-to-DVD movie to those unfamiliar with it, and its genuine sci-fi plot may skew a bit that way, but in actuality, it’s a beloved classic of the genre known for its beautiful cinematography and stunning set design. The story revolves around an astronaut, Commander “Kit” Draper (Paul Mantee), who crash lands on Mars with his colleague (a pre-Batman Adam West) and a trained monkey. Draper and the monkey, named Mona, are the only ones to survive, and the pair make the best of their circumstances, discovering previously unknown properties of the planet, as well as an enslaved alien race. Though it only has a handful of reviews, the film still boasts a 92% Tomatometer rating, and Criterion has finally brought it to Blu-Ray, complete with previously released bonuses and a couple of new ones.


Army of Shadows – Criterion Collection Blu-Ray

Perhaps better known for his stylish crime masterpieces Le Cercle Rouge and Le Samourai, Jean-Pierre Melville traded the underworld for the underground resistance in this World War II drama — among the last few films he made — and it turned out to be one of the director’s very finest. Centered around a group of French freedom fighters battling Hitler’s regime, the movie, which was a personal piece for Melville (who served in the war), went surprisingly unreleased in the US until 2006, where it belatedly topped many critics’ year-end lists. Criterion give the restored Shadows the deluxe treatment here, with historical commentary, critical essays, on-set footage and interviews with Melville — an eccentric auteur who’s always a fascinating subject on camera himself. Essential stuff for serious film fans.


Raging Bull – 30th Anniversary Blu-Ray

What more can be said about Raging Bull? It’s been hailed as the crowning achievement of Martin Scorsese’s career, as well as the greatest boxing movie ever made. However, if you’ve never seen it, no amount of gravitas can prepare you for what a haunting, visceral experience this rich, powerful movie is. As middleweight champ Jake LaMotta, Robert DeNiro gave one of the most raw, troubling portrayals of conflicted masculinity ever captured on film, and it’s a tribute to the great actor that even at his most disreputable, he infuses LaMotta with a certain dignity and humanity. The Raging Bull 30th Anniversary Blu-Ray features multiple commentary tracks, docs about the film, footage of LaMotta’s actual fights, and a short film about DeNiro’s interaction with the legendary fighter.

Written by Luke Goodsell, Tim Ryan, Sara Vizcarrondo, and Ryan Fujitani

Tag Cloud

Creative Arts Emmys movies name the review CMT 71st Emmy Awards deadpool 2018 Superheroe 2015 Summer saw green book The Academy Film romance Tumblr halloween tv broadcast ViacomCBS Comics on TV MSNBC emmy awards A24 interviews police drama crossover Hulu jurassic park Disney Channel australia fresh Trophy Talk Rom-Com 2017 christmas movies rotten 007 Awards football golden globe awards lord of the rings Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt PBS Captain marvel Pet Sematary Star Trek CW Seed Indigenous hidden camera Masterpiece Focus Features Elton John spy thriller thriller james bond AMC Amazon Studios Peacock dreamworks Oscars cars Fox Searchlight USA Network screen actors guild trailers cats canceled streaming new york blaxploitation OneApp USA YouTube Premium 90s royal family Columbia Pictures vs. a nightmare on elm street live action trophy NBA IFC HFPA sports adventure archives Baby Yoda critic resources Syfy WarnerMedia ITV Valentine's Day children's TV suspense Ghostbusters Best Actress Mary poppins South by Southwest Film Festival game show Song of Ice and Fire The CW razzies mission: impossible RT21 1990s Infographic scary italian Native video on demand twilight casting disaster teaser Character Guide TV Black History Month TV renewals The Walt Disney Company Schedule franchise unscripted indiana jones Hallmark Apple Arrowverse MGM comic Food Network BET Awards telelvision Calendar Pop Watching Series comics king arthur Super Bowl VH1 Red Carpet First Reviews Chernobyl Broadway SXSW cancelled Esquire adenture Pride Month Grammys gangster venice debate 79th Golden Globes Awards ratings toy story ABC Family 24 frames target Neflix Paramount remakes Fox News cops Lifetime Freeform Opinion Marvel discovery based on movie E! Alien sag awards ID Sony television wonder woman TCA universal monsters dceu cooking National Geographic Spectrum Originals Winners hollywood Spring TV canceled TV shows cults heist movie news The Walking Dead MTV series DGA Sundance Cosplay romantic comedy harry potter Biopics TNT WGN richard e. Grant Endgame game of thrones Amazon Prime Video dark DC Universe TCA Winter 2020 Comedy HBO Go high school slasher Box Office all-time 93rd Oscars rom-coms Mary Tyler Moore Holiday parents Instagram Live TIFF cancelled TV shows marvel cinematic universe rt labs Polls and Games Drama Anna Paquin Fargo GIFs LGBT Lifetime Christmas movies cinemax Geeked Week Horror Marathons sopranos dragons tv talk spanish language Turner Classic Movies free movies stoner Tubi Extras Pop TV Britbox art house Tokyo Olympics Ovation young adult Disney Plus summer preview Superheroes Western 21st Century Fox Oscar ghosts worst movies mutant cartoon CBS streamig Toys Tags: Comedy technology scene in color series toronto PaleyFest screenings President Universal Logo concert video AMC Plus black comedy Disney+ Disney Plus DC Comics Hear Us Out award winner anthology crime posters indie monster movies sequel Holidays rotten movies we love women south america Discovery Channel classics Marvel Studios strong female leads medical drama laika Stephen King composers comic book movies slashers Premiere Dates Sundance Now IFC Films The Purge comic book movie X-Men Chilling Adventures of Sabrina dc Image Comics HBO 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards GLAAD Awards Tour NBC YouTube Red transformers Netflix Christmas movies comic books Amazon TCA Awards History Hallmark Christmas movies Fall TV chucky Comic Book dogs zombie kaiju See It Skip It Fantasy live event CNN BBC One FOX Photos legend Spike Martial Arts directors TV One psycho Walt Disney Pictures Winter TV doctor who independent Black Mirror Disney streaming service Christmas crime thriller international Paramount Network aapi what to watch docudrama obi wan zombies boxoffice IMDb TV best revenge Television Critics Association Comic-Con@Home 2021 know your critic scene in color film series FX Marvel Television leaderboard spider-verse historical drama scorecard mcc Family feel good E3 Kids & Family Exclusive Video First Look godzilla LGBTQ TV movies cancelled TV series golden globes space Binge Guide dexter Cartoon Network Disney rt archives Music genre American Society of Cinematographers DC streaming service Musicals Star Wars prank GoT Tomatazos Warner Bros. New York Comic Con PlayStation 2021 Netflix Nominations summer TV Reality YouTube RT History Comedy Central breaking bad true crime talk show FXX spider-man Sony Pictures batman Legendary Sci-Fi Pirates Funimation basketball Rock fast and furious CBS All Access TruTV facebook blockbuster Countdown crime drama 73rd Emmy Awards Year in Review Adult Swim Star Wars Celebration BBC Reality Competition superhero ABC target scene in color nature documentary finale Travel Channel festivals Apple TV Plus Thanksgiving versus Apple TV+ Certified Fresh miniseries psychological thriller El Rey 2016 japan NYCC Teen Best Actor witnail aliens FX on Hulu Nat Geo The Arrangement zero dark thirty cancelled television Shondaland Pixar joker critics Academy Awards Cannes Trailer Tarantino ABC Signature book adaptation child's play travel sitcom black 4/20 20th Century Fox 99% 2020 hist Rocky satire die hard Mindy Kaling TCM vampires supernatural mob Nickelodeon Dark Horse Comics Interview Classic Film book blockbusters Pacific Islander olympics The Witch TLC 45 VICE Trivia diversity spinoff Amazon Prime 94th Oscars action-comedy asian-american stop motion foreign Bravo pirates of the caribbean Women's History Month elevated horror Film Festival worst popular Brie Larson adaptation OWN stand-up comedy Sundance TV BBC America APB criterion superman Election Showtime new star wars movies BET Turner Podcast Animation Emmy Nominations Video Games Mary Poppins Returns A&E Hollywood Foreign Press Association comiccon mockumentary Lionsgate theme song latino obituary streaming movies Best Picture political drama Best and Worst marvel comics Mystery science fiction Paramount Plus Rocketman japanese politics Writers Guild of America Crackle Ellie Kemper SDCC Best Director new zealand boxing VOD spain Lucasfilm movie war Musical festival scene in color Shudder hispanic 72 Emmy Awards Starz justice league Country jamie lee curtis Emmys DirecTV hispanic heritage month scary movies Sneak Peek Television Academy biography biopic quibi binge reboot Vudu 2019 rt labs critics edition summer TV preview kong dramedy Crunchyroll Mudbound french San Diego Comic-Con natural history TV Land serial killer HBO Max SXSW 2022 robots Paramount Pictures sequels animated period drama nfl Avengers SundanceTV TBS Acorn TV king kong nbcuniversal Quiz TCA 2017 documentaries BAFTA Heroines spanish docuseries Action werewolf comedies Wes Anderson social media kids anime films Set visit renewed TV shows halloween Prime Video MCU YA reviews ESPN Epix Universal Pictures singing competition