This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.
THE SOCIAL NETWORK
Each year, there are always a select number of standout films that astound through their remarkable craftsmanship. More rare, meanwhile, are the films that achieve this while also providing prescient insight into our evolving culture. The Social Network is the latter. While film may not have seemed like the medium best suited to communicate how the internet has altered the world, the dynamite pairing of director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin transforms the topic into a fiercely entertaining, cinematically rich experience. Never before has the use of computers in film been so thrilling without needing to abandon total authenticity. And for all its rhythmically-charged dialogue sparring sessions set to Trent Reznor’s electric score, the film never loses sight of the big picture, chronicling a change not just in the way we conduct business, but in the way we build relationships and interact with one another. Delving deeper into the themes of the film requires more than a brief paragraph will allow—hence my review of the film, in which I awarded the film a 10/10 rating—so for the sake of brevity, I’ll be blunt: The Social Network is a fucking masterpiece. For a movie that once so casually dismissed as “the Facebook movie”—and I’m as guilty of that as anyone—it’s amazing to see what a powerhouse work of cinema ultimately resulted. My #1 movie of 2010.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – A commentary with director David Fincher, and a second commentary with Writer Aaron Sorkin & The Cast. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as the commentaries, along with a feature length documentary (“How Did They Ever Make a Movie of Facebook?”), featurettes (“Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter and Ren Klyce on Post”, “Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and David Fincher on the Score”, “In the Hall of the Mountain King: Reznor’s First Draft”, “Swarmatron”, “Jeff Cronenweth and David Fincher on the Visuals”), and a Ruby Skye VIP Room: Multi-Angle Scene Breakdown feature.
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We’ve been anticipating writer/director Alex Aja‘s revamp of Joe Dante‘s delectable Piranha for what seems like light years now. But the wait for his schlock-tastic Piranha 3D would appear to be worth it, what with a snarky badass like Adam Scott (Step Brothers, Party Down) starring in the lead. Today, Page Six confirmed that The Weinstein Company has also brought on Richard Dreyfuss, the man who previously battled Jaws, a lame Opus, liverspots, and CHUD, for an unspecified role. Fits like a geek glove.
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Alexandre Aja‘s Haute Tension, aka Switchblade Romance, made one heck of a big, red, sticky splash when it started hacking into the horror festival circuit in 2003. As a result, Aja was heralded as the saviour of splatter cinema, the first Frenchman in a long line to have that mantle thrust upon him in just the last five years. The others, I think, all benefitted from a French film industry more willing to embrace gory fare as a direct result of Aja’s success, not to mention a kind of hype fallout. By now it seems to my cynical side that horror buffs worldwide are just looking for an excuse to laud every single horror film to come out of France and keep the chain unbroken, even when the film is as downright hopeless as Xavier Gens’ Frontière(s).
Aja’s American follow ups, The Hills Have Eyes and Mirrors, have proven to be at once underdeveloped and under appreciated, so I’m left wondering if, perhaps, the reputation of Switchblade Romance was encouraged as much by the film’s supposedly exotic nature as it was by it’s edge-of-seat efficacy.
For his next trick, Aja is going ahead with his a remake of Joe Dante’s Piranha, this time in 3D. Some concept art surfaced at the American Film Market last Autumn – excerpted at the top of this post – but Aja has now revealed there’s more to this design work than meets the eye…
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We at /Film haven’t mentioned Alexandre Aja‘s 2009 remake of Piranha until now, but something about this project feels incredibly spot-on to me. As Mickey Knox would say with a deranged grin and a smack of his chewing gum: “It’s fate.” STYD has received word that the film will now be shown theatrically in 3D. Are we really going to be privy to reaching out and swatting away thousands of fresh water Jaws imitators chewing viciously at the knees of nubile, arrogant life guards? Even if you think the yo-yo scene in Friday the 13th Part III was a complete jip, and passed on Beowulf, how can you not want to see this?
Here’s a list of reasons to persuade you: 1) Aja’s High Tension had several beautifully intense, stylish, macabre and original scenes for a modern horror film, but he lost control of the film’s more serious tone. Piranhas are tone-deaf. 2) The release is July 24th, 2009, which is perfect. Summer camps, rope swings over the water, night swims et al. Tis the season of Jaws, tis the times of less adventurous, more localized family summering. And in these movie months of overcompensating comic book movies et al, Piranha already has a built-in old school charm we’ve long missed. More $200 million robot drama? Another movie based on toys? I want to watch a 3D movie where huge audiences continually scream and laugh at killer fish. 3) It’s a remake and while the 1978 Joe Danta/John Sayles original has its champions (and it’s worth a watch), c’mon, this is not sacrilege. This movie needs to be remade. This movie was made to be remade. 5) The log line: “In Lake Havasu, Arizona, a tremor causes the lake’s floor to open, setting free scores of prehistoric piranhas.” 6) Piranha-vision 7) Sharks finally get a vacation. 8) What a ticket-stub.