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The Facebook movie. That’s what The Social Network was called by many when it was announced that they were making a movie about the company, as – I guess – some people thought it would be an adaptation of the site. Of course, when writer Aaron Sorkin and director David Fincher came in, and it was revealed to be a movie about the creation of Facebook, not an adaptation of the site itself, it went from a “huh” to a must see, and now Academy favorite. Jesse Eisenberg stars alongside future Spider-Man Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake and Armie Hammer in a film about how Facebook was born of ruined friendships and relationships. The film aims to be a generationally defining film, and it mostly succeeds.

Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) begins the film arguing with his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend Erica (Rooney Mara) about final clubs and rowing. She dumps him because he’s socially awkward and heavily class conscious, he’s mean to people below him, and resents those ahead of him. He then goes home, writes nasty things about her on his blog, and then creates Facemash, a website where the reader compares two women (mostly likely women they know) and pick who is hotter. This crashes the Harvard servers and gets the attention of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (Armie Hammer) and Divya Narenda (Max Minghella). They want him to make a website called “Harvard Connection,” selling the exclusivity of Harvard’s email accounts to create the newest MySpace. Mark instead starts a site with his friend Eduardo (Andrew Garfield) called The Facebook. It launches and quickly spreads all over campus, which raises their profiles, and gets them groupies… but Erica still won’t talk to Mark. They keep expanding, and Eduardo wants to monetize the site, when in steps Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake). The creator of Napster, Sean is a great nerd wheeler and dealer, and gets Mark in with some of the right people. But as he grows more successful, he alienates Eduardo, and is also facing lawsuits from the Winklevosses, while Parker’s lechery and pettiness begins to shine through to Mark. At the center of the film is the question: is anything making Mark happy, or if not happy, then has he forgotten about Erica?

Mark is a kid for much of the film and a billionaire by the end of it. Like Charles Foster Kane, we are presented early with the idea of the thing that he wants that he can never have. And like so much of modern living, Zuckerberg is constantly connected to everyone, and yet spends much of the film alienating himself and alienated from those around him. His hatred of most people is prevalent, and he comes across as isolated from almost everyone but Sean Parker. But the incoherence of his distaste is tied into a sense of entitlement: The Winklevoss are everything that he fears his ex-girlfriend would want; Eduardo does well in an audition for a final club, and it seems to piss Mark off. Mark is never happy for anyone else, and even public affection from groupies only momentarily distracts him. In a lot of ways Mark is the perfect face for the internet era.

From a behind the scenes standpoint, you’ve got Fincher and Sorkin, and they know how to write and direct. It’s a great match: As it’s a talky film, Fincher finds ways to make it as cinematic as he can – though I think he goes a little too far with a crew race sequence set to “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” As a set piece it’s entertaining but it also stops the film cold and – like some elements of the film – seems to be laughing a little too hard at the Winklevosses. That the twins are both from an old world of privilege and chumps is essayed, so when it’s underlined, it’s unfortunate. Plus the music cue is so familiar. But it’s a small moment in an otherwise brilliant movie. Better is the film’s opening stomp to The White Stripes’ Ball and Biscuit, and the amazing tennis Eisenberg and Mara play as their relationship ends. But probably the best sequence in the movie is when Zuckerberg creates Facemash, shows what leads to it, and how quickly it catches on. With that, you buy that Mark has a gift.

The-Social-Network-movie-poster-David FincherUltimately, there are films that are going to be remembered, films that swing for the fences and try to say something about our world, and where we are in humanity. The Social Network is one of those films, and as such, whether it wins awards or not, it’s going to be around for a very long time.

Sony’s Blu-ray presents the film in widescreen (2.35:1) and in DTS-HD 5.1 surround. This was shot digitally, so the transfer improved on my theatrical presentation. I don’t know how this material could look any better. The film is on the first disc, with two commentaries, the first with David Fincher, and the second with Aaron Sorkin, Jesse Eisenberg, Armie Hammer, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake. Sadly, Timberlake does not bring sexy back, but everyone is fully engaged, and Fincher is a pro at this by now. He has a great sense of humor about his process, and digs into it, while the performers are – at times – painfully honest about their work.

Disc two offers the feature length documentary “How Did They Make a Movie out of Facebook?” (93 min.) with comments from all the commentators, along with Rooney Mara, Brenda Song, Max Minghela, Kevin Spacey and more. David Fincher has been working with DVD producer David Prior for over a decade now, and the two are great at cutting the bullshit and highlighting different aspect of the production process, with some time dedicated to how Armie Hammer and Mike Pence played the Winklevosses. Jeff Cronenweth and Fincher get a section to talk about the visuals (8 min.), shooting on the Red and shooting at Harvard, while editors Angus Wall, and Kirk Baxter and sound mixer and sound effects editor Ren Klyce get their own section to talk about the post-production process for the film (18 min.). Then there’s a piece on composers Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor (19 min.), who deservedly get a spotlight for their work on the film. This is followed by “In the Hall of the Mountain King: Music Exploration” (3 min.), and it offers a first and final mixes and music only versions of the crew race. “Swarmatron” (5 min.) highlights one of Reznor’s sound machines, and impressive machine that takes over a room. Finishing the supplements is a multi-angle featurette on the “Ruby Skye VIP Room,” (20 min.) with angles on Rehearsal, the tech scout, interviews and principal photography.


January 2011 Blu-Ray Releases!

Note: The Blu-Rays could be available before there date or if you are reading it late(that means after the release dates mention )
January 4
– A Walk in the Clouds (Drama, Romance) Buy Now!
– Backdraft (Anniversary Edition) (Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller) Buy Now!
– Battlestar Galactica: Season Four (Action, Adventure, Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi) Buy Now!
– Catfish (Documentary) Buy Now!
– Coraline 3D (Animation) Buy Now!
– El Mariachi/Desperado (Double Feature) (Action, Comedy, Crime, Drama, Thriller) Buy Now!
– Ever After: A Cinderella Story (Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance) Buy Now!
– Gun (Action, Crime, Drama) Buy Now!
– Hope Floats (Drama, Romance) Buy Now!
– Ishtar (Adventure, Comedy, Musical) Buy Now!
– Machete (Action) Buy Now!
– My Dog Skip (Drama, Family) Buy Now!
– Once Upon a Time in Mexico (Action, Comedy, Crime, Drama, Western) Buy Now!
– Ticking Clock (Action, Thriller) Buy Now!
January 11
– Alpha and Omega (Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family) Buy Now!
– Dances with Wolves (20th Anniversary) (Adventure, Drama, Western) Buy Now!
– Lennon NYC (Documentary) Buy Now!
– The Long Kiss Goodnight (Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller) Buy Now!
– Piranha 3D (Horror, Thriller) Buy Now!
– Piranha 3D (3D) (Horror, Thriller) Buy Now!
– Rob Roy (Action, Drama, Romance, War) Buy Now!
– Top Shot: Season One (Documentary, TV) Buy Now!
January 18
– Animal Kingdom (Crime, Drama) Pre-Order
– Buried (Combo Pack) (Mystery, Thriller) Pre-Order
– Checking Out (Comedy) Pre-Order
– Cold Dog Soup (Comedy) Pre-Order
– Down Terrace (Dark Comedy, Drama) Pre-Order
– Freakonomics (Documentary) Pre-Order
– Jack Goes Boating (Comedy, Drama, Romance) Pre-Order
– Justified: The Complete First Season (Action, Crime, Drama, TV) Pre-Order
– Lebanon (Drama) Pre-Order
– Paper Man (Comedy, Drama) Pre-Order
– Stone (Drama, Thriller) Pre-Order
– Takers (Action) Pre-Order
January 25
– A Beautiful Mind (Drama) Pre-Order
– Broadcast News (Criterion Collection) (Comedy, Drama, Romance) Pre-Order
– Coraline (Animation) Pre-Order
– Dead Space: Aftermath (Animation, Horror, Sci-Fi) Pre-Order
– Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi) Pre-Order
– The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (Action, Mystery, Thriller) Pre-Order
– Malcolm X (Drama) Pre-Order
– Nowhere Boy (Biography, Drama, Musical) Pre-Order
– Open Season 3 (Combo Pack) (Animation, Comedy) Pre-Order
– Quiet Days in Clichy (Comedy, Drama) Pre-Order
– Red (Special Edition) (Action, Comedy) Pre-Order
– Red Hill (Crime, Thriller) Pre-Order
– Santa Sangre (Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller) Pre-Order
– Saw 3D (The Final Chapter in 3D) (Horror, Thriller)
– Saw 3D (The Final Chapter) (Horror, Thriller) Pre-Order
– White Wedding (Comedy, Romance) Pre-Order
January 31
– The Double Life of Véronique (The Criterion Collection) (Drama, Fantasy, Music, Romance) Pre-Order

Read more: Blu-ray Disc Release Dates –

Devil (Blu-ray) Review

Movie Rating: 7 out of 10
Extras Rating:
5 out of 10

Buy this DVD at

Rating: PG-13

Chris Messina as Detective Bowden
Logan Marshall-Green as Mechanic
Jenny O’Hara as Old Woman
Bojana Novakovic as Young Woman
Bokeem Woodbine as Guard
Geoffrey Arend as Salesman
Jacob Vargas as Ramirez
Matt Craven as Lustig
Joshua Peace as Detective Markowitz
Caroline Dhavernas as Elsa Nahai
Joe Cobden as Dwight
Zoie Palmer as Cheryl
Vincent Laresca as Henry
Rudy Webb as Old Janitor
Craig Eldridge as Donnelly

Directed by John Erick Dowdle

Special Features:
Deleted Scenes
The Story
The Devil’s Meeting
The Night Chronicles
D-BOX Motion Enabled

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.40:1)
DTS-HD MA 5.1 Sound
Spanish and French Languages
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

“Trapped in an elevator high above Philadelphia, five people discover that the Devil is among them – and no one can escape their fate. This chilling, supernatural thriller from M. Night Shyamalan (‘The Sixth Sense,’ ‘Signs’) will keep you on the edge of your seat all the way to a heart-stopping ending with a truly wicked twist.”

“Devil” is rated PG-13 for violence and disturbing images, thematic material and some language including sexual references.

I honestly wasn’t expecting much from “Devil.” Horror isn’t my favorite genre, M. Night Shyamalan hasn’t had a successful movie in a while, and a story about people being stuck in an elevator with the devil didn’t sound all that exciting. But as I watched the film, I found myself getting more and more pulled into the story. The end result was an intriguing film that was a lot more engaging than I was expecting.

Most of the film takes place in the elevator with the five trapped characters. As the plot unfolds you discover more and more about their shady backgrounds. We see them reacting in different ways to the stress of being trapped in an elevator with the devil. But the real fun is trying to figure out which of them, if any of them, is the devil in disguise. I thought I had it figured out, but “Devil” still managed to surprise me.

I was curious how “Devil” would treat the character of the devil. Would it be a cartoony version that Hollywood typically does? Or something for a gory horror flick? Something from myth or something from religion? The answer is a little bit of it all. But I liked the fact that “Devil” portrayed him as an inevitable force of nature. Something sent to dispatch the evil to their final fates. He’s the “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” In fact, by the end of the film, the story gets downright biblical in a positive way. The film goes a bit deeper than you might expect from typical horror fare and I liked it a lot.

On the negative side, the actors are a bit one dimensional. They play your standard stereotypes and don’t make their characters all that memorable. The story also frequently switches over to a security guard who is a religious fanatic and he provides all the exposition about the devil. His scenes are a bit hokey and unrealistic for someone placed in that situation in the real world. The performances and script could have been better, but it was forgivable.

Even if you’re not into horror movies, I think “Devil” is a film you’ll find worth checking out. It’s a supernatural whodunit with some surprisingly spiritual messages about both the devil and forgiveness.

Unfortunately, the bonus features aren’t quite as forgivable. It appears they simply took three 2-minute featurettes off of the “Devil” website and included them here. One talks about the story, another talks about the legend of “The Devil’s Meeting,” and another talks about how M. Night Shyamalan is producing movies through “The Night Chronicles.” The only remaining bonus feature is the deleted scenes. There are three of them and they introduce the old lady, the mattress salesman, and the mechanic. It gives you a little more insight into the characters, but it may tip you off as to who may or may not be the devil. If you’re looking for more behind the scenes info, you’re out of luck.

Order this DVD @ Amazon

Read more: Devil (Blu-ray) Blu-ray and DVD Review –

Death Race 2 (Unrated) Blu-ray Review

Movie Rating:
5.5 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10

Buy this DVD at 

Rating: R and Unrated

Luke Goss as Carl ‘Luke’ Lucas
Lauren Cohan as September Jones
Sean Bean as Markus Kane
Ving Rhames as Weyland
Tanit Phoenix as Katrina Banks
Patrick Lyster as Warden Parks
Frederick Koehler as Lists
Robin Shou as 14K
Danny Trejo as Goldberg
Joe Vaz as Rocco

Directed by Roel Reiné

Special Features:
Deleted Scenes
Director’s Montage
The Race Begins: The Evolution of the Death Race
Cheating Death: The Stunts of Death Race 2
Fast Cars and Firearms: The Cars of Death Race 2
Feature Commentary with Director Roel Reiné

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.78:1)
DTS-HD MA 5.1Sound
Spanish and French Languages
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: Rated – 1 Hour 39 Minutes, Unrated – 1 Hour 41 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

“In the world’s most dangerous prison, a new game is born: Death Race. The rules of this adrenaline-fueled blood sport are simple, drive – or die. When repentant convict Carl Lucas (Luke Goss) discovers there’s a price on his head, his only hope is to survive a twisted race against an army of hardened criminals and tricked-out cars.

Also starring Danny Trejo and Ving Rhames, ‘Death Race 2’ tells the explosive story of how the legendary race began. Strap yourself in for an insane thrill-ride!”

“Death Race 2” is rated R for brutal violence, pervasive Language and some sexual content.

What the promos for “Death Race 2” don’t really tell you is that this is a prequel. It shows how the Death Race was created. It started as a simple hand-to-hand combat game to generate money for the failing Weyland Corporation then was broadened to the full fledged race we see later on. In some respects making a prequel works and in other respects it doesn’t. On the down side we don’t even see the actual Death Race until well into the second half of the film. It’s only then that you get the movie as advertised. But on the positive side, the final 15 minutes of the film have a plot twist that makes you go “Ah-ha! So that’s where they’re going with this!” That payoff makes the movie a bit more worthwhile. I can’t discuss it here without spoiling the movie, but suffice it to say it thoroughly ties this movie in with the 2008 “Death Race.”

Beyond the prequel twist, “Death Race 2” doesn’t have a lot new to offer. It still has testosterone overloaded fights, big car chases, sexy women (are there no ugly female prisoners?), and gory deaths. It’s more of the same from the first which is either a good thing or a bad thing considering what you thought of “Death Race.” This is a straight-to-DVD release, but I have to say that I think it would have performed well in theaters. I don’t know why they didn’t release it there. A lot worse movies have appeared on the big screen than “Death Race 2.”

Luke Goss is the lead in the film as Carl ‘Luke’ Lucas. His role is a lot like Jason Statham’s in the previous film. He’s a noble soul stuck in the prison who happens to be a good driver and is screwed over by the corrupt prison system. The only difference this round is that he actually did what he was thrown in jail for. He’s an honest-to-goodness bad guy. Goss does a fine job with what he’s given and he comes across as Paul Walker’s older brother or something. Supporting him in the film are Ving Rhames as Weyland, Sean Bean as Markus Kane, and Danny Trejo as Goldberg. These are all fine actors and it’s kind of sad to see them in a straight-to-video film, but I suppose if it was good enough for Joan Allen in the first film, it’s good enough for them.

If you liked the first “Death Race,” then I think you’ll find “Death Race 2” somewhat worth checking out. It will feel pretty redundant up until the final twist, but stick with it. If you didn’t see the first film or didn’t like it, then this is an obvious ‘pass’ for you.

You’ll find your standard bonus features on the Blu-ray. There are deleted scenes, featurettes on the stunts and cars, and a commentary. There’s also a featurette on ‘The Evolution of the Death Race.’ And if you buy the Blu-ray, you also get a copy of the DVD and a digital copy for portable devices.

Order this DVD @ Amazon

Are the Extended Editions of LORD OF THE RINGS Coming to Blu-ray This Year?


Some folks last year were dismayed that Warner Bros released no-frills, theatrical-version-only Blu-rays for Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  They complained they were being ripped off by a product no one was forcing them to buy.  But with The Hobbit finally moving forward and Warner Bros. wanting to put Middle-Earth back in the minds of audiences, it looks like the Extended Editions might be on the way.  The Digital Bits reports that they have sources at Warner Home Video and New Line Cinema saying that Warner Bros. is planning to release The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Extended Editions on Blu-ray this year.  It’s currently unknown whether these editions will have new special features or if Peter Jackson will oversee the transfers.  If I had to guess, I would say these Blu-rays will have the same special features as the DVDs and if we’re getting more LOTR special features, it probably won’t be until there’s an “Ultimate” set which also includes The Hobbit.

The Digital Bits says to expect an announcement on the Extended Edition Blu-rays in the next several weeks along with an Blu-ray announcement for Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita and Barry Lyndon.


Pre-Orders Begin for STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA on Blu-ray; Updated with STAR WARS Blu-ray Trailer


It’s official: all six Star Wars films will be available on Blu-ray this September – and you can pre-order yours via online retailers today!  Per a press release we just received, the films will be available on the Blu-ray format in three different forms:

  1. Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray (9-disc Set includes all six films)
  2. Star Wars: Prequel Blu-ray Trilogy (3-disc set includes Episodes I-III)
  3. Star Wars: Original Blu-ray Trilogy (3-disc set includes Episodes IV-VI)

As far as pricing goes, you can currently pre-order the Complete Saga for $89.99 on Amazon or the individual trilogies for $44.99 a piece (for these, click here and here). The big news is that the Complete Saga set will come with three additional discs and more than 30 hours of extensive special features including never-before-seen deleted and alternate scenes, an exploration of the exclusive Star Wars archives, and much more.


Here’s the full press release:


(Jan. 6, 2011) – The most anticipated Blu-ray release ever – the Star Wars™ Saga – emerges from light speed this September 2011. For the first time, all six of George Lucas’ epic films (Episodes I-VI) are united in one complete set. Fans worldwide are able to pre-order now with online retailers.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release Star Wars in three distinct sets to meet the needs of every Star Wars fan:

Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray (9-disc Set includes all six films)
Star Wars: Prequel Blu-ray Trilogy (3-disc set includes Episodes I-III)
Star Wars: Original Blu-ray Trilogy (3-disc set includes Episodes IV-VI)

STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA ON BLU-RAY will feature all six live-action Star Wars feature films utilizing the highest possible picture and audio presentation, along with three additional discs and more than 30 hours of extensive special features including never-before-seen deleted and alternate scenes, an exploration of the exclusive Star Wars archives, and much more.

Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray will be available for $139.99 US/$179.99 CAN and the Star Wars: Trilogy Sets for $69.99 US/89.99 CAN. Pricing for each set will vary by international territory.

Flanked by a legion of his finest Imperial Stormtroopers, Darth Vader himself joined Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment President Mike Dunn at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to announce the release, vowing “The forces of the Empire will be at your disposal to assure the success of this endeavor.”

“The Star Wars Saga is the most anticipated Blu-ray collection since the launch of the high-def format,” Dunn said. “The epic franchise pioneered sound and visual presentation in theaters and is perfectly suited to do it again in the home, with a viewing experience only possible with Blu-ray.”

“With all six episodes available for the first time in one collection, this is a great way for families and home audiences to experience the complete Saga from start to finish,” said Doug Yates, Vice President of Marketing, Online, Distribution, Lucasfilm Ltd. “And with the quality of high-definition, Blu-ray provides the most immersive home experience possible.”

“The Star Wars franchise has been one of the most anticipated Blu-ray releases by Amazon’s customers,” said Bill Carr, Vice President of Music and Video at Amazon. “We think that Star Wars will be incredibly popular with our customers, and we expect pre-orders to be very strong.”




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