COUCH THEATER — DVD PREVIEWS

Robert De Niro


By DNA Smith
PICKS OF THE WEEK
“The Social Network” (PG-13) — Aaron Sorkin (“The West Wing”) and David Fincher (“Fight Club”) have created an unexpected hit with their dramedy about the creation of the social-networking site Facebook. The delicious irony of the film is that its subject was itself an unexpected hit. No one believed that the brainchild of Harvard nerd Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) would ever take off, let alone become an Internet behemoth with more than a half-billion users and worth billions of dollars.

The film centers around two court cases: one involving Zuckerberg’s former business partner (Andrew Garfield) and the other by three students who claimed Zuckerberg stole the idea from them. The cases are intercut, with flashbacks to embellish the testimony, giving us a thrilling insight into the bizarre way the website (which began as a dating site for Harvard students) evolved into the massive Internet presence it is today.

“Raging Bull: 30th Anniversary Edition” (R) — Martin Scorsese has given us so many modern masterpieces, it’s impossible to say which of his films is the greatest. One contender would definitely be 1980’s “Raging Bull,” the biopic of tormented boxer Jake LaMotta, starring Robert De Niro (whose performance won him the Oscar for Best Actor). The film, shot in black-and-white, is a rollercoaster of visual and emotional power, ranging from brutal and vulgar to operatic. The fight scenes are the best boxing sequences ever captured on film. The performances by De Niro, Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty are riveting. “Raging Bull” is as close to perfect as a movie can be.

“Piranha” (R) — If I had to describe this flick in two words, they’d be “Boobs” and “Blood.” The plot is as absurd as it is straightforward: Elizabeth Shue stars as the sheriff of a Spring Break party town who has to deal with a bunch of carnivorous monster fishies that are nom-nom-nomming on hot naked chicks and frat boys. Throw in some hilarious cameos by Christopher Lloyd and Richard Dreyfuss, and you’ve got a wonderful guilty pleasure, a homage to the low-budget drive-in movie schlock of days past.

TV SERIES
“Hot in Cleveland” Season One
“Great Performances: Macbeth” (starring Patrick Stewart)
“Comedy Central Roast of David Hasselhoff”
“ER” The Complete Fourteenth Season
“Greek: Chapter Five” The Complete Third Season
“Rules of Engagement” The Complete Fourth Season
“Skins” Vol. 4
“Universe” Complete Season 5
“Criss Angel: Mindfreak” Season 6
“Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey”
“All in the Family” Season Eight
“Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” Season Four, Vol. 2

© 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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