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New on DVD: 'The Social Network,' 'Alpha and Omega,' 'Piranha 3D'

Posted 9:54am on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011

The Social Network

This absorbing, well-acted docudrama about the founding of Facebook begins with an ecstatic burst of conversation that could only come from screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. The characters talk, talk, talk, faster and faster and faster, in a fashion that brings to mind the breeziest episodes of The West Wing. It is only gradually that the film turns darker and creepier, until we realize we're also deep into the terrain of director David Fincher, whose Fight Club remains the quintessential portrait of young male anomie in the late 20th/early 21st century. Yet despite its obvious ambitions, The Social Network doesn't really add up to much. It's a familiar portrait of dishonor among scoundrels, about a group of back-stabbing young men all trying to claim the biggest piece of a billion-dollar pie. The movie wants to be the defining vision of the greed, callowness and weirdly anti-social nature of the hyper-social Facebook generation, but it never fully explains what makes these kids tick, or, for that matter, why this one website matters so much.

Alpha and Omega, an animated action-comedy about a female alpha dog destined to mate with the son of a rival pack to bring peace to their valley, has a classic odyssey structure but too few incidents to energize the journey.

Piranha 3D is a gory remake of the 1970s cult classic. It's neither as scary as it needs to be nor as clever as it thinks it is.

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