David Fincher's "The Social Network" is one of the best films of this year. It tells the story of the creation of Facebook, starting in 2003 when Harvard undergraduate and computer programming wizard Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) launched the website.
Some of the history of how it happened and what happened afterward is - at best - murky.
The question of who invented Facebook ended up in court, with two other Harvard students - the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer and Josh Pence) - claiming Zuckerberg stole the idea. (According to a recent article, they may take another run at Zuckerberg in court.) Also at the heart of the film is Zuckerberg's personal life. As his fortunes soar, his relationships deteriorate.
All of this is seamlessly intertwined thanks to the sharp writing of Aaron Sorkin ("The West Wing"). Fincher's clever staging turns what could have been a claustrophobic talk fest into an exciting cinematic experience. The two-disc set includes audio commentary with Sorkin and the cast, plus a full-length feature on turning the complicated story into a movie and a shorter feature on Trent Reznor and the music.
Also out this week is "Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey," a story set in 1912 about an aristocratic English family and the staff that serves them. The colorful drama begins airing tonight on PBS. "Hot in Cleveland: Season One" - TV Land's first original series - boasts the comic talents of Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and the amazing Betty White. The series returns for a second season on Jan. 19.