I might make an attempt to do add movie reviews to this website again. This has failed on several occasions, but no reason to give up now. What is that definition of insanity I love so much?
The Social Network
Director: David Fincher
Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, Andrew Garfield
Movies 12 – Ames, Iowa
I love David Fincher. He is one of my favorite living directors. He is certainly in the Top 2 or 3.
Fincher has some amends to make for the terminally boring Zodiac.
The Social Network follows the testimony in two separate lawsuits surrounding the founding of Facebook.
The movie opens with a scene where Facebook inventor Mark Zuckerberg is dumped by his girlfriend. He goes home an gets drunk and blogs about his ex-girlfriend. Then he hacks into all of the the Facebooks of all of the Harvard residence hall and builds a website called Facesmash where people can log on and vote between 2 Harvard girls to determine which one is hotter.
There is so much activity on the website that it crashes Harvard’s network.
This event makes Zuckerberg a campus celebrity and he is approached by 3 other guys to help them make a Harvard dating website.
Instead of helping them with the website, Zuckerberg gets financial backing from his best friend and designs his own website “The Facebook”.
Zuckerberg and his best friend meet up with one of the founders of Napster. This eventually leads to the removal of Zuckerberg’s best friend from Facebook.
After Zuckerberg becomes the youngest billionaire in history he is sued by the 3 guys that wanted him to help them with their dating website for stealing their idea. He is also sued by his best friend who is railroaded out of the company.
There was much hype about Justin Timberlake’s performance as Sean Parker, one of the creators of Napster. He is decent. I’d even say he is good, but the hype around this performance is quite a bit overblown. However, Eisenberg’s portrayal of Zuckerberg is phenomenal. As is Jesse Garfield’s portrayal of Zuckerberg’s best friend and initial CFO of Facebook Eduardo.
But what really keeps this movie humming is a great script by Aaron Sorkin. What could be a convoluted movie following two lawsuits and 3 sides of a story all at the same time is handled masterfully.
There is a certain amount of hype about how poorly the female characters are portrayed in this movie. With the obvious exception of the girlfriend that dumps Zuckerberg in the opening scene, most of the female characters are scene as little more than prizes to be won. However, I think this is actually the way these characters see women and since the movie is from their perspectives, I don’t really have a problem with it.
Easily the most likable character in the movie is the girlfriend that dumps Zuckerberg. She only appears in 1 other scene in the movie, but she is phenomenal and she is the only character that completely handles Zuckerberg.
I can’t point out enough how great the first scene in the movie is enough. The dialogue is crisp and clever. It sets up a perfect bookend with the last scene in the movie, which is also a favorite of mine.
The scene ends with the girlfriend telling Zuckerberg:
“You’re going to be successful, and rich. But you’re going to go through life thinking that girls don’t like you because you’re a geek. And I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that that won’t be true. It’ll be because you’re an asshole.”It is perhaps my favorite line in the movie besides when Zuckerberg tells the lawyer for the 3 men suing him for “stealing” the Facebook idea:
“I think if your clients want to sit on my shoulders and call themselves tall, they have the right to give it a try – but there’s no requirement that I enjoy sitting here listening to people lie. You have part of my attention – you have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing.
Did I adequately answer your condescending question?”
There is also a certain amount of hype about how negatively Zuckerberg is portrayed in the movie. So much so that he donated 100 million dollars to charity recently to help offset the bad publicity from this movie. In my mind I don’t think that he was portrayed that badly. He is a dick at times, but I think that there isn’t much in this movie that isn’t characteristic of anybody that isn’t driven at the same level as he clearly is. He suffers from the same social retardation most geniuses suffer from. At least the geniuses that they make movies about. I’m a Lone Wolf, but I’m not socially retarded. He is victimized by hero worship and unfortunately that leads to him betraying his best friend. But I don’t think it is portrayed without a certain amount of sympathy. I think alot of people might have done what he did if they were manipulated by their hero.
The score by Trent Reznor is also a bonus to the movie. When I heard that Trent Reznor was doing the score I thought that the music would end up being a distraction, but it isn’t. It fits in perfectly with David Fincher’s directing style.
As a bonus, I believe that there is a rowing race scene that owes quite a bit to the work of Stanley Kubrick. I think you know how that pushes my buttons.
Finally, I loved the way this movie ended. I think it was a perfect way to end the movie and was a perfect bookend with the opening scene of the movie.
Buy on DVD
I’m torn, but I’m going to go ahead and rank this as my new #1, sliding Inception down to #2.
I saw the trailer for the remake of True Grit for the 1st time. I’m big time pumped for this movie now and not just because they used a Johnny Cash song as the background music.
Also saw the preview again for Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter. This is the movie I want to see the most that is left this year. The Fighter is no. 2.
Probably Secretariat – Directed by Randall Wallace – Starring Diane Lane
I have to confess to having a huge weakness for horse movies.
Small possibility that if we don’t see Secretariat it will be Life As We Know It.