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Old October 4th, 2010, 12:31 AM
Honoruru Honoruru is offline
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Default The Social Network

I saw “The Social Network” this afternoon. It is easily the best film I’ve seen this year (or last year, for that matter). Even if you’re not a Facebook addict (I am not on Facebook), or obsessed with the internet (I have to think about this--am I?), I think you’ll still enjoy this. It's just flat-out a very good film. Good writing. Good directing. Excellent performances (Jesse Eisenberg [as Mark Zuckerberg]; Andrew Garfield [as Eduardo Saverin]; and surprisingly, Justin Timberlake [as Sean Parker]).

Anyone else seen it?
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Old October 4th, 2010, 02:21 AM
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pzarquon pzarquon is offline
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Default Re: The Social Network

Saw "The Social Network" opening night. Sorkin dialogue, Fincher mood, geeks meet entrepreneurs plot. I expected to feel somewhat indicted, but I was soundly entertained.

It was very well paced. It was two hours long but some 70 minute movies feel longer. Some of the actors were more solid than others, but it's the story that surprised me with its insight.

My wife liked it, but thought most of the characters were too unlikable to get into. I guess I just have a higher tolerance for unlikable characters, and still find them worth exploring.

The geek in me liked that much of the geeky things actually rang through (wget and PHP, hackathons, etc.), compared to the goofy depictions we got in movies like "The Net" and "Hackers." But the movie lover in me liked everything else even better.

It's not about Facebook and what it wrought, really, which is the complaint many people have. It's more about friendship and money. And, of interest to me, the difference between ideas and execution. There are some great lines here. Entrepreneurs and wannabe entrepreneurs will really enjoy the film.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 04:27 AM
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salmoned salmoned is offline
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Default Re: The Social Network

Another RedBox disappointment - why don't they stock better movies? Poor acting, poor story, even The Facebook sucks.
May I always be found beneath your contempt.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 01:57 PM
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Default Re: The Social Network

One of the few movies we've picked up on DVD. Watched it again last night. Still loved it.

Movie reviewers love overstating things, so I probably wouldn't go quite as far as some, but I agree that "The Social Network" will probably be remembered as a great snapshot of this time, or maybe just before this time, of ubiquitous social networking, blogging, oversharing, digital narcissism, and the like. Oh, yeah, and the start of the second dot-com boom.

Of course, if you hate these things, you'll probably love to hate the movie, too. The rapid-fire over-witty Sorkin dialogue is also an acquired taste, and almost quaint now, so many years removed from shows like "The West Wing."

I'm not sure why Andrew Garfield is getting so much Oscar talk, though, as I found his performance overwrought. Of course, the book the movie is based on is from the perspective of his character, so perhaps that's one reason. On the other end of the acting spectrum, Rashida Jones. Her scenes always take me out of the moment.

And I'm probably in the minority in thinking Justin Timberlake was just fine as Shawn Fanning. Sure, he was playing a version of himself, but it fit.
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Old January 30th, 2011, 10:52 PM
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Default Re: The Social Network

The Social Network
Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake

I find it interesting that a major Hollywood movie has been so quickly made about someone so current. This is usually the kind of speed reserved for supermarket biographies and made-for-TV movies. It seems far too early to tell whether Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and owner, is more Muhammad Ali or Joey Buttafuoco. Yes, Facebook is the world’s second-most-visited website and an unquestionable phenomenon and cultural force, but so was MySpace a few years ago, and where was the movie about that? The winds change apparently without warning, and today’s Facebook is tomorrow’s Xanga and who knows what tomorrow’s Facebook is?

I was first made aware of Facebook while it was still called The Facebook and you had to have a .edu email if you wanted to sign up. Some former students of mine mentioned it in their Xangas (students at Boston-area schools). I have tried to dig up some of those Xanga entries, but these former students of mine seem to have deleted their oldest entries, much to my disappointment but much to their credit, I suppose.

The entry I most remember was someone saying something like, “I thought The Facebook was just a huge waste of time, but then an old friend from seventh-grade contacted me and we had a good talk and now I think maybe there’s something useful about it.” I know the feeling; I myself finally signed up on FB because I wanted to be findable by long-lost friends and students.

I write all this to illustrate who I am when I see this movie, not a rabid fan, not a scornful disdainer, but an interested, casual consumer. Who Mark Zuckerberg is in real life and what he said or did while a student at Harvard is only of passing interest to me: I don’t know what the facts are and I don’t have a dog in this fight. There is the computer geek in me who likes to see how memes evolve and which critical decisions lead to their blatant mutation, so I did go in hoping to see a little bit of that, but whether or not this is an accurate representation of what really happened is not as important to me as whether or not this is a good film that addresses at least a few of those geeky questions.

Eisenberg plays Zuckerberg, a Harvard student recently dumped by a girlfriend who warns him that one day he will think girls dislike him because he’s a nerd, when the truth is that they will dislike him because he’s an asshole. He does seem incapable of interacting positively with women, but as the movie presents him, he is also a genius in understanding what people think is cool. Andrew Garfield is his roommate and business partner, Eduardo Savarin, who is smart enough to have made, as a very young man, a ton of money on oil futures, rich enough to fund Zuckerberg’s vision of The Facebook, and thoughtful enough to leave most of the decision-making to Zuckerberg. Timberlake plays Sean Parker, the inventor of Napster, a figure Zuckerberg seems to be fascinated with, someone who will provide Zuckerberg with some of his most valuable advice but who seems to be completely lacking in scruples, business or personal. It’s two hours of movie between the spark that leads to Facebook’s creation and the one-millionth registered FB user, interspersed with flash-forward conversations between Zuckerberg, Savarin, lawyers, and three Harvard men who claim Zuckerberg stole their idea.

I’ve heard and read a lot of interpretation of Zuckerberg as portrayed in the movie. Was FB created by a misogynistic loser who wanted mostly to make an ex-girlfriend regret dumping him? Did Zuckerberg steal his idea from the Winklevoss brothers, even if everything they present in the film is true? Was the falling-out between Zuckerberg and Savarin the result of differing visions for FB’s future or an act of petty jealousy about Savarin’s being initiated into a Harvard final club? What’s the deal with Zuckerberg’s fascination with Sean Parker?

What I most enjoy about The Social Network is that it seems to present its evidence as objectively as possible in a picture like this and leave interpretation (and judgment) up to the viewer. There doesn’t seem to be a question about whether or not the Winklevoss brothers had a certain idea that had some similarity to early ideas of Facebook, but given even that, was FB a stolen idea when there’s no indication that a single line of their code was ever seen by Zuckerberg? From one viewer’s perspective, that’s intellectual property rights infringement. From another’s, that’s the way it is with ideas: they’re out there, floating around, and it’s the one who writes the best algorithm (not to mention the one who gets there first) who does the job. As Zuckerberg points out to the Winklevosses: if you were the inventors of Facebook, you’d have invented Facebook.”

The two elements of the film I find most intriguing are the manner in which ideas occur to Zuckerberg and the speed with which he puts them into action. When he blogs (on his Livejournal!) the process by which he downloads the photos of women on campus for his FaceMash project, we get to see in action the systematic problem-solving that computer projects require and the arrogant bravado that accompanies competent problem-solving by guys like this. Of course he blogged the entire procedure: he wants everyone to know what his chops look like. One of the greatest feelings in the world for someone who creates things on a computer comes when he or she is asked by other competent problem-solvers, “How did you do that?”

“How did you do that?” when asked by the right person is a compliment of the highest order. Sean Parker knows this when he meets Zuckerberg, and he knows it’s the coolness (not the money) that motivates Zuckerberg. That’s why Parker suggests that Zuckerberg’s business cards will someday read, “I’m the CEO, Bitch!” I don’t know how the real Zuckerberg feels about the way he is portrayed in this film, but if I were him I’d be okay with it, because the film says to me that FB is undoubtedly his. Nobody’s asking the Winklevoss brothers “How did you do that?” and that’s the question this movie seems to address. How did Zuckerman do it? He did it like this.

I’m not sure Eisenberg deserves the Best Actor Oscar nomination he got. The performance is solid, and Eisenberg is a magnetic screen presence even when he turns inward. I am also impressed by Andrew Garfield, who I think had the more challenging role as an unwilling rival and unsatisfied friend, not to mention admiring business partner. Timberlake does a good job, too, and Armie Hammer as both Winklevoss brothers is intriguing. It was also nice to see Brenda Song in a small part. Song is the snobby friend on Disney Channel’s The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and an obvious talent. I liked seeing her in this more grown-up role.

There’s been some buzz about Trent Reznor’s score, especially since it won the Golden Globe for best score. It’s a pretty good score, I must say. I like the steady, droning quality it has, kind of like a bunch of bees in a jar. It’s a nice tension-builder and it portends a kind of you-don’t-know-how-BIG-this-gets vibe. Not great, but pretty darn good.

Everybody talks about the Aaron Sorkin rapid-fire dialogue, which I also enjoyed, but Sorkin’s props should really be for the way he structures the story and presents the evidence. Of course we don’t get very many answers from Zuckerberg himself in this movie: the real-life Zuckerberg was not a participant in the film’s creation. By presenting everything here as testimony given by the principals, Sorkin says, “Let’s assume these things are true. Who’s got the best claim?” It works for me.

7/10 (IMDb rating)
75/100 (Criticker rating)
But I'm disturbed! I'm depressed! I'm inadequate! I GOT IT ALL! (George Costanza)
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Old February 21st, 2011, 03:26 AM
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helen helen is offline
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Default Re: The Social Network

Saw this movie today at a friend's house who has the Blu-Ray version. I am not Facebook user and I am not aware of the events that transpired so I have no idea what parts of the movie was true or not.

While biography is a movie genre I don't normally see I do regret not seeing this movie while it was in the theaters, some of the lines spoken in this movie would have drawn some laughter from the audience.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 11:55 AM
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DannyWilliams DannyWilliams is offline
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Default Re: The Social Network

Originally Posted by helen View Post
I am not Facebook user and I am not aware of the events that transpired so I have no idea what parts of the movie was true or not.

The REAL Mark Zuckerberg who went to see thee movie itself quoted saying that WELL.... At least they got my attire (potrayed by Jesse Eisenberg) correct. It's a likeable movie I enjoyed, my 2 roomates don't care to see it and I would not mind seeing this movie get something on Oscar Night. Eisenberg is up against heavy competition from Colin Firth but who knows when the announcement of "And The Winner Is...."
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