February 11, 2012

A Review of The Social Network

If you've ever read my blog, or know me at all, you know that I generally dislike the majority of things.  It would be easier for me to list what I enjoy than what I hate.  And list would be less than a page.  I hate a lot of things is what I'm saying.

And I recently posted about Facebook and how much I hate it, so this may come as a shock to you, but I actually liked The Social Network.  When it first came out, I refused to see it because it was a bout Facebook and I couldn't care less about Facebook.  But I recently went to a closing Blockbuster and saw The Social Network on sale and purchased it. Along with about 12 other movies.

I pretty much only buy movies from closing Blockbusters.
 I hope they keep closing.
Then I watched it with the preconception that it would be awful because Facebook was awful.  And even with that handicap, this movie managed to excite me. It was great.  I actually watched it twice and then another time with the feature length commentary during that weekend.  Of course, there were the downsides, but let's review this movie and see what they did right and what they did horribly, horribly wrong.

1.  Attention to Detail

This movie has little to do with Facebook and more to do with a driven Mark Zuckerberg who lies, steals, and back-stabs to get to his goal.  I'm sure Mr. Zuckerberg is a nice guy in real life, but this is a movie and no one cares about nice guys.  He's just such a genuine douche bag that he makes for an entertaining character that we as an audience bond with.  We see that he is intelligent, driven and goal oriented.  The audience isn't told that he is any of these things; rather, we get to know him as he formulates this idea for Facebook.  This is pretty important since it can either make a movie great, or disappoint the audience because we have to be told everything.

Details like this make a movie exciting because it feels like I am there with the character as he develops.  The character has to grow and change as the plot moves forward.  In the film, Zuckerberg is getting sued by two separate groups, and instead of building up to that moment, we see it early on.  This makes the audience ask: "What happened? Was there some sort of falling out?  I better pay attention because I know Zuckerberg is going to change and eventually back-stab his best friend."  It engages the audiences and makes them pay attention to a story that would otherwise be boring.

These are some major details that this movie gets right.  Of course, there are hundreds of minor details that I'm sure the actors and director spent time working on.  We see sutble gestures by Jesse Eisenberg that imply that Zuckerberg is bored, or frustrated, or uncaring.  It's really nice to see some top quality acting and Eisenberg was pretty much cast into the perfect role here.  When I first heard about this movie and that Jesse Eisenberg was in it, I was like: "Who?  Oh, him?"  But boy, he pulled through and really made this movie enjoyable.  Most of the other characters are forgettable (except Rashida Jones, I don't even care if she was only in the movie for about one minute, it was the best one minute of the movie) and toss away cardboard cut outs.

2.  Paying Attention to Programming Terms

If there's one thing Hollywood always fucks up, its programming terminology.  Many people know that Hollywood appears to not give two shits about technology, but damn, the technology related terms they used in this movie not only make sense, but they make sense in context.  There's a line when Zuckerberg says something like: "We need an Apache server with a PHP backend and a MySQL database. It'll be like $1000."  I can't remember the exact words he used, but holy fuck shit butts.  What Zuckerberg said actually made sense.  And it was totally realistic.  It's like the script writers, director, and actors actually cared enough to make sure that the words they were spouting actually made sense.

Unlike these dipshits.

3.  In Conclusion

There's a lot I can say about this movie about why liked it, what I didn't like about it, how the musical score was brilliant and so on.  But I won't, because overall, it was just a really well put together movie.  The Social Network is what movies should be: plot driven stories that show characters develop.  Maybe that's why I didn't like Atlas Shrugged.

Overall, I'd watch this movie again, and again, and again, and again.  In fact, I have.


Post a Comment