“The Social Network” – 2010. Dir. David Fincher

 

With Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Max Minghella, Armie Hammer, Rooney Mara with John Getz and Justin Timberlake

Music by Trent Reznor

Written by Aaron Sorkin

“Sorry, my Prada is at the cleaners, along with my hoodie and my ‘fuck you’ flip-flops, you pretentious douche bag!”

So “The Social Network” was on my “movies I’ll never see list” along with “The Blind Side”, “Where the Wild Things Are” and “Juno” – but the fact it’s getting a slew of good reviews and is directed by one of my favorite directors, David Fincher, and written by my favorite writer Aaron Sorkin (“The West Wing” anyone?) I broke down and saw it.

The film deals with Facebook’s creator Mark Zuckerberg and how he essentially fucks over everyone in his path. Including his best friend Eduardo Saverin who created Facebook with Zuckerberg and the fellow Harvard students Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (Armie Hammer) and Divya Narendra (Max Minghella – son of the great Anthony Minghella) who went to Zuckerberg with the idea of “Harvard Connect”, which is in a sense what Facebook became.

This film has the look and feel of every previous Fincher film. It’s built as a thriller – with much intrigue and mystery, which is built upon by Trent Reznor’s chilling score and the perfect screenplay by Aaron Sorkin. It’s quite a marvel to see these three brilliant artists all roll themselves into one film. Oh yeah, and it’s produced by Kevin Spacey.

The center of this film is its screenplay. It is as epic as David Mamet’s “Glengarry Glen Ross” or Robert Towne’s “Chinatown” – it’s that good. Aaron Sorkin will finally get his long deserved writing nomination and he seems to be the clear frontrunner for the Oscar – depending how “True Grit” rolls into the awards season.

From the screenplay we move to Fincher’s impeccable direction. He truly is a wonderful director, he has this mastercraft of building films with suspense, much like Hitchcock – yet makes his films epic like David Lean. He’s this hybrid of a music video director who meets 1970’s “New America” directors. He is great.

The acting in this film is almost as great as the screenplay and as good as the direction. I’ve never cared for Jesse Eisenberg, but in this and “Solitary Man” he’s starting to win me over. Justin Timberlake as the sniveling ass who created Napster, Sean Parker, is a highlight of the film. He’s really, really good – but he’s no where as near as GREAT as Andrew Garfield. I’ve not seen him in much, but in this film he’s great. He just may have my vote for Best Supporting Actor.

But somewhere between all this greatness, the film begins to drag. It’s not distractingly dragging, but it’s more of an annoying tick. It doesn’t get quite boring, but pretty close at times. With a run time of 2 hours, I think Fincher could have made a more taut film at a 1:45. There are just a few scenes that aren’t needed. You find yourself just not caring about what is happening.

This isn’t a great film, but it’s pretty good. This film is overhyped and overrated, and don’t let anyone tell you this film is as good or better than “Zodiac”, “Seven”, or “The Game” (although I seem to be on a one man mission when it comes to “The Game”). Oh yeah, this film marks the first time a Beatles song (actually sung by the Beatles) has been used in a film since Hal Ashby’s “Coming Home”. That’s BALLER!

Rating: 8/10

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Author: Frank Mengarelli

Everybody relax, Frank's here. After going to film school at Columbia College Chicago, Frank decided to underachieve with his vast knowledge of film into a career in civil service. Frank had a brief stint as a film blogger, and then he met the heterosexual love of his life, Nick Clement. The two instantly bonded over their love from everything to Terence Malick to THE EXPENDABLES films. Some of Frank's favorite filmmakers are Terence Malick, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Sylvester Stallone, Oliver Stone and Spike Lee. Some of his favorite films are THE TREE OF LIFE, STAR WARS (all of them), BAD LIEUTENANT, THE THING and ALL THAT JAZZ. Frank spends his free time with his dog Roger, collecting any Star Wars collectible he can find and trying to finish his pretentious, first person narrative novel(la), LARGE MEN IN SMALL CARS..

11 thoughts on ““The Social Network” – 2010. Dir. David Fincher”

  1. You talk about how great the movie is, and then call pretty good. Contradiction? Just because a movie is a little overlong, it doesn’t mean it can’t be great. I guess good is more what I’m going for, rather than just pretty good. And Fight Club is better than The Game.

    1. I talked about how GREAT the screenplay was, how GREAT Garfield was, and if I movie is overlong it can’t be great, because that’s a pretty big flaw for something to be great. Stop acting like I gave the movie a bad review. I haven’t seen Fight Club for a long, long time so I don’t have a good frame of reference for a fair comparison. It’s a good movie, but it’s not GREAT. Get over yourself. Can’t argue within a point. Contradiction?

  2. I know you’re a pompous film snob and all, but why would this movie be on your “movies I’ll never see list” in the first place? And you’re missing out by refusing to see Where the Wild Things Are. It’s brilliant. Different from the book, but brilliant.

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