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The Social Network

A 2010 movie directed by David Fincher.

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Who Cares?

  • Oct 9, 2010
Rating:
+3
If The Social Network is about brilliant but shallow people building a brilliant but shallow website making scads of money and screwing their co-conspirators in the process, then this movie deserves four plus stars. it's a little boring, but the points are made; unfortunately, it couldn't make me care.

It's a cleverly written(note:  clever - not brilliant,) competently directed, well acted movie about characters as devoid of substance as facebook itself.  Yes, yes, yes:  outsiders v. insiders; friends vs friending; in cyberspace no one can hear you scream; blah blah blah.  Nothing new here, and for me the stakes just weren't high enough.  The reason they weren't high enough was that ultimately I didn't empathize enough with any character to care whether they got the girl, the company, or the money.

Much has been said about Aaron Sorkin's great writing.  Well, it's not great.  It's clever, fast, and formulaic, and moves things right along. 

Production values are Hollywood high, and Fincher's directing is competent, he keeps things rolling right along, too.     Somebody once said it doesn't matter how long a movie is, what matters is how long it seems. This movie moves fast, though that doesn't make it seem less long.  What stands out is what he gets from his actors.  Somehow he's made them look as un-formed and shallow as they should be, with just enough reflective wit to pause before they get on with their nonsense, but get on with their nonsense they do, reflection does not win out over being wired in.  

The last scene, lingering shot, final song - pathos dripping into bathos.  Almost saved the movie, but, too little - too late, to me it was a Hail Mary gone bad.

I use facebook.  It's pretty much a time-suck.  So's this movie.

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July 06, 2011
Drop the "Cares" - it's cleaner. Seriously, well-said. Couldn't have put it better myself. It's a well-written, competent movie that tells the story well. It's not genius, but it works. GREAT review.
 
February 18, 2011
I actually liked this one a great deal. But I think people are focusing too much on the "Facebook" aspect of the movie. For example, if it was fictional and about a guy who made something completely fictional it might've been more compelling. I think the whole point of the movie WAS actually for you not to care about the characters. By that I mean that each character was looking at the building of Facebook from a different point of view. Take that Sean guy who was head of Napster. His concern was seeing if he could get Facebook to be huge so he could make wads of cash. His concern isn't actually the other characters--even Zuckerberg. And in the end, despite still holding onto a lot of the shares... he is ultimately punished. It's actually a pretty clever way to do a film, I think... by sort of making it the way cyberspace actually works--there's a huge amount of apathy and not caring going on throughout the film... which is exactly how cyberspace works. Mark Zuckerberg isn't an asshole, but he comes off like a robot. And each character eventually hides behind their true self and Facebook ultimately becomes a shield for some of them. The characters lack empathy and that was, I think, the point of the film... that the online culture may be big, but it has caused us not to care. The characters mostly bring up conflicts and eventually run from them by hiding behind Facebook or by refusing to confront other characters. After all, they don't have to.
 
February 16, 2011
From your description of the film, it sounds like you actually thought it was a lot better than you actually gave it credit for. I think a lot of people are fascinated by someone so young earning so much money in such a short time on something that was only slightly different than MySpace.
 
December 01, 2010
hahaa thanks for using bathos - a new word for me - but actually I didn't feel the ending was anticlimactic, and I totally disagree with your review, but I empathized with it all the same :)
 
November 07, 2010
Great review! This is how I felt about the film. I thought I was the only one who felt like it was a time-suck, lol! Here's my review if you want to read it: http://lunch.com/t/5msp
 
October 16, 2010
Funny, great review. I agree on all fronts. It was a clever movie, a bit long, and I left feeling exactly the way I feel after wasting an hour or two on Facebook.
 
October 12, 2010
Interesting perspective. I've mostly heard rave reviews, but really enjoyed reading your assessment of it as well. Guess I'll have to see it to find out :P Thanks for sharing, Richard!
 
October 12, 2010
I was looking forward to seeing this movie and haven't had the chance to yet...because out came Catfish which peaked my curiosity. Have you seen that film yet? I'd love to hear your take or comparison on the two...since I'm still trying to figure out which is worth my time!
 
October 11, 2010
I agree with much of your assessment (I gave a +4 review myself). It is certainly difficult to care about most of these characters. But I found Sorkin's clever and fast-paced script amusing enough to be memorable. I agree that is is probably not BRILLIANT...but it takes many of Sorkin's good aspects without latching on to quite so many of his bad habits (tendency to preach, e.g....as we often got with the tiresome WEST WING)
 
October 10, 2010
LOL! I do agree that this movie had several contrived elements and I think the main reason why I liked it was because of the performances and Fincher's direction. Thanks for the review!
 
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More The Social Network reviews
review by . October 03, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
4 ½ STARS: Can't Make A Few BILLION Without Making A Few Enemies...
“The Social Network” is a film directed by David Fincher with script by Aaron Sorkin; the film is based on the book by Ben Mezrich called “The Accidental Billionaires“. “Social Network”. God, how those words now mean quite a lot to a great many number of people these days. Right now, I am posting a review on a “social networking” site called lunch.com about a film that portrays the beginnings of one of America’s most famous “social …
review by . November 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
First of all it's statistically impossible for there to be more geniuses in China than there are people in the United States. Statistically 1 in 50 people is a genius - at least as it's defined by Mensa, and that's probably generous. Thus China would need 50 times as many people as the United States to have their geniuses exceed our population. Alas, they only have four times as many.         It is this sort of blatant disregard for facts and basic science …
review by . February 03, 2011
posted in Awesomeness
Words are weapons in THE SOCIAL NETWORK. For the most part, words are used vivaciously to accuse and to criticize Mark Zuckerberg's decisions on the road to becoming the billionaire he is today. After all, the tagline for David Fincher's THE SOCIAL NETWORK sums up the movie's point of being: "You don't get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies." Even if Aaron Sorkin, with his incredibly human and detailed dialogue, adapted Ben Mezrich's semi-fictional …
review by . February 14, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Who would think that the 2010 Oscar race appears to be down to a stuffy piece of British manners about a stuttering king and a sparky commoner, and a static legal procedural piece about the invention of a social network site?  Of course, those descriptions don't do justice to the quality of directing, writing, and acting in The King's Speech (which I have reviewed separately) and The Social Network.      The key to the attraction of these movies isn't in the …
review by . December 15, 2010
Unlike the many people who are part of a social network to me I felt socially awkward seeing The Social Network with my family since the movie plays differently for me than my genetically connected counterparts. For those of you who don't have a computer and have been living in a cave in the middle of nowhere The Social Network is the semi-realistic tale of Mark Zuckerberg, a sophomore at Harvard who, after a post dumped drunken escapade creates a little website called Facebook. Ah Facebook …
review by . October 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The Pirates of Silicon Valley 2?
Alright, so I have to admit, I'm somewhat of a Facebook fan boy. Not the type that is completely consumed by Facebook 24/7, but the kind that loves the idea that some dude from Harvard turned a website into a $25 Billion dollar business and he's only 26. Also let me put this one out there, I'm sick of the whole "down with Facebook" mini movement that people are trying to get started because Facebook wants their ads to be relevant to you.      With that …
review by . August 30, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I take back every bad thing I ever said about Justin Timberlake. It's that he came riding in on the back of a popular boy band, and we all know how that usually turns out, right? Well, if you were among the many, many Timberlake bashers, you may take heart in the fact that his singing hasn't really changed one bit. However, he has proven to be a great pop music innovator, but what really surprised me is his acting ability. In The Social Network, he plays Napster founder Sean Parker, the charismatic …
review by . August 20, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
    In the opening scene of Social Network we eavesdrop on a conversation between Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and his girlfriend. At the end of the scene Mark's now ex-girlfriend sums up his treatment of people in a succinct statement. She told him that he would probably do something big and complain that girls didn’t like him because he was a nerd. She went on to say that this was a lie. That girls wouldn’t like him because he was an a-hole. He went on to make …
review by . January 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Upon first hearing about The Social Network my first thought was the same as just about everyone else's.  "Who in the hell wants to watch a movie about the creation of FACEBOOK?" But I'd seen crazier things happen.  Much crazier things happen.  I figure if we can make a movie based on a theme park ride, making a movie about the creation of Facebook can't be so bad.  Of course, the movie is about much more than JUST the creation of Facebook.  If it were …
review by . March 16, 2011
Well folks, I finally did it. I finally saw The Social Network after missing it in theatres. May I say, it is a wonderful movie. If I had seen this in 2010 it would have definitely made it onto my favourite movies of 2010 list. Hell, it had the very potential to even top the list. The one thing that prevented me from giving it a full 100 percent is that I could not relate to or root for the protagonist, but a main character doesn't necessarily have to be likeable to make a good movie. Wonderfully …
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Richard Wells ()
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Community Organizer by profession, artist at heart. "I been all 'round this world..."
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Wiki

The Social Network is a 2010 drama film directed by David Fincher about the founding of the social networking website Facebook. The film features an ensemble cast, which consists of Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Brenda Song, Max Minghella, Rooney Mara and Armie Hammer.

The film was written by Aaron Sorkin and adapted from Ben Mezrich's 2009 nonfiction book The Accidental Billionaires. The film is distributed by Columbia Pictures and is set for an October 1, 2010 release. None of the Facebook staff, including founder Mark Zuckerberg, will be involved with the project. One of the co-founders, Eduardo Saverin, was a consultant for Mezrich's book.  The film is distributed by Columbia Pictures and was released on October 1, 2010.

Poster art for "The Social Network"

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Tags

Movies, Drama Movies, Drama, Social Media, Reviews, Facebook, In Theaters, Trailers, 2011 Oscar Nominee, Justin Timberlake, 2010 Movies, Rooney Mara, Mark Zuckerberg, Jessie Eisenberg, Brenda Song, Andrew Garfield, Rashida Jones, The Social Network

Details

Director: David Fincher
Genre: Drama
Release Date: October 01, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Aaron Sorkin
Runtime: 121 minutes
Studio: Columbia Pictures
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