Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Social Network

A Panther Joe Litigation

In so many words, Facebook changed the world. At least, the world of young, college students who began to find sites like MySpace clunky and word glory holes like Live Journal to be inherently misguided. This biopic that glosses over the creation of a site where users drop off notes, collect pictures and keep in touch is at best entertaining to a small slice of the pie and never really makes an impact worthy of stuck up film blowhards who wear penguin suits and and toot their own horns.

The Social Network (2010)
Director: David Fincher
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake
I was unusually excited about this coming out on Blu-ray...Jesse Eisenberg is one of a select few I consider a favorite actor of mine and Justin Timberlake adds a certain fresh faced, cool feel to a film without cheesing it up too much. What I thought I was getting was an exaggerated origin tale of a billion dollar company, riddled with deep character interaction and seamless acting. However, it only takes about fifteen minutes to see that this movie takes every terrible part of Fight Club and pulses it with the caddy, drawn out disputes you used to see on day time talk shows.

First of all, why the hell is this movie so dark?! Whether it's Mark Zuckerberg's dorm room, the Harvard bar, the overcast, low rent house in Los Angeles, or that mute conference room, everything has a shade of despair spilled on it, telling you nothing other than that this movie is depressing as all Hell.
Beige and dying.
No one in this movie is inspired enough to carry the somewhat revealing plot. Basically, Zuckerberg (Eisenberg) is a jerk who can't handle his Asperger's when his girlfriend dumps him. He later creates a site where Harvard students can vote on their fellow female classmates photos and decide which lucky lady is hotter. Apparently, the female kind is none too impressed and a whirlwind of computer talk is unleashed. Zuckerberg teams up with his best friend, Wardo (Garfield) to fight the evil forces of two identical uber-douches called the Winklevoss' and their lackey Divya. Man these people's names blow.

Anyway, both sides say they create the idea of Facebook, with the movie splicing in segments of the court hearing between both sides. Somewhere in there Sean Parker (Timberlake), the founder of Napster, decides he wants in on the action and we have a full fledged Royal Rumble on our hands. Except everyone in this movie is a jerk and there is no one left to root for by the end.
Seriously, real Zuckerberg should have filed for defamation of character.
I like Eisenberg, but it's embarrassing to qualify this performance as one of the five best for the year by an actor. Sure, some of his lines were witty and the real life Zuckerberg may actually suffer from some of his awkward, non-social mannerisms, but that does not in any way translate to an entertaining ride on screen. Andrew Garfield did an excellent job capturing the despair of a jilted best friend, but everything else just felt tired because the movie focused so heavily on quarrels between rich kids. If I want to see rich, blue blood type A-holes complain about regattas and student handbook violations there better be coke, guns, and trashy women in the periphery.

One thing I did like about this movie was the lack of a strong (or weak) female lead character. Too many times, writers will randomly insert a woman to mess things up for the main character, provide a love interest, or just in a round about way get in his business. Writer Aaron Sorkin felt no need to force the issue, instead opting for a more realistic feeling of casual conversation, one night stands, and general alienation from the better half for nerds at Harvard. Rashida Jones had a pleasantly brief role as a law assistant in this movie, and reminded me of finding a lone dollar bill in the pocket of your dirty pants: it's not a huge deal, but darn it if you didn't have that dollar before.

That's about the only positive thing I have to say about The Social Network. One thing this film never had going for it was reaching a wide range of audience; this certainly isn't for kids and anyone over 35 years old won't connect with this movie, instead becoming increasingly frustrated with the nonsense dialogue and full-fledged devotion to a product they probably don't use. If you did happen to enjoy this flick, the ending probably had some shaking their heads in disappointment, which is a personal exercise of mine whenever viewing one of Fincher's "masterpieces."
Q: Crew times? A: White people problems.
All in all, Facebook is a cancer that robs you of your identity and feeds off your boredom. Assuming this film is at least a third accurate, Mark Zuckerberg deserves to be Rock Bottomed by one of the Winklevoss twins and Stone Cold Stunnered by the other. Napster Guy deserves to accumulate a Mongolian barbecue spread of diseases, and no one should sit through this sloppy piehole narrative depicting the turbulent times of the youngest billionaire in the world. Now get back to Farmville, clones.

Note: Wow, Ben loved the balls off this movie. Read it here.


Anonymous said...

Ben has better taste than you then.

The Real Alan Trehern said...

@Anonymous: OH NO!! An alternate viewpoint to a movie the media hop-heads claim defines a generation. Get the pitchforks, and ready the torches!!

Get bent.

Anonymous said...

Oh don't be insulted :D

Panther Joe said...

It's not like I was trying to undercut another person's opinion, because if someone did an earlier review for the same movie, I believe protocol would be to link to it.

And based on what I've penned I'm assuming you are either a woman or an Armie Hammer fanatic. Or both.