The Movie Of This Year – The Social Network

You’d think a movie about computer programmers, venture capitalists, and Ivy League preppies would be boring, but the power of Hollywood is the ability to sex up any subject. So in the new movie The Social Network computer programmers have groupies, venture capitalists throw money around left and right and Harvard has such wild parties that harems are bused in for their Roman orgy-esque parties.  

Eleven years ago David Fincher directed Fight Club, a movie so urgent that I actually believed it could start a pre-millenial revolution any second. Fincher’s newest movie, The Social Network might even be more of the moment. It tells the story of Mark Zuckerberg, the 26 year old billionaire who founded Facebook. He’s a unique character. A multitasking, socially awkward, borderline autistic who  shapes modern society in his image.

The movie plays hard and loose with the facts (according to this New Yorker article Zuckerberg had a girlfriend since college which puts a monkey wrench in the thesis that Zuckerberg created Facebook because he couldn’t interact with women), but it still feels true. No cinematic moment of my lifetime captured right now as much as Zuckerberg trying to bond with his female lawyer. She rejects  and rebuffs him. When she leaves the room Zuckerberg  looks her up on Facebook, staring at her profile picture, deciding whether to Friend her.  The moment captured a thousand tortured poems about where human interaction has headed.

It’s so exciting to finally write about a good movie. After a year of second rate spectating where The Expendables was my pick for movie of the year, I started to think I’d grown too cranky to enjoy anything unironically on the silver screen. It’s nice to see  a movie released that I’d like to see again. 

You can have your special effects, 3-D glasses, and high concept plot twists  I’ll take clever dialogue, biting commentary, interesting characters who think they’re being cool by telling someone, “you better lawyer up”  and an underplayed Beatles song over the closing credits.

5 thoughts on “The Movie Of This Year – The Social Network

  1. I need to see this movie and The Expendables. Honestly, as you were saying, there just hasn’t been ANYTHING out, to me, that is worth the price of admission this year. Last year was almost my dream year for movies–

    Terminator sequel (regardless of how it was, it was Terminator)

    Transformers sequel (although not as good as the first)

    Star Trek (best film of 2009 as far as I’m concerned and not because I’m a Trekkie, because the film just rocked! Didn’t matter if you liked Star Trek or not, it was awesome)

    G.I. Joe (which the carton was probably better than this movie, but hey I loved G.I. Joe as a kid so I was bound to like it anyway–still could have been done much better)

    2012 (yes it’s totally improbable that anything that happened in the film will actually happen in 2012, and most of it impossible, but you gotta love watching the world come to an end in every apocalyptic setting possible from the safe confines of a movie theater)

    Then throw in truly classic films like The Hangover, Up, etc. and 2009 was just an awesome year.

    All I needed was a Ghostbusters movie that year and I would have been set for life! (Which by the way one is due out in 2012 of all years; not sure how good its going to be though).

    2010 on the other hand, BLAH! Partly because my baby girl Abby was born this year and well baby food takes precedence over movie tickets, sorry. But nothing really grabbed my attention like some of the films last year I just mentioned and I’m REALLY tired of the 3-D gimmick. That’s all it is and that’s all Avatar was, a gimmick to lure people in and give away more of their money because a big name producer/director puts his name on a rather mundane film. Don’t get me wrong, Avatar’s asthetics, amazing. Story, completely ripped off. Director, clout from Titanic (so now EVERY movie he makes has to be that big, whether it is or isn’t), executives, greedy and desperate (hungry for a gimmick that will now be applied to EVERY FILM from now until people get bored with it or something new comes out, instead of…I don’t know, coming up with truly original ideas, like some of the ones the author of this blog has undoubtly written, likewise for this poster, and taking a true risk!).

    Bill Mauer said Hollywood can take care of itself in relation to the rest of the nation’s economic crisis. Yeah, Bill, apparently you’re not watching the box office tallies lately.

  2. Best movie of 2010 right now as far as I am conerned. Operating on 3 1/2 hours sleep, extensive walking in the Arizona heat, and watching a draining loss by the Saints against an inferior Cardinals team in the U of Phoenix stadium I retreated to a nearby multiplex and ended my day watching this movie. I knew there was a very real danger I would pass out during the movie if it moved too slowly. I was riveted from the very start. So starved was I for an actual “film” experience. It is fascinating and very calculating in terms of how it doses out in spare increments any real sort of emotional conncection to any of the characters. It takes its time and sucks you in. You think you just don’t like the Mark Zuckerberg character and really would like to see him fail. But, you know he won’t. That’s the true mark of a filmmaker and writer at the top of their games to keep you involved. To actually feel for this dude by the films end without his will and determination to succeed bending and seeking to be liked.

    Jesse Eisenberg hits a home run with his performance. And, while my feelings for him only slightly cracked by films end I really felt strongly about the rift built between he and his best friend and business partner Eduardo Saverin. Very sad indeed.

    The only other movie this year to come close to rivaling this would be INCEPTION. But, as cerebral as that film was and its desire to be a “love story” only left me cold. Unaffected. Probabaly because of all the smoke and mirrors of superior special effects. No special effects here. Just sold story telling using conventional methods. Whoda thunk?

    • There was one special effect that kind of seemed like Fincher was just plain showing off. The twins who were in almost every scene together were played by only one actor.

  3. Man, talk about a fantastic post! I?ve stumbled across your blog a few times within the past, but I usually forgot to bookmark it. But not again! Thanks for posting the way you do, I genuinely appreciate seeing someone who actually has a viewpoint and isn?t really just bringing back up crap like nearly all other writers today. Keep it up!

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