The Social Network comes at a time when we seem to be peaking with tv shows and movies that celebrate assholes. This film would have to be the creme de la creme with 8 Oscar nominations, deservedly so. Even though this is somewhat of a highlight of asshole-ness at it’s apex, I can still appreciate it as a good movie. What makes this different from something like Jersey Shore is that the assholes on that show are stupid too, whereas the assholes in The Social Network are actually smart and interesting.
Unless you’ve lived under a rock recently, you’re probably one of the 500 million or so on Facebook. The Social Network’s storyline zeroes in on the genesis of Facebook. Hint: it’s not entirely Mark Zuckerberg’s idea. Actually, it wasn’t his idea at all, he just stole the idea, improved on it and put it out under his own moniker which we’ve come to know as Facebook.
The film traces the events that created the online phenomena with the script based largely on the depositions from the various lawsuits that took place. Aaron Sorkin, the mastermind behind The West Wing and A Few Good Men, adapted the screenplay from Ben Mezrich’s book. Between the both of those sources, the story is engaging and the dialog is whip smart.
The acting is top notch too with all the actors bringing their A game. The standout for me is definitely Jesse Eisenberg. Up til now, I haven’t seen much where he wasn’t playing a role that Michael Cera would play about the same. This role however takes his performance skills up a notch. He’s shrewd, intense, and delivers a razor-sharp delivery. While his character is an uber-nerd, his persona and delivery are something beyond the roles he’s often associated with. Besides his uncertainty related to his social skills, his confidence in certain areas (like computers) is palatable.
David Fincher is on the director’s chair. Some of his work includes: Se7en, The Game, Panic Room, and more. I’ve never seen a bad David Fincher movie, and this one is certainly not on that list either. His visual style has some dark, rich overtones with some subtle technical brilliance (the Winklevoss twins are played seemlessly by just one actor – Armie Hammer).
Look for some exceptional performances from Andrew Garfield (the new Spiderman) and Justin Timberlake personifying Napster’s Sean Parker (another asshole by the way).
I “Like” The Social Network.
reviewed by Sean McKnight
So I thought I would go in the opposite direction of what I’ve been reviewing for the month of October, so I went with this one.
I enjoyed the first movie and let’s face it, this movie is just for fun. You’re not really looking for anything profound here but it does have it’s moments such as the underlying themes of family and being accepted for who you are. There’s also some nods to the power of friendship.
Otherwise, it’s our friends from the New York Zoo in the first movie picking up for the next leg of the adventure which leads them to their homeland of Africa where they stumble upon Alex the Lion’s long lost family. Their penguin allies along with their monkey sidekicks are also along for the ride.
It’s great family fare, full of adventure, beautiful computer generated animation and artwork and much fun. Plenty of big name voices in here too including: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Bernie Mac, Alec Baldwin and more.
For me, Pixar films are the be-all end-all of computer generated animated movies, but this one is definitely worth a night with the family and some popcorn.
reviewed by Sean McKnight
I’m so glad we have computer generated 3-D movies these days, it’s that technology that allows great films like this to be made with an infinite amount of possibilities to go with it…
Anyway, technology praises aside; Kung Fu Panda is a great film. It’s well written following the story of the unlikely hero Po, a giant panda voiced by Jack Black. Po finds himself current day working at his adoptive father’s noodle restaurant (presuming he’s adoptive given that his father is a duck) while lamenting over his dreams of pursing his true passion of kung fu. From there, the residents of the city Po lives in are summoned to the great kung fu temple for the declaration of the dragon warrior who will be the town’s savior set to face their destroyer Tai Lin.
And the story continues from there…Suffice it to say, it’s a fun and entertaining storyline that plays out predictably in a way that you won’t care about since it’s such a good time. There’s also a very cool and profound philosophical message that permeates throughout the film reaching it’s apex just in time towards the end of the film.
As for the animation, it’s extremely well done with some beautiful scenery of the Orient serving as the backdrop to the great kung fu action. Speaking of which, the fight scenes are well-choroegraphed and again, much fun to watch. One of the things that makes it fun is that they throw in some genuinely cartoony moments mixed in during the fight segments.
There’s some great voice talent involved in addition to Jack Black which includes Angelina Jolie, Ian MacShane, Jackie Chan, David Cross, Lucy Liu and Dustin Hoffman who all do wonderful jobs lending their talents to the animation.
All-in-all nothing to complain about there, Kung Fu Panda is a film that both kids and adults can enjoy.
reviewed by Sean McKnight