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
A drama set in 1954, Leonardo DiCaprio portrays a U.S. marshal named Teddy Daniels who is sent to a mental hospital for the criminally insane to investigate the disappearance of a patient. He and his partner (played by Mark Ruffalo) stumble upon what they believe is actually a place where experiments are practiced on the patients as part of a government/military experiment. The story unravels from there with much intrigue and an interesting ending.
Something I found intriguing about this movie is not only how the mindfuck aspect of this film is reminiscent of Inception (they don’t play out the same way but both have a similar feeling twist-wise). And, how similar DiCaprio’s characters are in each movie, and in this regard, they’re really damn similar. The parallels in the story line with the wife character are really close in some ways, you could almost exchange characters in each movie and not miss a beat.
Both movies play out just fine in their own ways…
Sitting at the helm is Martin Scorsese, who does a brilliant job as usual and makes a great team with DiCaprio. Scorsese’s vision this time is a bit on the darker/surreal side and is both timed and told very well with a lush, visual texture right on top to bring the uncanny aspects of the storyline front and center. A feast for the eyes and the mind indeed.
The cast is filled with talented actors (some legendary in fact) including: Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow (a personal favorite of mine), Michelle Williams, Elias Koteas, and Jackie Earle Haley who’s been springing up a lot lately. By the way, in case you’re wondering where you may know Jackie Earle Haley, his credits include playing the rebellious kid on the motorcycle in the original Bad News Bears, up to brilliantly portraying Rorschach in Watchmen as well as being the new Freddie Krueger.
This movie is not one you want to miss as it grips you from the get go and doesn’t let up until the very end. I highly recommend Shutter Island.
reviewed by Sean McKnight
This movie is loosely based on Maurice Sendak
I just caught this again recently and wanted to write it up for the blog, so here we go…
Mark Wahlberg plays Izzy, the singer of a local tribute band that covers his favorite band named Steel Dragon. The story is supposed to be roughly based on Judas Priest, who went through a situation similar with their singer (Rob Halford) when he left the band; they filled the vacated slot with a singer from a Judas Priest tribute band. The story of Rock Star follows the same premise.
Once Wahlberg is in the band, the story turns in more of a sex, drugs and rock and roll direction with a behind the scenes view of the women, the tours and the over the top lifestyle so many people have dreamed of through rock and roll. Of course the ultimate destination of this lifestyle doesn’t turn out so well and drama ensues. The relationship between Wahlberg and his girlfriend (Jennifer Aniston) is put to the test through the process of them dealing with events that are consequence of the formulaic rock star lifestyle.
All-in-all a pretty well told story and entertaining to watch. It’s a bit typical with no surprises but is still worth checking out. The ending is a bit cliche’ but is pulled off well.
The cast does great in their roles and includes Jennifer Aniston as Izzy’s girlfriend, Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew/Wormtail from the Harry Potter films) and the rest of Steel Dragon including: Jason Bonham (son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham), Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Foreignor), Zakk Wylde (Ozzy, Black Label Society) and Dominic West (300, HBO’s The Wire), the only other actor in the group next to Wahlberg.
The music is a large part of the experience and includes a healthy dose of heavy metal / hard rock some of it even sung by Mark Wahlberg who does a great job with the vocals surprisingly. I say surprisingly because during some of the behind the scenes footage, Wahlberg complains about metal and mentions how much more he’s about hip-hop. Personally I’d take his vocals in Steel Dragon any day over Marky Mark (seriously dude, Marky Mark? Really? Let it go.).
reviewed by Sean McKnight