The Social Network



[Behind the scenes images, here]

Swift shot:  Of all the adjectives I could use to describe this film, the only one that works is MANDATORY.  It is mandatory for you to see this film if you are between the ages of 15 – 40 – it’s your story, your digital birth.  The Social Network delivers sharp, fast and exacting dialog.  The story is told brilliantly through the testimony of two lawsuits, as the lawyers and witnesses give testimony. Facebook’s story comes to life – the good – the bad – and especially the ugly.  But, what is fact and what is poetry is not as important in how well the story is told.

Jesse Eisenberg plays genius, Mark Zuckerberg – the creator of  He is an “asshole”, he hates the elite, because he thinks he will never be one of them . . . despite his ability to make butt-loads of money.  He suffers from an affliction a lot of geniuses have to contend with – he is surrounded by idiots.  We learn this about him in the opening scene, he is not the kind of person you ask an opinion from, unless you really want his opinion.

In one drunken night, after he is dumped, he creates and crashes Harvard’s system at 4 am.  He was coding, blogging and creating/designing all while on a beer binge.  I can’t even write code to make the iRATEfilms Th®illometer go vroom, and this whiz kid could probably write a DNA code to create me!  Shit, we are probably all just code anyway, which might make God the ultimate nerd, wired in to keep us online.

Like most geniuses, Mark has few, if any, friends – because tolerating friends isn’t something most geniuses enjoy.  But his closest friend, maybe only true friend, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) knows that while he is eccentric, Mark is still a good person worth enduring. Mark also grabs the attention of the Winklevoss twins, played solely by Armie Hammer (Second-generation progeny to Armand Hammer).  I had no idea the twins were done by one actor, it was an incredibly seamless effect, in a film I thought was devoid of any real FX work.  Bravo!

The twins propose Mark make amends for by helping code their new site, “Harvard Connection”, where only the suffix bearers are allowed to tread online.  Essentially, these elite a-holes want to make a Harvard only club . . . online . . . how original.  I enjoyed watching them taken down several pegs in this film, and you will too, unless you are a cold, blue-blooded SOB – in which case, stay home, this isn’t your film.  It’s a story about the “little guy” sticking it to the man, but ah, the troubles that come with power and money come to the surface eventually.

Enter Sean Parker (Timberlake) who serves as the none too literal fly in the ointment of thefacebook.  Parker gave us all Napster, but he comes to thefacebook with considerable baggage – all lies, he assures his newest desciple, Mark.  Eduardo isn’t drawn in to the bullshit from Parker, and eventually lines are drawn in the proverbial sand – and where the bodies end up, you have to see for yourself how everything turns out.  To Parker’s credit, he does (according to the film, at least) tell Mark to drop the from thefacebook and just call it Facebook.

Almost no special effects were used in this, they could have taken a page from Hackers to show a virtual world, but I am glad Fincher steered clear of that idea.  While it was cool in Hackers, it wasn’t reality.  There is a scene that shows a real hack session that I loved, and it had zero special effects.  There was one stunt I can think of in the whole film.  It isn’t an action flick, the pace was perfect though, using one  sequence juxtaposing hacking nerds vs. elite pricks partying.  I would almost say this film is a good tool for class-warfare, but I won’t go there.

I know people who HATE facebook, people who LOVE it, and people who can’t live without it!  But, everyone has something to say about it.  Which, as you learn in the film, is all Mark ever really wanted – to be heard, really heard.  It wasn’t about the money to him, it was about the “Yes, I did this, suck it!”  I matter, I am a someone.   I wanted to give this film six stars, but I wanted a little more background set-up on the characters.  The characters are defined in The Social Network by their actions, and that is fine, we all are for the most part.  I just wanted to know more about WHY Mark is the way he is.

This film was begging to be made by someone, I am glad it was done by such a professional crew.  When something as powerful and important as facebook comes along, the exposition of how it became so amazing is essential.  If this had been a straight-laced documentary, it wouldn’t be real life.  The creative license used in The Social Network was perfect, the hurt and betrayal were genuine, the smugness, the apathy, all a credit to Fincher’s fine directing and getting the best from his team.

Whether you loathe, love or are apathetic towards Facebook, this is still a story about your generation, the digital generation, not being online and not being connected now is like saying you don’t believe in phones.  Sure, you can live in a cabin in the woods and use a wooden type-writer to pen a manifesto  about the evils of the digital age, but no one is gonna hear you roar – cuz you aren’t wired in – you don’t exist anymore!

Social media has redefined a generation, how we live, work, play, hell even our history is being cataloged every digital day.  To miss this one would be a tremendous mistake!

Incidentally, if you haven’t yet – go ahead and check out OUR Facebook fan page by clicking the image below and “Liking” it – probably the only dumb thing Mark ever did was changing “Become a Fan” to “Like”.  Asking someone to facebook you sounds cool, asking someone to “Like” you makes you freakin’ Teddy Ruxpin!

8 Responses to “The Social Network”

  1. Tweets that mention The Social Network | I Rate Films -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rick Swift and Rick Swift, Rick Swift. Rick Swift said: For all of you waiting with baited breath, here it is in 3, 2, 1 – The Social Network – Five Stars!… […]

  2. sandi Says:

    fantastic review. loved social network.

  3. RickSwift Says:

    My recommendation to anyone who wants to be nominated for an Academy Award is work with David Fincher. I’m thrilled to be nominated by the Academy and I’m especially pleased for everyone who worked so hard on the film – it is a triumph of teamwork. I’m honored to have our film nominated in such an incredible year for movies.

    Aaron Sorkin

  4. RickSwift Says:

    “I’m very grateful and humbled by the nominations for The Social Network. I’m incredibly proud of the work of my wildly talented collaborators in front of and behind the camera — all of whom gave the best of themselves and their talents in service to a film about a ground-breaking American innovation. This directing nomination represents the sum of the work of all of us, and I want to acknowledge the vast contributions to this film of all of my good friends and creative partners. The success of our movie belongs to many people, and this nomination is theirs to share.”

    David Fincher, director

  5. RickSwift Says:

    "I'm deeply grateful to the Academy for recognizing TSN with eight nominations. It’s a recognition for every single one of the many many people who had a hand in bringing this film to life – both in front of and behind the cameras. I'm so incredibly proud to be a producer on this film. The mirror it holds up in terms of underscoring the universal, timeless human need for love, friendship and acceptance is a testament to Aaron Sorkin's brilliant script and David Fincher's masterful direction. Every producer in his career wants to be a part of a film like this one. Making the film, and being a part of it continues to be an incredible gift."

    Michael DeLuca, producer

  6. RickSwift Says:

    “When David approached us to write the score for The Social Network we were intrigued and excited to see what we could bring to the project – but truly couldn’t imagine it would lead to an Oscar nomination. We are extremely grateful to the Academy and very proud to have contributed to David’s vision.”

    Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – Nominated for their original score for The Social Network

  7. RickSwift Says:

    “Wow… this is fantastic news,” says Cronenweth. “It’s going to be a great day today; even though I didn’t sleep much last night. It’s an indescribable feeling to be acknowledged alongside Wally, Matthew, Roger and Danny – cinematographers who I admire so deeply. Working on the Social Network with David Fincher has been one of the most satisfying experiences of my career to date. Oh my God, I’m so excited!”

    Jeff Cronenweth – The Social Network – Oscar nominee – Achievement in Cinematography

  8. RickSwift Says:

    Wow. We are honored and blessed to have had the opportunity to work on a
    film with this level of creativity and collaboration. David's direction, Aaron's script, and performances by an amazing group of actors created the perfect storm for making a great film. Thanks to the producing team, everyone at Sony, and to the Academy for the
    gracious nomination. We are incredibly excited and honored!

    Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter, editors of The Social Network