14 October 2010

The Social Network (2010)

I don't know what's going on with David Fincher. First Benjamin Button and now this. You're losing me Finch! I'm glad he's returning to darker territory with the remake of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

While it's hard for me to say that The Social Network wasn't good, I don't think of it as a must-watch after actually seeing it. Critics are fawning over Aaron Sorkin's dialogue and script, yet I found it a bit heavy handed. Lots of "show not tell." Sure, it's not easy to make a movie that features a lot of legal battles and computer programming, but I felt like the real story behind Facebook was far more interesting than the dramatized version.

For example, try the various articles about Mark Zuckerberg, Sorkin, and Fincher over at Longform.org. Start with The New Yorker's 2006 profile of Zuckerberg and move on from there. The movie is getting rave reviews but from where I sat, it was just so-so. Maybe I read too much about everything before I went in, or I had too high expectations. Either way, the much parodied (but still awesome) trailer and build up led me to a flat experience. It was competent but not great? I think I prefered Catfish. Either way, this ain't no Citizen Kane.

Great casting though.

Side notes: The guy who plays Zuckerberg's only friend, Andrew Garfield, is the next Spiderman. Which leads to the obvious question of "Why do we need a Spider Man reboot?" Brenda Song plays Garfield's love interest and her role has touched a lot of nerves in the Asian community. You can decide for yourself if there's something to the objections or if it's just all a-okay.
"Sorkin and Fincher didn’t set out to demean women or to whitewash a story. Neither, it seems, did they nefariously strive to make yet another movie that uses women as scenery and/or trophies. I believe they meant to make a movie that points to the basic flaws in American culture -- namely, the way we reward misogyny, especially in the technology industry."
-In Defense of The Social Network-