The Loon Reviews: The Social Network

Well here we go, my first no bullshit movie review for The Loon.  First, lets get some housekeeping out of the way.  My reviews are gonna be harsh, both in language and critique.  If I think something is a piece of shit I’m gonna say so.  I’m not trying to make any friends here, just attempting to sort through the bullshit and give an honest opinion about film.

I will be using the tried and true 1-10 model to rate the films, and yes decimals will be in play.  I’m not gonna do any cheesy 4 Loonies out of 5 horse shit.  Scale of 1-10, simple and direct.

My reviews will be broken down into various categories (acting, directing, score, etc)  and I will always end my reviews with Oscar predictions that I will then handicap nomination odds and winning odds, spice it up a bit.

I have a lot to say about The Social Network so lets get started.

David Fincher’s The Social Network is a pretty damn good film, and by pretty damn good I mean fucking excellent.  I went into this film knowing all the advanced hype…97% positive and a 9.3 average on Rottentomatoes.com sets a pretty high bar to clear.  Well, this film easily clears it and then some.  Yeah that’s a cheesy way to open this review but fuck off it works.  Anyway, for those unfamiliar, the film is about Mark Zuckerberg the man who created Facebook, the social networking site said to have 500 million members worldwide.  His meteoric rise to becoming the world’s youngest billionaire is chronicled expertly by Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.  For a film many think is “The Facebook Movie” it sure is dim and moody.  Sure it’s also witty as hell and surprisingly funny but it’s really not at all what the average moviegoer would expect.  So those of you just shrugging it off as a “stupid” movie about “dumb” Facebook should probably reconsider…or don’t.  Fuck if I care.

The film begins in a bar, with Zuckerberg and his girlfriend at the time (played with force by Rooney Mara) sitting at a table discussing their futures.  It’s a risky way to open a film, but it’s also the perfect way to open THIS film.  The scene is 99.9999% reliant on what’s being said, and it’s good stuff.  It showcases Aaron Sorkin’s script right off the bat, and make no mistake, Sorkin’s screenplay is the true star of the film.  It’s fast, smart, funny, and authentic.  There isn’t any dialogue that feels forced or out of place.  If Sorkin doesn’t win a screenplay Oscar something went terribly wrong.  The scene lays out Zuckerberg’s desire to be “cool” and be part of the Harvard elite by finding a way to impress the prestigious Final Clubs, basically Harvard’s unique versions of Skull and Bones and other secret societies.  The scene also introduces us to Zuckerberg’s “unique” personality.  Now I don’t know if the real life Mark Zuckerberg has asperger’s syndrome but the Zuckerberg in the film almost certainly does.  His lack of basic social understanding and how to interact with people leads to an argument with his girlfriend that results in her dumping him and leaving him with a line that sums up his behavior for the rest of the film,

“Mark, you’re going to go through life thinking girl’s don’t like you because you’re a nerd, and I want you to know that’s not true, they’re not going to like you because you’re an asshole” 

And with that…we’re off!

The rest of the film follows the birth of Facebook, I’m not going to go into a detailed plot recap, you gotta go see the movie, but I will break the film down into a few categories and give each a grade, then an overall score at the end.

ACTING:  This film is littered with amazing performances.  I already mentioned Rooney Mara and also Eisenberg’s portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg in the paragraph above, but there is another trio of actors that do great work.  Andrew Garfield, who plays Facebook’s co-founder Eduardo Saverin and might be your winner for best supporting actor at the Oscars.  Justin Timberlake, plays Napster founder and minority owner of Facebook Sean Parker in what will be his breakout roll.  Timberlake is surprisingly good and it wouldn’t shock me if he gets some nominations for some of the lesser awards shows.  Finally, Armie Hammer who plays both of the Winklevoss twins who claim Facebook was their idea and attempt to sue Zuckerberg.  Hammer was great in this, not only does he do double duty by playing two roles but he also carries an impressive confidence that lets you know we’ll hear more from him.

Now it’s not all perfect as far as the acting goes.  Eduardo’s girlfriend played by Brenda Song does her best to overact in every scene she’s in.  When she sets something on fire you’ll know what I’m talking about…I guess someone had to suck in this.

Score: 9.0/10

DIRECTION:  David Fincher, who is best known for his work on Fight Club and Se7en delivers a complex layered film while never losing the overall message.  Yeah that sentence doesn’t really make sense, what I’m trying to say is this film is fucking complex but Fincher does a good job sorting it all out and making it easy to grasp.  His visual style is solid as usual and the performances he gets out of the main actors is the mark of a great director.  The pacing of the film is crisp, and it’s a credit to Fincher and Sorkin that a movie with extended scenes of legal mumbo-jumbo can be enthralling.  Specifically look for Fincher’s direction in the race scene, it stands out and is a great example of his talent.

Score: 9.0/10

EDITING:  Not normally a category I would review but I think it needs to be mentioned for this flick.  In the hands of a lesser editor this film would have collapsed.  The entire film rests on the ability to jump between time periods and have it make sense.  Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall do solid work keeping everything straightforward while at the same time making the narrative somewhat challenging.  There are some flaws however, there are some very obvious words that have been dubbed over from their original meaning.  This was mainly a couple uses of the word “fuck” and it’s variations.  The most glaring example was when the Twins decide to sue Zuckerberg one of them says “let’s sue this friggin nerd”  When the actor is obviously saying “fucking”.  It’s far too obvious and seems to have been done last-minute and without a lot of touch up.  A simple mistake that I’m not sure why they didn’t fix.  I also have a problem with how the film ends, they pull a text over the screen Unbreakable style ending that feels cluttered and distracts from the visuals.  I HATE text over an image to end a film, the final shot should be something that sticks with you.  I can read about how much everyone settled their lawsuits for over a black screen.

Score: 8.5/10

SCORE:  This will be a controversial topic come awards season.  The score for this film is very experimental.  It’s done by Nine Inch Nail’s Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.  It’s a combination of orchestral and rock and I loved it.  The only problem is I only remember loving it.  I couldn’t hum any part of the score right now and that’s a definite problem.  While it works exceedingly well during the movie (I actually made a note of it on my legal pad) it doesn’t stay with you.  Obviously it’s fine to have an understated score that works with the film and doesn’t steal the spotlight, but because of that I doubt it will win any awards.

Score: 8.0/10

SCRIPT:  Hands down the highlight of the show.  This is the best written dialogue I have seen…maybe ever.  I know that’s a pretty bold thing to say but I honestly can’t see this movie working AT ALL without this amazing script.  Sorkin put his genius hat on for this, from the very first scene in the bar to making depositions fast and witty the movie cruises on the weight of his written word.  From Zuckerberg responding to one of the students suing him, the student says “I can’t wait to stand over your shoulder and watch you write us a check” and Zuckerberg replies with a snarky “no shit.”  To Timberlake’s character chiding Eduardo (Facebook’s co-founder) with a “You know what I’ve read about you?  (whispers) Nothing”  The film is full of great lines delivered by great actors.  This script will win best screenplay…it’s a lock you can throw out the ballot.  It’s over, call the fucking fight.

Score: 10/10

So overall, well this film is absent of special FX, it doesn’t have any action sequences.  It’s totally reliant on dialogue and the performances of the actors, and it’s a good thing they are both top-notch.  I have minor nitpicks I can make about an actor or two or the editing of the ending, but it’s really hard to find flaws here.  I really can’t recommend this enough.

Overall Score: 9.0/10

AWARDS PREDICTIONS:

Jesse Eisenberg for BEST ACTOR:  Odds to win: 30%

Aaron Sorkin for BEST SCREENPLAY: Odds to win: 90%

David Fincher for BEST DIRECTOR: Odds to win: 60%

Armie Hammer for BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Odds to win: 30%

Andrew Garfield for BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Odds to win: 40%

Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor for BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Odds to win: 40%

Fuck that was exhausting…I think I need to review a shitty movie next because it’s hard to be funny about a film you genuinely like.  So yeah next week I’ll go see something god awful that I can shit all over.  Until then go see The Social Network it’s really fucking good.

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3 Responses to “The Loon Reviews: The Social Network”

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  2. The_Creator Says:

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  3. Thornton Melon Says:

    Liked the review. Will come back for more. I thought this movie was going to be a bunch of over hyped horse shit, but after reading your review I just may give it a shot. I don’t know, Wes Craven has a new movie out too, kind of want to see that… Regardless, good review.

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