You may have heard critics and advertisers tout The Social Network David Fincher’s finger-pointing film about how Facebook was harvested from the halls of Harvard and turned into a billion dollar business as “the movie of the decade” or “a generation-defining film.” This kind of praise has led the entertainment journalism collective to liken it to true staples of cinema like Citizen Kane and The Graduate. In terms of relevance to its audience those are fair if overreaching statements. The film depicts its teenage characters with unflinching pragmatism as it weaves the nasty web of deception and betrayal that is the story of the social media juggernaut. In terms of its protagonist’s journey however I couldn’t help but compare it to another landmark film: 1974’s Death Wish.
Like Michael Winner’s divisive and controversial revenge flick the action in The Social Network as with so many stories kicks off when anti-hero Mark Zuckerberg loses the leading lady in his life. Luckily she’s not slaughtered by a pack of petty thugs but instead liberates herself from her pretentious and pessimistic beau in the crushing opening scene of the film which sets into motion a chain of events that will change his life – and the world.
Zuckerberg played with sardonic wit by rising star Jesse Eisenberg retreats to his Kirkland Hall haven seeking retribution (see where I’m going with this?). He gets drunk blogs unfavorably about his ex and creates a program that places female students’ headshots side by side so that inebriated undergrads can anonymously rate them. The site called Facemash accumulates so many hits that it crashes the University’s servers which gets the attention of the school’s cyber-security squad as well as a group of aspiring entrepreneurs. Twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (both played by Armie Hammer) well-to-do all-American future Olympians approach Zuckerberg with an opportunity to design a website that they’ve been quietly developing: a social network exclusive to Harvard students. Mark likes the idea but doesn’t want to be a part of it: he wants the whole thing. If greed is good then Zuckerberg (though not exactly financially motivated) is great.
The connections between Charles Bronson’s career defining film and Fincher’s soon-to-be-classic movie are of course hypothetical. My point is that like Paul Kersey Zuckerberg paints a target on his head with his vengeful actions as he breaks the rules of business ethics and leaves his mark on the world. Only after the storm has begun brewing does he realize that he’s in way over his head.
The Social Network is more a meditation on right vs. wrong than a chronicle of the birth of Facebook and it is a more affecting film because of that. The courtroom drama that ensues through Fincher’s two-hour masterpiece pulls no punches and asks the questions that we the audience are most curious about: Who really started Facebook? How much is the company worth? Fincher explores the historic and meteoric rise of this digital domain delicately building the tension organically as each chapter gives way to a new series of inquiries during the legal proceedings. Rather than provide a definitive answer he leaves the audience responsible for drawing its own conclusions.
Though it’s quite different from many of the grim stories Fincher’s told before The Social Network still conforms to the technical style that defines his work. The dank college dorms and dingy frat houses bring to mind the dreary environments of Panic Room and Fight Club especially in terms of lighting and color. Quick cuts convey the lightening fast pace in which we consume information in the digital age. The ominous music composed by Trent Reznor aids the auteur in expressing the enormity of the situation. Most noteworthy however is Aaron Sorkin’s stinging script which uses tech-speak legal lingo and slang to tell the tale of sex lies and limitless fortunes. He brilliantly combines multiple points of view (that of Zuckerberg his partner Eduardo Saverin and the Winklevosses) of the same events to bring his audience a well-rounded and unbiased account of the events that turned best friends into bitter enemies and bookworms into billionaires.
I believe that while it will certainly garner numerous award nominations come January The Social Network’s full impact will not be felt until the generation that it portrays can look back at it in retrospect. It is a very contemporary piece of thought provoking entertainment but we can’t assume that it defines who we are as a collective community because like Zuckerberg says of his digital society we don’t really know what it is yet.
There are certain people in life you simply do not run away from. Danny Trejo is one of them. The Machete star is one of the most certifiably badass men in Hollywood and someone you do not mess with. Yet Erin Cummings is going to give it a shot.
Both are currently considering joining the low budget biker thriller Tarantula. Cummings will play a woman on the run from the biker gang she grew up with while Trejo is the gang’s leader on a mission to bring her back. To add a reason for the snarl on Trejo’s face he is also trying to get revenge for his brother’s death. But let’s be honest. Trejo doesn’t need a reason to be angry.
The film’s budget is being reported at a low $2.5 million. Oley Sassone (Fantastic Four, but not the one you’re thinking about. The one from 1994) is slated to direct. The script comes from former TV and film construction coordinator John Kersey, who also wrote it with his wife, Jennifer.
That would have been an interesting dinner conversation. “So I’m thinking at the end of the first act, the biker gang leader takes a bat and starts swinging at his right hand man and there's blood and guts and stuff and he says something really cool like ‘You’re out.’ These potatoes are delicious, by the way.”
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Top Story: Minnelli Visits Rehab Again
Liza Minnelli has checked herself in an eight-week "self-help" program, Reuters reports. "She is in the Caron center where she is obliged to go for eight weeks every year for a self-help program," publicist Warren Cowan told Reuters on Thursday. Cowan said Minnelli went into the center in rural Pennsylvania two weeks ago and was unsure when she would leave. The actress-singer has been battling addictions to alcohol and painkillers for a number of years and nearly died of a bout of viral encephalitis in 2000. Minnelli then married for a fourth time to producer David Gest in March last year, proclaiming her recovery from her addictions. The couple was in the process of throwing a lavish first anniversary party at New York's Times Square but called it off last week, due to the imminent war with Iraq.
Black Film Festival Put on Hold
Another entertainment casualty due to the war in Iraq was the postponement of the Hollywood Black Film Festival, scheduled to start March 25, which honors black filmmakers. "This is a critical moment for our country and our soldiers, and at this time the nation's focus should appropriately be on the escalating conflict in the Middle East," festival founder and director Tanya Kersey-Henley told The Associated Press.
Paramount Postpones Ropes
Due to the uncertainty of television airtime as the continuing war coverage interrupts programming, Paramount Pictures has decided to hold off releasing their feature film Against the Ropes, starring Meg Ryan, which was to open April 25, Reuters reports. "The issue is the advertising gets preempted, and you end up losing your message," the studio spokeswoman Nancy Kirkpatrick told Reuters. The film is based on the true story of a female boxing manager.
Taylor Gives Up the Spotlight
Elizabeth Taylor has announced after her appearance at the 75th Annual Academy Awards she will retire from acting--for good, Reuters reports. The 71-year-old actress said in an interview with TV show Access Hollywood "[The Oscars] will be my swan song on the stage. I've retired from acting; it doesn't really interest me that much anymore. It seems kind of superficial because now my life is AIDS, not acting."
Despite the fact bombs were falling on Baghdad Wednesday night, two major social events went on as planned in Los Angeles: the AIDS benefit at Ozzy Osbourne's mansion and a fashion/diamonds event at Keanu Reeves mother's house, Variety reports. One of the few guests who was invited to both events was Barbara Davis, who told Variety when asked to compare the two houses, "The Osbournes have pictures of their dead pets on the wall." Interesting.
Anthony Michael Hall Sued
The Canadian insurers of the television series The Dead Zone have sued star Anthony Michael Hall to recoup more than $612,000 for failure to disclose he suffers from manic depression, AP reports. The suit claims production of the series, shot in Vancouver, was halted from May to August 2001 when Hall was treated for "bipolar affective disorder depression with psychotic features" for which the production company submitted a claim and received money. AP reports Hall's lawyers will respond to the suit.
OK, Divorce Me, but I'm Keeping the Dog!
One of the only things Cris Judd got from his divorce to diva Jennifer Lopez is a chocolate Labrador retriever named Buster, a gift from Lopez, AP reports. The couple was married for nine months before they split last June. "I still love her," Judd told Us Weekly magazine for its March 31 issue. "And I will always have a special place in my heart for her. I will always be there for her if she ever needs me for anything." So will, we assume, the dog.
Matrix Short Plays With Dreamcatcher
If you see Dreamcatcher this weekend, you are in for an added treat. The Final Flight of the Osiris, a $5 million computer-animated Matrix-related short film, will be shown before the screening of the Warner Bros. horror film. This is the first of nine short stories created by Matrix writer-director brothers Andy and Larry Wachowski It takes place after The Matrix left off and sets up the story to the next installment The Matrix: Reloaded, opening May 15.
Two Covers for Next Harry Potter Book
The fifth installment for the next Harry Potter chapter Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix will get dual book covers--one for adults and one for children. According to AP, Bloomsbury Publishers unveiled the designs Thursday. The adult edition of book features a somber black-and-white picture of a phoenix, while the children's version of the boy wizard book is illustrated with a more vibrant red and orange bird rising from flames.