Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Social Network, Apache Servers and My Thoughts

I watched The Social Network lastnight and the first thing I really have to say about this movie is that I don't believe that there has ever been a movie that has been more over hyped than The Social Network has been. If you haven't seen or heard of this film yet (I have no idea how you couldn't have) here is the trailer:

Now that all of that is out of the way, I will say what I have to say and take whatever criticisms come along with that. I was totally unimpressed.

Jesse Eisenberg's performance as Mark Zuckerberg was way too convincing, to the point of causing anxiety within the first two minutes of watching the film. I realize that this is part of the story and whatever, and maybe Mark Zuckerberg is as big of a douche as he was portrayed in the movie, but they seriously could have toned down the OCD behaviour and the multiple times that Eisenberg mentions Apache servers for street cred and instead focused on the idea process more, rather than the people who implemented them or hated the innovators who ultimately create Facebook.

While I think that the internet and social networking sites are all a critical component of where the future of integrative technology is heading, I think that at the end of the day, the intentions of the film maker in telling this tale are either lost in translation or were truly only for profit. This film sucks pretty bad for so many reasons, I can't believe that on imdb or rotten tomatoes that they are honestly giving it such incredible ratings.

I think there is a valuable life lesson to be learned from the whole Social Network film experience, I guess it goes to show that you can make a completely garbage movie about something interesting and people will not only see it, but also it will win at the Oscars!

In closing, I leave you with some other films and filmmakers that lost out to more of the mass produced crap like The Social Network. Click Here


  1. Well I think you're taking it a bit too far.
    It's not as bad as you paint it. Of course it has been overhyped... but probably not as much as the King's speech, a film that managed to even win the Oscar for best director!! I repeat BEST DIRECTOR!! Oh dear.. what's the world coming down to?
    Anyway, as far as the Social Network is concerned check out my review. As I said, not a masterpiece and definitely a flawed movie, but not the disaster you're referring to.

  2. Alright, I will go as far as saying that I have definitely painted The Social Network in a not so rosy light and while I still think that the film was pretty awful; it was not as bad a Gigli, but it was still pretty bad.
    The review of the King's Speech is going to be tomorrow after I watch it this evening after work and I definitely would be interested in hearing others thoughts on that one as well!

  3. The Social Network might have been overrated as a film, but it does offer a profound social commentary on the psychological drives that led to facebook's creation and its initial popularity.

  4. Shawn,
    I think Aaron Sorkin's native strength resides in writing radio plays because incredible torrents of information are conveyed in A Few Good Men, The American President, Sports Night, and (at least) the first half of The West Wing verbally, by distinctive voices in shows and movies that are surprisingly visuals-optional. Check into any of those entertainments, drop the audio to zero, and see if you can follow the story of the episode or film. Then try the same episode with the sound up and your eyes closed. I think you'll find that over 90% of stuff that matters is communicated aurally.

    I think that pattern changed before Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Distinctive and recognizable voices still bear the multiple burdens of exposition, tone, color and character development -- but visual events matter more.

    In The Social Network, the first several minutes are barely audible. The force the viewer to concentrate on the actors' words and visual performance in an innovative way that commands attention unlike any entertainment we're used to.

    I can't disagree with your contention that this film doesn't live up to the hype. (I stepped out of the hype-stream about ten years ago, and no longer have a basis for comparison.) But hype isn't directly related to the quality of performance. I think this film delivers fascinating things for us to think about. Chief among these is the carefull-constructed image of an ackownledged masterful creative artist in integrative technology whose contribution to the production of this film is absolutely negligible. And that's more than odd. Privacy, celebrity, ethical maturity and legend/reputation/image are culturally central variables that are presently in flux.
    The Social Network poses interesting questions regarding the value of other people without providing answers, but it ends with a living legend punching through the deceptive curtain of his own creation -- looking for the forgiveness of a former friend; F5...F5...F5, and maybe that's enough (of an answer).


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