MovieBob - Intermission
Five Reasons You Should See The Social Network

Bob "MovieBob" Chipman | 1 Oct 2010 16:00
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As I've mentioned recently, movie theaters in 2010 haven't been very hospitable to nerds, as one film after another built around premises and/or characters of the geek persuasion have gone down to middling box office or outright collapse - in most cases, despite huge marketing campaigns and largely positive reviews. All of which doesn't bode well for the financial prospects of David Fincher's The Social Network, the story of a coterie of collegiate computer coders who became baby-faced billionaires by inventing Facebook.

The Social Network, reviewed in this week's Escape to The Movies, is an electrifying drama; probably the most exciting, funny and even moving film you'll ever see about the building of a website - and I don't mean that ironically. It's a killer flick, one of the year's best and a surefire Oscar nominee, but let's face it: Audiences didn't turn out to watch a socially-awkward uber-geek engage in super-powered martial arts duels over a girl, so who'll be surprised if and when they also don't turn out to watch one write code, get rich and get sued?

Well, I've got a list of very good reasons why you shouldn't skip The Social Network, and - courtesy of a roundtable interview conducted on September 22nd - so do the film's writer Aaron Sorkin and stars Jesse Eisenberg and Armie Hammer. And without further flowery introduction, here they are:

The Director

"He demands a lot of his actors, but I demand a lot of myself." - Jesse Eisenberg, actor

"I trust David so much, I'd let him perform open-heart surgery on me." - Armie Hammer, actor

"Intuitively, it's not a logical marriage of writer and director. David is known as a peerless visual director I write people talking in rooms. But it turned out to be a perfect marriage." - Aaron Sorkin, writer

Director David Fincher has made a bunch of movies, and chances are you've seen a few and loved at least one or two. Fight Club, Se7en, Panic Room, Benjamin Button and Zodiac is quite a filmography. (He'll next direct the English-language adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which many believe is a blockbuster waiting to happen.) Long-denied proper recognition by many "serious" film-appraisal bodies for working predominantly in the world of genre film, he's the best possible choice to make this kind of material crackle.

The Special Effects

"I have no idea how they did that - I swear somebody sold their soul to the devil, or something." - Armie Hammer, actor

Weren't expecting this one, were you? We're conditioned to think of jaw-dropping effect sequences to be strictly the territory of blockbuster action/fantasies, not of character-driven drama. But much like Fincher's previous film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (which featured staggering amounts of subtle aging effects applied to its stars), Network features a shockingly seamless use of digital trickery: Armie Hammer portrays twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss through a mix of split-screen technology and a new, high-tech variation of traditional twinning effects wherein his head is superimposed onto the body of another actor. Coupled with Hammer's terrific dual-performance, it's really something to behold.

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