Friday, January 14, 2011

# 2: The Social Network (collector's Edition two-Disc)

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57 of 67 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars Friendship, Betrayal, And Success--An Online Social Revolution Is Born From A Real World Social Ineptitude, October 28, 2010 This review is from: The Social Network (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) (DVD) Director David Fincher is back in fighting form! Those fearing he may have lost some of his bite with the ponderous "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" or the disappointing returns of the criminally overlooked "Zodiac" need not worry. "The Social Network" is a caustically funny and incredibly contemporary look at the evolution of Facebook. Playing like a thriller and a blisteringly dark comedy, this terrific film may be Fincher's most sophisticated piece to date (and certainly his most riveting since the days of "Seven" and "Fight Club"). On paper, "The Social Network" might not sound exhilarating but with the perfect screenwriter (Aaron Sorkin) and the perfect cast (Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, and Armie Hammer)--Fincher's tale of betrayal, pride, and avarice has become one of this year's must see films.
While I'm sure that everyone knows the subject matter of "The Social Network"--very briefly, the film's plot construction is structured as two pieces of litigation are being brought against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (played with intensity by Eisenberg). One lawsuit is from his former business partner and best friend--a co-founder of the original website who got systematically squeezed out. The other is by a trio of Harvard grads (Armie Hammer plays 2 of the 3, they're twins, in a starmaking performance!) who claim Zuckerberg stole the idea from them after he was hired to create an exclusive dating site. Seen through these concurrent cases, deftly edited with flashback footage, the full picture starts to unravel. From Zuckerberg's social ineptitude, but superior intellect, a social revolution was born. And the more powerful Facebook grew, the more disconnected Zuckerberg became to his only friends and compelled by the drive for domination (his ultimate sense of acceptance).
Make no mistake, while "The Social Network" is incredibly smart and literate, it is also grandly entertaining. Screenwriter Sorkin (creator of "The West Wing" and my favorite "Sports Night") has put together what, in my opinion, is the best screenplay of the year. Sorkin is known for his whip fast dialogue and it is spot-on here! The movie is corrosively witty and uncompromisingly in your face. The film is cast with thoroughly unlikable types in a battle for supremacy. Eisenberg has never been better--no doubt Zuckerberg is a tool (both before and after his success), but Eisenberg makes you understand why and (I'm startled to say) actually appreciate it. Timberlake (as oily Napster creator Sean Parker) is a fantastically appealing devil-in-disguise, but as much as you may dislike him--he was integral to Facebook going wide. Hammer, as I said, is the film's biggest surprise. And Andrew Garfield, as Zuckerberg's betrayed partner, is vivid and alive--and, dare I say, the only character to elicit actual sympathy. But again, the film is merciless--even though we know that Garfield is screwed, we also know that it was an essential part of the successful expansion of Facebook. Business ethics be darned.
"The Social Network" is grown-up entertainment that has much to say about success in the modern era. I appreciated that no one veered away from the heart of darkness in this morality piece--that's what makes everything seem so relevant. Can someone be both repugnant and admirable? If you told me earlier in the year that a film about computer geeks at a keyboard would be edge-of-your-seat entertainment, I wouldn't have believed it. But here, I go. For sheer entertainment, remarkable performances, and an incredibly sophisticated screenplay--"The Social Network" is easily one of my favorite films of the year! Easily. KGHarris, 10/10.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars BD Digipack, January 11, 2011 Presumably many have seen the film. Some comments on that later on.
The packaging, I think, is incredible. No, it is not packaged in a jewel-blue case like many BDs are. Like many of Fincher's previous DVD releases, it is packaged in a digipack cardboard design - equal in size to the blue jewel cases - as the likes of Seven, Fight Club, etc were released in their respective DVD versions.
The packaging is simplistic and chic. The paper has a nice rubbery/cloth like feel to it. I don't know the stock, but it a good quality and the slipcase is all black and embossed with phrasing from the log/taglines for the film. The inside has the familiar poster of a blurred out Zuckerberg with the "500 million friends" quote. The color image featured is simply a "wrap around" piece of standard cardboard that simply fits over the slipcase itself... not very practical or keepable, but was included probably at the request of the studio for ease of identification or whatever other stupid reasons the execs come up with. I'm probably throwing mine away.
BD transfer is superb. I did not notice any major changes from film to disc that I can recall, except maybe in the Henley rowing sequence. I think a slugline was added to the intro of the scene and the sound design seemed to feature some diagetic sounds occuring within the scene as opposed to just the score. It has been some time, so I could be mistaken.
The film itself is excellent and Fincher has definitely proved himself as a masterful director. The acting is excellent, the photography is superb, and the writing is outstanding. It's not just "a movie about facebook" it's more about the drama behind it, relationships, and psychological workings.
I predict an Oscar nod.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars Holy crap is this movie amazing, January 11, 2011 I just bought this movie on Blu-Ray, and the high definition really does show. The Social Network gripped me from beginning to end and left me just enjoying every minute of this movie. It truly is a beautiful piece of cinema. David Fincher definitely knows how to do visuals, and Aaron Sorkin's script is just well-written. BUY THIS MOVIE!!! Help other customers find the most helpful reviews Was this review helpful to you? 
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