Friday, January 21, 2011

The Social Town

The Town - (3 Stars)
The TownBen Affleck stars and directs this predictable but enjoyable crime movie where, once again, we are tasked with following and tend to find ourselves rooting for the bad guys instead of the good guys. . Of course, this isn't really the kind of movie where good and bad are black and white anyway. "The Town" felt like shades of "The Departed" meets "The Outsiders" meets any movie about robbing banks. It didn't blow me away, but I enjoyed it. This was mainly due to the fact that despite it doing nothing new, everything, from the acting to the writing to the directing, is executed really well. The movie gets bonus points for featuring some scenes at Fenway Park (and tons of wicked awesome Boston accents).
(125 minutes - Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, some sexuality and drug use - 2010) (Netflix)

The Social Network - (4 Stars)*
Everyone and their mom seems to be using Facebook these days. I'm not trying to exaggerate (well, I'm slightly exaggerating). But what's the story behind "The Facebook?" Well, David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin have the strange, sordid (well, slightly sordid), and partially fictitious answer in their movie, "The Social Network."

The Social NetworkThe movie is an engrossing, character driven tale that follows Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) from a messy break-up, through Harvard and on to the eventual founding and expansion of the most popular social networking site currently online. The movie doesn't have a lot of action, since it revolves around the founding of a website, so some won't find much appeal. However, Fincher really has a gift for pacing his movies and keeping things moving.

In all honesty, I was reminded a lot of the little seen "Shattered Glass," with its focus on an interesting, but not well liked main character and the people in his life that he interacts with. Most of these interactions are not very positive. In fact, most will sympathize with his best friend and co-founder Eduardo (Andrew Garfield, who everyone will get to know soon as the new Spider-man) who slowly finds himself less and less a part of Facebook.

The biggest theme to me that resonated throughout the movie was a sense of tragic irony. Mark founds Facebook, at least according to the movie, as a way to get back at a girlfriend who dumps him. Along the way he alienates himself from many people and loses friends. Mark eventually finds himself the creator of the biggest social networking tool whose sole purpose is keeping up with and making friends, and yet he doesn't seem to have any friends of his own.
(120 minutes - Rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug and alcohol use and language - 2010) (Netflix)

Note: I highly recommend checking out Shattered Glass if you haven't seen it: Netflix

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