For those who don’t know the plot of TSN (my handy abbreviation), my snarky title pretty much sums it up: It’s a movie about the beginnings of the Internet Phenomenon known as Facebook.
I don’t know how much of the film is based in fact, other than that the main character is a buttwad. From the little I’ve seen of Mark Zuckerberg (the guy who created Facebook) which is a few years old at best, he seems like a pretentious jerk… but you know what? He changed the world. My MOM is on Facebook. That’s how much he altered our day to day lives. Also? He’s the youngest billionaire (with a “b”) on the planet. I think he’s earned his pretentious jerkiness, so I’ll let him have it.
The movie takes him from a sophomore in college at one of those preppy schools I didn’t go to (Harvard, I believe) to the CEO of a company that, again, altered the face of the Internet, and by extension the World.
Cast – 9-out-of-10 mini t’s
I wasn’t really impressed with Eisenberg in Adventureland (mostly because I wasn’t impressed by Adventureland, it wasn’t my cuppatea), and I kind of figured he was just another Michael Cera: awkward kid, fast talker, THE END. Then Zombieland happened, and I was surprised: he rocked that role. Still the awkward fast-talker, but of a different sort. Now, I’ve seen TSN, and he’s won me over: this dude is awesome.
In this movie, he plays the pretentious jerkwad, but he does it in a way that I’m rooting for him. Even when he’s eventually doing the thing that gets him sued by his best friend, I understand why. I don’t approve, but I still like the guy. And doing that, playing the douche and doing so in a way that the audience still likes you, is a tough thing to do, but he pulled it off.
The Rest of The Cast
Andrew Garfield plays Zuckerberg’s best friend, and is going to be Peter Parker in the next Spider-Man movie. Anyone who’s read this blog for a while knows I loves me my comicbook movies, and the only other thing I’d seen Garfield in was “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus“, and he did fine, but I wasn’t crazy about the film so I wasn’t sure about him. Those fears are now put to rest. His American accent is flawless, he’s got the chops… the only thing I’m worried about now is that he might be too old. He’s like 27 now, and he’s playing Spider-Man in High School. Hmm.
Justin Timberlake won me over in Black Snake Moan four years ago, so I knew he’d be fine. Here, he’s the guy that invented Napster back in the day, and he very successfully plays a less-successfully-likable douchebag. He does good. Not much more to say.
The rest were fine. They did their jobs. The guy who played the twin preppy row-boaters that claimed Zuckerberg stole Facebook from them had some great lines. “I want to kick his @$: I’m 6’5″, 220, and there are two of me!” The only girl that Zuckerberg cares about through the film leaves a lasting impression. High fives all around.
Story – 8-out-of-10 mini t’s
How enjoyable can a movie about programming be? Apparently, pretty enjoyable. The dialogue was fantastic, and the story shows how a college undergrad goes about making the coolest thing on the internet. It explains his thought process, and does so in a way that (if you’re familiar with Facebook) makes you go “Ooooooh” when you see how they came up with the different features. I don’t know that there were any dead-weight characters.
There was a beginning, middle, and end to this movie, even though there was a lot of jumping around (flashbacks, flashforwards). It all worked. I don’t really have any improvements in mind, since the story is based on fact: real life is tough to effectively criticize. According to various interviews, most of the stuff in the film is made up, but I DON’T CARE, cause it was fun to watch. So there.
Director – 8-out-of-10 mini t’s
The jumping around in time was great. It explained the various lawsuits by telling the story behind them, and while this is not a groundbreaking bit of directorial goodness, it got the job done and did so well. The pallete, the range of colors for the film was kind of dark, but not unnecessarily so. I found out after the fact that David Fincher, the Director, also directed Se7en and Fight Club, which doesn’t surprise me in the least. The only surprise is that he’d jump from those kinds of stories to this kind… and I’m glad he did.
General Enjoyment – 9-out-of-10 mini t’s
I had a blast. As I said in the Cast section, Eisenberg is known for his fast-talkiness, which seemed to spread virus-like through the rest of the film and it took me a second to get my brain in gear with the fast pace that everything was taking. Once I did, I loved it. This was a very enjoyable film. There was comedy, drama, great acting, excellent directing, the story kept me engaged, and all together they worked like a dream. This is a great film. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should probably get on that.
So, now that that’s over: how’s this rating system? Too much? Too little? I throw myself at your mercy, dear readers. In the immortal words of those Superbowl Commercial guys: Whazzup?