Press Play: It Is Time to Friend The Social Network

Press Play: It Is Time to Friend The Social Network

Jan 12, 2011

This week's must-see DVD/BD, and why we're lovin' it.

What? The Social Network

Who? Directed by David Fincher and starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer and Rooney Mara

Why? The Social Network is, on the surface, about the real-life legal drama that surrounded the creators of Facebook, but it is really about how ambition and greed tears two best friends apart. Jesse Eisenberg stars as Harvard University student/Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, Andrew Garfield as best friend Eduardo Saverin, and Justin Timberlake as Napster mastermind Sean Parker. The film chronicles the origins of Facebook at Harvard under the sponsorship of rowing twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (both played by Armie Hammer) and the subsequent legal battles that ensued once Zuckerberg ditched the twins and came up with a better idea for a social-networking site. When smooth-talking Parker enters the picture and promises riches, the friendship between Zuckerberg and Saverin erodes as Facebook quickly grows bigger than all of their inflated egos.

Under the direction of anyone except David Fincher, The Social Network could have turned out as a snore-inducing he said/he said legal drama. Instead, Fincher takes the rat-a-tat dialogue written by Aaron Sorkin that is based on the novel The Accidental Billionaires and makes every scene crackle with energy. Whether you view Zuckerberg as a thief or a genius—or maybe a little bit of both—Eisenberg will wow you as he steps away from being "that guy who looks like Michael Cera" into a formidable actor. Hammer, who plays both Winklevoss twins thanks to some inventive CG magic, is hilarious as the Harvard gentlemen gunning for Zuckerberg's fortune, Garfield is great as Zuckerberg's wounded best friend who is left behind, and Timberlake easily slips into the role of a smarmy, silver-tongued rich boy with Armani threads and easy access to compliant babes.

It's clear from the over-talking, dialogue-heavy opening bar scene in which Zuckerberg's girlfriend (Rooney Mara) breaks up with him that the Facebook creator is not going to be portrayed in a flattering light. While it's true he comes off as a condescending, brilliant nerd who just wants to hang with the cool crowd at the expense of others, his damaged friendship with Saverin is the heart of the story and something to which everyone can relate. Even if you think Zuckerberg comes across as a colossal prick, the man forever changed the way we all communicate with each other and become the youngest billionaire for it. The Social Network is not only Blu-ray Bob's pick for the Best Picture Oscar, it is the defining movie of a whole generation. Friend it.

What Else?: Both the DVD and Blu-ray versions have two audio commentaries: one with Fincher and one with writer Aaron Sorkin and the cast. The second disc for each format contains a multi-angle scene breakdown, "Swarmatron" and composer Trent Reznor's first draft. You'll want to check out: The 90-minute, four-part documentary "How Did They Ever Make a Movie of Facebook?"—an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at Fincher's meticulous directorial style.

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Which one of these people is in the movie Sex Tape?

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Rob Corddry