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The Social Network (2010)

If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you’d have invented Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg

Two forces of nature, director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin have come together to make the adaptation of the book “The Accidental Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich come to life on the big screen as The Social Network. I knew the back story of the origins of the Facebook that it was strictly for college students. I didn’t want to be a part of that community, because it wasn’t me. I jumped on the bandwagon last year and haven’t looked back since. However, after watching this movie, I almost contemplated deleting my account… almost.

The movie dramatically recreates the genesis of the latest social network phenomena. It mainly focuses on one of the creators of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) who may or may mot suffer from a case of Aspberger’s Syndrome. Zuckerberg’s “ah-ha” moment stemmed from the breakup of his fellow Harvard girlfriend, Erica ( Rooney Mara) in 2003. He gets drunk, blog bashes Erica and creates his first site, FaceSmash, which measured the hotness of two random Harvard girls.

Mark gets into serious trouble with school officials over violating privacy laws, breaching online security, etc. Zuckerberg was nonchalant about the hoopla surrounding him. Acting smug to get some attention, but the wrong attention as he is listed as public enemy number one on campus. His antics attract the attention of a pair of affluent twin from the school’s rowing team, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (dually played by Armie Hammer) and Divya Navendra (Max Minghella). They want to hire Mark to work on their idea of an exclusive dating site called “The Harvard Connection.”

Mark shuts himself in his dorm room and furiously types out of the codes to create a site, but not the dating site he promised. He enlists the help of his only friend, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) to get the algorithm and some startup money to fund his little side venture. Mark wanted to build on the idea of making a social network of his very own that would be better than MySpace, Friendster and The Harvard Connection combined.

The popularity of the site exploded almost overnight. Hearing the whispers of Mark’s brainchild throughout the campus catches the attentions of the Winklevosses and Divya who filed an injunction on “The Facebook” as it was called then. The rapid success of the site drives a wedge between Mark and Eduardo when Napster founder, Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) comes into the picture to shake things up.

I felt the same way with this movie like I did with Juno. If you could get past the rapid fire Aaron Sorkin verbal volley match, then you would enjoy this movie. The movie in my opinion became better as it moved along. The beginning was a little rocky that goes to an Earth-shattering finish. Eisenberg is not trying to be a poor man’s Michael Cera. He was not doing his schtick. He did not imitate Zuckerberg, but gave a subtle performance. Hammer as the Winklevoss twins was very effective with the cadence in his voice. Very commanding. I believe the standout performance of this movie was Andrew Garfield. His character went through a whole range of emotions that had me rooting for him in one moment and hating him the next.

Justin Timberlake is generating some Oscar buzz for his performance as Sean Parker, but I don’t see it. He played Sean like a fey swindler. I kept getting distracted by his mannerisms.

Judgment: Overall this movie is good entertainment that took dramatic licences.

Rating: ****1/2

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Black Snake Moan (2007)

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God put you in my path and I aim to cure you of your wicked ways.

— Lazarus

Being that I was indisposed for a couple of days, I wanted to get back to the work at hand. Being bedridden over the weekend, I was bored. So, I decided to visit a movie that is the follow-up to Craig Brewer’s Oscar nominated film, Hustle & Flow is Black Snake Moan. This is a solid movie that you should see.

In the beginning of the movie, Rae (Christina Ricci) is an uneducated nymphomaniac that has to cope with the fact that her military boyfriend, Ronnie (Justin Timberlake) is leaving for basic training. When he leaves, she gets one of her “spells” and sleeps with any guy with a heartbeat, including a local pusher, Tehronne (David Banner).

Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson) is a lonely bluesman that is reeling the betrayal of his second wife, Rose (Adraine Lenox) shacking up with his younger brother. The unconventional Reverend R.L. (John Cothran Jr.) bumps into Laz to urge him to come back to church. Laz refuses.

One night, Ronnie’s friend, Gill (Michael Raymond-James) makes a move on Rae when she refuses his advances, he beats her up and dumps at the side of the road. It happens to be near Laz’s house. He discovers her.

He tries to take care of her including her cough. Laz visits the local drugstore to asks the pharmacist there, Angela (S. Epatha Merkerson) about medicine to help Rae out.

Going around town, including a conversation with Tehronne, suggests that Rae is possessed by a sex demon and Laz has no choice but to chain Rae to his radiator to exorcise the demon inside of her.

In my opinion, the central message of the movie is that secrets can away at your soul. You need to free yourself of those bad vibes before it encompasses you entire life. Comparing this to his debut, the musical elements are integral to move the plot along. It’s woven seamlessly here.

There was a major element in the movie that I didn’t understand. If you have seen the movie, let me know. Laz is a guy that doesn’t go to church, but when he finds Rae on the dirt road. He decides to exorcise the sex demon that is inside of her, but he doesn’t do that. Also, Justin Timberlake was not believable in the role of Ronnie. He did not have the chops to pull it off.

Judgment: I would suggest this movie to people who have seen Hustle and Flow and want to see the next film by Brewer.

Rating: ****

The Love Guru (2008)


Here is another steaming pile of excrement that I watched Oscar night, and I’m not talking about Slumdog Millionaire. It is the 7-time Razzie nominated and 3-time “loser”, The Love Guru.

Judgment: This movie is so awful that I won’t waste my breath with it.

Rating: *

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