The Social Network Blu-ray Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 9.0
Video 10
Audio 9.0
Special Features 9.0
Total 9.0

Distributor: Sony
Running Time: 115 Minutes
Reviewer: Simon Black
Classification
: M15+

9.0


The Social Network

Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg is the quintessence of the modern-day success story.  A teenage programming whiz, he founded the social networking site, which now has over 500 million members worldwide, while studying computer science at Harvard.  By 2008 he was the world’s youngest billionaire and in 2010 Time magazine voted him their Person of the Year, an honour previously awarded to Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi and Winston Churchill. 

Such runaway success inevitably came with a price, and a number of lawsuits claiming intellectual property theft, breach of contract and the like have resulted in Zuckerberg paying out many tens of millions of dollars in settlements, including some $65 million to Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Harvard students who claim to have originated the idea behind Facebook and shared this with Zuckerberg prior to his creation of the site. 

Zuckerberg has expressed understandable reservations about a film depicting his life story thus far, stating ‘I wish nobody had made a movie of me while I was alive.’  The project was in excellent hands from the outset however: director David Fincher has never made a bad film, and his previous filmmaking credits include such genre classics as Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac and the highly underrated 1997 Michael Douglas thriller The Game.  With a screenplay based on Ben Mezrich’s contentious book The Accidental Billionaires, which is not wholly flattering in its portrayal of Zuckerberg, the project was always going to be a contentious one, but screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, Charlie Wilson’s War) does a masterful job of bringing the young programmer and the principal players of this singular drama to life, and a strong supporting cast, thoughtful cinematography, razor-sharp dialogue and Fincher’s steady hand all combine to produce a complex and elegant dissection of the role of new technologies in the shaping the modern world, and the personalities which create them. 

The ensemble cast, it must be said, is superb.  Zombieland’s Jesse Eisenberg is perfect as the inscrutable, often conflicted computer genius, and his Zuckerberg is driven by an entanglement of obscure motives; in one of the films most revealing exchanges his defence lawyer (Rashida Jones) informs him ‘You’re not an asshole Mark.  You’re just trying so hard to be one.’  Eisenberg is ably joined by Justin Timberlake as flashy Napster creator Sean Parker, Never Let Me Go’s Andrew Garfield as aggrieved Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, Arnie Hammer as the equally disgruntled Winklevoss Twins and the excellent Brenda Song as Eduardo’s beautiful, seemingly too-good-to-be-true girlfriend Christy Lee. 

The end result is a classic dramedy, and a must-see, stunningly constructed examination of ideas and imagination in an age of marketing, corporatisation and litigation.  The film thoroughly deserves the multitude of plaudits which have been bestowed upon it, looks and sounds stunning on Blu, and is absolutely not to be missed.

Audio & Video

Nothing to fault in an AV sense; visually the film is a study in perfection, with a stunning HD transfer presented in flawless 1.85:1.  The  award-winning soundtrack, courtesy of Trent Reznor and his musical crony Atticus Ross, sounds amazing in DTS-HD surround. 

Special Features

Disc One contains an audio commentary with director David Fincher, and a second commentary with Aaron Sorkin and principal cast members Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, Andrew Garfield (Eduardo), Arnie Hammer (the Winklevoss Twins) and Josh Pence (Hammer’s body double).  Disc Two contains an aptly-named feature length documentary entitled How Did They Ever Make a Movie of Facebook?  Comprised of behind the scenes footage, cast and crew interviews, rehearsal footage and insights into every conceivable aspect of the production, this is an entertaining and highly rewarding addendum, and a fascinating window into the working methods of Fincher, a notorious perfectionist.  Also included are an additional half-dozen featurettes on the film’s visuals, post-production, music and more.  All up it’s a hugely worthwhile swag that does much to compliment and enhance one’s enjoyment of the best film of 2010. 






 
 



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