I finally saw The Social Network

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 8:14 PM CST

I finally saw The Social Network on Sunday night.  I was waiting to catch the DVD but I noticed that it’s playing at the dollar movie.  Well, the dollar seventy-five movie to be exact.  I was so excited and then I looked in my wallet and realized I didn’t have any money (this is kinda sad).   I looked around and found 35 cents worth of nickels, dimes and quarters.  Suck!   Then I found a can of pennies I’ve been saving up (for a long time apparently).  I dumped them out and counted about 2 dollar’s worth.  Jackpot!

I went to the 10:05 showing and it was me and about 4 other dudes in the theater.  I sat right where the floor switches from sloping down to sloping back up, since it seemed like the most level spot where the seat didn’t make me have to lean forward.  This is also the place where all the spilled soda normally collects but I’m happy to report that my shoes DID NOT stick to the ground!  Heh heh..

Anyway, the movie started and I really enjoyed it.  I knew going in to be careful with my preconceived notions since it’s getting pretty much unanimous praise from all the critics.  I’ve listened to several podcasts and interviews with the director (David Fincher) and the screenwriter (Aaron Sorkin) already so I had a pretty good idea of what to expect.  The movie worked well in all the ways you’d hope.  The acting, directing, writing, cinematography, music– it was all pretty flawless.

As far as putting my thoughts down on a movie I always have to think of it in a would-I-recommend-it kind of way and I would.  Especially if you are into courtroom dramas and watching young people be really smart and lonely and mean and then get rich.  It has value for the historic nature of the story, though it’s obviously dramatized to make the movie more of a… you know, movie.

I recently saw David Fincher’s 2007 serial killer movie Zodiac and I think I enjoyed that one more because the story was so morbid and fascinating.  But I thought the style of both movies was similar in that he’s basically telling 2 true stories that are based in the facts but propped up on some probably juicier human drama.  I’ve always thought that true life movies are usually kind of boring but it seems like David Fincher knows how to pull them off in style.

I kept thinking when I was watching it that it didn’t seem like a movie everybody would enjoy.  I don’t know if I’m right or wrong about that.  It’s very “zeitgeisty”.  I found myself wanting to read more about the real story and discuss what I’d just seen after I left the theater.  I had a feeling that the movie had a smoothness to it that the average movie goer might not pick up on.  I mean, the whole thing goes off pretty much without a hitch.  It doesn’t have much that sticks out.  I’ve been watching a bunch of the AFI Top 100 movies and one thing I’ve come away with is that the movies that are considered the best of the best are sometimes difficult to watch because they’re so flawless.  It sounds strange I’m sure but flawlessness seems like more of an invisible quality then something that jumps out and slaps you in the face (like giant robot cars fighting, for example).  I think I heard somewhere that David Fincher said the movie was edited down from over 600-something hours of footage.  That’s pretty unbelievable when you think of how concise the movie is.  You’d think that much filming would result in a clunky and wandery movie but it didn’t.  That’s quite an editing feat, which I’m betting will be awarded at the Oscars.

It’s not every Sunday night I see such a highly lauded movie at the dollar seventy-five theater.  I left wondering what the heck makes a good movie good.  All I could think of was that I had no real complaints about The Social Network and I’d like to watch it again sometime.

And that’s good enough for me.

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