Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Social Network

The Social Network

The Social Network tells the true story of Mark Zuckerberg and his creation of the social-networking website called Facebook. The film follows the creator from his early days at Harvard all the way to becoming one of the richest people in the world.

The Social Network is directed by acclaimed director, David Fincher. Fincher, who is best known for directing Fight Club, Seven, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, is likely to find The Social Network added to the lot of those films which are regarded by many as modern classics. This is a film that, on paper, sounds like it would be very boring. A good portion of the scenes take place in several different deposition hearings. In addition, the way the story is narrated from those different hearings could make it rather confusing to some people. Personally I think that adding the narrations gives it an excellent sense of flow.

The performances in this movie are nothing short of Oscar caliber. Jesse Eisenberg stars as the Facebook creator, Mark Zuckerberg. This is his break out role. He should, at the very least, get nominated for best actor and may very well win it. Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake also do an excellent job throughout the film. Although not the best performance, the most difficult was given by Armie Hammer who played both Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. In playing two people and having to film each scene twice, Hammer shows he was definitely up for a challenge and does a great job in it.

After a very poor summer season, it is nice to see that the fall is making up for it. The Social Network is another Oscar caliber movie that will still have mass appeal. If you spend any time on Facebook at all then you owe it to yourself to see how it was created.

My Rating: 4.5 Facebook friends out of 5.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Town

The Town

In watching The Town, I have come to a rather interesting conclusion: Ben Affleck can be an amazing actor, writer, and especially director, but only if the movie he is working on is filmed in Boston. The Town is centered around the Charleston section of Boston, the bank robbery capital of the United States. The film tells the store of a 4 man crew lead by Ben Affleck's character, Doug MacRay. After being forced to take a bank manager hostage, Doug is forced to follow her to ensure sure she isn't disclosing any information on them to the FBI. While following her, the two begin to develop a relationship, which is destined to threaten his way of life as well as his entire crew.

The Town continues where Gone Baby Gone left off and shows how Ben Affleck has gone from a joke of an actor to become an amazing director. The Town is extremely well put together. It is well written and very well shot. Affleck has developed characters on both sides of the law that are very deep and well-rounded. Sure these guys are criminals, but because of the story developed around them you will understand why they are the way they are. You will find yourself routing for them, even though, for all intents and purposes, they are the bad guys. In addition, the attention to detail is very good as well. These are professional criminals and the execution of the robberies is very believable. In addition, the action sequences in the film are very good as well.

The cast for this movie is also top notch. Ben Affleck is great in the main role. He shows a great deal of emotional range, which he has lacked in many prior roles. Rebecca Hall is also really good as the bank manager and love interest. She gives great range and her vulnerability adds a great deal to the film. Jon Hamm, who you will know from Mad Men, plays the ruthless FBI agent after the bank robbers. The biggest stand out, to me, was Jeremy Renner who plays James Coughlin, Doug's slightly unbalanced best friend and partner in crime. This is Renner's first role since being nominated for best actor for last year’s best picture, The Hurt Locker. Don't be surprised when you see him get a best supporting actor nomination for this.

Bottom line: The Town is one of the best heist movies I have ever seen. It offers strong performances and moves seamlessly through several different genres of film. It is well shot, well written, and well-acted. It is a complete movie from beginning to end. You should definitely make an effort to check it out.

My Rating: 4.5 bank robbers out of 5