The Social Network Blu-Ray Review

“Soon we will make movies about people who haven’t been born yet. Not fictional people, but real people.”

Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
The menu is good. It’s quiet clips from the movie with navigation at the bottom. It’s simple and hypnotizing. The cover is too complicated, not the design, but geesh, there is a cardboard cover thing with a bunch of words, then inside is another cardboard box with a black on black design with more words (don’t tell anyone but I like this part), and THEN you get to the DVD case, there are images inside and the discs have a facebook element. All together it’s a bit over decorated, but the menu is still good. Some might say (my husband) that this is an awesome package, and I don’t totally disagree but kind of disagree. I’m feeling wishy washy.

Features: 9/10

  • Audio Commentary With David Fincher – Fincher is a talker, so you get your time and money’s worth.
  • Audio Commentary With Aaron Sarkin & Cast – Sarkin gives me more wishy washy feelings. I like him sometimes and then I am totally turned off by some of the Hollywood talk he digs in to. Overall it’s a good combo, writer and cast together.
  • How Did They Ever Make A Movie Of Facebook? – This is a good feature. It’s got lots of interviews, talking heads, background on the story, that’s not THE Talking Heads by the way, just people talking to the camera fairly close up…..get it? It’s one of the best behind the scenes I’ve seen in a long time. I like seeing cast doing scenes from behind the camera behind the camera and see all the feedback they get from the director. Mr. Fincher has a few control issues:)
  • David Fincher & Jeff Cronenweth On The Visuals – Fincher talks about giving The Social Network his own visual style. The greenish filter, the muted colors, the toned down brightness, these are his trademarks that need to be applied to each story a different way.
  • Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter & Ken Klyce on Post – I don’t find post production very interesting but if you do here is a feature on that very subject.
  • Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross & David Fincher On The Score – This is an excellent extra. Reznor and Ross show us their traveling studio full of all kinds of keyboards, music stuff, and computers that are their tools for making music. It’s more in depth than most score features. They talk about their process of recording, editing, and presenting the songs to Fincher.
  • Ruby Skye VIP Room: Multi Angle Scene Breakdown – Multi-angle doesn’t excite me.
  • In The Hall Of The Mountain King: Reznor’s First Draft – The music from one scene, before they reworked it for the final cut.
  • Swarmatron – More music with Trent Reznor. This is one of his electronic toys.

The Movie: 9/10
Soon we will make movies about people who haven’t been born yet. Not fictional people, but real people. Their lives will be chronicled in movies and books before they are ever conceived. We seem to be losing patience with history being longer ago than yesterday. This is a story about a man who is being portrayed by someone a year older then himself. It’s got nothing to do with the movie itself, well, if you think about it enough it does, but it’s a fascinating commentary on our modern story telling.

On to the movie. It’s excellent. I don’t mean I think it’s excellent. I mean, it is an example of excellence. Movies come in many shapes and sizes, and then there are those that have their own little category. David Fincher happens to have made a few of those himself. There is a quality to The Social Network that I can’t describe with just a few words, so here are a lot of words.

First, is the story. It’s compelling, not because it’s about something as uninteresting as Facebook. I mean, let’s face it, for most of us it’s a website we go to everyday and see what our best friend fed their kids for breakfast, to read about so and so’s discovery of their latest favorite book, and to see photos of proms, weddings, boat restorations, parties, and sunsets by the beach. What’s interesting about it is the idea that we can all be linked and get linked and hoped to get linked to each other in ways we crave. In the movie a young man is heart broken, or spurned, or bitter, you choose. He decides to make a statement by being a jerk on the local Harvard network. Its’ motivated by a desire to be spiteful, to be cool, to do something that elevates him.

It grows, obviously, to become a global connection for the whole world. It’s fueled by more basic instincts, greed, friendship, selfishness, betrayal, more desire to be cool, be recognized, be in control, be the smart guy who can stick it to anyone who might hurt his feelings in the spur of the  moment. I won’t ever be convinced that any Hollywood version of “reality” is truth, so let’s put that idea to rest. This isn’t a documentary about the life and times of the people who started Facebook. It’s a telling of a story written by Hollywood writers, directed, performed, edited, scored, promoted, and delivered to our hungry little culturally mangled eyes. While I was watching I wasn’t even convinced any of it was based on truth, but that didn’t bother me.

The performances are fantastic. I don’t even think I can add to that, except to say I think David Fincher kicks the creative shit out of his performers and we get the benefit. The sets are detailed and make it rich with atmosphere for these people to mull around in and there are times when the college vibe is so perfectly depicted it almost made me miss my Mizzou days…almost. The music is an absolute charmer, and I mean that in the nicest way Mr. Reznor. It’s got some grit and guts, while having a touch of angst.

There are special effects in this movie you won’t even believe when you find out what they are. I won’t tell you, but you will be like, “oh wow” when you find out, trust me.  There is a rowing race scene that stands alone as a great short movie. The way it’s shot, the touches of cgi, the music, the style, it’s a lovely bit of filmmaking inside a bigger piece of substantial satisfying filmmaking.

For a society getting closer and closer to being online and in the public eye every minute of our lives, this movie taps into the start and heart of it all. We all want to be wanted. Some now refer to it as being “friended” but I don’t do that, yet. I will request a friend, and either deny or approve a friend. I won’t FRIEND someone, because FRIEND is not a verb!! 🙂 It’s not the movie’s fault that we have this new adjustment in our language, so I won’t hold it against Hollywood, not this time.

Audio & Video: 9/10
The Social Network is an amazing piece of work from perfectionist director David Fincher. The Blu-Ray is also an amazing piece of work that I am sure Mr Fincher had a hand in. This is quite simply a stunning 1080P transfer that captures Fincher’s Red One camera work (the movie was filmed in 4K resolution) to the fullest. Most of the scenes in the movie capture Harvard with a dark look.  Only towards the end of the film, when we get to the Facebook offices, do things get brighter. This would be a problem for lesser Blu-Ray transfers but The Social Network holds up throughout a ton of difficultly lit scenes.

The 5.1 Uncompressed soundtrack does a great job of showcasing Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross’s incredible surreal sounding score. From the opening credits you know you are in for a sonicly charged treat with Reznor’s swarmatron vibrating around all five of your speakers. There are a couple of occasions where the dialog and music are competing against each other, but I think those instances might be intentional (one is in a busy nightclub while the other is in a busy campus bar) Overall The Social Network captures 

Value: 8/10
If you can find this 2 disc blu-ray for around $15 I say it’s a good deal if you will watch it multiple times. I’m out of the buying DVD zone these days. If you can rent it, enjoy the movie and extras, you totally get your money’s worth. It is an excellent movie with some quality extras, so either way you will have a good evening at the movies.

Overall Score 9/10