The Social Network Blu-ray

Monday, 14 February 2011 12:16

At this year’s Golden Globes awards junket, “The Social Network” was named best film drama, winning additional prizes for its direction, screenplay and music. At the BAFTAs, it won Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Editing.  At the Oscars, it could be a head to head battle with “The King’s Speech” as to who carries home the most gongs.  This means “The Social Network” already has my back up, as I tend to think that films that win these sorts of accolades actually never live up to their hype.

It’s a tough call to say whether this film pulls off its challenging premise, as it tells the tale of the moment when social media juggernaut Facebook was invented, and how its overnight success and wealth changed the lives of the students who created it. Its star, Jesse Eisenberg plays the character of founder Mark Zuckerberg with no holds barred – he’s seen as socially inept and often misled, but that’s the human jungle for you!

The Social Network goes large on Blu-ray and DVDDirected by David Fincher (“Fight Club”, “Se7en”) and written by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip), I have to say that both these guys are the secret to this film’s success, and have rightly been award winners for their work that we see here. My trepidation with the film was that this was going to be a ‘battle of the geeks’, as the computer nerds bitch and whine about their lot, their close relationship bridges being burned by the flames of success.

However, Sorkin brings forward his trademark machine-gunning dialogue which portrays inner character and moves the story along at one and the same time. Fincher’s direction is poignant and complements Sorkin’s words, with the right balance between reflective pauses and dynamic fast movement, never allowing the plot to wallow in its own juices.

Andrew Garfield as close pal Eduardo Saverin is sufficiently tortured to be empathised with, despite the fact he’s going for a huge financial slice of the Facebook pie. Justin Timberlake, although easy to be cast as the villain of the piece Sean Parker (one of the co-founders of Napster), is actually one of the most dramatic dichotomies of the film: without him, the guys would never have made it big; equally, with him he’s the reason that the close relationships established at the beginning of the film are so mercilessly destroyed.

One pair of characters, to watch very carefully, are Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss. These ‘identical twins’ are actually played by the same actor – Armie Hammer.  It’s a credit to everyone involved that the shoe doesn’t drop on this at any time during the movie (and no doubt someone will chide me for revealing this, counting it as some sort of spoiler!). Now, just to complicate things, actor Josh Pence provided the ‘body double’ for Tyler, with Hammer’s head super-imposed on to his body via CGI.  Simples!

Creative trickery aside, all the elements of good drama are here, with the tinge of humour that us Sorkin devotees know so well (The West Wing as a prime illustration of this). The film does merit intensive examination, so the extensive bonus materials cannot be seen as excessive. They include commentaries with Fincher, Sorkin and the cast, as well as a four-part feature length documentary “How Did They Ever Make a Movie of Facebook?”, which covers the making of the film from the book through the production process. 

Viewers can explore the music of the film through a conversation with composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, as well as in the interactive feature “In the Hall of the Mountain King”, which allows the same scene to be viewed four different ways with different layers of music. 

 

So, to those Blu-ray and DVD extras in full:

  • Audio Commentary with Director David Fincher
  • Audio Commentary with Writer Aaron Sorkin, Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer and Josh Pence
  • How Did They Ever Make a Movie of Facebook? - Four-Part Feature-Length Documentary on the Making of the Film, from the Script to the Screenplay to Casting to Production
  • Featurette: Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter and Ren Klyce on Post – Editors Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter and Sound Designer Ren Klyce Discuss Editing the Film and the Different Layers They Created Using Different Takes, Angles and Sound Effects
  • Featurette: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and David Fincher on the Score – David Fincher, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Discuss the Process of Creating the Score
  • Featurette: Jeff Cronenweth and David Fincher on the Visuals – David Fincher and DP Jeff Cornenweth Discuss Creating the Look for the Film  
  • Featurette: Swarmatron - Atticus Rose Explains the Swarmatron Sound Machine Used to Create Parts of the Score.
  • Featurette: In the Hall of the Mountain King: Music Exploration – Multi-Angle Music Exploration which Allows Viewers to Watch the Same Scene Four Different Ways with Different Layers of Music
  • Ruby Skye VIP Room: Multi-Angle Scene Breakdown

“The Social Network” is a two-disc set, has a running time of 120 minutes approx, a ‘12’ certificate, and is out now. The RRP for the Blu-ray £24.99, and the DVD £19.99, or get either for less at www.culttvstore.com

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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