Review: The Social Network

Last night, Alex and I went to a preview showing of “The Social Network” at our local cinema. If you’ve not heard about this movie, its based on the book “The Accidental Billionaires”, which is the story about how Facebook was started. Normally when reviewing a film, I wouldn’t give away anything, just to say how much I enjoyed it, but with this one, you know the story already. What made it so interesting was the way that it was done.

The film starts with a breakup. Not the most usual start for a film, but it does set the scene to explain some of the later choices of Mark Zuckerberg makes. He goes back to his dorm room, and creates a sort of “hot or not” to compare the photos of other students, while blogging (on his LJ) about what he’s doing, and why he’s drunk at 10pm on a Tuesday. The site “Facemash” became a sucess, crashing the University network.

Three guys, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and their friend Divya Narendra noticed this prank, and recruited Zuckerberg into “helping” them create a website called HarvardConnect (later ConnectU) Zuckerberg then created TheFacebook, and it spread across Harvard to other big universities in the US, and later on in Europe.

In between scenes of how things happened back in 2003/2004, we are given shots from inside attorneys offices a few years later. The ConnectU team had a lawsuit against Zuckerberg claiming that he stole the idea for Facebook from them. From the film, it seems like he took their idea and built on it a bit more. But it could be argued that ConnectU was building on the ideas that led to MySpace and Friendster. The quote in the trailer sums it up.

“If [ConnectU] were the inventors of Facebook, [they]’d have invented Facebook.”

In a separate lawsuit, Zuckerbergs best friend Eduardo Saverin is suing him for losing shares, something that we don’t really find out until towards the end of the film. When more venture capitalists were brought in for funding, Saverin’s shares were diluted, but the other shareholders ones were not.

I really enjoyed the film. However, its not an action packed movie. I’m a bit of a business and company history geek, so it was interesting to see how this was brought to “the big screen”. Theres no eye candy (besides Justin Timberlake, zomg, girly fan squeal here. Couldn’t stop thinking about the parody of him from this episode of Star Stories, especially around the 7:28 mark) and its not really a comedy (although there are a few bits I laughed at) Even so, I would still recommend this film to non-business geeks. I think most people have heard some of this story before, and its interesting to see it reenacted.

Polaroid – Saved!

Oh YAY. I have a slight obsession with Polaroids lately, so I was far too excited when I read this article at the Independent yesterday. It might be a bit too much to hope for, but I’d love to see the prices go down for film. And perhaps now there is this possiblity of lots more film in the future, the prices on eBay will fall. (I’m an economics student, and whilst I understand why decreased/ended supply will obviously increase demand and therefore prices, it still REALLY annoys me to see film going for ~£15 a pack on eBay when it was only £10 new)

I’ll be taking much much more Polaroids now, hoorah!

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Forgetting Sarah Marshall PosterLast night, myself and Helen voyaged to Ellesmere Port to the Vue to watch Forgetting Sarah Marshall. We had wanted to see this film for a while since we heard Kristen Bell was going to be in it. (We love Veronica Mars) On one of the hottest days of the year, we were excited to go to the well air-conditioned room and eat ice cream instead of sunbathing in a beer garden drinking cider.

I tried to keep away from reading any reviews, because I assumed they wouldn’t be too positive, but I had heard from friends of friends that it was awful.
We settled into our seats at the front of the tiered seats (best seats in the cinema, cause you can put your feet up on the bar in front)

The film was a lot more enjoyable than i expected, and there were actually moments that I laughed out loud. There was a little too much male frontal nudity and sex scenes for my liking. We discussed on the way home possible scenarios where that would not be a good film to watch with someone. Helen said that watching the film with your parents wouldn’t be the best idea but I thought that going to see this on a first date would be most awkward.

Russell Brands character was… well, lets just say there wasn’t much acting needed! Kristen Bell was a little irritating, but that was kind of the point. Jason Segel was a bit sad, but again, that was the point. Oh, and we loved the puppets – just Avenue Q enough for us!

Overall, a good film to turn your brain off to – don’t expect anything too taxing or intellectual!

Being such Veronica Mars geeks, we loved that the trailers before the film were for films with Amanda Seyfried (who played Lilly) and Ryan Hansen (Dick Casablancas) in. We hoped for something (anything!) with Jason Dohring in, but sadly there was no trailer for Moonlight.

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