Tag Archives: Fight Club

Anatomy of a Trailer: The Social Network

Of all the films set to be released this coming fall, NONE has so precisely embodied the recipe for box office glory and Academy Award recognition as The Social Network.  Heck, even its moody, unabashedly emo film trailer could win awards for its strangely captivating portrait of fame and financial success, derived from nerdy college angst.  Check it out . . .

For those of you curious about the song in this trailer, it’s a cover of the popular Radiohead song “Creep,” as performed by a Belgium girls choir named Scala & Kolacny Brothers.  Both the original version of the song and this version are currently available for download online.

So, now that you’ve seen the trailer, let’s take a few moments to break down what’s makes it “tick.”

The Idea – Facebook

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past six years, you’ve probably at least heard of Facebook.  The online social networking website, launched back in February of 2004, has, for better or worse, become practically ubiquitous in modern culture, with over 500 million users to date, and counting.

The Players

The idea for Facebook was developed on the campus of Harvard University back in 2003 by college roommates Mark Zuckerberg,

Eduardo Zaverin,

Dustin Moskovitz,

and Chris Hughes (who eventually went on to become the online campaign coordinator for now-President Obama during the 2008 elections).

Also involved in the inception of Facebook was Sean Parker, who you may remember as one of the dudes who founded a certain music file-sharing site, which USED to be awesome (until you actually started having to pay for it), Napster.

(Parker went on to become the president of Facebook, Inc.)

Litigation

A sizeable amount of litigation arose out of the founding of Facebook, and the manner in which the company was managed.  Most notably, twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, along with their  friend Divya Narendra, claimed that Facebook infringed upon their copyright for the social networking site ConnectU, which was also started at Harvard University. 

Eventually, this lawsuit was settled out-of-court to the tune of $65 million (although the exact about of the settlement itself is still subject to additional litigation).  The Winklevoss twins, who are also nationally acclaimed rowers, eventually went on to compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Nice abs, newly rich dudes!

Eduardo Saverin also sued Facebook, alleging misappropriation of company funds on the part of Mark Zuckerberg.  He also petitioned for the right to be listed on the website as one of the company’s founders (which he now is).  Both lawsuits were settled shortly before the publication of Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires, on which The Social Network is based.

Source Material:  The Accidental Billionaires

The Accidental Billionaires, a purportedly nonfiction account of the founding of Facebook, Inc., was published in 2009, and debuted at #4 on the New York Times Nonfiction Bestseller List.  It’s author, Ben Mezrich . . .

 . . . is perhaps best known for his other nonfiction book, Bringing Down the House, about a bunch of MIT students who took the casino world by storm, by developing an ingenious card-counting scheme for the game of Blackjack.  The book was eventually made into a movie called 21, which starred Kate Bosworth, among others.  Mark Zuckerberg took no part in the writing of this book.  And Eduardo Saverin, who was one of its main primary sources, backed away from it significantly, once his lawsuit was settled.  (Shocker.)  The book received mainly mixed reviews.

The Men BEHIND the Curtain

The pedigree of this film has been measurably increased by the big names responsible for its screenplay and direction, respectively.  On the screenplay side, we have Aaron Sorkin . . .

 . . . who you may remember as head writer for the fabulous Emmy award-winning television drama, The West Wing.

I love you, Josh Lyman!

As far as directors go, David Fincher, is pretty much as awesome as they come!

Kind of cute too!

His resume includes critically acclaimed and award-winning films such as . . .

Fight Club,

Seven,

and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

The Cast

In terms of its cast, this film’s IMDB page reads like a Who’s Who in twenty-something Hollywood.  For the lead role of Mark Zuckerberg, we have the immensely talented and charmingly geeky, Jesse Eisenberg . . .

 . . . who you might remember from that homage to all things ’80’s film, Adventureland, in which Eisenberg starred alongside Bella Swan herself, Kristen Stewart . . .

the Academy Award Winning film, The Squid and the Whale, and /or Zombieland .   . .

Playing the role of Eduardo Saverin is Andrew Garfield . . .

 . . . who has recently been vetted to play Pete Parker, in the upcoming Spiderman prequel / reboot . . .

Napster Guy, Sean Parker, is being played by none-other-than Justin Timberlake!  (How much do you want to bet that one of his songs will be featured in the movie as an INSIDE joke?  After all, it’s not like the “product placement” wouldn’t make sense, in context.  Find me ONE person who WASN’T listening to Justin Timberlake in 2003, and I’ll find you a LIAR!)

And yet, what we sometimes forget about Justin, is that he’s not only a successful singer / songwriter, he’s also a pretty talented actor, having shined in both dramatic films . . .

 . . . like the critically acclaimed (and highly awesome) Alpha Dog, and comedic ones, like Shrek 3.  And let’s not forget, Dick in a Box?

Other stars in this film include Rooney Mara . . .

 . . . who just recently landed the role of Lisbeth Salander in the U.S. adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s almost annoyingly successful (You can’t walk two feet without seeing SOMEONE reading the damn thing) novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo;

Malese Jow . . .

. . . who fans of The Vampire Diaries television series (like me) will instantly recognize as the way-too-soon departed Vampire Anna . . .

And Brenda Song .  . .

 . . . who is perhaps best known for playing the ditsy Paris Hilton-esque heiress, London Tipton, on the Disney Channel’s The Suite Life series . . .

So, there you have it:  a hot young cast, a brilliant director, an Emmy-award winning screenwriter, a bestselling book by a critically acclaimed author as source material, a controversial story, a hip trailer, and a groundbreaking idea that changed the way our world socializes on a daily basis.  When it comes to Hollywood films, they just don’t get much more “Alpha Male” then this!

And, of course, with every successful film idea and trailer comes the inevitable barrage of spoofs and copycats.  The Social Network is no exception.  I particularly enjoyed THIS ONE about ANOTHER social networking site that some might deem equally filmworthy . . .

The Social Network requests to be your “Friend” on October 1, 2010.  Confirm or Deny?

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Facebook, Movie Trailer Recaplets, The Social Network

July 4th Movie Quote Contest (a.k.a. The post my lazy butt came up with at the last minute, because I drank too much on July 4th)

Have you ever noticed how there is nothing AT ALL to watch on television during the entire July 4th weekend?  Case in point:  Earlier this evening, I was flipping through channels in search of decent programming.  The viewing selection on my small screen was SO bad, that I actually watched an infomercial . . . on a motor scooter for the elderly . . . for a full half hour.  It was only 10 p.m.

Four glasses of wine in my belly, and I was actually about to purchase this . . . another two glasses, and I would have bought a spare one for my pet cat.

But you know what DOESN’T suck during July 4th weekend?  MOVIES!

July 4th weekend is a time when film production companies tend to release their highest budget films, in hopes of scoring big at the box office, and, thereby, achieving that much coveted “blockbuster” status.  It is also a time when television networks tend to air some of Hollywood’s most successful blockbusters, during prime time hours.  Networks tend to do this because (1) why bother putting out new content, when everyone is too sunburned and beer-logged to watch it; and (2) the few people who ARE watching are so happy to find something decent on television to watch and so very drunk, they won’t care at all that it’s a movie they have already seen 25 times.

For this reason and because I have had too much to drink to be genuinely creative, I have decided to run a little informal contest / game here at TV Recappers Anonymous.  The winner gets . . . well . . . to be honest, the winner gets nothing, because I don’t have anything to give him or her.

However, having a contest win of any kind under your belt WILL provide you with massive “street cred” on the blogosphere, not to mention something to brag about at all your upcoming July 4th parties!

OK . . . Here’s how the game works.  Got a pen and paper handy?

Good!

I’m going to show you a YouTube video featuring 100 famous movie quotes.  As you watch the video, jot down as many movies and quote-uttering actors as you recognize.  Then, tally up your points.  You get one point for each movie you correctly identify, and one point for each actor. 

And remember NO CHEATING!  If I hear later from your friends that you paused this video and started trolling around IMDB for the answers, I am going to find out your home address, and personally mail this to it . . .

Don’t think I won’t do it, either! 

If you’d like, feel free to comment here on how many points out of the possible 200 you received.  If not, don’t worry, I won’t be insulted . . .

 .  . . well, maybe I’ll be a little insulted.  But I’ll get over it.

This would actually be a pretty cool game to play with your friends on July 4th, assuming the party you are attending is extremely lame.  Additionally, I’m pretty sure there is a way to turn this into a drinking game.  I just haven’t quite figured out how to do it yet.  (Your suggestions in that regard, of course, are welcome too.)

So, without further adieu, here are 100 famous movie quotes in under four minutes . . . Good luck!

(At some point, I MIGHT add a comment to this post that includes the “answers” to this game.  Until then, you are on the honor system.  And remember, I’ll be WATCHING YOU!)

 Happy July 4th, everyone!

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Filed under Top 100 movie quotes