David Letterman has a thing, or he used to, where a joke bombs and he keeps telling it until the repetition actually makes it funny. I feel like they’re doing the same thing with all these goddamn Social Network trailers. General opinion seems to be enthusiastic, but I think it looks horrible and it’s just getting worse.

This one lost me with the oh-so-dramatic opening Radiohead cover.  It was like an ad for Facebook positioning it as the most life altering thing since man rubbed two sticks together and made fire. And then the drama kicks in and I just keep thinking these people are not that interesting and David Fincher is taking the whole thing way. too. deadly. seriously.

In the end, the trailer makes me laugh when it seems like it’s trying super hard to blow me away. That’s not a good sign, is it?

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just bitter because I’m the only one who actually fell for Fincher’s dopey Benjamin Button.

via: Cinematical

12 Responses to “Trailer #1000: The Social Network”

  1. I actually liked “Benjamin Button”. This looks a little too much like a Bret Easton Ellis movie about poor little spoiled rich kids acting oh-so bad and looking oh-so pretty. Wake me up when Fincher goes back to that “Rendezvous With the Rama” project or something about serial killers.

  2. Yes! Bret Easton Ellis! Thank you.

    I want to trust Fincher/Sorkin’s genius for finding the story here, but I’m just not feeling it and the trailer isn’t helping.

  3. I’ll see it, but I think what the story still lacks is a compelling ending. I have no idea how it ends, but what I mean is that Facebook is simply just chugging along right now as it has been for a few years, just making a few ripples about privacy here and there. Much more interesting, to me, would be a film about Facebook in say, 20 years, if and when it has either massively evolved or completely dissolved.

    In other words, this seems like a manufactured drama. Like making an edgy dramatic thriller about the stolen iPhone prototype.

  4. Ellis (ok…occasionally) has a sense of play. We’re talking a Fincher/Sorkin team-up here: SOCIAL NETWORK will be the written-est/directed-est motherfucker of the year, most likely at the expense of quite a bit of common sense.

  5. Daniel, exactly. It hasn’t even been ten fucking years since the damn site came out, and frankly, it isn’t really as revolutionary in terms of social networking as people like to think it is. America Online was, perhaps, and in their competition/struggle against other online platforms you might’ve had an interesting techno-corporate drama to be had. But then, AOL wasn’t invented by pretty young preppies at Harvard caught in some insanely self-serious elitist power struggle, was it? Basically, this looks like National Lampoon’s “Animal House” if it were done as a straight drama– slobs vs. snobs done to epic excess.

    A good example of how to do a techno-corporate drama correctly is the old TNT-movie “Pirates of Silicon Valley”, starring Anthony Michael Hall as a ruthless Bill Gates and Noah Wyle as a douche-y Steve Jobs. First, there was enough time for all the advent of the modern personal computer to mean something to the average joe. Second, the battles between the companies had been high-profile enough for its players to be household names. Third, there was something of a closure-ending with Gates’ triumph with Windows 95 (sure, Apple surged ahead a few years later by rebranding themselves as a yuppie-chic toystore, but still, it made sense at the time).

    Fourth, the movie never took itself too goddamn seriously. It has fun with the periods, the characters, the story. As much as it’s your standard based-on-a-true-story tele-film, it’s also a great little piece of it’s-too-funny/ugly-to-be-fake satire, as well. A clever little riff that knew it had about as much depth as the half-hearted jokes in an article from Time magazine. An honest, humble black comedy.

  6. To be fair, the movie isn’t really “about” Facebook, that’s just the hook. It’s about the drama behind the founding of Facebook.

    Unfortunately I don’t really give a shit about that either. Has anyone seen interviews with Zuckerberg on TV? He’s a huge nothing. It’s not a problem with him being unlikable, it’s a problem with him being uninteresting. Maybe there’s a good story in the tale of an uninteresting, unlikable nerd becoming massively and suddenly successful, but I’m going to need some more convincing that it’s something I want to see.

  7. Yeah Craig, and neither do I. Frankly, does anyone care about the drama behind the founding of Facebook? Personally I don’t really use the site, so I’m not invested. Windows and Apple– those are all much bigger things than Facebook even on a good day. The only reason I can imagine anyone being remotely interested in this is the combination of Sorkin and Fincher, which sounds like a dream-team but for this kind of subject matter feels horribly mercenary.

    I don’t even know who this Zuckerberg kid is. Has he been in anything somebody my age (mid 20’s) is supposed to have seen? Because I tend to lag a generation or two behind. One of the reasons I dig “Pirates” is because it has the song “Synchronicity” by the Police in it. I wouldn’t have even known that horrible emo-sounding song in the trailer was Radiohead if you hadn’t pointed it out. I shudder to think of what the rest of this is like.

  8. Well, right now Facebook is the most powerful web site on the planet, so the value of the subject matter is very topical but the story doesn’t resonate with me in any way. Facebook surely wasn’t the first social networking site and it’s definitely not going to be the last. Five years ago when Facebook was just another idea, MySpace was the Next Big Thing. Five years before that, it was Friendster. Five years before that it was AOL. Does anyone actually use Friendster, AOL, or MySpace anymore? Five years from now I’ll be surprised if Facebook isn’t yet another has-been, especially since they’re alienating a huge portion of their core audience with their idiotic privacy missteps.

    I have to agree that Gates and Jobs was/is a much better story, but the irony of that TNT miniseries is that its completely dated now. Gates has stepped out of Microsoft and gone from being a ruthless technocrat to trying to save the free world. Jobs has gone from being the washed-up yuppie to the technology tastemaker for the world. Windows 95 is a punchline when talking about Microsoft OS’s past and the Mac has gone from near-death to the pinnacle of cool. It’s all relative. I’m sure Apple’s high won’t last.

    I just hope this film has a better script than the trailer implies.

  9. Joel, I actually still use AOL. Part of why I dig “Pirates” is because Gates and Jobs (especially) have been so guarded about their pasts that it’s cool to see the former as a ruthless corporate thief and the latter as a despicable deadbeat dad. And yeah, the TNT movie is completely dated, but it’s a made-for-cable film, and that’s okay. For a theatrical feature, it’s sort of ridiculous. It reminds me of that damn Spice Girls movie, back when they were popular. The expiration date catches up quick with pop-culture flashes in the pan.

  10. I wasn’t mocking AOL so much as pointing out that all these social networking sites have a short zeitgeist half-life, Bob, so I hope you didn’t take it that way. I liked Pirates myself but I felt they made that film far too soon. The juxatposition of roles in the last ten years offers an incredible counterpoint to the narrative of that mini-series.

    I saw Spiceworld in a theater. It was part of a Guilty Pleasures movie club I used to frequent in the 90’s but I kinda liked it for what it was (which admittedly wasn’t much).

  11. No, not at all. Just pointing out that some social networking sites have more longevity than others (either that or I’m just really lazy when it comes to adopting new ones). “Pirates” might’ve been “too soon”, but at least there they had a couple decades of history to draw on, anyway. Facebook doesn’t even have ONE. Agreed, though, the tables more or less started turning as soon as “Pirates” was broadcast, and it might be cool to see a continuation of that somehow. Apple is basically just a hipster/yupppie toystore now, though, and I’m just not interested in them.

    What it reminds me of, mostly, is that HBO movie that was done about Letterman vs. Leno in the wake of Carson’s departure– “The Late Shift”. That ended with a coda celebrating Letterman’s high ratings, but the tables turned pretty quickly there too, eh? Granted, the tables have turned so many times in that situation making a follow-up would be like turning a Roulette Wheel into a movie.

  12. Bob, re: the Late Shift- they could always follow it up with a Leno/Conan thing. Tilda Swinton has already volunteered her services to play Conan.

    Also…

    “Granted, the tables have turned so many times in that situation making a follow-up would be like turning a Roulette Wheel into a movie.”

    Considering all the other games Hollywood wants to bring to the big screen, do you really want to throw this out there and give them ideas?

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