Tag Archive for 'Based On A True Story'

The Social Network

The Social Network is a little indie film that not many people have heard of. It is biographical drama of the creation of a small website which has very few people, who only write and post images of their boring uninteresting lives, known as The FaceBook.

The film stars Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, also known as CEO Bitch. They look so much alike but actually act much different. The real life Zuckerberg is more awkward and avoids the spot light. Eisenberg portrays Zuckerberg in a more interesting way, which I feel fits better for the film. More like a smart, fast talking, out going and power hungry mastermind super villain. Zuckerberg’s best friend Eduardo Saverin is played by Andrew Garfield, also known as Spider-Man. The meat head villains of the film, Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss, are both played by the multiple take friendly Armie Hammer. And by their side is the real life Divya Narendra played by Max Minghella, who are both ironically known as “Never heard of this guy before”. And finally, Justin Timberlake plays Sean Parker, the once co-founder of Napster. I find the casting choice for this interesting (Besides the fact that its Justin Timberlake) because Timberlake must have lost money due to file sharing of his music on Park’s Napster.

The film starts with Mark Zuckerberg in 2003 before he created FaceBook. Yata Yata Yata. The film ends with Mark Zuckerberg as the youngest Billinare ever, thanks to his 500 Million Friends.

Its obvious that the film shows Mark Zuckerberg as an asshole and the bad guy. But I feel as if most people don’t see how everyone acted like an asshole and were the bad guys. The Winklevoss twins did not create FaceBook and dragged their feet about the entire situation until much later. Sean Parker was a crazy person who did get in trouble with a drug bust. And as for Eduardo, he did not want to take all of his focus to FaceBook and he was the one who failed to read his own contract. The book that this movie was based, The Accidental Billionaires, was consulted by the real life Eduardo Saverin. So I was surprised that since it was from his perspective, it did not overtly show him as the victim. But every single one of the character’s acted like assholes and it is their own fault for failing to stand by Mark Zuckerbergs side and become rich themselves.

David Fincher directed The Social Network and again partnered up with Jeff Cronenweth to do the cinematography. The film was shot with a REDONE camera which made the film have a distinct visual style. Very low natural light and muted realistic colors. This completely digital 4K camera creates simple clean images that match the conceptual idea of technology world. One amazing scene where The Winklevii lose the rowing race was even shot with a tilt shift effect, to give it even more of a more dramatic original style. Trent Reznor did the score for The Social Network and it was top notch. It also had a interesting feel to it that match the realistic version of the technology world and no the unrealistic version featuring flat boring techno.

Many people have pointed out that not everything presented in The Socal Network is true. From what I have read, the majority of events are true, and everything that is “fake” are more like half-truths. One important event, Mark Zuckerberg fighting with his girlfriend at the beginning of the film and it becoming the catalyst for FaceBook itself. Some has said she is not real, while other say that those LiveJournal entries are real and so the girl could be possibly be a real person. I believe that all those half-truths that have been hollywoodized or changed to fit the film better actually work. It is not a documentary, it is a dramatic film that is just based on a true story. All other films that are based on a true story do not accurately portray the very important dialog between the characters. If they can change the dialog, they should be able to change people and events if it works.

Then there is the debate that FaceBook is just a fad and that it weakens The Social Network. As history has shown us, no tech company or one single website can stay in the spot light for long. The rivalry of Apple and Microsoft has been going strong since the 80s. Yahoo was popular in the mid 90s and was surpassed by Google in the 2000s. And then there was the once social media giant MySpace and even for then there was Friendster. Does anyone remember AOL and Instant Messenger? As we have learned in this fast pace technology driven world, everyone has Attention Deficit Disorder and always want the latest, coolers, and most popular new thing. So one day in the future FaceBook might be forgotten along with so many others, but currently this growing expectantly website giant has every ones focus. It is unimportant if FaceBook is a fad or not because The Social Network captures the very intriguing rise of the giant company. So in the future, I will be very excited to see the film that is about the fall of FaceBook.

The film shows the seemingly boring technology world, as an emotionally drive world with deep characters, all willing to back stab each other at any moment. It feels as if it was the sequel to Pirates of Silicone Vally. My pick for the Best Picture of 2010 is defiantly The Social Network. It captures this current moment time of the Internet world perfectly. As having watch the film a number of times, I can contest that the film is very rewatchable and has good longevity.

5 out of 5

The Fighter

The Fighter is a biographical film based on the real life Micky Ward. It shows his return to the sport of boxing as he has to deal with his large eccentric Boston Irish Family. The less impressive Mark Walberg plays the lead Micky Ward, but you quickly realize the The Fighter is more about his family than himself. Either Mark Walberg is getting punched in the face in the ring, or he is sharing a scene with a much better actor that steals the spotlight from him. Christian Bale plays Micky’s brother Dicky, who is also a former boxer, but now a drug addict that gets into legal troubles. Early on in the film, Micky meets Amy Adams character, who becomes his girlfriend. Melissa Leo plays Alice, the mother of the very large family.

Even though Christian Bale is only consider a supporting actor, he easily eclipses Mark Walbergs weak performance. Seeing footage of the real Dicky, it is scary how accurate Christian Bale played him. The real life Dickys mannerisms are very unique with erratic movements and speech pattern, but Christian Bale mimics it to perfection. Christian Bale is nominated for Best Supporting Actor and will easily win it with a fight.

Melissa Leo was great as the mother and was nominated best supporting Actress. She acts as the head of the large  family. Micky and Dicky have too many sisters to count. One sister is even played by Conan O Brian’s real life sister. Along with Melissa Leo, Amy Adams was also nominated for best supporting actress. The film was also nominated for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing. I find it very humorous that every part of The Fighter was nominated besides Mark Walberg himself. It is also funny to think that both Brad Pitt and Matt Damon were suppose to star in this film, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. In its current form, the large cast of crazy characters truly makes the movie.

The style of the film almost has a documentary feel all on its own. But inside the film itself, the first half has HBO doing a documentary on Dicky. Which they actually did air in the mid 80s called High On Crack Street. Just like how the film is not really about Mark Walberg, it is also not really about boxing. Like last years The Blind Side that rarely showed any actual football games, The Fighter shows only a few short boxing matches that are spread far apart throughout the film. So it would be wrong to dislike the film for thinking its a sports movie because it is more of a character piece about an interesting family. But the few boxing matches that are shown, they look amazing and real because they actually did hit each other and the end, the result was worth it.

This was one of the 10 Best Picture nominated films that I thought I was going to dislike. I am not a fan of sports and so a sports film sounds very unappealing. On top of that I am not a fan of Mark Walberg. After finally watching the film, I enjoyed it a lot because it was nothing that I expected. It was all about the interesting lives of a messed up family. A more aptly named title of the film would be Marky Mark and the funky bunch.

4 out of 5 stars

127 Hours

Spoiler Alert, he cuts off his arm.

127 Hours stars Freaks and Geeks’ very own James Franco. He quickly became famous in one of the most successful film franchise in history (even the bad one) and after a small run on a soap opera, this still-rising star shines in 127 Hours.

The film is based on the true biographical events of Aron Ralston’s canyoning accident in 2003. It chronicles the events of Ralston’s journey of getting his hand trapped under a rock and freeing himself by amputating his own arm.

Wait, a guy stuck in a rock alone sounds long and boring. False. That is why the 127 Hours is so good, the film makers take advantage of that and structures the film around them it to make it a very interesting adventure. Aron’s story was widely published, so everyone already knows what happens in the end. But still, you keep questioning, “Is this when he does it?!” because they keep you in suspense for a healthy amount of time.

You are supposed to feel stuck with Aron, but the pacing of the film is perfect. Right before each time the feeling of being stuck is about to turn into boredom, you are presented with something new such being taken away from Aron and the rock completely. Aron has multiple hallucinations, flashbacks, and possible flashfowards of what he should live for. These are used to break up the film into a nicely paced story.

The cinematography of the 127 Hours was beautiful and helps the powerful story. I enjoyed the film’s pallet of strong oranges and stong blues. The blue of the sky and Aron’s hat, along with the orange rocks and Aron’s shirt, help compliment each other into stunning images. The camera is utilized to make you feel stuck along with Aron in a minor claustrophobic way. Often times a God Camera is used for going into places that are impossible to show normally. Like when the omnipotent camera goes inside of Aron’s water tube, or showing the bone inside of arms in a creative way. The editing is very unique by sometimes using a tryptic style of showing three images at once. It’s used well when showing Aron is losing his mind as it drifts to many different thoughts.

Knowing the story works this time around. The film shows the inner and outer struggle of a person, and it is a very emotional ride. Each moment of the film is strong, but the powerful ending is brought to an even higher level with the help of a song by Sigor Rós. I will admit I cried at the very end with James Franco partial of Aron’s rescue, along with seeing the real life Aron Ralston with his family.

Not only is 127 Hours nominated for Best Picture, it was nominated for 6 Academy Awards, including Best Actor. Even though I think that Colin Firth’s performance in the Kings Speech will win Best Actor this year, James Franco should still get some credit for supporting an entire film all by himself. If James Franco were a true method actor, he would have actually cut off his arm and taken home the Oscar. At least he gets his consolation prize is hosting the 83rd Academy Awards with Miss Anne Hathaway.

127 Hours is directed by Danny Boyle. Boyle also directed Slumdog Millionaire, the winner of 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture of 2008. And it is not just the director, both 127 Hours and Slumdog Millionaire share many of the same collaborators, including the cinematography by Anthony Dod Mantle, screenplay by Simon Beaufoy, the composer A. R. Rahman and the producer Christian Colson.

I believe that 127 Hours was hands down the most emotionally powerful film of the year but overall it is one of my top picks of the year. It’s hard to place it, but it might be my second favorite film of the year. I would have given it a higher rating if it would have kept its original title that was similar to last year’s Precious: “127 Hours based on the Novel Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston based on the real biographical events of Aron Ralston cutting his arm off while stuck between a rock and a hard place for 127 Hours.” Maybe that joke was too long and I should have cut it off at the arm.

5 out of 5 stars.

An Education

An Education is set in the 1960s and based on a true coming of age story of a young British girl who wants to fulfill her and her parent’s dream of attending a university. This dream is halted when she meets a much older man, played by Peter Sarsgaard. Her strict father, played by Alfred Molina, is unhappy with the idea that she would throw away her dream just so she can run off with an older man. Her father grudgingly agrees to allow her to date the other man as she tries to decide which directions she wants her life to go.

Halfway through the film I realized that it was based on the memoir of British journalist, Lynn Barber. This is when I was spoiled and presumed the outcome of the story since they don’t usually make a film about a real person who threw their life away and never achieved anything? I was unaware of who Lynn Barber was until I watched this film, but I assume she has more prestige in her native country. But how famous is Lynn Barber really? Because her Wikipedia article is very short and it is only a small fraction of the size of a fictional space weapon.

Sadly, not only did I guess how the story would end, but I failed to connect with the main character. She was completely unrealatble to me because she was a young British girl in the 1960s deciding between school and an older man. I do understand why the film is gaining so much praise and honer, but I have to put it on the lower half of my list of favorite films out of the 10 nominated for Best Picture Of 2009.

The Blind Side

I am not into sports, especially football, but The Blind Side is not that kind of film. Football is just the rails that this movie rides on to tell a powerful moving true story. The Blind Side is about the football player Michael Oher as a young high school boy struggling at life. He is an African American who had an impoverished upbringing and no safe place to live. Everything gets turned around one day when he meets Sandra Bullock‘s character and she slowly integrates him into being part of her the family.

I originally was not interested in The Blind Side at all because I am not into sports films. It turns out that there are only two or three different scenes in the entire film where football is actually played. The overwhelming majority of the film deals with character development and the struggles of Michael Oher as he finally become part of a family.

I did enjoy the film and would recommend it to others but it is on the lower half of the list of my personal favorites out of the 10 best picture nominees of 2009. Sadly there is nothing really more to say about the film, which might be its problem.