The Social Network (2010)

socialDirector: David Fincher

Writer: Aaron Sorkin (Screenplay) Ben Mezrich (Book)

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Josh Pence, Rashida Jones, Rooney Mara

 

Plot: Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.

 

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overrated and Hard Work

 

Story: The Social Network starts as we meet Mark Zuckerberg (Eisenberg) on a date with Erica Albright (Mara) showing how socially awkward he can be during his time Harvard. Upset about the break up Mark with his friend Eduardo Saverin (Garfield) Dustin Moskovitz (Mazzello) and Chris Hughes (Mapel) create a comparing girls photos on a website that spread through Harvard instantly bringing down the servers.

This night’s events cause Zuckerberg on front of a disciplinary panel as well as showing us the ongoing court case going on against Zuckerberg. His stunt has grab the attention of the Winklevoss twins Cameron and Tyler (Hammer playing both) who want Zuckerberg to help them with their big idea.

The story continues to show Mark works with Winklevoss twins only to use their idea to build his own site The Facebook. When the site takes off it grabs the attention of founder of Napster Sean Parker (Timberlake) who wants to take the site from Millions to Trillions. This is the story of how Facebook ends up becoming one of the biggest things the world has ever seen.

 

Thoughts on The Social Network

 

StoryThe story shows us how Facebook was built by making enemies with the people who helped start it going by borrowing ideas to make it the biggest sites in the world. We get plenty of business talk, tech talk and lawyer scenes which mix up the story for us making it difficult to understand everything that goes on because most of the story is very American, so if you don’t understand the terms you will find yourself lost in the mix. I feel this will always be a complex story that will be remember but is told very slow and confusingly.

Biography/DramaShowing the actions of the real-life people involved Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, the Winklevoss twins and Sean Porter show how they were all effected by what happened with the creation of Facebook which is all good as we see how these people were meant to be acting towards making this happen. There is nothing bad to say about this side of the story watching the genre.

Characters/PerformanceThe performances are nearly all flawless as we see just how these people are portrayed, we see how Zuckerberg comes off very brash arrogant and rude towards the people who help him. When you see the cast being involved you can see how the stars have started and come onto the next big things.

SettingsEach setting makes us see just how much a party incident this started as which would be where the idea started but the most important side of this is showing how it started with dorm room before turning into the business venture in a tower.

Final Thoughts Overall this is a very interesting look at how Facebook started even if the story can be hard to follow. We get heavyweight performances from all but the early stages of the film come off slow but the final acts of the film are the real highlights of the film.

 

Overall: Great performance, important story but at times tells a story we don’t need to know.

Ratingcard

 

 

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A Ghost Story (2017)

Director: David Lowery

Writer: David Lowery (Screenplay)

Starring: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, McColm Cephas Jr, Kenneista Thompson, Grover Coulson, Liz Franke

 

Plot: In this singular exploration of legacy, love, loss, and the enormity of existence, a recently deceased, white-sheeted ghost returns to his suburban home to try to reconnect with his bereft wife.


Tagline – It’s all about time.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Film

 

Story: A Ghost Story starts as we follow couple C (Affleck) and M (Mara), they live a happy life in their home even though they are planning to move, but when C dies the perfect world becomes shattered. M dealing with the loss of her husband but C not going into the light and returning home to watch over his wife with a bed sheet covering him.

When M leaves the home, C is seemingly stuck bound to the house for all time as he goes through different households and his only communication comes from a fellow ghost trapped in the neighbouring house, but C is determined to stay for the one he loves even through all the changes the environment around him goes through.

 

Thoughts on A Ghost Story

 

Characters – C is the husband of M that dies, he finds himself coming back as a ghost to watch over his wife but soon finds himself alone once she leaves their home, he sees different lives enter his as he waits for her to return. M is the wife that can’t cope with her husband’s death, she tries to move on but without any hope, so to get away completely she leaves the home. The two do make for a good screen couple.

PerformancesRooney Mara is good in her role even if she is only in part of the film, it is Casey Affleck who must wear a sheet for the most part of this movie that doesn’t say anything but lives a lonely life watching other lives.

StoryThe story here is difficult to describe as for the most part we just follow C the ghost with the bed sheet over his head watching every moment of this one location, wait for a chance to be with his love again. This isn’t a horror though it plays into deeper meanings that when you watch the full film you will get rewarded by, but it can be slow getting there. This is a story that will make you think about life and death which is one you need to watch to enjoy.

Fantasy/RomanceThe fantasy elements of this film come on strong for the second half as we see the journey the sheeted C goes on, the romance side of the film looks at the idea of eternal love that people could have.

SettingsThe whole film is set in once location, the background may well change but our character can’t leave the area he finds himself bound too.

Special EffectsNot many effects are used but the ones that are do help the films journey.


Scene of the Movie –
The Beginning?

That Moment That Annoyed Me There is a really long scene of Rooney Mara eating, I think it could have been near 10 minutes long.

Budget: $100,000

Final ThoughtsThis is a very different movie, it shows the idea of eternal love from the side of a deceased character. It will make you think and by the end you will feel like you experienced something different.

 

Overall: Interesting movie that makes you think.

Rating

 

 

Una (2016)

Director: Benedict Andrews

Writer: David Harrower (Screenplay)

Starring: Rooney Mara, Ben Mendelsohn, Tara Fitzgerald, Riz Ahmed

 

Plot: A woman confronts an older man, her former neighbour, to find out why he abandoned her after they had a sexual relationship when she was thirteen.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hard to Watch Drama

 

Story: Una starts as we meet Una (Mara) a young woman with a troubled past after she was sexually abused at the age of 13. Una goes in search for the man Ray, now going by the name Peter (Mendelsohn) to learn why he did what he did. We get flashbacks showing the relationship between a young Una (Stokes) and Ray which started as friendship before it went too far, landing Ray in prison.

We follow how both Una and Ray have spent years dealing with the consequences of that moment, Ray believing he wasn’t a paedophile but branded one so much so that he had to get a new name and town, Una looks to get the closure she never received as a child and this night of conversation look like it will offer that.

 

Thoughts on Una

 

Characters – Una is the once sexually abused teenager but has spent the next 15-years wondering why, waiting for the chance to speak to the man again, we see how to confronts him to explain her feelings while dealing with the lack of closure she ever had with him. Ray was the man that sexual abused Una when she was 13, he served his time and started a new life with a new name, he also believes nothing was truly wrong with what he did.

PerformanceRooney Mara does give us an emotionally driven performance throughout the film, Ben Mendelsohn is great throughout showing us a true outline of a men living with regret.

StoryThe story does cover a taboo subject, sexual interaction between a minor and an adult, it plays along the idea that not everything is about the idea whether it was right or wrong but what the people involved must deal with later in life if it was just an encounter over abuse. There will be the questions asked about whether it was or wasn’t abuse but that will also be asked through the film otherwise this is a story that focuses on the victim not living a health life, the adult needing to rebuild his life and keep it together when the truth comes around. This is a slow burning story and isn’t going to be with the light hearted due to the sensitive subject but does show us the important message.

SettingsThe low key settings show us this could be everyday life for the people involved which is the highlight, as it never over victimises anyone.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Breaking all the safety rules but not wearing hi-vis vests in a warehouse with forklifts operating.

Final ThoughtsThis is going to be a hard watch for many, mostly because of the subject matter. Away from this it also could play an important part to life looking at how the victims could be effected by anything that happens to them.

 

Overall: Important but slow drama.

Rating

 

 

The Discovery (2017)

Director: Charlie McDowell

Writer: Justin Lader, Charlie McDowell (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, Robert Redford, Mary Steenburgen, Brian McCarthy, Riley Keough

 

Plot: A love story set one year after the existence of the afterlife is scientifically verified.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fascinating Sci-Fi Mind Bender

 

Story: The Discovery starts in a world where DR Thomas Harper (Redford) believes he has proven there is an afterlife, one year after this announcement the suicide rating in the world has sky rocketed with people believing they will ended up in this afterlife free of the problems they face in the real world.

Thomas’ son Will (Segel) a neurologist returns to his research facility on a remote island where his other brother Toby (Plemons) has been working on collecting more evidence with other volunteers who believe this afterlife is real. Being joined by Isla (Mara) the latest suicide failure to join the course Will is left to face the reality that not everything is as cut and dry as he believes with all of his science and medical beliefs. Will finds himself working with Isla to learn about a mysterious recording that came from the mind of a dead man, searching into his own past coming to a conclusion to everything.

 

Thoughts on The Discovery

 

Characters/PerformanceWill is a neurologist that is living in a world where people believe there is scientific proof of the afterlife, he still doesn’t believe in his own father’s discovery. He gets to investigating in a scientific mentality hoping to get to the bottom of everything. Isla is one of the people who had planned to kill themselves to get to this afterlife, she finds hope in searching for the answers with Will. Thomas is the doctor who believes he has discovered an afterlife, he has people working for him in a cult like situation while he is still trying to get the complete truth.

Performance wise, Jason Segel is brilliant here showing he isn’t just a comical actor and can handle the serious performances, Rooney Mara is good as always in the supporting role with Hollywood Icon Robert Redford giving a performance that is great for a supporting one.

StoryAn idea that we are in a world where we could know there is an afterlife is truly fascinating, it offers up questions never once asked before because there is no ‘if’ it is a ‘when’. The film does claim to have this question with our main character Will looking to prove this wrong, which again is good because this is a scientific discovery. This story will keep you guessing from the start to the finish and leave you going ‘What’ even though you can understand the ending.

Mystery/Romance/Sci-FiThe mystery is would you believe and is this discovery real, the sci-fi from the story comes from the discovery itself, as it offers up what is a scientific idea to the afterlife. The romance comes from Will and Isla story as they search for the truth.

SettingsThe one weak point I found in this film I would say is the settings, they do add up to the final story which is good but the film has the beach which is important and the lone mansion where the believers live.

Final ThoughtsI love a film that makes you think, this will do that, I love seeing actors who have been typecast to one genre prove themselves, Segel does here. I love watching how scientific ideas are posed to the audience offer us a question on what we would do in the situation. This is nearly everything I like to watch in a film, this should have been a cinema release not Netflix.

 

Overall: One of the hidden gems of the year.

Rating

 

 

Lion (2016)

lionDirector: Garth Davis

Writer: Luke Davies (Screenplay) Saroo Brierley (Book)

Starring: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, Sunny Pawar, Divian Ladwa, Priyanka Bose, David Wenham, Abhishek Bharate

 

Plot: A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bring Your Tissues

 

Story: Lion starts in 1986 India when Saroo (Pawer) and his older brother Guddu (Bharate) both part of a poor Indian family, when the two travel for work the five-year-old Saroo can’t keep his eyes up and being left at the train station to wait for Guddu, Saroo finds himself on a train with the destination unknown he finds himself on the busy streets of Calcutta 1600km away from his home.

Lost, alone and terrified on the streets Saroo fends for himself before he gets taken into an orphanage who do search but can’t find his mum. Saroo finds himself getting adopted by Australian couple John (Wenham) and Sue (Kidman) where he must start a brand-new life in Australia.

20 years later Saroo (Patel) embraced this new life he was given but his fellow adopted bother Mantosh (Ladwa) never managed to take this chance given to him. Saroo heads to Melbourne to study where he meets Lucy (Mara) who along with fellow classmates push him to looking into his past using Google Earth to try and figure out where his mother is. This is the beginning of the incredible journey to find the truth about what happened to his family.

 

Thoughts on Lion

 

StoryThis story is one of the most amazing human stories in recent history, it has aspect of heart, courage, hope and unknown. I will warn the pacing of the first hour of this film does only focus on the young Saroo and his lost journey and while we do have other films that are all travel looking for the answers this is just a click and play on Google Maps. The story is going to have an ending you are expecting and needless to say bring your tissues.

BiographyLooking at this incredible story Saroo goes through from the streets of India to Australia before searching for the answers he could never know about what his family did without him around after he went missing. While the other real people involved are all great it is Sue the adopted mother who is also another stand out character with the heart she shows to give these orphaned Indians a home.

The performances here are fantastic from Patel, Kidman and new comer Pawer who gives truly heavyweight performances throughout.

Characters/PerformanceSaroo is the character that is based on the real boy to man whose life was turned upside down, he represents all of the people out there who got separated from their family and never knew but always wanted to know what their family did without them.

SettingsEach setting is designed to show us the different time periods and life Saroo has found himself living, we see the streets of India to the comfortable life in Australia,

Final ThoughtsThis is an incredible story that does pull on the heart strings, but it does also take a little while to get going.

 

Overall: Easily the most emotional film of all the Oscar nominations.

Ratingcard