David Fincher’s The Social Network

O hail no! A movie bout a bunch a white boys doing shit on they computers? A bunch a white boys, prolly Final Fantasy-playin mothafuckas, at Harvard on they computers and Justo from NSYNC is in this shit too? Shit sounds boring as hail son.

And so I was surprise when my boy Scooby-Treat Facebookt me and was all, ‘has you seen this shit about FB? This shit is off tha hook big dawg!’ And I was like, ‘yo you seen it w/o me puto? Who you seen it wit?’ And he wuz like ‘doze niggas Chiya-Pet and Daze-E-Duke.’ And I woz all, ‘nobodyz txted me or nothing. Imma gonna beat yo asses!’

So tha nex day I’m at tha FB movie by myself all pissed like, this is bunk I’m gonna beat Scooby’s ass. And then I wuz like oh shit dis is actually pretty good ya’ll. I mean yeah it’s about all deez crackers and Aryan-looking muthafuckers doing what they do, such as playing on computers and math and wearing their caps backward. But dis wuz some true-life Good Will Hunting shit son. And this FB guy, this Max Zuckercorn guy – he was as much a genius wid hiz mouth as wid hiz brain yo. He be slaying muthafuckas down wif his words like, ‘you only worth my minimum wage of attention you cracker-ass snatch! I’m gonna make yo house into my ping-pong room playa! I showed you and I showed the world! I didn’t use your codes puto!’

And then JT be all like, ‘yeah dawg you tell um go fuck theyself. Now I gotta snort my cocaine rocks out this white girl’s belly buttons.’ And then this Eduardo cat be like, ‘I’m gunna fuck you up JT. Oh shit!!! My hot Asian girlfriend is lighting my trash can on fire!’

So in sum they wuz more action than I predicted. I mean, no niggaz died!!! But FB is not a life/death matter so actually that shit’d be whack if someone did get blasted all a sudden. You’d be like bitch please, you know none a these honkeyz be packin heat in they JanSports. But this did show a battle of da words, a battle of da intellects. And a battle wit Zuckercorn’s own loneliness of da soul. Also my man from NIN be layin down tha hot trax fo this. And his beats be mad bawler yo! Trent you a sick genius.

And that crazy Asian girl Eduardo passed on – I say damn!!! Girl you need to let a real man holla atchoo!! You fine as hail and you know I likes em a little wild and mentally illin. A little dangerous, a little villainous. Holla . . . $8

If you heart The Social Network:

Recommendations by DJ Gun-Ray
The People vs. Larry Flynt
Boogie Nights

Adam McKay’s The Other Guys

O Other Guys! You are daring! You are brilliant and strange! With the exception of Hot Fuzz I don’t think I’ve watched a more interesting buddy/cop flick satirizing the conventions of the genre. I only have the vaguest impression of the narrative architecture holding you together. I think it is something like The Pelican Brief meets L.A. Confidential meets Beverly Hills Cop meets Boogie Nights. But the overarching plot is really just extraneous noise. You are strongest when examined scene to scene – there you’re constantly surprising, bravely magical, staggeringly funny.

And did I say surprising? Surprise is really an underrated gift these days – what with directors like Michael Bay, Brett Ratner, and Kevin Smith recycling the same tired muck again. One of your greatest strengths is your investment in humor that is startling.

BONUS – Steve Coogan. Not that he did a lot here, but it’s just a tiny joy to see him anywhere. Undoubtedly one of the finest comedians alive.

BONUS II – The credits. So you decided to squeeze in some socially conscious cartoons at the very end, huh? Well it worked for me. I’m ready to go pillage the vacation homes of some CEOs . . . $8

The Kids Are All Right

The Kids Are All Right is a powerful and delightfully humorous film directed by Lisa Cholodenko (“High Art”, “Laurel Canyon”) and screenplay written by Stuart Blumberg.  The movie is simply strong writing fortified by brilliant acting.  Relationships and family drive the film – there isn’t much of a story.  But who cares!  The interactions and dialogue between the delicate relationships of lovers, parents and children, and surrogate fathers were written to perfection with all the necessary elements of awkwardness, humor, and tenderness.  There was a feeling of actual sincerity and connection with each of the characters that we rarely find in movies these days.

I haven’t seen Annette Bening in a worthwhile performance since American Beauty.  Although it’s not quite the same (simply because her role as Carolyn is one of the best female performances ever) – it is up there.  It was deeply satisfying to see her talent put to good use.  Mark Ruffalo… what a sexy motherfucker.  Normally the open-shirt-to-the-navel to bear beefy chest-hair elicits gag reflex.  But Mr. Ruffalo, you reek of sex, even with your exposed mat of hair.  Julianne Moore is as engaging and beautiful as ever.  The more I see of her, the more I realize that she just might be one of the most talented actresses of our time.

One especially satisfying experience in watching the movie is that the trailer didn’t ruin the movie one bit.  The trailer was captivating, but seemed to complete the movie without having to watch it.  Yet the scenes from the trailer were even better in the movie itself.  Since the movie was more character-driven, the trailer did nothing to disrupt the film itself.  Lastly – two more important elements that made the movie complete.  One: excellent soundtrack.  Two: Joaquin Garrido as Luis, the landscaper.  I can’t end this review without a tip of my hat to you . . . $8

If you heart The Kids Are All Right:

Recommendations from The Mug:

High Art
The Squid and the Whale

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

“Enron should not be viewed as an aberration; something that can’t happen anywhere else because it’s all about the rationalization that you’re not doing anything wrong…there (was) the diffusion of responsibility, everyone was on the bandwagon and it can happen again”

Sherron Watkins’ words of wisdom seem oddly prophetic in this time of recession, the recent financial collapse of some of the world’s most reputable firms, and wave of corporate ethics scandals and made me think, did people pay attention to why Enron collapsed?  Sure, you can always blame corporate greed, but what exactly does that mean, when there were so many smart, rational people who to this day disavow anything illicit or illegal was done?  What is about this particular company that elicited this type of response, where it became synonymous with evil, duplicity, and scandal?

I was initially inspired to watch Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, adapted from the book of the same name, because Freakonomics, another movie by Alex Gibney comes out this fall.  Although this movie was not as engaging, moving or life-changing as “Taxi to the Dark Side,” it is a good movie but I struggled with what I should rate it.  Did I like it? It was alright. Was it incredibly engaging? Not really, I mean I had read a lot about the company beforehand. Is it a movie I think everyone should watch? Absolutely, especially in this day and age.

Gibney experts weaves in personal interviews, historical footage, and a few small pieces of re-enacted material to portray a company who’s tragic flaw appears to be the pride of its leaders, in refusing to admit that the ship was sinking.  The allusions to the Titanic were wide and numerous, perhaps a little too numerous honestly, but apt.   The style of story-telling was dry and factual, yet visual (e.g., lots of pictures) and easy to follow.   It was also interesting to note the implied effect on the deregulation of California’s energy market as the guinea pig, so to speak, to Gray Davis’ gubernatorial recall and the election of the Governator, and how that conveniently played into Enron’s profits.

It took me a while to watch this movie, but in the end, still a fan of Alex Gibney.  It’s definitely more a dense film, but an important one…$8

If you heart Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room:

Recommendations from …
Capturing the Friedmans
Wall Street
Food Inc

Lee Unkrich’s Toy Story 3

NOTE TO SELF: Show up minimum of ten minutes late to animated features. Horrendously-bad trailers such as for Alpha and Omega leave bad scarring in the brain. Instead use that time for Sudoku to repair mental retardation. END NOTE.

O you’ve come to visit me once again haven’t you – you spirit of delight! With the recent influx of lame to mediocre, computer-generated projects you have broken free! From gunk. From the wave of infant piss and condescension that is becoming family cinema. You have separated yourself like cream over raw sewage. But I have to ask myself why are you so much better? Is there something in the water over there at PIXAR?

I think your freshness is the key. Films like Twilight and Avatar have taken movie tropes and turned them into something even more contrived and weak-minded. But you take our memorabilia, our nostalgia, and you reinvent it. Make it fresh and shiny and hilarious again. I think what separates good films like you from mentally midgeted films like Avatar is simply – creativity. Avatar was an incredibly anti-creative film. It limped along on its technology-based spectacle and carpet bombing marketing. Luckily for Avatar American box offices do not hold films accountable for producing original ideas or novel story.

But I do and here is what I have to say – Toy Story 3 – you extend my creativity. You extend the audience’s imagination. And that is far beyond any expectations for the mainstream movies these days. And also not going to lie – by the end of you – not a dry eye in the house . . . $8

Get Him to the Greek

O Jonah Hill! You haven’t lost your touch. Or any weight. Stay fat my friend! You’ve really packed them on recently – was it for Cyrus? But it works for you. Not like Val Kilmer. Val Kilmer looks like Val Kilmer’s obese older brother. But you’ve really grown into your body. And you run surprisingly fast! You do so much running in this film! I love watching fat kids run. It’s like watching a dog swimming. There’s something beautiful and miraculous and grotesque about it all simultaneously.

O Russell Brand! You are somehow more feminine than any woman and yet a perfectly masculine rock ‘n’ roll demigod. They need a new category for what you are. It would be just you and Michael Stipe. And maybe Gael Garcia Bernal in Bad Education. You also cry fantastically well. Tears of a clown. But you sold me. I thought, this guy knows what it is to be a heroin addict, father to an Italian photographer’s son, separated from a maniacal model/musician (whom is engaged to Lars Ulrich), gold medalist in debauchery, rock legend to millions, and sick enough (or generous enough) to engage in multiple gay sex acts with Jonah Hill. Good call on Nick Stoller’s part to focus the Forgetting Sarah Marshall spinoff on Aldous.

Puffy Diddy – sometimes you surprise me. When I saw you in Monster’s Ball I thought hey, that guy actually didn’t ruin the movie at all. Same goes here except you were good! A true asset to the movie as you got my expectations real low, and then you delivered a B+ performance. Applause to the whole team . . . $8

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