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Movies: The Social Network, August Osage County, What's Up Baz? and More

"It's our time" - Justin Timberlake speaks the truth.

GuestbloggerNATHANIEL ROGERS trailers through fingers (too many spoilers) and waits impatiently for the feature. He blogs daily at the Film Experience.

"Dating you is like dating a stairmaster," Erica Albright (Rooney Mara) says, exasperated, in the opening sequence of THE SOCIAL NETWORK. Her personal stairmaster is Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and you're witness to a car wreck of a break-up in progress. It's emotionally gorey but there will be rubbernecking; you can't look away. If the hilarious stairmaster line doesn't hook you, something else in the screwball sharp rat-a-tat-tat of Aaron Sorkin's screenplay will. Not many movies open with five unbroken minutes of conversation but not many movies are as confidently verbal and as exhilarating made as this one. The instantly classic opening scene works like a gunshot and the movie is off.

Remarkably, The Social Network never loses the propulsive energy of these jolting first moments. David Fincher, long one of the movie's great visual stylists in films like Fight Club, Benjamin Button  and Se7en, turns expert dramatist here, staging the rest of the movie's events like a series of inevitable chain reactions, pop-pop-pop. 



You'd think a movie that charts the creation, growth, lawsuits and behind-the-scenes power struggles of Facebook would be less than, well, thrilling but you'd be wrong. It seems only fitting that early word from press screenings spread like wildfire across the internet through a variety of social networks. I was barely out of the theater before a fellow critic tweeted...

"I don't care about Facebook" is to SOCIAL NETWORK what "Self-absorbed theater people bore me" is to ALL ABOUT EVE

In other words, fasten your seatbelts. You'd be absolutely crazy to miss this one.


Also opening: Renée Zellweger investigates CASE 39 and even if it's nothing one would call a 'resume piece', she has Bradley Cooper to show for it; the brilliant Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In gets a US makeover as LET ME IN -- it wasn't exactly necessary but advance word is good;


Picture 32  road If you're 'theatuh people' or a Disney Gay Days regular are you excited to hear Donna Murphy as "Mother Gothel" in the Rapunzel musical Tangled? The trailers have been kind of obnoxious but let's hope that the Alan Menken score has worthy gems for Murphy's magic pipes. At least piece of early buzz claims she's the film's standout.

 road Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts are in talks for August: Osage County (the movie). As the two biggest stars in the age ranges for those huge awesome roles, the casting is expected. But it feels a little lazy. Streep is the queen but she's such a warm full bodied performer and that role is so cold shrunken...

 road a sex toy for straight boys who liked Avatar way too much. Pop culture never tires of the sexy cat woman trope does it? Alien cat men don't get as much play outside of maybe Patrick Fillion circles [NSFW].

Baz_forever  road Silver fox Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!) still hasn't decided on a follow up to Australia (2008)? He's been trying to decide between another original musical and an adaptation of The Great Gatsby for what seems like centuries now. Love you Baz but you have serious commitment issues. See a therapist. The world needs your eye candy (movies).


 road 25 Things You Didn't Know About Liza Minnelli. Or maybe a few of you did. It's fun that she likes Nurse Jackie. Oh Jackie... such a mess. When she goes, she's going like Elsie ♪

 road Tony Curtis (RIP) knew Madonna? Boy Culture uncovers an Evita era moment.

 road We end with Barbara Stanwyck... the original Scissor Sister. Hee [hat tip]


You really can't go wrong concluding with Ms. Stanwyck.

"Put me in the last fifteen minutes of a picture and I don't care what happened before. I don't even care if I was IN the rest of the damned thing. I'll take it in those fifteen minutes."

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  1. The Social Network is superb. The direction, writing, acting, and (digital!) cinematography are all top-drawer quality. Plus ... there's Max Minghella's lips.

    Posted by: virtualdespot | Oct 1, 2010 3:33:12 PM

  2. agree with Streep being the wrong person for August: Osage County; would say Roberts is wrong too if they are talking about her as the caregiver!

    will admit i'm biased having seen the original cast in Chicago at Steppenwolf and also because i've disliked most of what Streep has done, but your reasoning is right on as to why;

    but also because Violet is really the only sympathetic character in the play (well except for the outsider - the caregiver); the rest are just pathetic;

    i know it's not the way they do things in Hollywood, but they really should stick with the original cast in this one;

    yes, i know, Dennis Letts, the playwrights father who played Beverly, died a couple of years ago so it would be impossible.

    Posted by: mike/ | Oct 1, 2010 4:34:33 PM

  3. If there is a more compelling performer who is better suited to play Violet than Miss Judy Davis, I'd sure like to see her try!

    Posted by: Jiminy Snap | Oct 1, 2010 5:31:11 PM

  4. Yea, Streep is the queen no doubt, and Julia Roberts (really?) seems out of place for this. Let's give some other great actresses a go on this, or even bring back some veterans from obscurity. I would love to see Estelle Parsons, who toured with "August", or Diane Ladd up for the lead role. Judy Davis is another great pick!

    Posted by: Joel | Oct 1, 2010 7:23:29 PM

  5. Jiminy -- Judy Davis would have been an inspired choice. I also think Anjelica Huston might have nailed it as she's adept at sly comedy underneath formidable ice cold exterior.

    Joel -- i'm sure they'll be lazier about the rest of the casting too. but Diane Ladd would be interesting as Mattie Fae, Violet's sister. my dream is Kathleen Turner... not that Hollywood gets her anymore since she didn't maintain her looks in the way they expect (but Mattie Fae is not a glamour role so why not?)

    Virtual Despot -- Minghella's lips are a thumbs up. But so is everything in the movie. wow it's good.

    Posted by: Nathaniel R | Oct 2, 2010 9:54:49 AM

  6. I thought the social network was fantastic and the main character did a great job, all tho i didnt like justin timberlakes performance at all. I wrote a review on it, on my blog if any of you want to see everything i had to say about the film.

    Posted by: Roasted Movies | Nov 3, 2010 9:23:32 PM

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