Well I finally got around to watching both THE SOCIAL NETWORK and X-MEN FIRST CLASS. They were both from day one not on my must see list. The hype machine notwistanding, I’m relatively good at being able to look at previews/trailers and being able to smell a film that really isn’t worth my theater dollars.
And unfortunately having seen both films (rented them from the Library for $1.50), I was correct to avoid them in the theater.
THE SOCIAL NETWORK is the better of the two, and is in fact better than I thought it would be, I mean a film on FACEBOOK, comeon. However David Fincher does make this an interesting film throughout, however it never really becomes more than that. It’s not a film I’m going to return to, or have any desire to watch again. So a good film, but by no means a great or memorable film. David Fincher exploded with his 2nd film SEVEN (easily his masterpiece), and I was quite enamored of the films immediately following that, THE GAME, FIGHT CLUB, and to a lesser degree PANIC ROOM.
Unfortunately every film since, has been a little less effective and less interesting than the one before… from ZODIAC to BENJAMIN BUTTON to now SOCIAL NETWORK, there’s a gradual but definite decline.
David Fincher I once considered one of the best directors working, but I just don’t see it anymore. Though I hold out hope that THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO shall be a return to greatness for him, being the first film of his in over a decade that I’m actually excited by the trailer. Time will tell. But as far as SOCIAL NETWORK, it’s a Grade: B at best, a capable enough film but not something I’ll be purchasing.
That brings us to Matthew Vaughn’s X-MEN FIRST CLASS, another hailed film that the trailers to me looked awful. I had some issues with Matthew Vaughn’s KICK ASS but overall it was a good, and well done film, capably written. The main problem I have with X-MEN FIRST CLASS is the very stereotypical and boring and to an extent offensive choices it makes, in terms of script and story beats.
The clue is really in the number of writers who worked on the script and story, something like half a dozen writers… never a good sign. I have a lot of problems with the film, but the main thing is this: it is so heavy handed, unsubtle, and so… by the numbers it’s insulting. Here’s a movie about embracing differences, and how do we do that… by pulling the old, to the point of decrepitude bigot writing ploy of killing off the sole Black male character and making the sole female Black character a hor and a villain.
It’s just unworthy of all involved to crank out such stale stereotyping, and that it takes six writers to do so is just sad. People bash on X-MEN III, X-MEN III is a masterpiece compared to this.
Some good performances and a nice beginning unfortunately can’t rise above a halfbaked plot, and creaky dialogue. Final Grade: C-/D+. Catch it for free.
So both films I ultimately suggest, watching if there’s nothing better on, and you can catch it for free, but otherwise… Avoid.