Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"The Social Network" could be great, but could be sucky

When I went to the movie theater over the weekend to see "The Other Guys" I was drawn into one of the trailers before the film. It was for "The Social Network," which is (a version) of the story of Facebook.

To be sure, there's a lot of drama behind the creation of Facebook, certainly much more than most people realize between planting their crops in FarmVille, offing a rival gang in Mafia Wars or getting into arguments on friends' status messages.

"The Social Network" is based off Ben Mezrich's book, "The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal."

For those not familiar with Mezrich, he (I felt) hit the ball out of the park in his 2002 book, "Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions." Mezrich followed that -- his first work of non-fiction -- up with other books such as "Ugly Americans: The True Story of the Ivy League Cowboys Who Raided the Asian Markets for Millions" and "Rigged: The True Story of an Ivy League Kid Who Changed the World of Oil, from Wall Street to Dubai."

Sensing a theme from Mezrich? He writes about nerdy Ivy Leaguers, in the latest case Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin, and peps up the story with sex, booze and adventure.

Now, I did very much enjoy "Bringing Down the House" and thus was very excited when it was adapted into a movie. But that adaption ended up being the dungfest that was "21," a movie not at all true to the book and that embellished even more than Mezrich may have in his prose. It's the poor treatment the book received in "21" that makes me wonder whether "The Social Network" will be fantastic film or is just a great concept with a trailer that is buoyed heavily by a phenomenal rendition of Radiohead's "Creep," performed by the Scala and Kolacny Brothers.

Back to the point. While the Facebook story is great and dramatic and a fantastic case study for business, I'm concerned that Mezrich only got one side of the story for his book. He did not interview Zuckerberg at all (Zuckerberg reportedly refused to speak to Mezrich.) Meanwhile, Facebook co-founder (and guy who you never hear about so he has an axe to grind) Saverin was a consultant for Mezrich. Moreover, no one associated with Facebook was involved with the film project.

So while "The Social Network" might be very entertaining, a little will be taken away for me if there are excessive embellishments or facets of the film that are just not believable.

But that's Hollywood. And I'll almost certainly see "The Social Network" opening weekend regardless, unless that happens to be the time that Andy Morgan gets me into a screening and hooks me up with the steak he owes me for his colossal malprediction on recent box office figures!

It's time to start blogging again

I started this blog several months ago during a politically hot time in my life and I told myself I'd start blogging consistently again.

But then, as happens, school got busy, work got busy, life got busy, and writing here fell by the wayside.

So why, now, when I'm on the brink of entering what might become the busiest, most stressful two-year period of my life, am I saying I'm going to start blogging again?

Because I need to.

For the past two years I've had the radio show to vent daily thoughts in forms longer than 140 characters. Before that, I had a solid creative outlet in working at a newspaper for the previous six years.

Besides, I'd like to think there are a few people in Cache Valley who will want to keep track of what I'm up to, and this will be the best clearinghouse to take care of that.

So let's see how I do with this. Wish me luck, because lord knows I'll need it.

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