Friday, October 29, 2010

Social and Paranormal Joys & Pitfalls of Movie Watching

I find it quite fetching that a phenomenon as definitive as Facebook is borne out of spite and heartbreak. Why do the smartest of beings have trouble relating socially when it seems easier to just smile at people than turning them away? We could have just asked Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg if he weren't so elusive, but his infatuation to Ms. Erica Albright (played by Rooney Mara) doesn't necessarily translate to wooing. Mark actually drives her away with his arrogance and misplaced rationalization. We should all thank Ms. Albright for the eventual birth of Facebook, which gets addicting at times.

This David Fincher film is brisk and pertinent. it's multi-level character delineation is rich and thought provoking; never the cartoon characters that usually befall real-life personalities fictionalized within films. Jesse Eisenberg personifies Zuckerberg with perfect temperament, and I admire Fincher's attention to details (Zuckerberg seen wearing slippers even in his classes at Harvard).

Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin, the soon-to-be latest incarnation of Spider-man/Peter Parker, is precisely supportive and sympathetic; while Justin Timberlake as the sly Sean Parker (founder of napster) slithers through seamless exposition. The eye-catchingly gorgeous Armie Hammer (as twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss) as well as Max Minghella shine in their scenes as well.

This film deserves a Best Performance by an Ensemble. Youthful exuberance is infectious and an extant atmosphere is palpably captured.

The Social Network is Oscar-bound!

Jesse Eisenberg standing proud.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is camera-shy. To be so young and smart and a billionaire.

Armie Hammer is 6'5" tall.

"Paranormal Activity 2" fiddles with the family history of our protagonist Kristi (Sprague Grayden), the sister of the first part's Katie (Katie Featherston). In this movie, Kristi lives a charmed life with her husband Dan (Brian Boland), teen-age daughter Ali and baby Hunter.

Director Todd Williams' narrative is a prequel of sorts, occuring about 2 months prior to the disappearance of Katie and the death of Micah (Micah Sloat). Similar artifice, efficiently used in the first movie, is used here, employing hand-held, as well as surveillance cameras spread across the Rey household. Tweaking with sisters Kristi and Katie's mother's cryptic past would have been a convenient go-to in moving the narrative, but it proved suspicious at best and unsatisfactory, leaving more unanswered questions. This makes "Paranormal 2" a tad too laborious and "manipulative", i.e. less effective than the first part.

Does it deliver ample supply of goosebumps? Yes, it does, albeit less successfully than its predecessor.

Postscript: LOUD AND UGLY!

To the two ugly midget girls who annotated and discussed the film during its whole 91-minute run at the Galleria, you BOTH should go back to the mountains where you rightfully belong. The first girl, who sported long pubic-haired tresses, and who carried a tacky backpack, looked like she came straight from the wet market, while her yellow-clad pudgy companion needed a daily date at the gym: Yes! Both of you! Gawd! Grow brains and zip those stinking yappers! The movie theater is for "watching" - and not a public discussion forum!

I so hate idiots who use their mouths more than their white-and-gray matter!

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