VIDEO: Critic-on-Critic Violence Erupts Over Social Network Blurb

It was the Blurb Heard 'Round the World -- or at least Seen 'Round the World, if you've been paying attention at all to the marketing campaign for The Social Network: "It's the movie of the year that also brilliantly defines the decade," said Rolling Stone's Peter Travers, known for years as one of Hollywood's most reliably fulsome dispensers of poster-ready praise. Whether or not you agree with him (Movieline's review is forthcoming later today), you can't really help but be amused by fellow critic David Edelstein's reaction -- on national television, no less.

"You wouldn't believe the hype for The Social Network," Edelstein begins...

which tells the story (or a disputed version) of 20-something Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg and how he invented the Web phenomenon Facebook. One blurbmeister says, "It's the movie of the year that also brilliantly defines the decade." Yowza! Given what a crazy decade it has been, I bet we're all hungry for some definition.

Burn! Yes: Definition, perspective, context... all are welcome. (And I'm speaking as someone who very much liked the film.) But a stinging public sucker punch is always even more welcome, I must say. Enjoy.


  • TurdBlossom says:

    David just proved that those over 45 don't "get" FaceBook.

  • elGoodo says:

    Edelstein is criticizing a movie that discusses a generation that he is clearly distant from. Those who grew up in the Facebook era should be the final judges on whether this film is an accurate depiction of their culture.

  • Martini Shark says:

    Edelstein is jealous because he has a blurb ready for the poster of "Static Cling", the dramatic story of the creation of ham radio networks.

  • Ted Spellman says:

    When I first heard David Fincher was directing a movie about the founding of Facebook I was incredibly puzzled – what in the world would compel the guy who made “Seven,” “Fight Club” and “Zodiac” to take on this story? I then read the book the film is based upon, ‘The Accidental Billionaires’ by Ben Mezrich. About a third of the way into the book it became crystal clear why the material is such a perfect fit for Fincher. Facebook ‘founder’ Mark Zuckerberg is as much of a narcissistic sociopath as John Doe was in “Seven” and the killer was in “Zodiac.” The difference is that instead of using a knife or gun, Zuckerberg uses a computer. In researching Zuckerberg in the press, its shocking to find that his own actions and e-mails document his unethical and disturbing behavior and beliefs as depicted in the film. Aaron Sorkin’s script takes the facts of Zuckerberg and the Facebook story and sculpts a complex psychological character study very much in the vein of “Seven” and “Zodiac.” Fincher has cast the film perfectly. Jesse Eisenberg’s performance conveys the damage and inhumanity that emerges from individuals with antisocial personality disorders. Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella and Josh Pence capture just how naïve and self-entitled the Harvard students who Zuckerberg manipulated were. Ultimately, “The Social Network” is not about Facebook – the actual Facebook logo, page and graphics do not even appear in the film until the last scene. Facebook is simply the MacGuffin of the film – the product and intellectual properties the characters battle over could have been legos, post-its, even matchbooks. ‘The Social Network’ is the story of what we as a global culture now value above all else –money and power. It no longer matters if one attains it through lies, deceit, betrayal and narcissistic motivations. The true horror Fincher captures with the film is that in the 21st century, someone like Zuckerberg is viewed as a success and hero because he attained wealth and power through ‘hacking’ – circumventing and disregarding laws, morals and the privacy of others. ‘The Social Network’ is a cautionary tale, one that will be lost on a generation that is no longer taught ‘just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should.’

  • Keith says:

    Each and every one of Peter Travers's reviews is a tour de force; an edge-of-your-seat joyride; the one review you must read this year; a nonstop roller coaster of action and suspense; a defining moment in movie review history; a nuclear apocalypse of movie reviewing awesomeness with a mushroom cloud of badassery and shockwaves of fun.

  • The Winchester says:

    Is Travers referring to the past decade, or the decade that just started 9 months ago?