The Social Network 4K Blu-ray Review

Rather bitter in the telling

by Simon Crust
SRP: £120.00

The Social Network Review

You're not an asshole, Mark. You're just trying so hard to be

As with all biopic films, The Social Network must be taken with a pinch of salt. It is based on the book, The Accidental Billionaires, by Ben Mezrich, which itself can be taken with the same. And with director David Fincher giving his own interpretation of the screenplay such as the emphasis on the situations that take place, the major events that affected the outcome, or indeed bypassing whole occurrences in favour of drama, the result is a story that, whilst having a basis in fact, has more in tune with fantasy than truth.

Told in a non-linear fashion, the film concentrates on the two litigation charges faced by Mark Zuckerberg, one by his business partner, and the second by fellow Harvard students who maintain that ‘Facebook’ was stolen from their idea. Zuckerberg is presented as an obsessive with intellect, the driving force behind his creation, but taking inspiration from ideas he hears subsequently developed with his own approach. It seems he was in the right place, at the right time, with the skill, knowhow and sheer gumption to change the world. He is also shown as a bit of an outsider, someone who is difficult to befriend and maintain that friendship with, and there's a vindictive, thoughtless and jealous streak as he puts on an air of superiority to hide his personal insecurities - traits that follow him to his court cases. 

Zuckerberg is played, in a career defining performance, by Jesse Eisenberg; whose own obsessive quirks bring out the best in the character. He is ably supported by the likes of Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin, the business partner and friend at the centre of the litigation, Joseph Mazzello, Rooney Mara, and Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker whose influence on Zuckerberg and Facebook itself, was one of the driving factors behinds its success.

Whilst the narrative is that of Zuckerberg, Facebook, and the court cases, the overwhelming sense that the film leaves you with is that of bitterness. The suing culture and the get ahead at any cost mentality so prevalent in America is the real story behind The Social Network. It is possible to view it as ‘entrepreneur makes good’, but as presented ‘only backstabbing entrepreneurs make it’ might be more apt.

The Social Network Video

The Social Network - Columbia Classics Collection Volume 2
Is that Pong? Cos it looks like Pong. You know Pong has already been invented, right? So, you're just gonna steal the idea and make it better? But, it's Pong ....

The Social Network was shot digitally on Red One MX cameras, with a resolution of 4.5K, and finished as a 2K DI from which it appears this UHD is sourced.

The disc presents an up-scaled 3840 x 2160p resolution image with widescreen 2.39:1 aspect ratio, and uses 10-bit video depth, High Dynamic Range, a Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) and is encoded using the HEVC (H.265) codec for Dolby Vision and HRD10.

We reviewed the Region free UK Ultra HD Blu-ray release of The Social Network on a Panasonic TX-65HZ1000B Ultra HD 4K TV with a Panasonic DP-UB450 Dolby Vision HDR10+ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player.

 

Really deep    

You’d be hard pushed to tell this was an up-scale, with staples like skin texture and clothing weaves being very prevalent. Paperwork, computer consoles and screen text, notepad drawings, litigation papers: all are clean, clear, and precise.

Dolby Vision adds significantly to the colour depth with Jeff Cronenweth's cinematography bathing the screen in light. The earthy hues are rich, and deep, while flesh tone remain natural. The blue hues of Henley are in stark contrast to the rest of the film, with clean, bright colouring. Red barely makes an entrance, but when it does it bathes; check out the lighting in the nightclubs, or some of the underwear.

Black level is deep, really deep, with good shadow detail; check out Zuckerberg’s walk back to his dorm during the credits, the depth of frame, and stark street lighting. The white scale is held firm with decent highlights, lighting, sheen, and clouds etc.

Digitally there are no compression issues, and the original source is pristine. The occasional clipping has always been there.

The Social Network Audio

The Social Network - Columbia Classics Collection Volume 2
Included images are not sourced from the 4K UHD

Fincher is renowned for his sound design, and The Social Network is no exception, using the full 3D soundscape to envelop and engross the viewer. Right from the off, the couple chatting in the bar, with its myriad of effects, from general chatter of the patrons, to clinking of glasses, to the front and centre dialogue, you get the felling of actually being there and overhearing the conversation. Surrounds and overheads channels are used to bring out plenty of ambience as well as stereo effects – a bicycle moving past the screen, the chicken clucking, the clatter of keyboards etc.

 

Renowned   

Dialogue is very natural sounding and given directionality when required. The score makes full use of the speakers contributing to the immersive feel, while bass, not being the deepest nor the most prominent due to the nature of the film, is tight and controlled giving the low end some substance.

Review System: Denon AVR-X4300H, MK Sound LCR750 and SUR55T, XTZ S2 Atmosphere ceiling mounted, SVS PB-12 Ultra.

The Social Network Extras

The Social Network - Columbia Classics Collection Volume 2
Awesome

UHD

Theatrical Trailer – New for this release


Blu-ray­ (Unseen, list taken from published sources)

Audio Commentary – With David Fincher

Audio Commentary – With Aaron Sorkin & Cast

How Did They Ever Make a Movie of Facebook?

David Fincher and Jeff Cronenweth on the Visuals

Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter and Ren Klyce on Post

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and David Fincher on the Score

Ruby Skye VIP Room: Multi-Angle Scene Breakdown

In the Hall of the Mountain King: Reznor’s First Draft

Swarmatron

Hardback Book – Housing all discs with writings, essays and restoration note on all films.


Bonus Blu-ray Disc (
Unseen, info taken from published sources)

Comprises of 20 short/animated films from the Columbia Pictures library, presented in high definition: 
Umpa, The Three Stooges: Disorder In The Court, Charley Chase: Man Bites Lovebug, Color Rhapsodies: The Little Match Girl (Academy Award® nominee, 1937, Best Short Subject, Cartoons), Charley Chase: The Sap Takes A Wrap, Color Rhapsodies: Dog, Cat and Canary (Academy Award® nominee, 1944, Best Short Subject, Cartoons), The Ragtime Bear, The Wonder Gloves, Georgie and the Dragon, Madeline (Academy Award® nominee, 1952, Best Short Subject, Cartoons), Pete Hothead, The Tell-Tale Heart (Academy Award® nominee, 1953, Best Short Subject, Cartoons), When Magoo Flew (Academy Award® winner, 1954, Best Short Subject, Cartoons), The Man on the Flying Trapeze, Christopher Crumpet's Playmate, Stage Door Magoo, April in Portugal, The Chubbchubbs! (Academy Award® winner, 2002, Best Short Film, Animated), The Early Hatchling Gets The Worm, Puppy!: A Hotel Transylvania Short.

Conclusion

The Social Network 4K Blu-ray Review

The Social Network - Columbia Classics Collection Volume 2
Bestest everest friends forever, just not in the film

Like all biopic flicks, The Social Network must be taken with a grain of salt; whilst it might go through the salient point of the birth of Facebook, the circumstances and subsequent fallout are up for debate. The film, told in a non-linear fashion, concentrates on the litigation and ownership, as told through the American system, and, as such becomes all rather bitter in the telling.

  

Terrific    

The Social Network is currently only available as part of the Columbia Classics Collection Volume II.

The up-scaled image is terrific, being well detailed, with strong colouring and deep blacks. The Dolby Atmos track is sensational, with a terrific sound design that makes full use of the 3D environment. The extras package is also plentiful.

Columbia Classics Collection Volume 2 is available on 4K Ultra HD 13th September 2021.

Scores

Movie

.
.
.
7

Picture Quality

.
.
8

Sound Quality

.
9

Extras

.
.
8

Overall

.
.
8
8
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

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