Network (1976)

(Streaming on Netflix as of 9/24/2011)

There’s a reason a movie becomes a classic. Because it’s good.

Network is one of those movies I heard referred to quite a lot, but it just never crossed my radar until now.

What surprised me the most was how relevant this 35-year-old movie still is. In retrospect, this movie was a warning of what the world could become—what the world would become. And the fact that we ended up here despite that warning would be depressing…if the movie wasn’t so funny.

Now I have a hard time calling it a comedy because the sense of humor is so twisted. It’s really a satire. But a very pointed satire, and like I said, relevant today.

If you don’t want to risk spoilers, stop reading now. Otherwise…

The final scene, for example, with that dry voice-over is one big satiric slap across the face. I laughed but uncomfortably like I did through much of the awesome Four Lions.

Some of the dialogue is a little too clever for its own good, especially when characters start comparing their own lives to television conventions. The movie makes that point effectively without having to come right out and say it. But that might simply be the script showing its age.

Ned Beatty’s monologue, however, is incredibly powerful. Even though his character’s philosophy goes against everything I believe in, that speech almost swayed me to the dark side!

As much as I dislike remakes, I think this movie is calling out to be updated. It’s a message that still needs to be heard, even if we were deaf to it the first time.

More info at IMDb , RottenTomatoes, and

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