Ugh not again; there they go repeating the same story for everyone. I do not know if this has happened to you but I know a couple of people who can take an entertaining story and pummel it down to the point where most people would have lost interest midway through the tale. One of these individuals will tell me a story, move on to something else for a moment and then come back to the original story to add some unnecessary element. I say “unnecessary” because once you give out the punchline the story is done. If you go back to add something else it never adds extra oomph if someone already knows the ending to the joke or story. At a party this person will go from group to group telling each one a particular story, dragging it out longer and longer as they make their way among the assembled people. It is easy to tell when a captive guest loses interest; their eyes keep darting from side to side after each blink as they are looking to lock in on someone to come save them from the storyteller’s discombobulated oratory. I may not be a great verbal communicator but I do know that a good story or joke needs to be quick and to the point. It is like a speech; there is only a finite amount of time one can hold onto an audience’s attention span before they drift off to someplace else. So here is today’s movie and it is the third film about Steve Jobs I have seen in a short amount of time. How many times do we need to hear about Steve and Apple Computer? Luckily they say the 3rd time is the charm because it was for this dramatic movie. COME backstage during the launch of 3 major products during Steve’s tenure at Apple Computer. Directed by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) and written by Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, The West Wing-TV), this film was intelligent, smart and most importantly acted out brilliantly. The casting could not have been better with the likes of Michael Fassbender (A Dangerous Method, Shame) as Steve Jobs, Kate Winslet (Titanic, Divergent franchise) as Joanna Hoffman and Jeff Daniels (The Martian, Looper) as John Sculley; they were amazing in their roles. Michael completely obliterated any trace memory I had left of Ashton Kutcher’s poor performance as Steve in the film Jobs; there is a good chance Michael will be nominated for best actor this Oscar season. The script was so well done I can only imagine the actors must have really enjoyed digging deep into their characters. I enjoyed the mix of dramatic intensity and humor Aaron brought into the script. The fact the story only focused on three specific time frames I believe made this a stronger picture. Truthfully, I could easily see this film again and not get bored.
3 1/2 stars
There are some people who are just as fierce or even fiercer in protecting their non-human babies as they are with their human ones. Whether the person is a creative or scientific genius, they treat their creation with the utmost concern and love. Now I am no genius but I can understand the feelings of being protective towards something one has created. There was a time where I would record mixes of songs to use in my fitness classes. It would take hours, sometimes days, for me to make a continuous recording of songs. With one turntable, one CD player and a tape deck I would count out the beats to every song I was going to use then try to blend them together. It was a fulfilling experience for me because the members in my classes absolutely loved my song choices. There were times they or fellow aerobic instructors would ask if they could get a copy of my music but I always declined them. At the time I felt with all the work I put into it, besides the expense of buying each song, I did not want to share or sell my work to anyone else. My music represented a part of me if that makes any sense. There was another reason why I did not copy my music. To record the original artist’s music, I paid dues to the copyright agencies that protected the artists’ work. I felt it was important they got paid for their efforts; so by me making copies and giving them out would defeat my purpose. I was always gracious in my refusals; part of the reason was I did not want anyone to think unkindly of me, unlike the main focus of this documentary. WHEN Steve Jobs the father of Apple computer died, the outpouring of grief and love expressed around the world was astounding to see. Even to those individuals who had experienced his wrath. Directed by Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks), this film covered a majority of events that have been told before. However, what I liked about this documentary was the variety of personal interviews from people who were there at the time of several major events in the life of Steve and Apple. I was thrilled to hear the stories behind the birth of such iconic items in our society such as the Ipod and Iphone. This should not come as a surprise but Steve appeared to have a split personality; one side was cerebral and contemplative and the other was a raging storm of spiteful anger. For me an Apple consumer, I was a bit uncomfortable hearing and seeing such poor behavior coming out of someone who was integral in making parts of my life easier. Geniuses come in many forms but it is always hard to hear someone we admire is not a nice person.
After a few attempts I came to the conclusion that my brain was not wired that way. There was something about a PC’s operating system that did not interface with my mind. I would sit in front of its glowing screen, staring at the dialog box that told me a function did not work, asking me if it was okay. No, it was not okay I would say as the level of my frustration rose. According to my way of thinking, the computer should have been able to correct itself and show me what I needed to do to proceed; it was a computer for heaven’s sake. When I left the PC world, replacing it with an Apple computer, an immediate connection formed between us. This is not meant to be an advertisement or endorsement of their products; I am simply saying the billowing brainwaves in my head found clarity with its operating system. The creator and driving force behind my computer and cell phone was Steve Jobs. From the events he orchestrated and the frenzied crowds who camped out for his products, I would be surprised to find someone who had not heard of this man. To portray such an intense individual in a movie, one would need an actor with some considerable acting abilities. Who this movie studio came up with to play Steve Jobs was Ashton Kutcher (The Butterfly Effect, That ’70s Show-TV). In his television commercials, Ashton has an engaging personality that is comfortable to watch. This trait worked for him when he was recreating Steve’s media events in this dramatic film. Unfortunately, it was the only thing that did work for him. Ashton was completely wrong for this character that needed to show the emotional intensity that Steve was known to have and display freely. The script was awful, making the scenes seem like small tidbits that were randomly spliced together. Where I thought Josh Gad (Love & Other Drugs, 21) had potential playing Steve’s partner Steve Wozniak, Dermot Mulroney (Zodiac, The Grey) was wasted playing the financial backer Mike Markkula. This was such a disappointing movie; I can only imagine what Steve Jobs would have done after seeing this film. My guess is he would be yelling at everyone involved, using words not usually found in a dictionary; telling them it was ugly and not consumer friendly.
1 2/3 stars