Friday, October 16

REVIEW: Steve Jobs

Directed by Danny Boyle
2015 Biographical Drama
2 hours 2 minutes
From Universal Pictures

Michael Fassbender
Kate Winslet
Seth Rogen
Jeff Daniels
Michael Stuhlbarg
Katherine Waterston
Ripley Sobo
Perla Haney-Jardine

I had this on my must-see list because of Michael Fassbender, not Steve Jobs.  I've read enough about Jobs and I saw a documentary and the Ashton Kutcher flick.  I could almost say I was in Jobs Overload before I saw the film and now I am certifiably there.  I love Michael Fassbender.  I regard him as the best actor of his crowd.  I've seen all of his films (ok, the X-Mens were hard for me to get through) and there was no way I was missing this one. 

And Kate Winslet... she always captivates me.  And screenwriter Aaron Sorkin... wow.  He's taken pen to paper and come up with A Few Good Men, Malice, The American President, Charley Wilson's War and a well-deserved Oscar for The Social Network.  Then there's TV's West Wing and The Newsroom.  I mean, if you're looking for a pedigree...  And director Danny Boyle... Trainspotting, The Beach and an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire.

That's a lot of talent before and behind the cameras... and by and large, it shows.  I could find no fault with anyone's acting.  Winslet, Daniels and especially Fassbender nail it... that is without question.  The supporting cast is also exceptional.  I could find no fault with Sorkin's glorious words or Boyle's direction, per se, although I may add a little extra something before we close.

The only thing I think I learned from this film is more information  on Jobs' daughter and her mother.  The rest I more or less knew... he was adopted...  suffered psychologically from his childhood (join the club, Steve)... a brilliant salesman... a maniacal leader... co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple, ousted and reinstated ... creative entrepreneur of six industries.  (This listing is not intended to be all-inclusive.)  He had a passion for perfection and a tendency if not a need to roll over people.  In short, he was not a very nice man.

To have a two-hour movie about a not very nice man is a dicey situation.  Unfortunately, for me, Sorkin and Boyle, with all their preparation for the voyage, missed the boat.  They missed the number one ingredient... they forgot to entertain.  Oh not completely (that would be one star) but close.  I think that for a character who spends so much time being dyspeptic and downright mean and contrary, it needs to be suggested now and then.  Two hours and two minutes of it is just too much.  All these characters do from start to finish is argue.  One might even call it a stressful movie.

It wasn't even close to fun, absolutely devoid of humor.  The entire film actually is set backstage at three different product launches with too much attention paid to bickering and trying to get Jobs on stage on time.   Zzzzzzz.  Couldn't they have thrown in more on his earlier life and shown a bit more back story on how the monster became the monster?  Did we have to end the story before he got sick, thus robbing us of perhaps some tender moments, life changes, less fussing?  Couldn't we have seen the two leads going for coffee and talking about something else, maybe practicing smiling?   How about just completing the story that was started?  All we have is all the bickering.  It was tiring and again, not so entertaining.

I realize there's another point of view out there.  There always is.  The computer geeks, Apple users, Apple employees, Universal employees, disciples, other people named Steve, argumentative folks, entrepreneurs, Californians... you name it, the other side could impressively weigh in.  I beg for forgiveness.  Maybe I'll go out and buy a Mac tomorrow.

Oh, and Michael, I'll be there for Macbeth even though that one has me concerned, too.

Next posting:
One of those 20th Century Foxes  

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