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A nerd who thought it would be cool to, with the help of a few equally insane buddies adapt the entire Marvel Universe (with some DC Comics thrown in for kicks) with My Little Pony...wish me luck

More Blog Posts1733

  • 53 weeks
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  • 275 weeks
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  • 284 weeks
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Review: Steve Jobs (2015) · 9:28pm Feb 20th, 2016

Well...that was a total waste of my time.

After a highly publicized (thanks Sony Hack!) rocky road to production that included switching out lead actors three times, and loosing original director David Fincher due to a payment dispute, Aaron Sorkin's mudslinging campaign against Apple guru Steve Jobs was finally released in October 2015, where, in what I feel is a fitting fate to this utter garbage of a film, it bombed harder then Hiroshima, fading quickly into obscurity and out of the public consciousness.

Now, a good five months after it's theatrical release, I got my hands on the HD download, and finally decided to watch it.

And, as you can probably already tell by this point, I was not at all impressed or pleased with this film.

Let me try to break down why.

Danny Boyle's direction, while having an occasional dynamic moment or two, ends up being a cluttered, overly kenetic affair, which doesn't match the backstage sniping that dominates the three act structure of the film. By using this three act structure, the film hops through the narrative in leaps and bounds, before trying to cram tons of character interaction and development into a very tiny fragment of time, which leads to it feeling rushed and overstuffed with plot.

But really, the biggest reason this film fails on nearly every conceivable level is due to Aaron Sorkin's insufferably self important, hypocritical and acerbic screenplay. Lacking any pretense of being anything less then an utter hatch job against the real Steve Jobs, Sorkin!Jobs is an almost comically sociopathic man who cares little for anyone else, and acts out in an a manner more akin to a spoiled brat then an insufferable genius. Yet, at the same time, every other character in the screenplay is protracted as a fool, easily manipulated by Sorkin!Jobs, and Sorkin's flagrant trashing of anything resembling historical accuracy is covering every second of film like a slime.

The central conflict of the film is that Sorkin!Jobs stubbornly refuses to acknowledge or care for his illegitimate daughter, and the film bends over backwards to try and paint him as some horrifically neglectful self centered man. Funny thing is that, in the real world, Steve Jobs and his daughter reconciled when she was just nine years old, and afterwards, he fully supported her, and he openly confessed and apologized for his no doubt dishonest actions in previously denying her parentage. However, the film manufactures a conflict between them that didn't exist in reality, all as Sorkin's intense desire to paint Jobs as a sociopath.

This weird moral myopia is furthered when you quickly realize that the so-called "Sympathetic" people in the film, such as Steve Wozniak and Chrisann Brennan, instead come across as selfish and haggering. They constantly approach Sorkin!Jobs with demand after demand, even when it becomes painfully obvious that Sorkin!Jobs will not acquiesce in the slightest. For instance, Brennan demands repeatedly that Sorkin!Jobs acknowledge his biological daughter (which I might add, he had already done by the time Act 2 of the film comes around), and on top of that, demands massive amounts of money as "compensation". Of course, whenever Sorkin!Jobs does give her the money, she will then spend it on such bizzare things as having her $400,000 home blessed by a buddist monk, or buying bizzare antiques, while putting off medical treatment for her nasal infection. Furthermore, she has the then-10 year old Lisa wake her up in the morning, instead of setting the alarm herself (something that Sorkin!Job calls her out on). This quickly destroys even the smallest amounts of sympathy I might have had for Brennan, and the film does nothing to have her gain any of it back.

Meanwhile, Wozniak comes across as a self important man who continually complains that Sorkin!Jobs never mentions the Apple II team in any of his speeches for whichever NEW Apple gizmo is being promoted. Sorkin!Job flat out explains to Wozniak that talking about an old product at the premiere of a new one makes no sense, but Wozniak continues to persist. In Act 3, he has the comption to compare himself to John Lennon, to which Sorkin!Jobs rightfully scoffs (no doubt helped by the fact that it was Wozniak and co who nearly drove Apple into the ground after Jobs left). Instead of a sympathetic man trying to get credit, Wozniak just comes across as a greedy, envious complainer.

I will say that the acting, partciularly from Fassbender (who, might I add, looks nothing like the actual Steve Jobs), and Kate Winslet as Sorkin!Jobs' long suffering assistant Joanna Hoffman, are excellent, but that doesn't matter when the screenplay is such a flagrant mess. None of the people in the film feel like fully rendered people, but rather simple puppets to allow Sorkin to spew his oh so self important and snarky banter, and to act as symbols for Sorkin to tear down Jobs.

Now, am I saying that the real Steve Jobs was a saint? Of course not. He no doubt had flaws, and his own ambition and difficult to get along with nature are well documented (just read Walter Isaacson's biography Steve Jobs), but just because a guy is ambitious and hard to get along with, is no excuse to create whatever the hell this film is.

This film isn't a biopic. It's a bold faced smear campaign that, in the end, manages to stumble over itself into becoming a self important mess of a film, and one that should be justly criticized for it's flagrant ignorance of the actual historical events.

This film is a joke, and I'm giving it a single star, exclusively for Kate Winslet and Fassbender's acting ability.

Comments ( 2 )

Huh. Well this is interesting. I went to see this with my father a couple of weeks ago, and we interpreted the whole thing in a completely different manner. After the film finished we were both like "Why did they reviews say he was portrayed as a heartless sociopath?" In my opinion, Jobs was portrayed here as a very human character with many flaws and failings, but also blessed with the ability to recognise his mistakes. I think there were many subtle moments in each act where at first Jobs didn't give in to any demands/kindness/whatever, but then towards the end of each act he did reconcile in some fashion. These were small bits like reacting to Lisa hugging her, talking it out with Sculley, and other things.

Of course I realise that the film is trying to create drama where there isn't any, but this film didn't aim to be a biopic, this was a work of fiction, that's all. And as that, it succeeded.

And yeah, I might have been completely wrong as to what this film was trying to be, I haven't followed the news in this movie in the slightest. Maybe it was advertised as a biopic or the crew continuously slammed Jobs as a person or whatever, but knowing nothing about the movie going in except that it's about a sociopathic version of Steve Jobs made this work for me. I'd give it a high rating on the screenplay+acting front if I had to.

3769944 all those moments take place in the third act, and were mandated by the studio after the original ending (where Sorkin!Jobs remains uncaring and sociopathic) was judged as too depressing.

So Sorkin cooked up this half assed ending that doesn't even really fit with the rest of the movie, and feeling glaringly like a sudden turn to a "happy ending", when the film had been almost exclusively negative in its depicition of Jobs

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