New York 2015 Review: STEVE JOBS Is A Dud

Featured Critic; Brooklyn, New York (@floatingartist)
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New York 2015 Review: STEVE JOBS Is A Dud
The first question is: do we really need another Steve Jobs movie? Then, what merits does the life of the billionaire co-founder of Apple have, to prompt three movies (Jobs, Steve Jobs: the Man in the Machine, and now Steve Jobs) about him within two years? Yes, Apple product is cool, but what else is there to talk about?

I have to admit that I've been an Apple user all my adult life. It's not because of brand loyalty, but because I inherited a Mac Classic II from my ex-girlfriend in college. Since then I rarely used PC other than some odd office jobs I've briefly held. I was too young to have seen the famous 1984 Apple commercial, and have never been a good consumer who would grow feelings of attachment with inanimate objects, to be honest.

The new Steve Jobs movie, called Steve Jobs, based on Walter Isaacson's biography, scripted by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Danny Boyle, is as exciting as a production of a high school play. This ill conceived film stars Michael Fassbender as Jobs, an innovator of Apple products, Kate Winslet (in her annoying Polish accent) as his trusty, long-time marketing director Joanna Hoffman, and Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, the disgruntled engineer and co-founder of Apple. For the next breezy two hours, we go from one launching event (the launch of the original Macintosh computer in 1984) to another (NeXT in 1988) to another (iMac in 1998), signifying three phases in Jobs's career.

It is Seth Rogen who steals the show as Wozniak, though. Forever not credited by the ungrateful Jobs for creating Apple II, which was the bread and butter for the company for a long time, he is the only one who shows some real emotions in the film, demanding Jobs to mention him and his team in all three launching events. His cuddly presence also balances out the dead-eyed, angular Fassbender and their antiseptic surroundings. Jeff Daniels cakewalks through the screen as John Sculley, a Pepsi executive turned CEO of Apple who fired Jobs from Apple but was apparently a father figure for Jobs.

No one disputes Sorkin's penchant for snappy dialog and just like in The Social Network, Steve Jobs is full of it. So much so, you wonder, if casting these esteemed actors were really necessary, when they are just mouthing the great Sorkin dialog when there is so little drama. In The Social Network, however artificial Fincher's filmmaking generally is, there was movement, fluidity, breath and scope. But with Steve Jobs, boxed in convention halls and other indoor spaces, one can't escape the feeling of watching a play.

So the meat of the story is this: whatever chips he has on his shoulders, Jobs wouldn't recognize Lisa (played by Makenzie Moss and Perla Haney-Jardine, respectively) as his daughter. There are 28 percent of all men in the country who can be her father, according to his algorithm. Her no-good mom Chrisann Brennan (Katherine Waterston) keeps asking him for money. He is also a ruthless and egotistical leader who is never wrong. Would he find his way to admit that he is not perfect?

This trend of 'giving a billionaire dick a pass in life because they are only human and have flaws' storyline is getting on my nerves. Sorkin hit it big with the young, hip demographic (under 25, white, college educated) with The Social Network but his HBO series The Newsroom was only viewed and appreciated by my mother-in-law. His street cred is gone. Steve Jobs is a massive waste of talent and money and Danny Boyle is not the director who is up to the challenge of making gold out of nothing, which Steve Jobs is.

Dustin Chang is a freelance writer. His musings and opinions on the world can be found at www.dustinchang.com
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More about Steve Jobs (2015)

Plan9_of_the_ApesOctober 4, 2015 6:47 PM

My feelings exactly.

Unflinching_EyeOctober 4, 2015 9:45 PM

"do we really need another Steve Jobs movie?": No, we absolutely do not. Despite my fondness for Boyle, I can't help but feel satisfaction at hearing that this is crap. Cue the angry retorts from Jobs' army of obsessive acolytes in 3, 2, 1...

mizkittyOctober 4, 2015 10:21 PM

You should have told us Seth Rogen sucked as well...cause now I still have to see it...

Timber56October 4, 2015 11:11 PM

This "review" is abysmal.

Andrew JamesOctober 5, 2015 6:48 AM

I have no reservations that this story is redundant, possibly boring and probably bullshit. But I was really hoping Boyle's direction would elevate it into good spectacle (ala 127 Hours).

dustin changOctober 5, 2015 3:56 PM

I was surprised how stagey it felt. The only thing Boyle did was shooting 1984 segment on grainy 16mm, 1988 on 35mm and 1998 on crisp digital but the differences in unsuspecting eyes are minimal.

InvisiGhostOctober 6, 2015 6:47 PM

we never really needed any of them...maybe 1 just because but the guy was an ultimate d-bag so lets just move on..

TabnoomOctober 6, 2015 9:12 PM

over-rated, over-hyped, over-priced.... that sums up the used car salesman Jobs and the crapple products

wagnerfilmOctober 6, 2015 10:51 PM

I think you'll find "Jobs' army of obsessive acolytes" is an entirely imaginary thing.

Garland T LaffertyOctober 7, 2015 7:45 AM

Movies about Steve Jobs are like celebrating Columbus Day. Once a year we worship a
man who did nothing but steal from others,then enslave a population

Neil T FriskeOctober 7, 2015 10:37 AM

lol, that's actually pretty witty.

WernerOctober 16, 2015 4:23 PM

Nobody watches documentaries and that movie with Demi Moore's ex-husband so yes we were waiting for this one.
A movie is not about celebrating a good book or a person, but those are just the basis for a good story on screen (we hope).
There was a time that people went to the cinema because an actor and/or actrice stars in it. Well.. the age of Michael Fassbender has arrived... Just look at that movie record of his: wow! So I will gladly boldly disregard this review, but thanks anyway.