The Movie: 8/10
Steve Jobs is a story about a man driven by his own vision of what he wants to do in this world. It’s not a unique story. We have a handful of humans through our history who have been driven to achieve something and ended up changing the way humans do this or that. I’m not dismissing the achievements of the real life Steve Jobs, but remember, this is not a biography type movie. The man we see is a fictional version of a persona, bits and pieces of someone who lived, did, and died. On that basis, understanding that this is actually a fictional story with tiny references to a “real” person, I found it fascinating, entertaining, and gripping. I am not the motivated type. I don’t set out each day to change the whole world. If I can make someone I care about happier, smarter, more comfortable, or more motivated on their own journey, so be it. The thing is, it takes a lot of energy that burns off and often leaves damage in its wake, so I’m not energized like this guy. Fassbender is amazing, of course. Winslet steals the show, of course. What I’m saying is that the acting, the performances, the people who populate the people who become the characters, they rock the whole thing. As a story, a man who has an idea and alienates people or pushes through failure after failure with more and more drive, that’s nothing new or exciting to me. It’s intriguing if I read about the real Steve Jobs, yes, but this version of the man is more of a combination of all people with this kind of personality.
The look of each decade comes to life with just the right touch. I wasn’t lost in the 80’s or 90’s, because the bigger idea to me is that this guy, and this thing he has inside him, is timeless. He is just in a time, not OF a time. The locations they filmed in were real places Jobs and his press conferences took place, so it feels grounded, solid. Did I mention that this story is told as events that happen before each of his major product launches through the years? The relationship between this fictional Jobs and his daughter, his “assistant”, the original head of the board of his company, and the actual programmers (Steve Wozniak and Andy Herzfeld) through some dramatic confrontations. It tells us he is focuses on his own thing at the expense of their feelings, their own goals, and his connections to each of them. Again, remember this is NOT REALITY. The relationships are crafted by a writer and the director. There are grains of truth, but very tiny. The people existed, some events happened but not as portrayed or when they are portrayed in the film, so don’t think that Wozniak had these conversations with Jobs, he did not, and he will tell you so.
The movie resonates with me in a couple of ways. It reminds me that there are individuals through our existence here on this planet who will make big things happen, and that loving movies isn’t about loving the big action, big special effects, big loud stuff (even though that’s fun too:)) but it’s about being told a story with movie pictures, dialogue, characters, tales, quandaries, decisions made by the characters, places I’ll never go, things I’ll never do, and in the end walk away changed in a tiny way. Steve Jobs did inform one thing in me that I walk away with, do not discourage a person from their dreams of changing or creating or being who they need to be. I already have that ingrained in me, but it highlights that idea. If someone fails many times and keeps moving forward toward the same goal but with new ideas, new ways to solve that problem, they have something that needs to be nurtured. Then again, if they act like a jerk, be sure to remind them not to get too big for their britches:)
- Inside Jobs: The Making Of Steve Jobs (44 Minutes) – A 3-part making of feature that really goes in-depth on the movie. Part one is mostly about Fassbender and his contribution to the film. Part two takes us through the supporting cast and Part 3 is Danny Boyle getting technical about the look of the film.
- Feature Commentary – Not one but two feature commentary tracks are included. The first is a very technical version of events told by Director Danny Boyle. The second pairs Aaron Sorkin with Editor Eliot Graham and is mostly about the films structure and it’s very different screenplay.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
The movie is about a man, and the cover shows that man, soooo yea, it’s fine. I wouldn’t have it as a poster. It’s a little boring for me. I did enjoy the movie so if you found some other image that represented the movie with some pizzazz, that would make it onto one of my walls.
Audio & Video: 9/10
This is a film in three acts and a film that uses different cameras for those three acts. The first third of the movie is set in the 1984 and uses very grainy 1980’s 16mm film stock, it looks lovely and I noticed it right away. Then we move to 1988 where Director Danny Boyle opts of 35mm film which gives a very different look. Finally we move to 1998 which is filmed digitally. I love this choice as it gives each era a distinct feel, a side effect though is how it makes the Blu-Ray presentation look unpredictable to the untrained eye. Black levels are very deep throughout and no matter what film stock is being used close-ups are breathtakingly detailed. This is a sumptuous looking movie that really excels in HD.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is very impressive. As with most Danny Boyle movies there are a lot of instances of Electronic music which is most fitting in a film about the invention of the modern computer. Rear channels are almost always active with background dialog and music being placed there. The dialog which obviously is the star of the show here as we are dealing with Aaron Sorkin is centered well prioritized and a pleasure to listen to. The sound design is distinctly Boyle and fans will really get a kick out of this rich soundtrack.
Overall Score 8/10