HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Steve Jobs
HTS Overall Score:89
Chances are if you’re a living, breathing human being you have heard of Steve Jobs. It’s kind of like asking if you know who Bill Gates is, or who Muhammed Ali was. It’s just understood that some of the most influential public figures in the world are known just by their name alone. If you are into the computer world at all then it’s almost a 50/50 chance the man will be met with boos, or he’ll be met with adoration as the schism/war/love/hate relationship between the ever present PC’s and Apple computers are a thing of legend. The men who created them even more so. I have to say upfront that I’m a PC guy because I like to tinker. I like the ability to upgrade, tweak, and swap out components at will due to the open nature of the PC design. Something that Steve Jobs was vehemently against because of his belief that a closed system allows for more quality control and precision than having a computer be the jack of all trades and be susceptible to writing code that would cover every conceivable piece of hardware and sooner or later not be able to be compatible with some, or in doing so create week coverage. In all honesty both are correct, just a different way of looking at the same equation. Which is actually the same concept that is the Mac/PC war. Both viable options that have their pros and cons, with both allowing a person’s choice to buy one or the other and cater to his/her needs.
How do you make a movie about one of the most narcissistic, egotistical, self-absorbed, arrogant, mind blowingly brilliant, flawed characters in technological history? I personally don’t know, for that you would have to ask writer Aaron Sorkin. After writing the script for Facebook creator’s Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network” I was more than willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. After watching “Steve Jobs” I have no doubts. I was left in awe with my jaw hanging down to the floor and my heart pounding in my chest from the intensity. This is a film that starts out with the 1984 announcement of the MacIntosh computer, the successor to the Apple 2, and just SITS there for over 40 minutes of a 2 hour runtime and I CAN’T TEAR MY EYES FROM THE SCREEN!. Let that sink in for a moment. We have a 2 hour and 2 minute film with credits, and the opening scene of the movie is a 40 minute sequence shot that chronicles the behind the scenes bits of the unveiling of Jobs biggest launch until the Ipod/Iphone. So that means almost 40% of the movie is in one chronological event and I can’t tear my eyes from the screen. Mesmerized and with my heart pounding in my chest. Simply put the delicate touches to the film is just incredible. Danny Boyle has already shown what he can do with things like “Slumdog Millionaire” and the like, and combined with Aaron Sorkin’s writing we have a clear winner.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=65114[/img]“Steve Jobs” is less a story about the technology displayed in the film, but rather the man behind the machine, so to speak. We start out with the intense “Hello” sequence for the first 45 minutes and then move on to the famous Black Cube, as well as Job’s departure from Apple to his return for the IMac in 1998. It’s a tale of progression, and recession. The man who is almost a walking, talking computer himself in some lights, to the computer that shows that maybe there is a hint of humanity underneath. I’m not lionizing or excusing Job’s personality flaws or his mistakes. The man was a HORRIBLY flawed person. A man that was actually hated by many of his own followers just as there were people who loved him. He was a difficult man to get along with and my calling him egostical, maniacal, narcissistic and completely obsessed are 100% accurate. However you cannot deny the simple marketing genius that lay behind that abusive exterior. This is the man who turned a company that was being DESTROYED by Microsoft in the late 90’s/early 2000 era into a thriving company with the introduction of the “I” series of products. Apple was on the verge of Obsolescence until Jobs and crew made a tactical shift in thinking and now we have Itunes, Ipods, Iphones and everything in between dominating the marketplace.
The writing is amazing, and the directing is just as masterful. However, without good acting you have nothing. Fassbender is by and large the highlight of the film, as the titular title character. Without him the film would have fallen apart and his absorption into the role is absolutely incredible. The film pulses with life every time he’s on screen. A sense of presence and emanating confidence ooze from every pore, and while I hesitate to say he “WAS” Steve Jobs, his channeling of the legendary innovator is nothing short of amazing. The rest of the cast roll with the punches and just enhance the experience, from Kate Winslet as legendary manipulator Joanna Hoffman, or Seth Rogen as nerdy Steve Wozniak. I usually find Rogen irritating in his series roles, but this awkward level of genius and nerd blend well together, creating the perfect foil for Fassbender’s overly intense and nearly computer like logic.
Rated R for language.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=65122[/img]“Steve Jobs” uses an interesting progression of film types to give a texture and feel to the technology mogul’s life and career. The opening 1984 sequence is shot entirely in 16 mm film. The grain texture is heavy and very organic, giving the film a dated feel that both raw and beautiful at the same time. Colors are precise and detail is amazing. The middle section is shot on 35 mm film, and the grain level is decreased due to the film stock and the film focuses in on the clarity aspect. The beige of the computers contrast nicely with the smart white worn by Fassbender, and the blue tint to the film looks wonderfully crisp. The last section of the film is shot digitally and is most obviously the cleanest and sharpest looking of the film. With digital cameras comes no grain whatsoever and the film is glossy and smooth, showing fantastic detail and wonderful color replication. Blacks are noticeably crisper and show no digital artifactng that I could see.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=65130[/img]Much like the video section of the film, the audio shows a consistent progression throughout. The opening sequence in 1984 is the most reserved, with soft voices and a rather “thin” crowd cheering in the background. Vocals are crisp and clear but there seems to be a slight analog hiss in the background. However as the film progresses and changes video sources so does the audio change. The electronic pulses and beeps in the background are sharper and fuller. The crowd that felt a bit then and anemic near the beginning shake the floor with their pounding roar, including some hefty LFE emissions from them. Surrounds are active with all sorts of beeps, bleeps, electronic sounds and the roaring of the ever present crowd in a presentation.
• Inside Jobs: The Making of Steve Jobs
• Director's Commentary
• Feature Commentary with Writer Aaron Sorkin and Editor Elliot Graham
“Steve Jobs” is a phenomenal film. It’s artistically written, well directed stunningly acted by the leads. It’s the perfect trifecta. It’s rare that you can sit through a biopic and be completely enthralled, much like how I was with the equally incredible “The Social Network”. “Steve Jobs” manages to pull and intrigue just as much as Fincher’s work in the afore mentioned film, and I have to say that even though I dislike a lot of what Jobs has done in his life from a computer nerd’s point of view. I have to say I was completely and thoroughly entertained by the biopic about him. It is unflinching in its criticism and equally aggressive at praising him for his many success. The movie looks and sounds as organic and full of life as you can get and with a heavy amount of in depth extras I have to give “Steve Jobs” a resounding two thumbs up.
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen
Directed by: Danny Boyle
Written by: Aaron Sorkin, Walter Isaacson
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, Spanish DTS 5.1
Runtime: 122 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: February 16th 2016
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