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Steve Jobs is no Jobs [2013]. Watching them back-to-back would be like going from a flip phone to an iPhone 6s. Everything gets an upgrade. Instead of Ashton Kutcher, it’s Michael Fassbender, working with director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. Beside him are Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, and Jeff Daniels. And if that’s not enough, the story of Steve Jobs is told through three scenes, each one backstage before the announcement of a new Apple product. No cradle-to-grave story this time. Calling it an upgrade might be an understatement.

Sorkinisms. It’d be impossible for Aaron Sorkin to top his greatest hits like The West Wing, A Few Good Men, or The Social Network, but his script deserves very high marks. It’s full of the quick dialogue and snarky one-liners that we’ve come to know and love from the master. But the best part of it is Sorkin’s portrayal of Steve Jobs as a human being. Jobs is not portrayed as a brilliant genius but as a very smart, yet very flawed guy. This is not a love letter to Steve Jobs, nor is it a hit piece. It’s about the man himself, what he brought to Apple, and how he treated the people around him.

Rogen is a revelation. Perhaps the biggest surprise is Seth Rogen’s performance as Steve Wozniak. While mostly known for stoner comedies, he tones down all of his comedic antics and successfully goes toe-to-toe with Michael Fassbender. Speaking of which, while Fassbender looks nothing like Steve Jobs, he captures the spirit and essence of the man, much better than Ashton Kutcher. Fassbender is terrific, but if you’ve seen Shame [2011] or 12 Years a Slave [2013], that’s not a big surprise. Rogen is the big surprise here, especially in the big dramatic scenes.  He even gets one of the best lines “You can be decent and gifted at the same time.  It’s not binary.”

Technological Advancements. Director Danny Boyle made a very smart and creative decision to film the movie. Act 1 is filmed in 16mm, Act 2 is shot with 35mm, and the final act is filmed in digital. Using technology to show the advancement of technology is a brilliant idea, and Boyle uses it to great effect. And the way the film is cut and edited is great and keeps everything moving at a nice clip.  Even when things get crowded with dialogue, Boyle knows how to keep our attention and get the audience to stay interested.

 

Great acting, great writing, great direction.

Watch Steve Jobs via Amazon

Steve Jobs
4.0Overall Score
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