The Steve Jobs Movie

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Just to set this up, here’s the trailer from the movie in question (which came out a few years ago):

Historically, I have been extremely reluctant to read any books or see any movies about the man. I’ve been obsessing over the guy steadfastly since 1980, so the fact that the masses discovered him around 2007 or so is, for me, an eye-roller. I already know pretty much everything I’d want to know, so all these books and movies just get on my nerves.

I was doing some really boring task yesterday, however, and I figured, meh, sure, I’ll give it a whirl. I sorta-kinda enjoyed it, but not for the movie itself: what I found kind of cool was that I either knew (directly or separated by one person) just about every person mentioned in the film, and there were even more commonalities in the life of my family than I realized before, such as the fact that his first daughter went to the same school as my own children. (His only son, incidentally, also fenced for Stanford).

The movie itself, however, became increasingly bothersome. I’ll offer three gripes, since God knows you wanted to spend part of your Sunday finding out what bothered me about an obscure movie.

  • The Template: The entire movie is based on product introduction events. The first of the Macintosh at the Flint Center, the second of the NeXT box at Symphony Hall, and the third of the iMac at the Opera House. I realize that doing justice to the full Apple/Jobs story would literally be a twelve hour movie, but still, it gets awfully repetitive, since the kinds of instances and drama from event to event start to all seem the same.
  • Omnipresent Woz: Steve Wozniak was, of course, one of the original three Apple founders. I know Apple history well enough to know that, after 1981, he was pretty much off on his own and had little to do with the company anymore. Yet as portrayed in the movie, he is practically joined at the hip to Jobs, and he’s way more outspoken than in real life. He’s also horribly miscast with Seth Rogen, of all people. (On a more positive note, I thought that the actor who played Andy Hertzfeld, Michael Stuhlbarg, was perfect).
  • Omnipresent Lisa: Just as Woz is a big presence in all three of these “events”, so too is Jobs’ daughter Lisa, who is played by three different actors since she’s aging. This is the most important story arc in the movie, and it, too, gets quite tiresome.

In short, I wouldn’t really recommend it. If you’re interested in the late, great Steve Jobs, and you want to really learn something new, watch my documentary instead. the budget was $500 instead of $30 million, but I still think it’s better than this movie.