Steve Jobs Movie Review

The new Steve Jobs movie trailer looked intense indeed! A stark contrast to the last movie about his life where he was played by Ashton Kutcher. This version seems like it really gets into the darker aspects of Jobs' personality and relationships, as it does in the Walter Isaacson biographyWhile he was certainly a "genius", his personal and business life were very complex and imperfect to say the least. His tale of starting Apple with "The Woz", being kicked out and humiliated, and then returning to Apple to lead them to unimaginable success is a script you can't really mess up. Throw in Aaron Sorkin as the writer and Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs, and you'd expect to have a winner on your hands.

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In my opinion though, the movie was incredibly boring and monotonous. I don't know how they managed to do it, but to me it came across as the same annoying discussions again and again. I'm sure they were trying to emphasize patterns of behavior and the thought process of Jobs and his "reality distortion field"... but the movie was completely repetitive. The whole thing revolved around the relationship with his daughter, former Apple CEO John Sculley as a "father figure" of his, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak as his inferior sidekick, and the fact that he was rejected and adopted. And the overarching theme of Steve Jobs being a jerk to his family, foes, and coworkers. 

Maybe I didn't like the movie because I read the very well written and comprehensive Steve Jobs book by Walter Isaacson and was already very familiar with Jobs and his mannerisms. Maybe it was aimed at viewers that new nothing of Steve Jobs except his "genius" and "vision". I guess they really just wanted to convey the relationships in the movie and not the groundbreaking events taking place. No examples of Jobs working passionately and ruthlessly with his teams at Apple except on the days of product launches. No examples of his wars against IBM or Microsoft. No mention of Bill Gates except casual comments like "he's a tool" and "he dropped out of a better school than I did". And of course the movie ends right before he introduces the iMac. While I understand they were trying to focus on a specific window of time for the movie,  I think the his tenure with Apple later on was just as fascinating. No insight into Apple and the iPod, iPhone, or iPad and obviously nothing on his illness and death. 

While there were a few interesting tidbits in the movie, I'd recommend you just read the Walter Isaacson book for a more complete portrait of Jobs. 

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Michael J. Schiemer of Schiemer Consulting
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