I’ve been talking about this movie for a couple of years. Back in 2015 I read the book to support some presentations and workshops I was doing on “Gamification in Education.” Ernest Cline’s book naturally came up as a topic of discussion.
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The announcement that Steven Spielberg would be bringing this story to the big screen was no surprise.
This weekend I had the pleasure of catching the new Steve Jobs bio-pic starring Michael Fassbender as the iconic Apple Computer founder and CEO. Although the film is entertaining to Apple Fanboys like me, it may fall flat for the general movie goer, or worse for Windows Users!
Set over the entire life of Steve Jobs this movie concentrates on three specific events. The unveiling of the first Mac Computer in 1985, the launch of Job’s solo company NeXT in 1988, and finally the 1998 release of the first iMac and Jobs’ return to Apple. A personified camera approach follows Jobs through the preparation of each event highlighting personal conflicts with Apple Co-created Steve Wozniak played by Seth Rogen, Apple marking director and Jobs confidant Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet), and Apple CEO John Scully (Jeff Daniels). Also present in the drama are Jobs’ former high school girlfriend Chrissann Brennan (Katherine Waterson) and daughter Lisa Brennan. Combining the drama of Jobs’ paternitiy dispute with Brennan as Lisa’s father and his “reality distortion field” in dealing with Apple colleagues, the film spins through the three events with a cache of flashbacks to summarize his controversial career.
While Fassbender, Winslet, and Rogen all put on powerful performances, it does seem weird to see Kate Winslet stressing out backstage of an Apple event and not on a sinking ship. Seth Rogen also surprises in a serious role where he continuously confronts Jobs about the poor treatment of the Apple II design team. Three actresses portray Jobs’ daughter “Lisa” as she learns how to deal with her father who describes himself as “broken” before declaring he will make a device that holds all of her music in her pocket.
If you’re an Apple fan and love to learn about the bizarre character quirks of Jobs then you’ll certainly enjoy this movie. I will share, however, that this isn’t a “big screen” movie. Save your money for Star Wars Episode 7 and wait for Steve Jobs to hit Blu-Ray, or better yet – iTunes. I have a feeling this flick would probably look best on an iPad.