Film Review: “Steve Jobs”

Rating: A+

Just over four years since his death due to pancreatic cancer, the man behind Apple Inc. and the line of Macintosh computers that grips our world today is being remembered for his ambition and refusal to fail.

Steve Jobs, a pioneer of the computer industry and the subject of many biographies and documentaries, has now had two posthumous feature films created in his remembrance. Unoriginally titled “Steve Jobs,” the story depicts the moments before three product launches that headlined the earlier part of Jobs’ career, starting with the introduction of the Macintosh 128K, the first computer on the Macintosh line.

The king of the biographical drama, Danny Boyle, leads yet another critically successful feature film along with veteran screenwriter Aaron Sorkin who adapted the screenplay from Walter Isaacson’s biography book of the same name. Boyle, who won the Academy Award for Best Director for the film “Slumdog Millionaire,” brings his unique, pulse-pounding style of filmmaking to the American scene and does it flawlessly. Coupled with a spectacularly diverse cast and you have the makings for something incredible.

And as Steve Jobs was an American, you might expect that his portrayer would also fly the red, white and blue. Instead, German-born and English-bred actor Michael Fassbender takes the title role. Kate Winslet deserves much credit for stepping into the role of Jobs’ “work wife,” Joanna Hoffman, one of the most hardened characters of the movie. Seth Rogen takes a bold break from critical and controversial comedic flops like “The Interview” to play Apple co-founder and hardware engineer, Steve Wozniak. Filling out the star-studded cast is Jeff Daniels playing former Pepsi-Cola president and Apple CEO, John Sculley.

Take a look at the rating before you head to the theater to see this one: it’s rated R. Officials do not sugarcoat this film with a more favorable PG-13 rating due to its swearing and scenes of tension. Seriously, it’s remarkable nobody threw a punch.

See this movie and you may think that the media is to blame for giving us all false impressions of who Jobs really was. Taking place amid the tension of three product debuts in 1984, 1988 and 1998, the film uncovers the imperfect life of a man who creates perfect machines. “I am poorly made,” Jobs says to his daughter Lisa during an uncomfortable scene, affirming the previous statement. In this way, “Steve Jobs” could be considered contradictory to what we already know about the esteemed businessman.

It’s a masterpiece. Go see it in the theaters, absolutely, but when it comes out for digital download in a few months or during the holiday season, buy it and watch it on your Mac computer for irony’s sake. Fully immerse yourself in the story of a man who made history using a machine that was his brainchild.

“Steve Jobs” pushes forth the idea that, although his namesake was flawed just like the rest of us, Jobs was able to create extraordinary things. The likeness that was portrayed of him in the movie we see in Apple’s computers even today. The need for perfection and exquisite beauty has always been integral to their design. And somehow he managed to put all of that into a computer, a machine not exactly built for that purpose.

 

Nathaniel is the Culture Editor and is a fourth-year journalism and business administration student at the University of Maine. He have been writing for The Maine Campus since November of 2014, covering everything from community events to films.

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