So, I Saw the Steve Jobs Movie…
We went this afternoon to see if it was okay for the Wolvog. It’s a little amusing since I’ve never been a huge lover of gadgets nor Apple fan until the Wolvog started his one-sided bromance with Steve Jobs at age two. Since then, I have not only switched to a Mac and iPhone, but I read Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs and relayed the stories to the Wolvog. Seeing the movie felt like a natural extension of feeding that beast.
To answer the question about whether I’d take the Wolvog, the answer is yes. There is a scene with acid that could either get glossed over or explained. There is cursing, but we’re fine with him hearing cursing in the context of art. There are the crappy things he did such as deny paternity or screw his friends, but those lead to interesting discussions. So all in all, okay-ish for the Wolvog. Since he knows so much from Isaacson’s book, I think he’d be able to follow along for what I’d want him to get out of the film.
That said, I’m on the fence about how I felt about it; film-wise. It’s very choppy; as in, enormous ideas are glossed over with a single line. People appear and disappear with no explanation. A lot of people who are in Isaacson’s book don’t appear at all, and others that you know played much larger roles in Apple are tucked behind the scenes. In trying to cover too much, they covered nothing very deeply. At times, I could watch Ashton Kutcher and forget it was Ashton Kutcher. And other times, I looked at the screen and all I could think about were those creepy Nikon commercials that had him oogling women.
Maybe the problem with the film overall is that people are too complex to be contained in a biopic, Steve Jobs and this large cast of characters even moreso since trying to contain them also means trying to explain to an audience aspects of the computing and business world. His friendships seemed excessively messy (at least as portrayed on film and in Isaacson’s book) as did his relationships.
Aaron Sorkin is making another movie about Steve Jobs that is focusing on three half hours that came before three launches; covering in real time three moments from three different periods of his life. It doesn’t sound as if Sorkin’s script will solve one of the inherent problems with today’s film’s script, namely, that the other interesting people are shunted to the back of the story. But maybe it will at least delve deeper into his personality. Give us the “why” that Isaacson gave in his book.
And still, the best way to understand a person seems to be to read one of the numerous books. We’ve already read Walter Isaacson’s biography. The Wolvog just started iWoz and loves it.
So can I recommend the movie? Not if you’re tight on money or time. If you have $10 for a ticket and two free hours, then sure, go ahead and see it. But keep low expectations. I can’t say that this film blew my mind or made me realize something incredible or even moved me. I left the theater feeling the same way I came in.
That said, I am taking the Wolvog since he idolizes Steve Jobs and loves the idea of spending two hours listening to anything regarding computers. The movie opens the door to a lot of discussions: being a team player, respecting other people’s ideas, collaboration, respect. So on that end, it’s worth another $20 to show him that world, reminding him that a lot of it is fiction. That people have a tendency of being flattened once they hit the screen, whether that be a blog or a movie. It’s an important thing to remember; that we can’t contain three-dimensional, complex human beings with words. So be mindful of that as you read and watch your way through this world.
So a “meh” is our take on the film.
I may post a more in-depth review over at Geek Dad.
* Though I must admit that the iPhone revolutionized my life, and I feel like it takes such a weight off my mind in keeping me organized and on task. Plus I like always having books with me.