With the success of The Social Network, it only made sense for Aaron Sorkin to write about another pioneer in the technological world, Steve Jobs. Directed by one of the new greats in film, Danny Boyle, Michael Fassbender along with Kate Winslet and Seth Rogen star in the biopic aptly titled Steve Jobs. It may not have done well by box office standards, but the movie is hands down the best study on the life and times of the troubled Apple co-founder.
I like how the film is broken into three parts or acts if you will. It begins with Jobs (played well by Michael Fassbender) getting ready for the launch of the first Macintosh in 1984 with the help of his marketing executive Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet). Not long afterwards, flashbacks begin showing Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen) working on the computer in a garage while also trying to get John Sculley (Jeff Daniels) who worked for Pepsi at the time, to become the CEO of Apple. The second act follows the launch of the NeXT computer in 1988, and the final act sees the launch of the infamous iMac in 1996. While the film could have focused on these events coupled with Jobs’ perfectionism and never wanting to compromise his ideals and still have been a good movie, the real focus instead is on Jobs and his troubled relationship with his ex-girlfriend Chrisann Brennan and their daughter Lisa (played throughout the acts by Makenzie Moss, Ripley Sobo, and Perla Haney-Jardine). As the story moves on, we get to see how Jobs goes from not really caring about his daughter, fighting through legal woes because of it, to actually forming a bond with her while also becoming the tech giant he’s known for.
I enjoyed how Danny Boyle brought all of these elements together, as I’m sure it couldn’t have been easy. Another aspect I found interesting is how the first act is filmed with 16mm film, the second act with 35mm, and the last part was filmed digitally to give a look at how each era would’ve been viewed at the time. Because of this, the first two acts don’t look quite the best in high definition, but seeing that this is done on purpose, one can overlook it. There’s a healthy dose of special features here for those who want to know even more about both the movie and Steve Jobs once the main presentation is over.
First, there’s two audio commentaries that you can play while watching, with one featuring Danny Boyle, and the other with Aaron Sorkin and editor Elliot Graham. Both are equally great to listen to as they go into how it was working with the cast and crew, to actually meeting with friends and family of Steve Jobs to really bring the film together. Then there’s “Inside Jobs: The Making of Steve Jobs” which is a nice sized documentary that’s broken into three parts and focuses on the making of the movie with interviews and behind the scenes material that gives viewers a good look into how everything came together as it did.
There’s plenty of other biopics of Jobs out there, but none of them capture his life quite like Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs does. Michael Fassbender does a fantastic performance of the character, despite barely looking anything like Jobs, while the other cast members do a great job making the story and movie come alive. Throw in some nice special features that take you further into Jobs’ life and behind the making of the film, and you have a great Blu-ray you’ll want to add to the rest of your iStuff.