Steve Jobs | Movie Review

Kernel Blake reviews the latest movie about the man, the legend, iJobs, or as he and the film were named by their makers, STEVE JOBS. The guy who started it all and is responsible for the computer this is being typed on and the smart phone I will use to link this article on Instagram. While the film is made by some of the best in the business Blake isn’t fully sold. So that’s 3/3 Jobs movies that haven’t worked to their greatest potential. Make up your own mind this coming Thursday 4th Feb in Australia when it releases. It is released by Universal Pictures Australia, is rated M and runs for 122mins. Enjoy Blake’s thoughts on STEVE JOBS……..all the best……..JK.



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After the success of THE SOCIAL NETWORK, telling the story of tech guru Mark Zuckerberg through the eyes of master director David Fincher, it was only a matter of time before the world’s other tech titan, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, had his story told on the big screen. Unfortunately, what the world got was Ashton Kutcher with a beard. Thankfully, some decent filmmakers have decided to give the “God of iPod” another try and the team of director, Danny Boyle (TRAINSPOTTING), writer, Aaron Sorkin (THE SOCIAL NETWORK – if it ain’t broke…) and the legend that is Michael Fassbender (X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST), bring us the story of Jobs’ rise and fall…and rise again as Apple’s head honcho in the aptly named STEVE JOBS.

What is surprising in STEVE JOBS is that Sorkin and Boyle decide not to focus on the more well known latter years of Jobs’ life, but instead takes us back to wear it all began and tell the story in three acts that relate to the three major product launches of Jobs’ early career, from the mid 80s to the mid 90s. While this may be disappointing for some who were hoping to get an insight into the creation of revolutionary tech devices such as the iPod and Jobs’ battle with his terminal disease, it does make for a more interesting film seeing how it all began for this tech wiz.


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The real hook to STEVE JOBS is what goes on behind closed doors in Jobs’ life, with a former fling chasing Steve for child support for the young daughter that he sternly refuses to acknowledge is his. All of this is happening while he is trying to launch his ‘friendly faced’ alternative to the all conquering IBM PC, the Macintosh, to the world. In true Jobs tech fashion, he deduces an algorithm to prove that there is a 28% chance Lisa is someone else’s daughter, all but dismissing her existence entirely, until that is, she grabs hold of a mouse and paints a picture on the Macintosh and in turn, justifying Jobs’ stance on the Mac, that it will be easy for anyone to use.

Through his over confidence in his product and fudging a few minor details to get his PC to sell, the Macintosh is an utter failure and forces the then Apple CEO John Sculley, played brilliantly by Jeff Daniels (from Sorkin’s THE NEWSROOM), to boot Jobs from Apple with the backing of the board. We skip ahead four years to Jobs’ next product, funnily enough called ‘Next’, which he knows is a dud but with Apple failing and not innovating, uses it as a ploy to be rehired by his former company.

Lisa returns, hoping for her ‘dad’ to lavish her with the same attention that Jobs heaps on his products, his real babies, but it is his sheer determination to create a revolutionary product that sees him shun his probable daughter and old friends, such as Apple product co-creator Steve Wozniacki or Woz, played by Seth Rogen in a role he was born for.


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With Jobs back at the helm of the company he helped create, we again flash forward to 1994, where Jobs, now graying in hair and starting to show signs of declining health, is about to launch the product that will turn Apple’s fortunes around and make them the tech giant that they have been for the past twenty years, the iMac. Again, his daughter challenges him to be a father to her but again, Jobs only has time for his new product but begins to soften as he realizes he may not be around for much longer and softens towards Lisa, with a promise of a new product she’s going to love, a small device to replace her bulky Walkman…the man who completely understood the relationship between man and machine, slowly begins to grasp how to have a relationship between people.

Being a Sorkin script, there is plenty of tracking shots of people walking briskly between places they don’t appear to need to go to, speaking sternly with each other along the way. If you’ve seen any of his previous shows such as THE WEST WING or THE NEWSROOM, you’ll know what to expect. We also get a more subdued directing style from the usual kinetic style Boyle is known for, with each time period being filmed in the style of the time, which was a nice touch.


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A lot of credit must go to Fassbender, who carries the film on his back and delivers a great performance, one that makes Jobs out to be a headstrong perfectionist, a borderline unlikable man who wants the best or nothing out of the people around him. Kate Winslet plays Jobs’ long suffering assistant, who for some reason goes from full American to an Eastern European accent as the film progresses, and is Jobs’ main link to humanity, pushing Steve to connect with his daughter and be the father figure she needs.

All of these great filmmakers together should be a home run and while there are some amazing scenes, with whipcrack dialogue from Sorkin, the film (as a whole) somehow misses the mark. The performances are great and do provide an interesting insight into the man and his legacy but somehow leaves you wanting a bit more depth to the story. Much like the iMac that made Jobs a household name, his story is the ultimate closed system, you can look inside but you never really know how it works.


3 Pops



Kernel Blake is a part-time beard bandit, philanthropist, industrialist….bicyclist…photographer, world traveller, movie lover, a man of few words who enjoys the finer things in life, like reciting Snake Plissken quotes. And when all that fails, heads out to a racetrack to do skids. Can be found twatting @bcurrall80 and hipstergramming @bcurrall80

** All images courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor/publisher – credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.