Steve Jobs Blu-ray Review
STEVE JOBS is a unique film in that everything great about it starts and stops with the script from Aaron Sorkin. I can’t think of a film in recent memory that features a couple of A-list stars like Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet, has an Oscar winning director in Danny Boyle and yet somehow their greatness is overshadowed by a screenwriter. Aaron Sorkin had already ascended to new heights for a screenwriter, but STEVE JOBS might be his greatest achievement.
We all know of the real Steve Jobs, but the film chooses to follow him in three separate points in his life. The first is the 1984 launch of the Macintosh computer, the second during the 1988 launch of the NeXT computer and finally, the 1998 launch of the iMac computer. Each one finds Jobs with a distinct set of challenges and goals and as the film progresses, we get a slow unravel of what drove him and shaped the icon we know today. Even before we get to the greatness of the dialogue, choosing these three events (as opposed to the iPod or iPhone launches) was a bold choice from Sorkin as these three events aren’t what most people associate with Jobs, but they were probably more important to the character development, which is why they were chosen.
Before the film was made, it went through several casting and director changes and that usually means there’s a problem somewhere in the production or with the script. But this is one of, if not the, most polished scripts in recent movie history, featuring crisp, quick, intelligent dialogue that drives each moment of the film. Sorkin has an impressive resume, but this is his masterpiece, taking everything he’s done well over the years and molding it into an incredible script. Everyone has an opinion about the Oscars, but Sorkin getting snubbed was probably the Academy’s biggest oversight.
Of course, a good script is worthless if you don’t have exceptionally talented actors delivering the lines. Thankfully, STEVE JOBS features two of today’s best actors in Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet. There are some movies where an actor can get by without memorizing lines or can improv where needed, but this is not one of them. The script featured so many long monologues and extended dialogue sequences that it forced the actors to not only memorize, but to delivery each word perfectly. Fassbender and Winslet nailed every scene and every line and I’m guessing the film went through so many casting changes because of the intimidation factor involved with being responsible for bringing this script to life. We also got some impressive performances from Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels and Michael Stuhlbarg.
Even after watching the movie and reading the book, I’m not sure how I feel about the real Steve Jobs. I respect him as a person, but I don’t agree with the way he behaved at times. However, the beauty of STEVE JOBS is that it doesn’t matter what you think about the real life people the movie is based on because it flies along so quickly and gives you so much in a limited runtime that it’s impossible not to be amazed. And for those that are jaded by movies based on Steve Jobs, just know that it’s insulting to this film to compare it to the Ashton Kutcher film. That would be like comparing CITIZEN KANE to a Lifetime movie.
Video: Universal does another great job with a recent Blu-ray release.
Audio: The audio was fine
Commentary with Danny Boyle: Boyle sticks to the technical aspects of making the film, more than the creative aspect. But he’s great to listen to and this is well worth it for people interested in the details of STEVE JOBS.
Commentary with Aaron Sorkin and Elliot Graham: Sorkin gives a lot of credit to having great source material and he and Graham have a good back and forth about some of the decisions in the film. Overall, this is a good commentary.
Inside Jobs: The Making of Steve Jobs (15:41): This is a pretty standard making-of featurette. I would have liked to have learned more about the behind the scenes issues with casting and finding a director, but they shied away from that.