Sunday, October 11, 2015

24 Hours: Steve Jobs

After From Dusk Til Dawn 3, Planet Terror, Dunkin' Donuts and the gym it was off to west Los Angeles for a screening of Shame: Apple Edition aka Steve Jobs at the Landmark. Here's a tip, don't park in the theater side structure on a Saturday, it was a frigging mess. Go a few feet down Pico to the main mall lot and simply cross the street or bridge. We were a few minutes early and checked out the upstairs bar for a cider and glass of wine, respectively. They have light bites but if you're in the mood for food, the area has lot of options like the Westside Tavern, Gyu-Kaku, Islands, an Indian restaurant I once saw Goldie Hawn at (no Kurt though) and gastropub The Gulp within walking distance. Playing in a handful of spots in LA and New York, Steve Jobs like Sicario before it is an early awards hopeful. Based on the book by Walter Isaacson and adapted by Aaron Sorkin, Danny Boyle's Jobs takes a unique approach to a bio pic by studying it's subject via several lengthy scenes set backstage at three product launches in 1984, 1988 and 1998. Michael Fassbender plays the legendary Jobs with Kate Winslet, Seth Rogan and Jeff Daniels as his right hand woman, former partner and former boss.

I can't say I know too much about Steve Jobs beyond that he was a very public figure lauded for his insight and vision as well as his less than rosy social skills. Apple is an unstoppable juggernaut in the technology world but comes off as a bit of a cult to me. You have one of their leaders talking about wanting to help the environment yet have you ever seen how much packaging comes from a pair of earbuds or an adapter? Then he called the film opportunistic which Sorkin countered that Apple pays Chinese workers pennies an hour in horrid conditions to make products that are sold at premium prices. But the Jobs did help make Pixar what it is which in turn cemented Tim Allen's legacy so hey, raise a glass to love your past. Through the three main scenes with flashbacks sometimes happening at the same time, you get a simple yet thorough ideal of the person Jobs is, at least the version the movie would have you believe. I had no clue he was adopted and knew nothing about his rocky relationship with his daughter and her mom. It's little human touches that like that break him down to a basic level you could relate to which at the same time made me wonder how much of it was actually true. Fassbender is one of my favorite modern actors and does a superb job here of playing Jobs through the eras as driven and intelligent but also a bit of an asshole because he wants things to be perfect. Dialog is unsurprisingly crisp throughout and Boyle's editing and use of music keeps talky things going so I was never wondering what time or drifting off.

Early iterations had David Fincher directing with Christian Bale starring which would have been  something as I think Bale would have transformed himself into Jobs more so than the Fass did. Leonardo DiCaprio was courted for a time but I honestly don't think he would have been the best choice. In these early award days, I'll give Fassbender an edge over Sicario's Benicio Del Toro. We'll see what Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks give us next week with Bridge of Spies.

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