Movie Reviews: Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs directed by Danny Boyle

Three scenes for three acts, how much cleaner can a narrative get? When I first heard about the production, I didn’t know why the world needed another movie that focused on the Steve Jobs and his rise and fall return to Apple. The Pirates of Silicon Valley did a pretty good job telling that story (Jobs vs Gates). Then, the world felt the impact of Ashton Kutcher and his flat footed walking with his version in Jobs (Jobs vs Scully).

Then tonight, I finally sat down and watched the Aaron “West Wing” Sorkin version of Steve Jobs. Let me tell you, this was basically the West Wing with computers. Based on the condensed biographical nuggets of his life smashed into three scenes with as much walking and talking and yelling and confrontations as one can imagine, the story does a great job balancing storytelling in a movie and trying to weave¬†biographic thread points in. This version is Job’s relationship with his daughter Lisa, John Scully his handpicked soda-loving CEO, Steve Wozniak his trusted engineer, and Joanna Hoffman his marketing sidekick and sounding board. It works on many levels due to the suspension of time and reality, almost like a storytelling reality distortion field.

The writing is very good with a ton of back and forth like many other Sorkin written screenplays. His writing is best if the characters are pressed for time and are in a hurry to do something. I remember a story he once told on a podcast that his writing stems from when he used to sneak into broadway shows after the 2nd act, so all his knowledge of stories were the third act. I’m not sure if that is true, or a part of a long line of Sorkin stories, but it does hold true to an old writing maxim to start the story the closest you can to the action or the end.

GUEST INTERVIEW: “ERIN SHORKING”

FADE IN:

EXT. MOVIE THEATER – NIGHT

Matt and Erin walk out the theater altering watching Steve Jobs.

MATT

(Walking and smiling)

Did you like the movie?

ERIN

(PICKING UP HER PACE)

What?

MATT

(JOGGING)

The movie .. Steve Jobs.

ERIN

(Glancing back)

Um. It was fine.

MATT

(Nodding assuredly)

Cool. I thought so too.

ERIN

(Tapping her cell phone for a call and stopping)

MATT

(Raising hand for a high five)

ERIN

(Ignoring high five and beginning talk on the iPhone)

Um hey, it’s me. The movie is over. Yeah? Oh yeah, and so is the date too.

MATT

(Not quite hearing clearly)

So yeah, I totally loved the part where Steve Jobs slid down the bannister. It was so clever.

ERIN

(Not paying attention at all)

Yeah, I know. You still free? Can you pick me up now?

(Holding her hand over the iPhone)

Um, yeah, I don’t need a ride. You head out without me. I’m just gonna chill here.

MATT

(Biting lip)

Oh … ok, cool.

FADE OUT:

Movie Rating: 9.5/10 Black Turtlenecks

Review of Trainspotting, another movie by Danny Boyle

https://mmleonard.com/2016/03/29/movie-reviews-trainspotting/

Book Reviews: Jony Ive

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Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products by Leander Kahney

There is simply too much to read, and as a result, I skim a lot of books. To understand how Apple changed the world, one must break apple into three parts. Steve Jobs was like Captain Kirk. He helmed the ship and boldy steered the Enterprise where it never went before. Tim Cook was like Spock, who was brainy and methodical and studious in making operating decisions. Jony Ive is what I would call McCoy, who is the heart and completed the Apple triad.

Jony Ive, an Englishman who studied industrial design, was as important to Apple as Tim Cook was. The look and feel of apple products can be attributed not only to him, but his fine team who operate secretively in a locked down area equivalent of a silicon valley Fort Knox. Everything from the iPod to the iPhone to the iPad and the apple watch were designed and developed under his watchful eye. The book gave me insight to how secretive companies develop products in an ever competitive world of copycats. It also was a testimony that there was more to Apple than Steve Jobs. It was always about the people behind the products.

One of the downsides to the book was the lack of quotes attributed directly to Jony Ive. The narrative would have been greatly improved with his version of the events leading up to the great Apple products that defined the digital revolution. This was the story many wanted to read, but were left empty and disappointed by quotes from people around him. If only the author would have nailed down more backing from Jony Ive, the book could have truly been great. A marketing push could have seen Jony presenting the intricately designed cover and showing to the world for the first time a story about him.

As for skimming the book, I read this one cover to cover.

Book Review: 7.5/10