First Impressions of ‘Steve Jobs’ Film: ‘Thrilling… an Action Movie Driven Almost Exclusively by Words’

The Danny Boyle-directed and Aaron Sorkin-penned Steve Jobs film premiered last night at the 42nd Annual Telluride Film Festival in Colorado, and the first impressions of the biopic are surfacing on the internet this morning. Although not a full review of the movie, Deadline has posted a short opinion piece about the film, noting impressive directing, well-paced editing, and a script by Sorkin that is „even more effective“ than his Oscar-winning work on The Social Network.

It’s a companion piece to Sorkin’s Oscar-winning The Social Network screenplay — but even more effective. Boyle said the script is 200 pages and it is densely filled with the kind of dialogue only Sorkin seems to specialize in these days. It’s actually thrilling to listen to, an action movie driven almost exclusively by words, a rare thing for sure in today’s visually driven cinema.

[Boyle’s] direction is flawless and really keeps this thing moving, avoiding the static pace it might have been in lesser hands. The result is well worth it, and those magical words provided lots of opportunity for great acting performances led by Michael Fassbender’s spot-on and relentless portrayal of the not-very-likable computer genius.

Notably, Deadline also caught up with Steve Wozniak at Telluride to get his opinion on the film, which partially portrays Wozniak’s own life as well with Seth Rogen in the role of the Apple co-founder. Wozniak was enthusiastic about the movie, calling it „authentic“ and particularly praising Kate Winslet’s performance as Macintosh marketing chief Joanna Hoffman.

When I caught up with him Wozniak told me that, unlike the Jobs biopic with Ashton Kutcher, this one is totally authentic. “I saw a rough cut and I felt like I was actually watching Steve Jobs and the others (including Rogen’s dead-on portrayal of Wozniak), not actors playing them, I give full credit to Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin for getting it so right,” he enthusiastically told me, He adding that of all the actors in the film he thinks Winslet might be the most likely to garner awards attention.

The movie was portrayed as a „work in progress“ to the attendees at Telluride, due to the fact that Boyle and his workers are still tweaking and editing parts of the movie. With just about a month to go until the film’s wide release, it’s likely small details like sound cues and other small edits that will make the Telluride screening largely similar to the final movie.

Other sites have begun posting full-length reviews, including Variety, who compares Sorkin’s three-act, multiple time period structure to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Also of note is a neat detail that Boyle shot each time period on era-relevant formats, a fact along with Boyle’s uncharacteristically restrained direction that Variety particularly liked.

Working with d.p. Alwin Kutchler, Boyle sometimes sends the camera hurtling after the characters in lengthy, down-the-corridor tracking shots; elsewhere, the brief transitional snippets between acts feature some fairly aggressive stylization, in line with his usual m.o. But for the most part, this is the filmmaker’s most reined-in picture in some time, as if a too-kinetic approach would interfere with the verbal energy of Sorkin’s script.

Besides Guy Hendrix Dyas’ unobtrusively excellent production design, the picture’s major visual coup is the decision to shoot the three acts on three different formats: grainy 16mm film for 1984, lustrous 35mm for 1988, and sleek, high-definition digital for 1998. The distinctions may well be lost on the vast majority of viewers, but it’s just the sort of nicely understated aesthetic flourish that Steve Jobs himself would have surely appreciated.

Indiewire gave the film a B+, pointing out good performances from the cast and the movie’s decision to focus on three highly stressful points in Jobs’ life to showcase his true personality, ultimately calling it „a kind of „Birdman“ for the tech sector,“ thanks to its real-time accounts of some highly dramatic backstage moments prior to a big show. The website also noted, however, that Sorkin’s dialogue can suffer from „constant overstatement“ and some foreshadowing to Apple’s future feels „unnecessary.“

The movie currently sits at a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, but still has just five reviews collected at the time of writing. Although it’s still just a handful positive opinions, it’s a bit more encouraging as we enter the final stretch before the October 9 theatrical debut, especially for a film that’s been a large source of speculation and rumors for so many years now.



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First Trailer for ‘Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine’ Documentary Released

Magnolia Pictures has shared the first trailer and movie poster for Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine with Mashable, just over four months after the film premiered at SXSW 2015 in Austin, Texas. The upcoming documentary, directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney, portrays Jobs as both a tech visionary and unapologetic leader throughout his career at Apple.

Apple senior executive Eddy Cue expressed disappointment in the documentary following its debut, describing the film on Twitter as „an inaccurate and mean-spirited view of my friend“ and „not a reflection of the Steve I knew.“ Cue added that the best portrayal of Jobs is in the book Becoming Steve Jobs by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, which he describes as „well done and first to get it right.“

Universal previously released the full-length trailer for its aptly named Steve Jobs movie, starring Michael Fassbender, Seth Rogen, Kate Winslet and Jeff Daniels, earlier this month. The trailer mainly consists of a single shot of Fassbender as Jobs, with cast voiceovers providing snippets and teases of conversations regarding Jobs’ true legacy at Apple, which he co-founded with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in 1974.

Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine opens in select theaters on September 4.



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Christian Bale Hired for Steve Jobs Role in Sorkin Biopic Without Auditioning

Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has confirmed in a Bloomberg interview that actor Christian Bale will indeed star as Steve Jobs in Sorkin’s upcoming biopic based on Walter Isaacson’s 2011 biography of the Apple co-founder. Bale, who was said last week to be in talks for the role, met with Sorkin but did not have to audition for the part.

“We needed the best actor on the board in a certain age range and that’s Chris Bale,” Sorkin told Bloomberg Television’s Emily Chang on a coming edition of “Studio 1.0.” “He didn’t have to audition. Well, there was a meeting.”

Shooting for the film will begin in the coming months in what will be a challenging role for the established actor. Bale reportedly will appear in every frame of the movie with speaking parts that exceed three movies combined. The movie will focus on three 30-minute scenes that detail three different product launches.

The movie will be released by Sony, with Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle of Slumdog Millionaire fame associated with the project.




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Apple Honors Robin Williams With iTunes Store Section Featuring More than 40 Movies, Comedy Routines [Updated]

Following the tragic news of the death of Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams, Apple has created a „Remembering Robin Williams“ dedicated section of the iTunes Store housing many of the actor’s popular movies and stand up comedy routines.

Along with offering movies organized into categories like „Essentials,“ „Comedy,“ and „Drama,“ the Robin Williams iTunes Store section includes a photo of the actor along with a short paragraph on his decades-long career and his involvement in Comic Relief USA, a charity that’s raised upwards of $50 million for homeless assistance.

One of the most beloved and unforgettable performers in the history of show business, Robin Williams brought laughter and inspiration to millions. Throughout a career that spanned five decades, Williams evolved from stand up comedian to international movie star. Among the great masters of improv, he transfixed audiences with a mile-a-minute comic energy. Williams’ Golden Globe-winning turn in Good Morning, Vietnam demonstrated that his versatile acting talents were equally suited to evoking dramatic complexity. Many of Williams’ most iconic performances–in Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, and his Oscar-winning triumph Good Will Hunting–were dazzling high-wire acts that left audiences in tears of laughter one minute and tears of poignancy the next.

In the iTunes Store section dedicated to Williams, Apple lists more than 40 of his movies like Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, The Birdcage, Patch Adams, Good Morning, Vietnam, and more, along with a handful of his comedy performances.

Robin Williams’ performance in Dead Poets Society is of special importance to Apple as his character, John Keating, delivered the famous „What will your verse be?“ speech that inspired its „Your Verse“ line of iPad advertisements. Williams also provided the voice over for one of the commercials, which began airing back in January.

Yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted about Williams’ death, calling him an „incomparable talent and a great human being.“ Phil Schiller also expressed his regrets over the tragedy.

Update: Apple has also dedicated a page on its website to Robin Williams with the following:

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Robin Williams. He inspired us through his passion, his generosity, and the gift of laughter. He will be missed.

This is one of the few times Apple has honored someone’s life with a page on its website, with the others being Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, board member Jerry York and Steve Jobs.




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