Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.
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A series of epic walk-and-talks about the future retconned to be 100 percent correct because they’re about our present. For example, the Amazing Steve predicts that journalism will change because of computers. (He says that in 1998, the same year Aaron Sorkin found out.) By the end, when Super Steve tells his estranged daughter he will invent the iPod for her, the movie is indistinguishable from a TV commercial.
Like The Social Network, also scripted by Sorkin, Steve Jobs seems so eager to make its subject comprehensible that it threatens to flatten what should be intriguing and strange into an all too familiar, bland narrative.
The Social Network had the right idea, downgrading Zuckerberg in its second half; Steve Jobs, locked into theatrical structure, can’t do that, and suffers accordingly. The first 30 minutes are dazzling, the whole is less than the sum of its parts – but still so deft and snappy and exuberant, and Jobs himself does exude some of the magnetism he must’ve had in real life. A jerk, a force of Nature. A megalomaniac. A great artist. A seller of gadgets.