Monday, October 26, 2015

Why is the Sorkin/Boyle STEVE JOBS flopping? See the movie and you'll readily understand.

Forget all the current "We're shocked, shocked! What-went-wrong?" nonsense that the industry is now offering up about STEVE JOBS. All you have to do is sit through this repetitive, standard-issue biopic (until it crescendos into a finale of schlock sentimentality) to understand why audiences are staying away. Neither the writing nor the direction are good enough to enlighten us on anything important, and though the half-dozen major actors do a bang-up job, they're merely disguising how weak this movie is. (It's no Social Network, for sure.)

The more interesting question here is. What in the world were most critics thinking when they typed out those ridiculous hosannas?

Michael Fassbender (above, right, with a terrific-as-usual Michael Stuhlbarg) never gives less than a sterling performance, and he does so again, playing the title role. But screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and director Danny Boyle try to take the middle road (for every good point, our guy is given a bad point) all the way along and so leave him (and us) mostly high and dry. Seth Rogen does little more than whine and complain about his Apple 2-sters being left out ("Wah!!!!), while Kate Winslet does her best Mittel-European accent, come-and-go as it is, in her role as Miss Make-It-All-Better. Poor Katherine Waterston is allowed a batch of one-note anger, so that only Jeff Daniels (below) makes his near-perfect mark as the ill-used and ill-using John Sculley.

Moment-to-moment the acting is good enough to carry us along, but by the close and we learn that all this is just about a father-daughter feel-good thing, you're likely to leave the theater in a confused-and-heading-toward-foul mood. Surely there is more to Mr. Jobs, his life and career, than this?

So don't feel guilty at all about missing the theatrical run. Wait for the DVD and see something else instead. (Bridge of Spies, maybe: it's old-fashioned yet quite timely and very well-made). 

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