Movie Review: Steve Jobs (7.7/10)

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Based on portions of the official biography written by Walter Isaacson, “Steve Jobs” plays out in three acts, with scenes taking place minutes before three of his most iconic keynotes, the Mac, the NeXT, and the iMac.

It is not the type of movie that contains dazzling action sequences or cinematography, not even notable dramatic climaxes or plot twists.  It is a study into the psyche of Jobs, who has been labeled many things, including ‘genius’ and ‘megalomaniac,’ and the actions that spoke to who he was as a person at three pivotal points of his career.

The film portrays Jobs as a visionary, perhaps even too much so, as he correctly gauged what consumers wanted, but he was 20 years too early; his closed, end-to-end style computers were perfect for the everyday person, who wants products they can just pick up and use without much configuration (similar sentiment will follow with his handheld devices), but in the 80s, the computer was too new a thing for the average joe.  Ultimately, he would live to see the success of his products before his passing.

Fassbender gives an incredible performance as Jobs, someone who appears amoral but internally conflicted at the same time.  The supporting cast was nothing short of fantastic, with Kate Winslet and Jeff Daniels giving memorable performances that further elevate Fassbender’s.

The film does fall flat at some points and might not be very relatable as it centered around products that people below the age of 30 might never have used.  But it is worth a watch, just for Fassbender’s brilliant portrayal of Jobs.

Oscar Talk: Although Leo gave it his all in “The Revenant”, he just might come up short, yet again, because of Fassbender’s performance as Jobs.

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Movie Review: The Revenant (8.5/10)

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Alejandro G. Iñárritu‘s “The Revenant” is an ambitious epic that attempts to be the cinematic masterpiece that “Birdman” was, but falls short.

Shot as beautifully as any film can be by Emmanuel Lubezki, who is gunning for his third Best Cinematography Oscar in a row (he won previously for “Gravity” and “Birdman”), the film is visually stunning; any stills from this film would make a great looking poster.

The performances were terrific.  Tom Hardy, was brilliant in playing a truly hateful character.  While we as the audience hate him, to a very small extent, we do sympathize with him, as all he did was act out of his own self-interest.

And then there was Leonardo DiCaprio, who, once again, delivers a memorable performance.  The amount of physical hardship he had to go through while shooting this film, that alone, deserves tons of props.  Despite not being the favorite to win, I would have no problem with him nabbing his first ever Oscar this year.

There were a handful of terrific scenes in the film, highlighted by the Leo character’s fight with the bear (shown in the trailer).  These scenes are glimpses of what this film could have been.

So, since I said that the cinematography and the performances were great, what is it that makes “The Revenant” not as good as “Birdman”? The issue has to do with the director.  Inarritu has made one of the best films I’ve ever seen in “Birdman,” but he has also made one that I despise, “Babel.”  He’s got this mantra of knowing that he’s making a great film and wants to show it to us, throwing all subtlety out the window in the process.  With “The Revenant,” it felt like he and Lubezki were indulging so much into creating gorgeous shots that they forgone telling a tighter story.  The result was a film that was 15 minutes too long and a plot that wasn’t able to support its length.

And that very last shot… showcased Inarritu’s pompousness at its worst.  It was also Leo’s chance to say “look! I’m ready for an Oscar… again!”