by Tony Johnson
22 days ago
at 01:54 PM | Permalink
How do you
manage to pack the lifetime of a generation-defining innovator into just more
than two hours of screen time? This is the challenge that Danny Boyle (director
of Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotters) faces with his latest
directorial effort, Steve Jobs. With
a trademark rat-a-tat screenplay from Aaron Sorkin (Moneyball, The Social Network),
the latest film surrounding the late Apple founder opts out of a tame, status
quo biopic format for a compact, perhaps more difficult and ultimately
beautiful picture revolving around three pivotal product releases that helped
define Jobs’ career. But while we are taken from the launch of the original
Macintosh to Jobs’ stint at NeXT to the original iMac unveiling, a struggle to
grapple with his role in a scrambled family tree persists. It is a cumulative
narrative gamble intricately orchestrated by Sorkin, sharply executed by Boyle
and remarkably brought to life by the film’s star, Michael Fassbender.
of ingredients that goes into the final recipe, oddly enough, mostly reflects
the biopic subject’s own tendencies as a business leader. The picture takes big
chances, trusts its audience to see through the final product’s negligible
flaws and eventually breaks through with something truly astounding.
Occasionally, the film feels erratic — the jumps in time can feel jarring — but
it is grounded in relationships revolving around a troubled but brilliant
protagonist. The decision to force the life of an industry giant to be shown in
miniscule slices of life — only three days with occasional flashbacks — also
forces discussions that occurred (or half-occurred) at different times in
Steve-Jobs-the-man’s life to occur backstage with Steve-Jobs-the-character. The
decision is the mark of a filmmaking team dedicated to a narrative that does
its subject justice as opposed to doing their subject a service. It sacrifices
history for narrative, a worthy payment to achieve an eventual triumph. It
would have been much safer to simply roll a tape that marched steadily along
throughout the protagonist’s lifeline. But Sorkin’s script does for Jobs
exactly what his The Social Network screenplay
did for Zuckerberg — mythologize the work of the subject while humanizing them.
And although it may be more fun to witness the glorification of the achievement
of the iMac or “the Facebook” (do you remember the “the”?), it is much more rewarding
to observe the inner workings of men mostly accessed indirectly through their
not to compare and contrast Steve Jobs with
The Social Network. Their premises
and Sorkin connection make them a perfect future double-header. In 2008, David
Fincher showed us a heartbroken, bitter whiz kid-version of Zuckerberg crawling
through the pains of social rejection and industry success in a coming-of-age
story. Now, we get Danny Boyle’s take on a Sorkin wunderkind of a more
optimistic flavor. Like the Zuckerberg character we get our hands on, this
re-creation of Steve Jobs’ main issue isn’t his talent. It’s his ability to
accept responsibility for people who are close to them in favor of his work.
But Sorkin trades in the open-ended relatively bleak conclusion of Zuckerberg’s
rise to fortune for a mostly uplifting ending to Jobs’ struggles with his daughter
characters and settings and dialogues are not exact replicas of reality. At one
point, Jobs remarks that everyone seems to confront him about personal qualms right
before product releases, and we have to wonder how much that is wink to those
who lived the real thing. The Beginning of 2013’s American Hustle comes to mind, when the opening frames read: “Some
of this actually happened.” Of course, Steve
Jobs is more honorable to the subject than O. Russell’s ABSCAM critique,
which took unprecedented liberties and changed stories and names entirely for
the sake of the narrative. Boyle doesn’t break the facts to pieces and create a
new world to explore. Rather, he puts a spin on things, and he mashes tons of crucial
life moments into 122 minutes of screen time.
result feels intelligent, delightful and human. These three qualities —
intelligence, delight and humanity — may have been Jobs’ most endearing
personal elements that he contributed to the computer industry. “It needs to
say, ‘Hello!’ ” Jobs commands Apple engineer Andy Hertzfeld (Michael Stuhlbarg)
before the unveiling of the Macintosh. The Steve Jobs we meet via Michael
Fassbender is calculating and demanding, but still charming in his sheer
passion and enthusiasm for his line of work. In this regard, Steve Jobs is a resounding success.
the three product release events, we also get a glimpse of Jobs’ struggles as a
reluctant father, a challenging friend and an adopted son. There is no practical
reason to like him for how he handles his out-of-wedlock daughter, Lisa, whom
he initially rejects as someone else’s. “You must see that she looks like you”,
Steve’s marketing executive Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet) tells him backstage
of the Macintosh presentation. More than 10 years later, Hoffman tells Steve
before the launch of the iMac, “What you make isn’t supposed to be the best part
of you. When you’re a father — that’s what’s supposed to be the best part of
you.” His old friend and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak confronts him about giving
recognition to the team that developed the Apple II computer, Apple’s earliest
commercial breakthrough. When Jobs declines time and time again, Wozniak breaks
it down. “It’s not binary,” he explains. “You can be decent and gifted at the
same time.” Even Steve’s business partner and eventual foe John Scully (Jeff
Daniels) poses the question, “Why do people like you who were adopted feel like
they were rejected instead of selected?” It all adds up to a man who is so sure
of what he does, and so unsure of who he is.
Steve Jobs is a picture with a pulse — a
heartbeat. It is overwhelmingly more man than machine. This humanity drives the
film’s central concerns with an airtight script, clean direction and stellar
acting. We are spoiled with a wonderful glimpse of an artistic interpretation
of who Steve Jobs was. We see him as a tech industry giant, a flawed father and
a victim of identity crisis. “It’s about control,” the silver-screen version of
Jobs admits to Scully in regard to his uneasy feelings towards his status as an
adopted child. “I don’t understand anyone who gives it up.” And yet what makes
Jobs so intriguing as a character is his reluctance to give up any control of
his life, even if it means denying responsibility as a father. Perhaps now we
can begin to understand. Grade: A
by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
The 2014 Golden Globes, hosted by the dream team of Amy Poehler and Tina
Fey, take place Jan. 12 and nominations have been announced. Here we go!
In the motion picture sector, 12
Years a Slave and American Hustle
lead the pack with seven nominations each. The America’s Sweethearts Showdown
will finally play out as Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) is pitted against Julie Roberts (August: Osage
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (along with Sally Hawkins – Blue Jasmine, Lupita Nyong'o – 12 Years a Slave and June Squibb – Nebraska). Yes, I'm really trying to make the J. Law/JuRo(?) rivalry happen.
Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey were rewarded for the physical
they underwent to star in Dallas Buyers
Club — they’re up for Best Supporting Actor in a
Motion Picture and Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama, respectively.
On to television selections, Netflix series House of Cards raked in four nominations, the most of any series.
The HBO film Behind the Candelabra
also garnered four nods, but in three categories — stars Matt Damon and Michael
Douglas are up against one another for Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie.
Rob Lowe’s amazing work as Liberace’s plastic surgeon/pill pusher in Candelabra gets lauded with a nomination
for the broad Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie
category, but that statue will likely go to Aaron Paul for his performance in
the final season of Breaking Bad.
New-to-2013 shows Masters of Sex,
Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Ray Donovan each received two
nominations. I was totally in love with the inaugural season of Masters this year, so I’m happy to see
it up against some solid series for Best TV Series, Drama, even if it probably
won’t win. I can’t bring myself to watch Brooklyn
(despite my love for Andy Samberg!) because it looks decidedly unfunny, but I
keep hearing I need to check it out, so judgment reserved. Ray was a decent new drama. Jon Voight killed it as the
fresh-out-of-prison father to the titular character, a Hollywood “fixer” played
Schreiber (also nominated). Voight’s Mickey brought the
laughs in an otherwise dark story, from his penchant for big-booty video girls
to the advice he gives to his nauseated grandson: “Maybe you need to faht!”
Noticeably absent are Homeland,
Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men, and I am OUTRAGED! OK, I’m
starting to sound like everyone who’s ever listened to a local band after the
CEA nominations are announced.
But seriously, Damien Lewis’ performance as Homeland’s Brody, while limited on screen this season, was
incredible. He truly has played so many sides and shades of the character. That
detox scene? Haunting. He nailed the deterioration of Brody completely.
I also thought this was one of the best seasons of Boardwalk. Completely biased opinion: John Huston’s Richard Harrow
has been my favorite
character of the series (besides Lucy, played by the incomparable queen of mot messes Paz de
la Huerta, OBVS).
With so many other amazing characters, it’s totally understandable that he
wouldn’t leave with an award, but…Richard! "Hold me."
As for Mad Men, neither the
show nor its actors have won a Globe since 2009, when it was awarded for Best
TV Series, Drama. The show is not suffering — in fact, watching Don (Jon Hamm)
finally crack and start to act like a real human was incredible this season.
Oh, well. There’s always next year’s Emmys, I guess?
Read all the nominations here.It’s almost Christmas, so what better time for another Apple ad to make
you unexpectedly shrivel up and bawl?
Beyoncé blew the top off the Internet late last week, surprise-releasing
14 new songs plus 17 music videos in
a full, mega, meta “visual experience” of an album, leaving most of us with
nothing left on our holiday wish lists. Titled simply Beyoncé, the package features collaborations with Jay Z, Frank
Ocean, Drake and Blue MFing Ivy, sexy-ass songs with some straight up raunch, audio/video
from Star Search and home movies and several shots of Bey’s thonged butt. It’s
perfection. And because no one can ever get enough Yoncé (That’s right, it’s Yoncé,
Mrs. Carter if you’re nasty), she’s also releasing a mini-documentary about the
album in various parts, day by day. Buy the package, watch the videos and get
swept up in the Carter life here.
John Mayer and Katy Perry are totes an item and, in case you needed any
reminders of what a supreme douche J. May is, well, here’s their first couples
interview (gag) — skip to 2:50 for John’s really touching words about Katy’s
craft/to hear him drop an F bomb (edited out, thanks ABC!) while doing so.
your browser does not support IFrames.
R. Kelly(’s PR)
thought it would be a good idea to get #askrkelly trending, to spark a sort of
AMA with Twitter fans, and it was a total marketing fail. In fact, the timing of the backfired publicity stunt led perfectly to
this Village Voice interview
with the Chicago Sun-Times music critic that broke the story detailing R. Kelly’s involvement with
underage girls almost 15 years ago. This journalist, Jim DeRogatis, reminds us just how disgusting of a rap sheet R. has. I guess somewhere
between Trapped in the Closet parts V
and XXVI, we forgot the dude was a legit pedo.
Buzzfeed dubbed Newport Aquarium’s Scuba Santa one of eight “Most Badass
Santas in the World,” not to be confused with “One of Most Extreme Santas in
World,” as reported by basically every other local media outlet (buncha babies).
If there’s just one viral family Christmas video-card (ugh) making its rounds
that particularly makes me want to gouge my eyes out, it’s the Holderness
family’s. Set to the tune of the very current
“Welcome to Miami,” this family of four teaches us what the holidays are truly
about: bragging about the year’s accomplishments. Namely, running triathlons,
appearing in blockbuster films and learning Chinese — in their "Christmas jammies." Fucking white people.
Shia LaBeouf was a child actor, so I guess he never went to school to learn that copying off your neighbor's work is pretty much universally looked down upon. That's the only explanation I can come up with to justify his plagiarizing of Daniel Clowes' comic Justin M. Damiano for his new short film, HowardCantour.com. Read all about the fiasco here, and see the similarities for yourself. LaBeouf said sorry via Twitter, which should be enough, but he apparently lifted his apology off Yahoo Answers. So help us all.
by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
Miley Cyrus hosted and performed on Saturday
Night Live this weekend and I have to admit — she rocked it. You have to
give it to the writers for coming up with some original ways to incorporate her
recent now-ubiquitous scandals (VMAs, buzzworthy music videos, ever-exposed
tongue), but MiCy deserves some credit, too.
Bitch may be feuding with Sinead O’Connor
and giving twerking a bad name, but she is definitely a solid performer. The weak skits of the night (How
dare SNL make a failed attempt at a
cheerleader sketch when we all know the Spartans
can never be topped? Too soon!) flopped because of poor ideas or shoddy
writing, not due to Miley’s lack of acting skills. The trend so far this year is the
best skits being prerecorded ones (the Girls
spoof with Tina Fey, this week's
Fifty Shades of Grey auditions),
which kind of defeats the purpose of it being a live show. Nonetheless, the No. 1 sketch of the night perfectly
blended a Miley earbug with the government shutdown: “We Did Stop.”
Meanwhile, Nori West is racking up finer garments
before her fourth month on Earth
(FOR FREE) than the rest of us can probably ever imagine owning. In our adult lives.
In Case You Missed It: Dumb and
Dumber To is actually happening. Not to be confused with the cringe-worthy
2003 prequel Dumb and Dumberer: When
Harry Met Lloyd (which I totally saw in theaters the day it opened), this Farrelly Brothers sequel will feature OG stars Jim
Carrey (Lloyd Christmas) and Jeff Daniels (Harry Dunne) picking up 20 years
after the duo’s last adventure. In D&D2,
which currently has an unspecified 2014 release date, one of the guys has a
long-lost offspring, and they both embark on a journey to find the child in
hopes of attaining a new kidney. Kathleen Turner will play Fraida Felcher, a
character mentioned but never seen in two scenes of the original (Below). Sounds like she's the baby mama. And
SPOILER ALERT: Jennifer Lawrence
will make a surprise cameo as a young Fraida. Hopefully we’ll get to see the
French Tickler in action. Billy the blind kid and Sea Bass will also return,
played by their respective original actors.
And because behind-the-scenes movie peeks are so fun, here’s Quvenzhane
Wallis on the set of Annie
with her near-identical stunt double who
is at least three times Q’s age. The Jay Z and Will Smith-produced remake, due
in theaters during Christmastime next year, will also star Jamie Foxx in the
Daddy Warbucks role, appropriately renamed “Benjamin Stacks.”
Although it’s been 13 years since Freaks
and Geeks originally graced our television screens, longtime fans and
newcomers discovering the fantastic series on Netflix or IFC can now experience
McKinley High in a whole new way. The Fine Brothers, Internet creatives behind
the popular React series, developed a Freak and Geeks
choose-your-own-adventure game that combines great television, old-school video
games and your inner 10-year-old’s favorite genre of books. Players can
actually click on different choices in the YouTube video, leading them to new
videos based on their selections. Play now!
Watch what you say to Siri: That robot voice on your phone is
actually a real lady!
Recently, we learned Lisa Frank is an actual, live human.
Next up: Siri. Voice actress Susan Bennett has come forward as the woman behind
the mysterious personal assistant living inside newer Apple mobile devices. The
recent Apple software update iOS 7 gives users the option of a new “male” Siri
voice, prompting Bennett to reveal Siri’s original real-life counterpart. Meet
Check out these cool paintings on coins:
0 Comments · Tuesday, December 4, 2012
WEDNESDAY NOV. 28
Whether it’s London, England or London,
Ky., people tend to get pissed off when they find out their children
have been banned from one day entering the pearly gates of heaven.
by Danny Cross
Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls responded to Rep. Steve Chabot’s
Wednesday attempt to block federal funding for Cincinnati’s
streetcar construction by calling it “an outrageous interference in
local government decision-making.” The Enquirer today recapped the
situation, which involves Chabot adding the following amendment to a
massive federal transportation bill: “None of the funds
made available by this Act may be used to design, construct, or operate a
fixed guideway project located in Cincinnati, Ohio.” The amendment has
little chance at being included in the final passage of the bill, as the
Senate and President Obama would both have to approve and sign it.
A parody video of a Western &
Southern PR representative explaining why the insurance company should
build condos at the site of the century-old women’s shelter has earned a
response from W&S. The company’s VP of public relations told The Enquirer: “Whoever
created the video, we think it’s unfortunate that they’ve taken this
approach,” he said. “We think it’s a distraction from finding a win-win
for all involved.” The video is no longer available on YouTube, however,
due to “a copyright claim by Canipre inc.”
Speaking of funny videos, MSNBC posted this video of Rep.
Jean Shmidt apparently reacting to someone incorrectly telling her that
President Obama’s health care law had been struck down. Schmidt can be
seen twisting around and making strange screaming sounds.
Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
by Kevin Osborne
At the risk of alienating some readers, we have to say it: If you don't know that today is Opening Day, you're not a real Cincinnatian. The 93rd annual Findlay Market Opening Day Parade begins at 1 p.m., and the Reds will kick off the 2012 season with a game against the Miami Marlins at 4:05 p.m.Hamilton County commissioners want to help you enjoy the day if you're heading downtown to catch either or both of the events. They've lowered the parking rates today at the garages in The Banks district near Great American Ball Park. There are now 6,000 parking spaces near the stadium that will cost $10 for the day, down from $12 last year.Just in time for the season opener, first baseman Joey Votto has agreed to a $251.5 million, 12-year deal with the Reds, the longest guaranteed contract in Major League history. The deal adds $225 million over 10 years to his previous contract and includes a club option for 2024, when the 2010 National League MVP turns 41.Shortly after an independent assessment criticized her performance in the job, Hamilton County Public Defender Shelia Kyle-Reno has reached a deal to leave the position nearly a year before her contract ends. Until a permanent successor is found, Kyle-Reno will be replaced by W. Kelly Johnson, a former federal public defender who will work for free.A recount is under way this morning to see which Democrat will challenge Brad Wenstrup for U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt's seat in Congress. For now, the winner of the 2nd District Democratic primary is William Smith, a Pike County man that party leaders had never even met before he beat David Krikorian by 60 votes. Because the margin of victory was so small, Ohio's Secretary of State ordered a recount in 13 of Hamilton County's 222 precincts.In news elsewhere, a new poll finds Google beats out Apple Computer in favorable ratings by 82 to 74 percent. The Washington Post-ABC News poll also found Facebook has a 58 percent favorable rating.An important historical document has recently been uncovered and released. In 2006 an adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice authored a memo opposing the Bush administration’s torture practices. The White House tried to collect and destroy all copies of the memo, but one survived deep in the State Department’s files and was declassified this week in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the National Security Archive. The memo argues that the Convention Against Torture, and the Constitution’s prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment, do indeed apply to the CIA’s use of “waterboard(ing), walling, dousing, stress positions, and cramped confinement.”Syrian troops have launched new assaults on rebels as an envoy of United Nations mediator Kofi Annan arrived in Damascus today to discuss implementing a ceasefire plan. Anti-government activists said several towns, including Homs, Deraa and the Douma suburb of Damascus, have been shelled. U.N. officials report the conflict has cost more than 9,000 lives since it began a year ago. The Syrian government blames violence on "terrorist gangs" and allege about 3,000 members of the security forces have been killed. The U.N. wants a truce deal by April 12.A major Chinese insurance company said it will stop indemnity coverage for tankers carrying Iranian oil beginning in July, narrowing insurance options for Iran's main export that already are constricted by economic sanctions pushed by the United States. This is the first sign that refiners in China, Iran's top crude oil buyer, may struggle to obtain the shipping and insurance to keep importing from the Middle Eastern nation. Iran's other top customers -- India, Japan and South Korea -- are facing similar problems.In lighter fare, an animal rights group is urging a pastor who preaches about the importance of marital sex to teach about how becoming vegan can add extra spark to the faithful's sex lives. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) told The Rev. Mike Scruggs that vegans are less prone to heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity than meat-eaters, and they often have more stamina, lower body weight, and a reduced risk of sexual dysfunction. People who choose vegan meals are also following God's call to mercy, PETA added, as plant-based meals save animals from immense suffering on factory farms and in slaughterhouses.
by Danny Cross
The Enquirer today looks into an issue CityBeat investigated back in May of last year —
the ongoing debate weighing the danger police pursuits pose to
innocent bystanders and the police officers themselves. Our story
referenced the March 16, 2011 deaths of a downtown taxi driver and
his passenger when a fleeing suspect broadsided the taxi. In that
case, the Cincinnati Police Department determined that police had
followed the department’s pursuit policy. The Enquirer’s story
suggests that Cincinnati Police routinely fail to follow the pursuit
policy and that crashes and injuries during police chases occur more
here than the national average.
President Obama dropped $90 mil
on a couple of local non-profit development companies. Cincinnati
Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) and the Uptown Consortium were
awarded $50 million and $40 million tax credits, respectively, by the
U.S. Department of the Treasury as part of a program aimed at
spurring retail and residential growth. 3CDC says it plans to create
a rock climbing wall/juice bar/light-free techno dance hall in order
to draw more YPs to the area. (Just kidding.)
P&G plans to cut
5,700 jobs next year (and we just had our resumes all cleaned up to
prove we could write the best stories about how Tide makes clothing —
and life — better for everyone…).
A 15-year-old Milford
High School freshman named Eben Christian Franckewitz has advanced to
next Thursday’s live episode of American Idol. Franckewitz is
reportedly the first area reside to become one of the 24 Idol
semifinalists. Pick it up, area talented people!
The New York Police
Department is defending its recent practice of spying on mosques
using tactics it normally reserves for criminal organizations. The AP got a hold of documents that showed police "collecting the license plates of worshipers, monitoring
them on surveillance cameras and cataloging sermons through a network of
The new documents,
prepared for Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, show how the NYPD's
roster of paid informants monitored conversations and sermons inside
mosques. The records offer the first glimpse of what those
informants, known informally as "mosque crawlers," gleaned
from inside the houses of worship.
Chicago Mayor Rahm
Emanuel says his police would never spy on Muslims.
Officials in Australia
have opened another investigation into the 1980 death of a 9-week-old
baby whose parents say was taken away by a dingo. The mother was
convicted of murder and later cleared of the charge.
Seven Marines were
killed in a training crash near the California-Arizona border
Wednesday night, one of the deadliest training crashes ever.
Officials say it will take weeks to determine why the two helicopters
crashed in midair during a routine exercise.
JC Penny lost $87
million in the fourth quarter of 2011. CEO Ron Johnson says it’s
cool, though, because the company was getting a makeover and those
On the other side of
the fence dividing companies that lose money and companies that make
mass of it, Apple is so flush its CEO says the company has too much
cash. Tim Cook is reportedly “wondering what to do with the
company's $97.6 billion.”
More drivers than ever
are about to be paying $5 per galling for gas, although if we vote
Newt Gingrich for president he’ll make it $2.50.A new study says
that global warming could shrink the human race. Wait, what?!? It’s
true: NEW GLOBAL WARMING THREAT: HUMAN RACE MAY SHRINK. Great ... just great.
Oh, and the UC
basketball team beat No. 17 Louisville last night, a big step toward
playing in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. Nice,
one-handed jam, Dion!
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 5, 2011
After months of speculation about when
Apple would announce the launch of the iPhone 5, the company today
finally scheduled the press conference that would change all of our
lives forever ... and announced that there would be no iPhone 5. Tech
geeks across the land responded with rage to the offer of an improved
iPhone 4S, promising to switch to the Samsung Galaxy 2 and then weeping
because they know it’s not true.
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 29, 2009
According to a report from the AP, Apple and the four major music conglomerates are hashing out a plan to enhance sales of full album downloads. With the rise of iTunes and other legal download services, music fans have chosen to download single tracks over full-lengths, meaning less money for the cash-strapped music industry.