‘Phil’s Quick Capsule Review’ (a nod to legendary comedian Bill Hicks who coined the phrase when he reviewed ‘Piece Of Shit’ movie Basic Instinct)… where a perfect 10 is rarer than a rain free British summer!
Written by Phil Hobden – UK based podcaster, writer and former filmmaker. Part of the All Things Film network…
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: If a drama thriller film about high-frequency trading and ultra-low latency direct market access sounds a bit… boring… well don’t worry it isn’t. Mostly. The Hummingbird Project is a well acted, well put together thriller that has a dark black comedic vein running through a film that, at times, seems a little Social Network lite. Yes it’s longer than it needs to be and at times can drag a bit but it’s a solid, entertaining story that more than passes the time.
Best Bit: FBI chase!
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream
If You Liked this Try: The Social Network, Steve Jobs, The Boiler Room
Phil Hobden is the former Film Editor & Writer for renowned martial arts focused COMBAT MAGAZINE in the UK. He is also a filmmaker in his own right, having produced two cult Independent action films in LEFT FOR DEAD and TEN DEAD MEN. He was the host for the award nominated Filmsploitation podcast for 4 years, currently co-hosts Ross And Phil Talk Movies and is a writer/editor for his own blog Phil’s Quick Capsule Review…
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: Aaron Sorkin remains one of the best writers in Hollywood. With his trade mark snappy dialogue, long speeches and well drawn characters, I’ve loved his work from A Few Good Men through to Steve Jobs. But as a director his untested, which is just one of the reasons that Molly’s Game is such a joy. Sorkin directs like he’s been doing it for years (it probably helps having worked with some of the best in the business) and combine that with a fascinating story, a strong (naturally) script and a on-fire cast and you have yet another success. It may be long but it never drags and the words just fly off the screen. Loved it.
Best Bit: The script.
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy
If You Liked this Try: A Few Good Men, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Steve Jobs
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: Fantastic documentary about the story of then underdog Compaq and it’s assault on corporate giant and market leader IBM. From a meeting in a Texas diner in 1981 through to the inevitable decline (see the Apple story also), it’s fascinating stuff. And it won’t just be for tech heads and nerds, this story has appeal beyond that. Well worth a watch.
Best Bit: Retro titles
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)
If You Liked this Try: Atari: Game Over, Half And Catch Fire, Steve Jobs
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: The Founder is a well made, straight laced film that tells an interesting story in a simple, yet effective way. Part of the charm here (unsurprisingly) is Michael Keaton who delivers yet another memorable performance (Keaton is hardly ever off screen) and whilst other cast members may be wasted, Keaton eats up his screen time. Well worth a watch.
Best Bit: Keaton
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream
If You Liked this Try: The Wolf Of Wall Street, The Social Network, Steve Jobs
Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five. This time out: To celebrate the upcoming release of T2: Trainspotting here are my top 5 Danny Boyle Films!
Close but no cigar: Sunshine, 127 Hours, The Beach
5 – Steve Jobs Based on Walter Isaacson biography and taking a rather unconventional approach, Steve Jobs was an awesome look at one of technology’s greatest characters, delivered in a way only Danny Boyle would dare. Oh and an award nominated script by the maestro Aaron Sorkin… what more could you ask.
4 – Shallow Grave Years on, Danny Boyle’s low budget debut Shallow Grave is still a damn good film and one that launched us the careers of two of the UK’s most known actors. Tense, tightly directed and thrilling.
3 – Slumdog Millionaire Showing the Boyle can turn his style to almost any narrative, Slumdog tells a colourful love story set against a bizarre story of a street kid and a TV game show. Excellent performances and well a deserved Oscar win for Boyle.
2 – 28 Days Later Simply put one of the best Zombie/Horror films ever made, one of the best low budget films ever made, one of the best British films ever made.
1 – Trainspotting Iconic. Groundbreaking. Masterpiece. Trainspotting is all this and more. It’s also damn harrowing and gave us a soundtrack that defined a generation. A must see.
Because this movie has been written by AAron Sorkin and directed by Danny Boyle, there’s little denying that Steve Jobs has a frenetic pace, udnercut by a low hum of a score. This is essentially a talky character piece, whereby Michael Fassbender as Jobs can bounce of his aide Kate Winslet and former/current employer Jeff Daniels, and co-conspoirator Steve Wozniak, played by Seth Rogen. All the players are very strong, and the direction is a formidable opponent to someone like Oliver Stone and how he managed to ramp up the tension in his best film,. the talky-talk-talk Talk Radio.
That said, you’d have to be something of a fan – or at least a fantasist – of Jobs himself. The film really gets down and dirty on his personal life, and makes more than a fair share of its remarks on how he handled people. I never saw 2013’s Jobs, where Ashton Kutcher played the role, but I have a sneaky suspicion this movie deals the late, great auteur a far meaner hand in his lasting legacy.
It would have been nice to see more than just the preemptive tirades before the launches, and even more satisfying to see Fassbender recreate the magic of the stage presence. As it is, we make do with this behind-the-scenes recount and – due to the talent involved in all directions – it does it’s *job* just fine…
Author: Andrew Mackay
To hear more on this review (and others like it) make sure you download our very own show, The Film Podcast!
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: Much like 2015 with Whiplash and Birdman, 2016 opens up with what could end up being one of the best film of the year. And man WHAT a film. From it’s performances (the oscar nominated Larson and the criminal Not nominated Tremblay ) to it’s incredible direction, Room is a powerful yet beautiful film unlike anything you are likely to see this year. 2016’s first MUST see.
Best Bit: The performances.
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy
If You Liked this Try: Take Shelter, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Steve Jobs
So for a year so bereft of quality films, it’s funny that I’ve now seen The Good Dinosaur, Sicario, The Man From UNCLE and now Steve Jobs across a few days it’s helped end the year on a MUCH better note. Cinema isn’t dead. It was just hiding.
So Steve Jobs: whether you are interested in Apple & computers or not is a fascinating film. In a way it bookends perfectly with Whiplash – I care little or drumming, about as much as many will care for the subject matter at plat here, but the presentation and skill brought what could have been a fairly mundane story to life. Same here. Steve Jobs central performances from Fassbender and Winslet are amongst two of the best of the year, the subtle direction from Boyle will be missed by most yet it’s some of his most assured and playful work. Sorkin writes as lyrical as he always does and as always manages to make dry conversations about sales projections as riveting as a court room scene (one day he will write the phone book and it will still be captivating) and the story, whilst no doubt at least in part fabricated from real events, paints such a detailed, intimate picture of a man so flawed yet so focused in what he believes it manages to highlight just how close a line genius is to madness and ego.
The film is not without it’s flaws but like the films namesake at one of his own product launches the detail and attention that has gone into presenting it, making sure the corners are perfectly rounded so to speak, tricks you to not only accepting them but convincing yourself that they were intentional. Orchestrated into the narrative to see if you were paying attention.
And like the Mac in it’s day, Steve Jobs is also probably the years least deserved failure.
Grosse Point Geek returns once again to cast his critical eye over a new release – This time: Steve Jobs.
Director: Danny Boyle
Actors: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels.
Steve Jobs – founder of Apple, billionaire, genius………and from the evidence seen here – a rather unpleasant sort of chap to boot.
In Danny Boyle’s superb film we meet Jobs (Michael Fassbender) in a series of flashbacks and flash forwards mostly taking place backstage at various yearly launch junkets of the latest Apple technology – all spearheaded by Jobs himself, and attended by thousands of his adoring computer geek acolytes.
As mentioned,Jobs is, to say the least, a bit of a git – we see him reject his biological daughter and refuse to pay any maintenance for her – all this despite a biological test proving otherwise, then flatly turning down his friends repeated pleas to acknowledge those who helped him get where he is and exasperating his personal assistant (Winslet) and various members of his technical staff by making impossible demands for perfection in the presentation of whatever new computer he is about to launch on to the world.
In short, there really is nothing i can criticize about this film – Fassbender in the title role once again proves he is fast becoming the greatest actor of his generation, his brilliant and utterly captivating performance is simply faultless in its execution – (which it needed to be as he is in just about every single scene), so good is he that one simply accepts that Fassbender IS Steve Jobs and to be honest i dont think any other actor could have pulled this role off as well as he does. Winslet as Joanna Hoffman, his long suffering assistant is superb as ever, there are also excellent turns from Seth Rogen as Job’s best friend Steve Wozniak and Jeff Daniels as Apple CEO John Sculley. In addition, Danny Boyle’s direction is as sure footed as ever with a razor sharp script from Aaron Sorkin that is just a wonder to hear when spoken by the main actors.
As you may have heard, despite overwhelming critical adoration, the film has been a massive box office disappointment, with cinemas recently pulling showings all over the US – which i feel is horribly short sighted and an incredible injustice, as it so deserves to be seen by a wider audience – perhaps it will have a better second life when it is released on dvd. I certainly urge anyone reading this review to get yourself to the nearest multiplex and see it asap.
So in summary – a brilliant film – made more so by the incredible acting talent that is Michael Fassbender – just incredible.
The Review: When the sad news the Apple creator and tech wizard Steve Jobs had died, most people figured it would only be a matter of time before his life was turned into a movie. With the popular book by Walter Isaacson released short after his death, a movie announcement followed. West Wing & Social Network writer Aaron Sorkin would be in charge of the script, guaranteeing this studio backed film would be a must see. But whilst almost two years later the Sorkin film is still being developed, another Steve Jobs film slipped out into the world. And unfortunately this one stars Ashton Kutcher.
This story of Steve Jobs’, tells of his ascension from college dropout into one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of the 20th century, through his initial tenure at Apple, his controversial ousting and his eventual return to what would become a golden age at the Palo Alto based company.
Very much an independently produced love letter, Joshua Michael Stern previously best known for his film Swing Vote with Kevin Costner (no, me neither) directs his own screenplay, in a film he produced and no doubt made the tea on as well.
And in a sentence that’s what’s wrong with jOBS… whist it flirts with being an interesting film , due to its TV movie of the week feel and overblown musical cues, it never quite makes it. Even more so it makes the critical error of skirting around the ‘real’ Jobs, polishing the rougher edges that made the man what he was, and what he was liked and loathed for in equal measure.
If you have read Isaacson’s book (which I have), this film adds very little to the mix. In fact what it does add is probably embellishment , rumour and supposition rather than fact and often shown through such rose tinted glasses (Steve is Good! The Apple board were bad!) that you’d think the renownedly difficult jOBS hardly ever put a foot wrong.
Also in compressing such a dense and event filled life, the film often skips over massive chunks of his story, leaving out the things that made Jobs the man he was, both good and bad.
It’s not all bad. The cast is very good, not least Kutcher, who shares more than a passing resemblance to his subject matter and manages to mostly drop the irritating ticks and traits that made his more recent career almost unbearable to watch. Whilst the film never shakes off it’s TV movie feel, the story it tells is an interesting one. Just one that also could have been better served by a writer-director with a slightly less rose tinted view of events and people, with a willingness to do something less linear or narratively predictable (someone like Aaron Sorkin maybe!)
In short: If jOBS had been an Apple product, it would no doubt have been sent back for more refinement. Well at least under the regime of Steve Jobs, anyway.