Tag: Apple

The Circle

May 3rd, 2017 — 5:30am


The Circle – sp

We see on news programs accusations that politicians sometimes are not very honest. There are reports that there are deals being done behind everyone’s back which are not in the best interest of the constituents who elected them. So imagine if it were possible for a politician to decide to “go transparent” where he or she would wear a special camera 24 hours a day that would record just about everything that went on in his or her life (with some very personal exceptions) which would be accessible to everyone on the Internet who wanted to view it. In fact, imagine where other people could decide to “go transparent” and have every part of their life available to anyone who wanted to see it. Imagine also a corporation which cared so much for its employees that it would offer them world class medical care, not only to all of its employees but to their entire families including their parents. What if everyone was interconnected on the Internet so that a wanted criminal could be quickly tracked down once the details of this person with a picture were put out on the Internet. In fact, any persons’ whereabouts could be tracked down within ten minutes because everyone was so interconnected.

These possibilities and all the implications of them were part of the storyline of the novel The Circle  by Dave Eggers which was brought to the screen by James Ponsoldt who co-wrote the screen play with Mr. Eggers. Mr. Ponsoldt also directed the film and was one of the major producers. He enticed Tom Hanks, two-time Oscar winner to play Eamon Bailey who was one of the founders and leaders of this company. As usual, Mr. Hanks is very believable and somewhat reminiscent of Steve Jobs. Patton Oswalt plays another co-founder Tom Stenton who appeared a little bit more sinister.

The story revolves around Mae Holland (Emma Watson), a young woman who was thrilled to get a job at the Circle (think Google and/or Apple squared in the mathematical sense). We see her evolve from being very excited about getting a great entry job (called a guppy, remember new born teeny tropical fish) to developing into a sophisticated perhaps brainwashed worker who herself wants to go transparent. There are also meaningful supportive roles by Glenne Headly and Bill Paxton who play her parents.

We previously had read the book and liked it very much. As is often the case in such a situation, it is difficult for the movie to live up to an outstanding bpok. We tended to feel that the film was quite disjointed and superficial. The characters were not very well-developed as compared to in the book. Subplots, probably by necessity, were left out. The film served the purpose of providing a cautionary tale as did acclaimed film and book “1984” and telling us what may be in store for us in the future.

If you read the book, the film probably is not worth seeing. If you haven’t read the book, we highly recommend that it be your first choice instead of the movie. (2017)

1 comment » | 2 Stars, Drama

Steve Jobs: The Man In The Machine

September 13th, 2015 — 10:33pm

Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 11.10.06 AM***

Steve Jobs: The Man In The Machine-rm

This documentary by Alex Gibney is a very enlightening film. It relies on archival footage mainly of Steve Jobs in action throughout the years as well as talking head interviews with people who worked very closely with him. It is a look at the man, his company Apple, and the remarkable inventions that have become part of our lives. The film also challenges the viewers by holding up a mirror to us and asking why has Jobs been held in such high esteem. It also raised the question of what was this man, who was so revered and almost worshiped by many, really like?

In the biography of Jobs written not too long ago by Walter Isaacson it was certainly shown that Jobs was self-centered, preoccupied, and perhaps narcissistic. But this film really pulls no punches in showing the dark side of this man. While it took a little awhile for the negative traits (to say the least) to come out they certainly did emerge. The movie reviewed how early on when they were quite young, he and Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple with Jobs and the person who did the real technical stuff) worked on a project for Atari, a game company. Jobs handled the interface with the company although Wozniak did most of the technical design. Jobs was given a $15,000 check for the successful project that they completed but told his partner it was for an amount of $1,500 and gave him $700. When Jobs made his girlfriend pregnant he initially denied it with a court affidavit but then when genetic testing proved he was the father of the newborn little girl, he paid only $500 a month for support just after he made $200 million from Apple going public. Later in his career when an Apple prototype of a later iPhone was found in a bar left by an Apple employee it ended up in the hands of a journalist who wrote about features of this phone. He described the product on the Internet, which led Jobs to unsuccessfully take all kinds of draconian steps to hurt this man and his small company. Jobs was also behind Apple vetoing philanthropic activity that Apple had started to do. Bill Gates on the other hand continued with a foundation that supports all sorts of worthwhile projects. Jobs was also behind an illegal and unethical agreement between the major technical companies that they would not interview people from competing companies who might want to be considered for new and perhaps better jobs.

This film did show the tremendous drive that Jobs had to make his products successful. He had the ability to envision what people wanted and mobilize the genius inventors at Apple to put together these amazing devices. It remains to be seen if future generations, especially children will have less creativity and social interaction because of these devices.

This documentary film certainly shows us the legacy of Steve Jobs, who we see at the time of his death was mourned by people all over the world. He deserves a place in history because of his creative accomplishments, but this film shows us that he certainly is not be a person to be emulated (2015).

1 comment » | 3 Stars, Documentary


August 14th, 2013 — 5:40am


Jobs-sp – Steve Jobs has to be one of the iconic figures of our time. Any attempt of a film to get into his head and show what makes him tick would be of great interest. This movie directed by Joshua Michael Stern, with screenplay by Matt Whiteley and starring Ashton Kutcher as Jobs certainly held our attention but it provided no particular insight into the dynamics of Job nor did it provide a clear understanding  of  the life of this man who is one of  founders of the company that makes the computer, iphone and ipad that so many of us hold in great esteem. We see a young man who is intensely interested in innovation,  who over and over again insists upon perfection and appears to have a clear deficit in his ability to have empathy for other people. Had he not met Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad), we might still be using typewriters and even Bill Gates wouldn’t have had a model to rip off for the  IBM PC. It was Wozniak who designed the workings of the  personal computer but it was Jobs who had the vision how it should look and how  people would use it . It is Jobs who we see in the movie ruthlessly demanding what is seen as the impossible from his designers and computer geeks. The film follows Job’s through the founding of Apple , development of Apple 2, Lisa and the early  Mac. While his expulsion and his return to glory is shown, the several years away from Apple including his time with Pixar pictures is not covered  However the journey that is depicted is choppy. The other characters from the original scruffy band of developers , Mike Markkula (Dermott Mulroney), an executive from Intel who joined Jobs early on,  to  Jon Sculley( Matthew Modine) the honcho from Pepsi, one of several CEO’s who replaced Jobs for awhile,  may be difficult to to appreciate exactly who they are and their significance. Unless, of course, you have read the official best selling biography by Walter  Issacson which the movie is not based upon but may be the basis of another  future movie being worked on by Aaron Sorkin. Job’s personal life is particularly confusing in this film . He is not accepting responsibility of the pregnancy of his girl friend and then later in the film he is briefly seen married to another woman with this first child visiting him as a teenager (named Lisa which is the name of  one of the Apple computer  models which appeared after the Apple 2). The film is carried by Ashton Kutcher who mastered Job’s mannerisms as well as projecting his narcissistic characteristics.  In addition the actor is known to have shared Job’s love of technology and innovation which may have added to his successful portrayal. (2013)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Biography

Back to top