Friday, September 13, 2013


Steve Jobs over Blue Jasmine Any Day or Night

Ashton Kutcher is terrific in Jobs, but the true stars are the geeks who look like angelic children from another planet.Josh Gad (Steve Wozniack), Lukas Haas, Ron Eldard, Nelson Franklin, Eddie Hassell. They are not famous, but represent the creative mind at work and at play. They are the intellectual pool from which Steve Jobs gets ideas. Creativity is what this film directed by Josh Stern and masterfully written by Matt Whiteley is about. The creative process and how suits can destroy a living creative force like Apple Computer. Watching Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) direct and manage his group of underlings is stimulating for anyone and especially stimulating if one is in the arts. The money men want to kill Steve Jobs desire to make the best product possible and only focus on the bottom line. At one point Jobs is fired from Apple by John Scully played with perfect spinelessness by Matthew Modine,whom he hired because he trusted this man would have his back. The cutthroat world of technology is portrayed with what seems to be a frightening accuracy. Twice out of necessity and with a well earned exercise in revenge Steve Jobs fires men who had supported him early in his career. Delmot Mulroney magnificently portrays Mike Markkula the treacherous man who both discovers and tries to destroy Steve Jobs. You will cheer Jobs triumphant return to Macintosh.
"Why are you still here?" Jobs asks a cherubic looking geek who now heads a department and who has never met Jobs since Jobs has been fired. Jobs is in the process of being asked to return to help the ailing company and is walking through the hallowed halls of his former beloved Apple.
The geek fumbles for words. Jobs can see this talented employee is not being used for his innovative genius rather his rudimentary skills.
"OK," Jobs says, "I want you to stop what you are doing and create something meaningful and original." Jobs interest in product and creation are what make this film fly. You will leave the theatre feeling you have just watched a collision of values and you feel so much cleaner and uplifted for it.
Whereas Blue Jasmine written and directed by Woody Allen might just as well be called homage to Cate Blanchett who portrays a tragic figure whose disintegration is due to her disease of alcoholism. Other actors perform magnificiently save Alec Baldwin who stomps through his performance. Andrew Dice Clay , Bobby Cannavale and Sally Hawkins are standouts, but all the hypocritical noise and publicity about Allen's discovery of Blanchett is due to Allen's publicist running the show. In fact, it should be written that Cate Blanchett who has starred as the Queen of England in Elizabeth, The Golden Age and some 57 films, condescended to be in a Woody Allen film. Allen's PR has placed the importance of players backwards. A bit of misogyny at work. Allen would have no film without Blanchett. As it is, he has a flimsy story of a tormented trophy wife suffering from alcoholism which is a disease of misplaced values.
Jobs is a celebration of values while Blue Jasmine is a film wallowing in bad values and no solution. Go with Jobs any day or night unless you want to see Blanchett's masterful --if not a bit precious --portrayal of a woman coming unglued. Allen's disdain for a certain kind of woman shines through here and painfully reflects his short, unpleasant image ,filled with a sufficient amount of self-loathing, based on his attraction to this classy, though troubled, kind of woman who would not give him any time night or day.


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