Seth Rogen

Steve Jobs

SteveJobsHeader

Universal | R | Danny Boyle
Pictured:
 The artist in all his smug ignominy.

7(Note: The following review was originally published at Consequence of Sound.)

“Computers aren’t art,” bellows Woz.

“Fuck you,” retorts a hostile Jobs.

Eventually, Steve Jobs won this argument, but in the moment, Jobs (Michael Fassbender) and Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen) aggressively disagree in a garage over the creative potential and purpose of home computing. Jobs may have likely been a pain in the ass, a bully, a Machiavellian prince of the modern age, but man did he get to put his name on some important technology. Steve Jobs, the new production from Aaron Sorkin and Danny Boyle, purports that Jobs’ greatness was inherently at odds with his bad-guy qualities, and damned if it doesn’t make for some soapy theatrics. Steve Jobs subverts the biopic genre by approaching it as a whip-smart play told in three acts, which opts not to glorify its lead subject. In lieu of delicacy, the Jobs of this film is a real bastard, which makes Steve Jobs all the better. Devils usually make for more salacious stories than saints, after all. Just look at The Social Network. (more…)

Neighbors

Neighbors_headerUniversal | R | Nicholas Stoller
Pictured: A stunning and apparent shift in tone for the High School Musical series.

6Great news. This Neighbors is a far, far more satisfying event than the ill-fated Neighbors of 1981. That Neighbors was John G. Avildsen’s (Rocky) farce about a swinging Dan Aykroyd moving next door to a straight-laced John Belushi. It was terrible, just plain stupid comedy stuff that relied on the popularity of its leads at the time to overcome the movie’s undone script.  Also there were wigs and chintzy music cues like “Stayin’ Alive” from the Bee Gees when that reference was already stale enough. The less said about that vehicle, the better. Yet that movie is the enduring template for the star-driven concept comedy.  Hot actors and even noteworthy directors take on a simple, describable, and marketable screenplay, usually a hot spec from a non-established (read: likely inexpensive) writer. Think Wedding Crashers, Due Date, The Change-Up, Twins, and the titles go on. Yeesh, those titles cut to the chase, don’t they?  Results often vary. (more…)