“Alex Gibney begins Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine with a first-person voiceover, marveling at the global outpouring of emotion that greeted the Apple leader’s 2011 death. ‘I was mystified,’ he recalls, at the tears shed over someone who was not a pop star or beloved author but merely a man who sold us things,” John DeFore writes for The Hollywood Reporter. “As an iPhone user, Gibney understands there’s more to it than that. But Machine is his two hour-plus corrective to uncritical idolatry of the tech legend, a film that roots around in his misdeeds and mean traits, not in search of a complete portrait, but in the spirit of a Judgment Day prosecutor who knows damn well the defendant was not a holy man.”
“The doc merits seeing it on its terms and should generate plenty of buzz in this Apple-obsessed world, but word-of-mouth may not be kind,” DeFore writes. “Gibney moves chronologically through Jobs’ life, more or less, making note of some high points but usually digging in only when he has a negative anecdote to tell.”
“The film isn’t petty or mean,” DeFore writes. “But after making his name by digging into world-rattling catastrophes like Enron and sex abuse in the Catholic church, after daring to joust with Scientology’s lawyers, what about this project demanded Gibney’s attention?”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: What about this project demanded Gibney’s attention? Well, looking at his past choices of subject matter, Gibney seems to be very attracted to low hanging fruit (Lance Armstrong, Scientology, Eliot Spitzer), therefore one might conclude that he’s simply a lazy filmmaker one who really seems to enjoy pontificating. Gibney the lazy docudrama producer is far above his lowly subject matter, you see.
This Steve Jobs material is well known by everyone and it’s relatively easy to gather it all up, slap it into a timeline, and excrete 127 (!) minutes that should have been at least twenty-five fewer minutes in the hands of a real director making a properly-edited feature-length film about Steve Jobs’ life. This one’s even easier for Gibney to peddle than some of his others since his subject matter isn’t here to respond.
This docudrama seems to be the celluloid equivalent of Yukari Iwatani Kane’s awful Apple After Steve Jobs’ book: just another hit-piece on which you wouldn’t want to waste your time.