“Steve Jobs”: Shiny Exterior, Some Bugs

Jobs

Steve Jobs was innovative, creative, driven, dogged and inestimably intelligent. But was he an interesting person?

Judging by Steve Jobs, a feature film meticulously scripted by Aaron Sorkin and studiously crafted by Danny Boyle, the answer is…maybe not? Kind of? It’s hard to tell what the filmmakers think, let alone what you’re supposed to after spending two hours with him. As enlivened with dazzling intensity by Michael Fassbender, the Jobs of this film vociferously berates his coworkers, belittles his female colleague and confidant Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet) and rejects all notions of responsible parenting. Yet by the end, he is redeemed, or at least validated.

The movie doesn’t provide insight into how he gets there, nor does it transcend the limitations of its genre. The first two acts set up a fascinating story of a man overcoming professional setbacks without even the barest hint of interpersonal skills, but the third act doesn’t nail the dismount. What’s left is a cheap and lazily rendered stab at sentimentality that’s supposed to make you feel bad for a guy who spent the previous two-thirds of the movie alienating everyone around him – and you. Instead, you just feel bad for the people who will accept this cop-out as honest.

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The M&M Report: “Bridge of Spies”

Brooklyn lawyer James Donovan (Tom Hanks) meets with his client Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), a Soviet agent arrested in the U.S. in DreamWorks Pictures/Fox 2000 PIctures' dramatic thriller BRIDGE OF SPIES, directed by Steven Spielberg.

On this episode of The M&M Report, Devin Mitchell and I discussed Steven Spielberg’s first spy thriller Bridge of Spies with special guest Matt Dewilde. Disputes ensued!

Peruse the M&M Report category page for previous episodes of the podcast. Thanks for listening!

The M&M Report: “Sicario”

On this episode of The M&M Report, Devin Mitchell and I discuss the Denis Villeneuve-directed thriller Sicario (also known as “Sicari-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”, now playing in limited release.

Too long, didn’t listen: this movie’s really good. Go see it. (And listen!)

Peruse the M&M Report category page for previous episodes of the podcast. Thanks for listening!

“Saturday Night Live” Season 41 Premiere: High on Hillary

McKinnon

Here are six takeaways from last night’s season 41 premiere of Saturday Night Live.

This Saturday Night Live premiere was never going to be a classic.

Season premieres of Saturday Night Live often struggle, mostly because the show doesn’t operate on the schedule that people might assume. The show’s staff had the same number of weeks to write and prepare this week’s sketches as they do any other week: one. Much of what appeared to be sloppiness and laziness can be attributed to the gears on the SNL machine slowly shaking off the rust that accumulated over the summer.

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Podcast Paean: The End of “Prince Movies” and “Firewall and Iceberg”

M&M Report

By some cruel convergence of fates, two of the Internet’s best sources for culture criticism closed their doors yesterday. First, Grantland’s Alex Pappademas bid farewell to his colleague longtime and friend Wesley Morris, who’s departing for the New York Times, on the series finale of their podcast Do You Like Prince Movies?. Just hours later, current HitFix TV critic Alan Sepinwall and now-former HitFix editor Daniel Fienberg dropped their 302nd (!) and last Firewall and Iceberg podcast.

Both episodes were fitting farewells, combining a last attempt at the show’s typical rhythms followed by a more introspective look back at how the podcasts came to be and what they meant to the people who created and listened to them. No one cried, though Morris came closest, or so it seemed. There were thank-yous, callbacks, jokes, running gags and moments of sentimentality.

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