Christian Bale

to serve as the primary means of visual identification at the top of the article dedicated to the work in question.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs stars Ashton Kutcher as the title character, wait, no, that’s not right, that was 2013. Steve Jobs is the 2015 version of the film! While Kutcher did a phenomenal job (pun intended) portraying the mind behind Apple, he did not have the amazing team that this film has behind it. Steve Jobs stars Michael Fassbender, Magneto himself, as Steve Jobs, with Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels, and Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak in a film directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin. Like I said, Kutcher didn’t have the team.

This film was plagued by all sorts of setbacks. Going into pre-production with David Fincher set to direct, and Christian Bale to play jobs, it hit its first set back with Fincher leaving. Then Bale decided to pass on the project. Boyle came in and wanted DiCaprio to star. Who eventually passed. Bale came back and accepted the role, then left the project months later. With Jessica Chastain, Ike Barinholtz, and Scarlett Johansson all vying for roles they all eventually dropped and passed. Sony then dropped the project all together and Universal picked it up with started negotiations with Natalie Portman to join the project. She then passed. Eventually its current cast was set and production was finally underway. I never thought the film was coming.

But now it is here, and by here I mean limited release here. It is only playing in I think 2 theaters here in Dallas. Last weekend it was just 4, 2 in New York and 2 in LA. So we have a little wider release this week, and then a full wide release will hit theaters October 23.

Question is, is did all the drama affect the movie? How is it? Well in going to tell you. Unlike its Kutcher counterpart that selected random event throughout Steve Jobs’ life, this film focuses on 3 events. 3 separate days. The days leading up to his 3 biggest announcements, and all the drama and planning that went on behind the scenes.

First off, yes, it is freaking amazing. At first I was bothered by Magneto playing Jobs. Because I did not see Jobs. I saw Fassbender. Almost with a little mixture of Robert Downey Jr. in there. I know, weird. But that’s all I could focus on. But as the film plays out, Fassbender begins to disappear. You get over it, and you can see Steve Jobs. In the performance. The character becomes too much to ignore and you forget about the actor, and you see a character. Not necessarily the person, but you see the character. And it is astonishing. This is another performance I would chalk up to the Best actor category. Not a winner, but a nominee.

Everyone else is incredible in their roles. Honestly, even though I knew it was Kate Winslet, She was immediately gone into the part. And Seth Rogen is little bit of his normal self, mixed in with a great performance. But the second nominee for this film is of course Jeff Daniels. Between the Martian and Steve Jobs that guy better take home the damn supporting actor statue. True story.

The way it is filmed is a work of art in and of itself. Danny Boyle perfectly adapts Sorkin’s script. Especially filming act 1 in 16 MM, Act 2 in 35 MM, and Act 3 in digital. As Jobs brings out the next evolution of technology, the film grows with you. It may sound like a gimmick, but it works in this instance perfectly. And Sorkin is at his best with this script. This is a walk and talk, dialog heavy film. And it flushes out every single character beautifully.

The only real negatives on the film would be the neatness that a few things get wrapped up. But in a film adaption that is going to happen. Especially with a project like this. But it still leaves the door open that maybe not everything is tied up perfectly, but perhaps settled for the time being.

Steve Jobs can become his own genre of film. While Jobs itself was not fantastic, it was entertaining for Kutchers performance. And now, this film is a remarkable top tier film. I’m giving it a Jeebus score of 4.2. Go out; go see it next week when it goes wide. But what say you Jackass Nation? Are you an Apple User? Did you enjoy Jobs? Are you excited for this film? Sound off in the comments below, and remember, it is what it is.

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Acting, Entertainment, and Casting, and a max of .5 for Dialog, Cinematography, and Direction. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 6 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

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Exodus: Gods and Kings

Ridley Scott has been very hit or miss for me lately. Mostly miss with his last 3, but I have been looking forward to this one, Exodus: Gods and Kings. Despite the rather oddly pale looking Egyptians, the talent is staked. Joel Edgerton, Christian Bale, John Turturro, Aaron Paul, Ben Mendelsohn, Sigourney Weaver, and Ben Kingsley. It is written by a compilation of Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Jeffrey Caine, and Steven Zaillian. And I have got to say, this probably Ridley Scott’s best film since American Gangster.

The story follows the biblical epic of Moses (Bale). It chronicles his relationship with Ramesses II (Edgerton) as it deteriorates and leads to the discovery of his past. Ramesses wanting to spare Moses’ life, exiles him from Egypt. While on his journeys Moses finds God and must return to Egypt to free his people.

The film is really good. Early on I had my reservations with the cast. Not so much with Christian Bale, but Joel Edgerton and Sigourney Weaver being cast as Egyptians. They were the whitest looking Egyptians I had ever seen. Not to mention the make up in the early trailers looked off. I assume the effects and editing hadn’t been done, because as more trailers came out, they looked better. And the actors can kind of take you out of the film, but when you get past it, they give incredible performances. Edgerton, who I am a huge fan of thanks to Warrior, plays a great Ramesses. Bale as always is incredible, and plays Mosses with such heart, and really give one of best performances.

The effects in the film are amazing. When it comes time for God to send his Ten Plagues. The CGI is seamless, and beautifully shot. It almost makes me wish I had seen it in X D or even 3D. There was a moment during a scene toward the end that I could tell the green screen was behind them, but only a moment, other than that it is incredible. Scott does a phenomenal job telling this age old story, and really delivers on the feel of an Epic type of film. There is a training montage there in the middle that kind of even feels like Scott is trying to say “Sorry about Robin Hood, I swear I could have done it better”. The film is 150 minutes, and you feel the weight, but it does not drag. Honestly could of stood for, and wanted another half hour of this epic story.

A lot of people have been worried about how many liberties would be taken with the story of Exodus. Now I am no expert on the Bible, but I think Scott and his writing team did a very good job of bringing this story to life without straying too far from its source material. Unlike Noah there are no Rock Monsters, or a creator, it is God, and he is speaking to Moses. And they do a great job not making the relationship between Moses and God cheesy. Or giving you a weak God. God is pissed, God is Old Testament God. He is ready for his people to be free.

My list of negatives is rather nitpicky I think. When I said I could have stood for another half hour, it’s because I would’ve liked a little more character development in certain places. The jump from Moses of Egypt, to Moses of the Hebrews comes rather quickly. 15 or 20 more minutes showing us the relationship between Moses and Ramesses would have made me care more about the Ramesses turn. When the film starts they are already grown, and close to one another. More time with the two would have been golden. Something else missing is the development of Ramesses. He goes from a fair and just General, to a tyrant of a Pharaoh at the snap of a finger. And while they take time to develop Moses on his own, Ramesses is left with no development, and just a subtle scene that shows you “hey, he’s a big dick now”. Toward the end there is an opportunity for a fight between Moses and Ramesses, and they build up through the film really warranted a showdown between the two and you don’t really get that. As well there is very little story of Moses retrieving the 10 Commandments. The film kind of hits a point and goes “ok let’s wrap up”. A few more minutes could have helped with this.

All in all, Exodus: Gods and Kings is a great film. A film that really only suffers from needed a little more character development. I’m giving it a 4.7, with a .3 bonus for the incredibly awesome water into blood plague, giving us a Jeebus Score of 5.0, Multiple Viewings Required.