If you've followed Apple for years, none of these stories are new. But the way Gibney told them felt fresh, and I found myself paying attention to what I was watching, even though I knew how the story would end steve jobs the man in the machine review.
That doesn't mean the movie is perfect. Apple was not involved in the project, so it couldn't directly hear the voices of many key people in and around Jobs' life, including Steve Wozniak, Joni Ive, Tim Cook and his wife Law Len Powell Jobs.
But for the material Gibney had to use, which included some great interviews with former Apple employees and the mother of Jobs' first child, Lisa, the results felt pretty complete.
Gibney's voice narrates the film in first person and uses Jobs as the lens to understand how we interact with our devices, especially our iPhones and iPads. We are totally addicted to our phones, and Jobs was their brains in creating them.
Do we adore Steve Jobs, who Gibney clearly and rightly described as an arrogant dictator because of his success as an American businessman and inventor, or is there something else in the equation?
Too bad that aesthetic purpose does not involve an integral part of personal morality. Early Jobs had long, unwashed hair, like Bob Dylan, he might look cool, but he acted like a privileged jerk. He lamented having to pay $500 a month in child support when he was worth $200 million after a DNA test refuted his longtime denial of having a child with girlfriend Chrisann Brennan.
Gibney's film does not have the collaboration of Jobs' wife and children or Apple, so his account has neither the authoritative angle of Walter Isaacson's rich biography nor rich interior detail, among other differences, it emphasizes Jobs's Feelings: an adopted son. But the film and book don't come to different conclusions, and Gibney's narrative has cinematic virtues, including highly emotional interview material that the printed pages can't match.
He helped create the personal computers and smartphones we love in our hands every day. Thanks to Steve Jobs and Apple, we've never been so connected to technology, and that fact somehow makes us feel closer to him than we would otherwise.
I'm amazed how introspective Gibney becomes towards the end of the movie. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'm just saying that you don't have to be a tech geek or know a lot about Steve Jobs to get something out of a "man in a machine". It's a movie everyone should see because at the end of the day, we're all addicted to the technology that Jobs helped create, whether we realize it or not.
Other character flaws include his refusal to donate any of his money to charity, denying his daughter's fatherhood, placing himself above the law, and using cheap Chinese labor to produce parts in factories such as Foxconn. It's fascinating to watch Gibney explore Jobs' interest in Zen and the benefits of being alone.
Leave this thematically rich documentary with a keen sense that the genius behind the iPod and iPad is a man who loves machines more than people. Those who were attached or even addicted to the iPhone reflected Jobs' preference for technological connections rather than the real human world.