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A flawed but intriguing character study of two of the most
extraordinary individuals of our modern technological era.
The movie is historically inaccurate. Nevertheless, it manages to
capture the essence of how much of modern computing came to be: the
cluelessness of Xerox about what its own computer scientists were
doing; Steve Jobs' artistic vision at Apple; and Bill Gates' ruthless
business practices at Microsoft. And you will be fascinated by how
these men got where they are today.
The movie isn't very kind to either Jobs or Gates, emphasizing their
negative qualities. Steve Jobs is presented as a visionary, but also as
a slavedriver and someone who refuses to accept that he's the
illegitimate father of a young girl.
Gates is portrayed in an even less flattering way--as some kind of
outright sociopath who is driven to destroy all those who try to do
business with him. Still, as long as you recognize that the portrayals
are negatively slanted, you will be rewarded by witnessing the
interplay among the famous triangle: Adele Goldberg (not explicitly
named in the movie), the leader of Xerox's research team; Steve Jobs,
who ripped her off and incorporated those technologies in the new
Macintosh; and Bill Gates, who ripped off Jobs and incorporated those
technologies in the newer Windows product.
The movie does suffer from several historical inaccuracies. I believe
that at least some of those inaccuracies were deliberate--attempts to
oversimplify the historical record in order to shorten the length of
the movie. For example, the movie makes it appear that Apple's first
attempt at a computer with a modern graphical user interface--the
Lisa--was a tremendous success, when in fact it was a commercial
failure. But portraying it as a success made it simpler to explain why
Bill Gates got interested in dealing with Apple at that time.
While the movie is long, it would have been even better as a two-day or
three-day miniseries. That would have enabled some of the historical
record to be explored at greater depth, eliminating the need for this
deliberate vast oversimplification.
Tags for Pirates of Silicon Valley Full Movie
Anthony Michael Hall
, J.G. Hertzler
, Joey Slotnick
, Noah Wyle
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