Pirates of Silicon Valley (TV Movie 1999) Poster

(1999 TV Movie)

User Reviews

Add a Review
92 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
Two extraordinary individuals help create modern computing
sdlitvin28 September 2004
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.
86 out of 92 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Perfect nostalgia
jammer-113 September 2004
I loved this movie thoroughly. Many people may not "get" it properly due to their age, unfamiliarity with the characters, or general indifference to computers and stories involving them. For me, however, a computer enthusiast who was born in 1971, this movie is simply awesome! I was very young in those days but when I watched this movie, it totally brought me back to that time. Although I was young, I remember much of it and it felt right on. I thought this movie was well-written, well-acted, and greatly entertaining. It gave me a thrill to think of being at Apple when it started up. I also loved seeing the machinations that made Bill Gates rich and infamous. Sure they likely distorted facts and embellished things a lot, but such things are needed sometimes to make historical movies entertaining. I recommend this movie to any child of the 70's, especially if you are a computer fan. I gave it a 10!
34 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Apple vs. Microsoft: A Geeks-Eye View!
tam-178 June 1999
I recently saw a rough-cut of TNT Originals' Pirates of Silicon Valley. (It airs in June -- premiere's on Sunday June 20.) It's the story of Steve Jobs (Co-founder of Apple Computers) and Bill Gates (Co-founder of Microsoft) and their competitive rivalry to dominate the computer industry. Sounds boring, right? It's not! It's actually pretty cool! Here's why:

Casting Anthony Michael Hall as the world's biggest geek, Bill Gates, was genius. Hall has done such crap in the past few years that we all forgot what a great character actor he is. His best characters have always been misfits and geeks. In Pirates, he captures everything that's both creepy and sympathetic about Bill Gates. He's totally believable!

Noah Wyle's character as Steve Jobs is right on! Here I always thought Apple was the underdog. Turns out -- Apple had it all over Microsoft until the mid-eighties. Wyle plays Jobs as this power-hungry hippie gone awry. It's a nice change from his do-good doctor on ER. And Wyle makes the jump to full-length film effortlessly. Look for him on the big screen battling aliens any day now.

The story is somewhat standard but filled in with cool details that keep it interesting Jobs as a deadbeat Dad; Gates pitching his product to IBM (the IBM guy actually thinks all the money is in the hardware!), and the late-night screaming matches between Jobs and Gates.

Here's the thing that just boggles my mind -- these two are pretty average guys especially for their generation. Sure, they're two of the most powerful men in the world (Gates is the richest man in the world) but you could totally see either one showing up at your bar-b-que in Khakis and an ill-fitting shirt.

Pirates of Silicon Valley is quite entertaining it's weird, it's funny and quirky-- I say check it out!
22 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Awkward But Fascinating
andyetris2 April 2003
This is an engaging historical-fiction look at the development of the famous computer companies Apple and Microsoft. The performances are terrific, but the film suffers from trying to handle several main characters and cover a lot of historical events. It is also unfortunate that there are three main characters all named "Steve."

The story is told from the perspective of Steve Wozniak (Joey Slotnik), who is portrayed as a gentle head and caring foil to Noah Wyle's brilliant but cruel portrayal of Steve Jobs, Wozniak's Apple co-founder. Anthony Michael Hall obviously has a wonderful time playing the weaselly Bill Gates.

The title is a pun referencing both the buccaneering style Jobs celebrated at Apple, and the idea of unethically 'pirating' the computer developments of other engineers. The film's main point is that both Apple and Microsoft gained their key functionality, the image-based screen display of a computer system (GUI) and the 'mouse' pointing device, by 'pirating' the ideas. Apple swipes them from Xerox, then Microsoft swipes them from Apple.

This is a personality study and not a technical review, and while that may make it more accessible the film doesn't make it entirely clear why Jobs provides so much access to Gates and his crew (presumably Gates is supposedly modifying his computer language, BASIC, to work on the Apple?)

I'd have to know a lot more about Wozniak, Jobs, and Gates before judging them from this film, which is especially hard on Jobs. Wyle portrays him as a selfish and arrogant adolescent, exploiting and manipulating friends and subordinates. Altogether the film is worth watching, but bittersweet and possibly slanted.
43 out of 50 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
A very watchable geek history
Col-322 June 1999
As a geek in Silicon Valley I enjoyed this movie beyond my expectations. The makers of this movie seemed to agree with its protagonists that the evolution of the personal computer is a process that shaped the history of the world - and they're right. If you're not sitting in front of a Windows box or Mac right now, you're in the vast minority. The story of how Steve Jobs and Bill Gates amassed such wealth and power is an interesting one.

Noah Wyle (Jobs) and Anthony Michael Hall (Gates) fit their characters to a T. Gates was portrayed just as I imagined him - smug, opportunistic and sneaky, but hardly villainous. Surprisingly, during this movie I was more sympathetic to Gates than to the brilliant but unstable Jobs who came across as arrogant and petulant.

All in all, this was quite enjoyable for a tele-movie. If you're inclined towards the geeky yourself, and remember the early days of the PC biz, you'll probably find this movie quite educational.
9 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Character is Destiny
caspian197819 February 2004
Even for TNT, this is a great movie. Could have been cut around the edges with scenes like the kid's birthday, Jobs' relationship with his daughter that never connected with his role as the founder of Apple, and Xerox's ignorance in the triumph of both Microsoft and Apple. The entire movie is filled with 'monsters' if you are the anti-businessman. Then again, most of the movie's audience is businessmen or computer freaks. Hall's performance is outstanding. HE makes Bill Gates love-able and hate-able at the same time.
34 out of 43 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
A college dropout and a visionary in his garage change the world.
Coon519 April 2000
This is one of the best made for TV films that I have seen in a while. It is very well made and offers both humor and insight into the internet and computer revolution. It is the story of two men who changed the world. I absolutely love how it contrasts the difference between Gates and Jobs. Jobs was a visionary who got caught up in his own philosophy. Gates, the brilliant and ruthless businessman who built an empire. Oh yeah and if you want to laugh yourself to death just watch the scene where Bill Gates (Anthony Michael Hall) tries to pick up women in the roller rink. This was a story that needed to be told and it was told really well. I don't know where you can find this film, but if you see it in your local video store and want to know how the computer world was set on end by a guy in his garage and a college dropout then rent this movie.
18 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Enjoyable, easy to swallow TV movie
millennia-29 April 2000
Warning: Spoilers
Unlike most documentaries/dramatizations, which are usually nothing more than a filmed history lesson, 'Pirates of Silicon Valley' achieves something more: you want to keep watching past the first scene.

Both Anthony Michael Hall and Noah Wyle put forth good performances and the plot is intriguing, as if it weren't for these two (not so much Gates, as all he did was steal Jobs' idea, who stole it from Xerox), you wouldn't be reading this online review.

The movie feels much longer than it is (in this case that's a good thing), and by the time it's near the end, I didn't want it to finish, I didn't even expect it to finish, as it skipped out on most of the 90's.

'Pirates of Silicon Valley' easily could have been, and should've been, an NBC like mini-series, as this is one area of history that isn't shown in movies enough (in other words: cut the Shakespeare c**p and make movies about computers)
25 out of 36 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
It's about time.
Crowbot-21 July 1999
It's about time TNT made a good movie. Finally someone has made an enjoyable movie/documentary about the cpu age. The acting is good with Hall actually getting a nerdy part right and Wyle is just creepy. The problem is the bizarre storytelling one minute you're watching something from 1984 then 1997 then you go all the way back to 1974. It gets confusing. They also cut out some great moments in cpu history, but it's still a good movie. ***1/2 of ****
24 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Excellent
crack-410 October 1999
This is definitely a must-see for any IT person or anyone just wanting to see a great movie. The cast is incredible, the acting is incredible, the story is also incredible. I wish that this had been released on dvd, I would be first in line to purchase it. It is basically the story of how Apple Computers grew, and how Microsoft grew, they met up, and Microsoft took over. Im not sure how historically accurate this is, however I do know the basic jist is correct. The real life "Woz" validated on his website the correctness of this movie. He also said that the way people are portrayed is how they were. Noah Wyle is excellent as a heartless and cruel Steve Jobs. Anthony Michael Hall is equally great as a geeky Bill Gates. I hope TNT replays it at some point in time, in case it does, RECORD it. I believe its also available for rent. SEE THIS MOVIE.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Made me want to know more
Joan-528 June 1999
I thoroughly enjoyed this TV movie and have watched it every time it's been on. While I feel the movie left large gaps, it made me think about what I didn't know about these two men and made me want to learn more about them and their visions. With the exception of the intensely annoying Mr. Di Maggio (as Balmer), the other actors were, in my humble opinion, wonderful and Mr. Hall was positively spooky as Bill Gates. I must agree with a previous writer who said it should have been made a six-hour mini-series; even then, many things would have been left out by time constraints. I will definitely get and read the book (and other books recommended by comment writers). Thanks for allowing me to voice my opinion and thank you to TNT for a great stepping stone to learning more.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Entertaining and Informative
Skerrit22 June 1999
I found the film to be both entertaining and informative. This is a nice little history lesson about the sometimes tense relationship between Apple and Microsoft. This movie did a good job of showing the genius of Jobs and Gates, as well as the missed opportunities of major companies like IBM, Hewlett Packard, and of course Xerox. I found myself cheering both Jobs and Gates at different times throughout the film. All in all, a superb bit of acting on the part of Noah Wiley (Steve Jobs) and Anthony Michael Hall (Bill Gates).
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
the atmosphere is preserved
zak197423 September 2002
To see this film for me was like breathing that air again - the freedom, the innovation, the possibilities. Everything I love about America. Highly recommend. Spare the tiniest details for the historicians. It's a Movie!
19 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
A Great TV Movie About Two Visionaries In Silicon Valley
Desertman8413 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Pirates Of Silicon Valley is a great TV movie about the computer age and its two visionaries namely: the late Steve Jobs and Bill Gates,two men who who made the world of technology what it is today;their struggles during college;the founding of their companies; and the ingenious actions they took to build up their global corporate empires.

The film also shows how computers came about,its history and development.Aside from that,it tells the history of Apple Computer Corporation and Microsoft.Pirates was an adaptation of the book,Fire In The Valley.

The story opens with the creation of the 1984 commercial for Apple Computer, which introduced the first Macintosh.Steve Jobs is speaking with director Ridley Scott, trying to convey his idea that "We're creating a completely new consciousness." Scott, however, is more concerned at the moment with the technical aspects of the commercial.Then,it flashes forward to 1997 as Jobs, who has returned to Apple, is announcing a new deal with Microsoft at the 1997 Macworld Expo.

His partner, Steve Wozniak, is introduced as one of the two central narrators of the story. Wozniak notes to the audience the resemblance between "Big Brother" and the image of Bill Gates on the screen behind Jobs during this announcement. Asking how they "got from there to here," the film turns to flashbacks of his youth with Jobs, prior to the forming of Apple.

The first flashback of the film takes place on the U.C. Berkeley campus during the period of the early seventies student movements. Jobs and Wozniak are shown caught on the campus during a riot between students and police. They flee and after finding safety, Jobs states to Wozniak, "Those guys think they're revolutionaries. They're not revolutionaries, we are." Wozniak then comments that "Steve was never like you or me. He always saw things differently. Even when I was in Berkeley, I would see something and just see kilobytes or circuit boards while he'd see karma or the meaning of the universe."

Using a similar structure, the film next turns to a young Bill Gates at Harvard University, in the early 1970s, with classmate Steve Ballmer and Gates' high school friend Paul Allen. As with Wozniak in the earlier segment, Ballmer narrates Gates' story, particularly the moment when Gates discovers the existence of the MITS Altair (causing him to drop out of Harvard).Gates' and Allen's early work with MITS is juxtaposed against the involvement of Jobs and Wozniak with the Homebrew Computer Club,eventually leading to the development of the Apple I in 1976 with the help of angel investor Mike Markkula. The story follows the protagonists as they develop their technology and their businesses. At a San Francisco computer fair where the Apple II computer is introduced, Gates,attempts to introduce himself to Jobs, who snubs him.

Then follows the consequent development of the IBM-PC with the help of Gates and Microsoft in 1981. Meanwhile, Apple has developed The Lisa and later, the Macintosh, computers which were inspired by the Xerox Alto. The main body of the film finally concludes with a birthday toast in 1985 to Steve Jobs shortly before he was fired by CEO John Sculley from Apple Computer.

It also includes a brief epilogue, noting what happened afterward in the lives of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. The movie ends with Steve Jobs returning to Apple after its acquisition of NeXT Computer, and Bill Gates appearing live via satellite at a MacWorld Expo in 1997, during Jobs' first Stevenote keynote address, to announce an alliance between Apple and Microsoft.

The movie has great acting especially by Noah Wyle who played the late Steve Jobs convincingly.The story was well written and the direction was not boring that you could watch it over and over again.

I own the new DVD release version.I consider it one of my favorite movies considering I am Engineer in the computer industry.This is TV movie is not only for engineers and computer enthusiasts but people who want to know more about Gates and the late Steve Jobs.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Doesn't everyone want to know how to be like Bill Gates?
chrisbrown645327 July 2000
Great depiction of the rise to power of Microsoft headed by Bill Gates. Not since Weird Science and The Breakfast Club have I seen Anthony Michael Hall (Bill Gates) do such a great job acting. Casting Noah Wyle as the beaten Steve Jobs, head of Apple Computers, was as brilliant as the Hall casting decision. This is a must see picture as it shows how Bill Gates "borrowed" the whole concept of Windows from Steve Jobs, and turned it into his own program to monopolize the world of computer programming. Although I am 100% on the side of Mr. Gates, after watching this movie, I now know how he became as powerful as he now is.
12 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
A Movie About The History Of Computers That Is Crying For A Sequel
Marian2014 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Another biopic about the late Apple CEO entitled "steve jobs" will be shown next month.A lot of viewers - fans and non-fans alike - of the late Apple CEO as well as Apple products are anticipating it to see whether or not it is an improvement on the previous biopic starring Ashton Kutcher entitled Jobs.Many people who disliked Jobs have referred to another TV movie - Pirates Of Silicon Valley - which they consider a better film.

This is not a TV movie based on the late Steve Jobs alone.It was based on the book Fire In The Valley and tells the history of computers from the 1970's until the time it was released in 1999.It presents two major characters - Steve Jobs and Bill Gates - who were both a major force in the computer industry as well as their companies - Apple Computer and Microsoft.It tells their struggles during their college years;their determination to start their companies;the humble beginnings of their global empires;the actions they took to get ahead in the industry; and a lot more.

The story was told with semi-humorous narration coming from the close friends of Jobs and Gates such as Apple co-founder,Steve Wozniak and former Microsoft CEO,Steve Ballmer.The narrators also allows the viewer to get an up close and personal view of both Jobs and Gates.We learn Jobs horrible character and Gates' ruthlessness as a businessman.

As for the performances of the cast,Noah Wyle definitely did great as Steve Jobs.No wonder he was once invited by the late Steve Jobs in an Apple event to impersonate him.Anthony Michael Hall also was impressive as Bill Gates.

Some viewers looking for perfect accuracy will probably be disappointed with it.But one has to realize that it took some creative license to dramatize some events in the story.Also,it has been more than ten years since it was released so the story is far from being updated as it does not include Steve Jobs leading Apple to becoming a more valuable company than Microsoft and other important events that have happened since then.It is definitely crying for a sequel.Nevertheless,it is still a great TV movie that deserves the highest rating.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
The Story of How Two Misfit Drop-Outs Became the Gods of the Personal Computer Market
classicalsteve4 January 2012
Steve Jobs was a college radical, and Bill Gates was a Harvard bum who missed class to play poker. But each had certain friends. Jobs had Steve Wozniack, essentially a techie tinkerer who could invent small gizmos which could defraud the phone company. Gates had Paul Allen who knew something about computers. The Pirates of Silicon Valley chronicles the escapades and misadventures of the young upstarts who created the industry that the old guard couldn't really see yet alone understand. An industry which now permeates all aspects of modern life.

These crazy young inexperienced radicals who began their careers in garages and motels would mold what would become the entire PC market. Jobs and Woz founded Apple and created the first personal computer, the Apple I and Apple II. Gates created Microsoft and licensed an operating for IBM which would become MS-DOS, bought from a small fledging software company in Seattle for $50,000, although Wikipedia's article on the subject states it was $75,000.

Then Jobs and his colleagues are brought to the Xerox development center where technicians were creating a computer with graphical interface. The Xerox executives had been given a demonstration of their new technology, but the old-school executives couldn't understand its potential as benefiting their company. Ultimately, they reject the new innovations. Jobs is given full demonstrations of the computers and understands the potential behind the new technology. He then begins the creation of the Macintosh (MAC). Eventually, a rift occurs within Apple between those who worked on Apple II and those working on the MAC. At the same time, Bill Gates creates Windows to utilize the graphical interface being used by Jobs which was originally invented by Xerox technicians. Which then incites the war between Apple and Microsoft.

An excellent portrayal of the strange and often unbelievable circumstances surrounding the creation and eventual marketing of personal computers. Anthony Michael Hall is perfectly cast as Bill Gates, and Joey Slotnick does well as Steve Wozniack. However, Noah Wyle steals the show as Steve Jobs. Wyle captures the subtlety of Jobs as the driven genius whose faith in his own vision often eclipses common sense in terms of personal relationships. Jobs was no question one of the great visionaries of the 20th century, but he did not understand how to motivate and empower those around him. In the end, he becomes a tragic figure when he is ousted from Apple by the Board of Directors.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
A Shocking view into the life of two genius.
metalitium15 October 2011
The first time i heard about this movie, i thought it was crappy and a lot boring... Nowadays that i'm pretty interested in technology and stuff, i decided to see it; I actually got really excited about this movie, i saw it yesterday, but today i'm gonna watch it again.

We can really think that this movie is a documentary or Biography, but is not... Thou its very educative, and its pretty close to reality, the director managed to make it interesting, full of drama and elements that makes this movie for all not just for technology lovers.

I Really recommend it, you're gonna learn a lot about two of the biggest genius or opportunists of the modern times. 8/10
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Winning at All Costs …
Chris-18021 June 1999
An excellent movie ....

Those who refuse to learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them!! BIG corporate America incapable of a little (personal computer) vision. Put the two together and you've got ENTERPRISE.

HOW TO WIN AT BIG BUSINESS: Step #1 - Show them (the customer) that YOU have something that they really can't live without, Step #2 - CAPITALIZE on their weakness(es).

The movie is about how Steve [Steven Paul Jobs (2/24/55), Apple Computers; Cofounder, Steven Wozniak] and Bill [William Henry Gates III (10/28/55), Microsoft; Cofounder, Paul Allen] built their respective companies into their own view of what they wanted computers to be and then, in the end, who eventually gobbled-up whom.

The high point in the movie, for me at least, was when Bill Gates found himself in jail and the door to his cell was closing in on him (for a traffic violation).

In the last few scenes we hear Steve talking to Bill. "We're better than you are ... we have better stuff," Steven Jobs. "You don't get it, Steve, THAT doesn't matter!" Bill Gates.

The movie may have ended, but the STORY goes on ....

Rating: 10 out 10 stars
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Triumph for TNT, But Try "Triumph" also...
Thomas-7918 June 1999
I have yet to see the new TNT film "Pirates of Silicon Valley" but I will say that I am extrememly interested. I have appreciated both actors, and have enjoyed TNT films before.

While "Pirates" will probably be a good adaptation of the early days of Jobs and Gates and Computers, to get the True Story of the Early Days, search and find the Wonderful Documentary Film "Triumph of the Nerds". This documentary was filmed about 8 years ago (i think, IMDB may have actual info) and tracks the success of not only Jobs and Gates, but all the 'little people' who supported and suffered along the way. It is entertaining, and shows the good side, and bad side of the whole revolution.

Again, I would like to say that "Pirates" promises to be interesting, but please give "Triumph" a try.

Thomas B.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
This was an interesting enough story, and even a bit informative, but it seemed to be lacking in its completeness...
Michael DeZubiria6 July 2000
What you have in Pirates of Silicon Valley is a basic skeletal structure of the formation of Apple Computers and the gigantic Microsoft corporation, but it's not a very detailed account. Sure, it follows the creators from high school age, but the film structure is very blocky and it jumps around a lot.

We get no hint about why the names Apple and Microsoft were chosen (a trivial point, yes, but it would have been a good thing to put in a film about the history of those two companies). Also, late in the film the time gets a little confusing. The year is always noted on the bottom of the screen, but the story jumps sporadically from year to year. When you don't jump ahead in time for a while, you begin to lose track of what year you're in. You think you're looking at the early eighties, but the late 90s model Ford Broncos in the background can be very confusing.

Pirates of Silicon Valley was a fairly informative look at how Apple and Microsoft came to be, and there were some very interesting looks at what the first personal computers looked like, but the film itself is not nearly as informative as it should be. A movie about one of the biggest corporations the world has ever known (and it's president, the wealthiest man on the planet) needs to go into a bit more detail about the subject matter that it is presenting. This film was put together fairly well, but there was just not enough effort and research put into it by the writers and producers.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Highly Recommended!
davmil1 June 1999
I got a chance to see a rough cut of the soon-to-be-aired TNT Originals' Pirates of Silicon Valley. It's the story of Steve Jobs (Co-founder of Apple Computers) and Bill Gates (Co-founder of Microsoft.) I gotta say, I really enjoyed it! And I'm definitely not one of these tech heads who've been following the Microsoft vs. Apple battle over the years. (Basically – I don't care who wins, as long as I can see movie trailers online!)

First off – casting Anthony Michael Hall as the world's biggest geek, Bill Gates, is a total stroke of brilliance. (Someone deserves a bonus.) It's uncanny how much he resembles Bill Gates. The glasses, the voice, the weird head-bobbing thing. At one point, early in the film he's beaming down from a huge video monitor like big brother -- it's eerie. My biggest complaint is that the film didn't feature more of him. (That and the fact that they couldn't find a role for Molly Ringwald – but that's another story!)

The film actually devotes much more time to Noah Wylie as the creepy Steve Jobs. Wylie captures that whole Bay Area hippy, geek thing perfectly. Especially the slippery slide from kooky, new age free spirit to power-hungry, corporate dictator.

OK, now this is where I do the thing I hate most about reviews. I'll wager that both Hall and Wylie get Emmy nominations. Let me re-state that – they should get nominations but they probably won't. I mean the film does not portray a flattering picture of either of them. It's a total freak show.

The film doesn't stray very far from the standard bio-pic format but somehow, it's actually fun. The attempts at humor are mostly forced but it's worth it to see Bill Gates in an unexpected situation, Steve Jobs as a Hare Krishna, and their ultimate geeky, chest thumping, shouting match. (Actually, I was hoping for more of a Celebrity Death Match-type brawl.)

The film's even got a great soundtrack that goes from seventies soft rock up through eighties new wave. On the whole, a completely fun flick. Check it out before Gates or Jobs sees it and decides to sue!
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Didn't want it to end
SaraCatherine21 June 1999
As a new computer geek, I was enthralled with the story of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. The movie was compelling. I only wished it was longer.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
An awful farce... see "Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires" instead
DJedynak21 June 1999
This film was an awful farce. It totally falsifies events (Microsoft did not approach IBM with an OS - IBM came to them for one and MS sent them elsewhere, but eventually came back when they came up empty handed). One of the most disappointing things I have seen - ever.

They even missed showing us the genesis of the "Apple" name - one of the great stories of Apple history (go read an old Apple II manual for the story)

The production values were rotten and the writing left so much to be desired. Both Jobs and Gates were painted as awful, despicable excuses for human beings.

If it was the intention of the filmmakers to satirize the entire history of the personal computer (Mac / Wintel) development, then they barely succeeded... however, quite poorly.

Again, read the book, _Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date_ by Robert X. Cringely, or see the PBS miniseries based on the book, "Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires" also by Robert X. Cringely.
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews