Steve Jobs appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. An unusual product visually, Steve Jobs had inevitable ups and downs due to its choices, but it looked good.
As noted in the body of this review, the film split into three different segments, and each got its own photographic style. The 1984 scenes used 16mm while the 1988 parts opted for 35mm. Finally, 1998 finished with digital photography.
Inevitably, the 1984 shots looked worst, as they displayed the limitations of 16mm. Overall sharpness was fine, but some softness appeared as well, and colors tended to be a bit mushy. The 16mm parts went with a teal orientation much of the time, and these tones seemed somewhat dense.
Blacks were on the inky side, and shadows were a little heavy. The 16mm shots showed a number of small specks, thought I hesitate to call them “print flaws” since they were clearly an intentional choice by the filmmakers.
With the 35mm shots, they demonstrated clear improvements. These segments displayed solid, with only a smidgen of softness on occasion. Unlike the 16mm material, the 35mm work lacked any specks or marks.
While the 35mm footage maintained a bit of a teal feel, it tended toward a chillier orientation than the 16mm pieces. These showed more accurate rendering and offered clear colors. Blacks were deep and firm, and low-light shots appeared smooth. I felt wholly pleased with the 35mm segments.
Finally, the digital footage to depict 1998 mostly resembled the 35mm material. I thought the digital shots were a smidgen softer than the 35mm work, but definition was close. Everything else looked a lot the same, with an other teal palette and good blacks/shadows. All of this added up to an interesting mixed bag of visuals I felt merited a “B”.
While the movie’s visuals varied dependent on time periods, its DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack remained consistent – and consistently low-key, as one would expect for a chatty biopic like this. Music used all five channels nicely, and general ambience filled the speakers well. The latter tended toward crowd noise at the product launches and not much else. I had no problem with these choices, as they made sense for the film’s story.
Audio quality worked fine. Speech appeared accurate and distinctive, while effects were accurate and concise. Music sounded full and rich. Nothing here dazzled, but the soundtrack suited the tale.
When we move to the disc’s extras, we find two separate audio commentaries. The first comes from director Danny Boyle, as he provides a running, screen-specific look at the production schedule and editing, cast and performances, character/story areas, sets and locations, music, cinematography and visual choices.
Bright and engaged, Boyle offers a fine discussion of the film. He covers a wide range of topics and does so in an enjoyable manner. Those factors turn this into a winning commentary.
For the second commentary, we hear from screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and editor Elliot Graham. Both sit together for their running, screen-specific look at story/character/script areas, editing and cut lines/scenes, cast and performances, sets and locations, and related domains.
On the slightly disappointing side, Sorkin doesn’t talk a ton about his work. Indeed, at times it feels like he’s there to interview Graham, as he gets the editor to discuss aspects of his career.
Though I would’ve liked to know more about Sorkin’s processes, I still think the commentary works well, mainly because he and Graham interact in a vivid manner. They give us good insights connected to the script and editing, especially when they discuss some of the bits left on the cutting room floor. Overall, this becomes a very good chat.
Inside Jobs: The Making of Steve Jobs runs 44 minutes, 11 seconds and includes comments from Boyle, Sorkin, Graham, costume designer Suttirat Larlarb, property master Chris Ubeck, location manager Chris Baugh, director of photography Alwin H. Kuchler, production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, composer Daniel Pemberton, and actors Michael Fassbender, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Kate Winslet, and Michael Stuhlbarg. We get notes about cast, characters and performances, the screenplay, Boyle’s impact on the production, rehearsals, locations and camerawork, music, and general notes.
After two commentaries, “Inside” expands horizons well enough. It’s good to hear from the actors, and the behind the scenes footage helps turn this into a useful program.
The disc opens with ads for Legend, Secret In Their Eyes, Suffragette, The Danish Girl, Spotlight, Mr. Robot and Trumbo. No trailer for Steve Jobs appears here.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of Steve Jobs. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
An unconventional biopic, Steve Jobs provides a wholly engaging take on its subject matter. The film depicts its subjects in a creative manner that allows it to prosper and work better than it would had it utilized less creative methods. The Blu-ray offers fairly good picture and audio along with a collection of informative supplements. Steve Jobs achieves its goals and becomes a great film.