Pirates of Silicon Valley

"Very Good"

Pirates of Silicon Valley Review


From the outside there isn't much more like "The Man" than you can get than Microsoft. It's chaired by the richest man in the world, rakes in $20 billion a year just off of two products, and if you're reading this, chances are you're using something the company made right now. And according to that smaller percentage reading this on Firefox or their favorite Mac, it's all because they stole it from Steve Jobs and Apple. Or did they?

If the title wasn't a dead giveaway, this is a movie about the geek business, or at least the personality of the geek business. Specifically, it's about the rise and fall of Apple (yes, Apple was on top for a while and Microsoft was the underdog) and the punches that the little guy (Microsoft, I swear) pulled trying to beat the big guys (IBM and Apple).

Front and center are Bill Gates (Anthony Michael Hall overplaying Machiavelli) and Steve Jobs (Noah Wyle overplaying the hypocritical hippie). In the wings with one liners and side explanations are the designer of the Mac, Steve Wozniak (Joey Slotnick), and the two most famous right hand men of Microsoft, Paul Allen (Josh Hopkins) and Steve Ballmer (John Di Maggio).

The film dutifully details the skyrocketing of Apple from a manufacturer of the first cookie cutter color PCs (the Apple II that didn't leave your high school until well after you did) to one of the biggest personal computer companies to the giant taken down by the people that helped build it up (don't you know, Microsoft helped make the original Macintosh operating system).

The movie also showcases the big sneaky moves of the business. It shows how Apple grabbed the idea of the GUI from Xerox, how Microsoft got the first DOS from someone else, and how Microsoft started making its own interfaces. Pirates of Silicon Valley also paints an anecdotal picture of the insanity of Jobs and Gates -- Jobs incites cross product team food fights, Gates drives a bulldozer on the grounds of the Redmond campus.

The primary problem with Pirates of Silicon Valley is that it paints every person and event in it like Central Park caricatures. Wyle tries too hard at being the brilliant asshole. Anthony Michael Hall plays Bill Gates like the unpopular kid trying to take over the clubhouse. It also plays lip gloss to a lot of the real reasons for the popularity of Windows (hardware interoperability, business computing needs, supply chain distribution, and developer friendliness).

By no stretch is Pirates of Silicon Valley robbing you of your time. If you've read this far through the review, chances are you'll find the flick interesting. If you ever wanted to know how the juggernaut grew, then go ahead and Netflix it.

Ay, dios mio!



Pirates of Silicon Valley

Facts and Figures

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 20th June 1999

Distributed by: Warner Home Video

Production compaines: Turner Network Television, Haft Entertainment, St. Nick Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Fresh: 8 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Steve Jobs, as Steve Wozniak, J. G. Hertzler as Ridley Scott, as Bill Gates, Wayne Pére as Captain Crunch, as Mrs. Wozniak, as Arlene, as Steve Ballmer, as Paul Allen, as Ed Roberts, Allan Kolman as Therapeut, Marcus Giamatti as Dan Kottke, as Elizabeth Holmes, as Mike Markkula, Marc Worden as Chris Larson

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Advertisement
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

The Big Sick Movie Review

The Big Sick Movie Review

It may be rather long for a romantic comedy, but this film has such a...

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

There's no reason why this animated comedy adventure needed to be this pointless. Solidly entertaining...

England Is Mine Movie Review

England Is Mine Movie Review

While this is billed as a film about The Smiths' singer-songwriter Morrissey, it's actually an...

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

It's been 20 years since French filmmaker Luc Besson shook up the sci-fi genre with...

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.