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

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles 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.