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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They changed the World!
This dramatization about Apple and Microsoft and focusing primarily on Steve Jobs and Bill Gates is an excellent peek into the early PC industry. Gates is the marketing genius. Jobs it the visionary genius.

Pirates of Silicon Valley does an excellent job of capturing some of the feelings, emotions and personalities of these two driven men who helped to change...
Published on 25 Aug 2008 by C. Clayton

versus
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Documentation
Although Sony Pictures are releasing a brand new movie based on the life of Apple guru Steve Jobs, 'Pirates of Silicon Valley' - released some 15 years ago - got the head start in documenting the famous rivalry between two of the biggest computer giants in the world.

But for all it's worth, the product feels more like a mish-mash of accounts that have been...
Published on 9 Aug 2012 by Picard


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They changed the World!, 25 Aug 2008
This review is from: Pirates of Silicon Valley [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
This dramatization about Apple and Microsoft and focusing primarily on Steve Jobs and Bill Gates is an excellent peek into the early PC industry. Gates is the marketing genius. Jobs it the visionary genius.

Pirates of Silicon Valley does an excellent job of capturing some of the feelings, emotions and personalities of these two driven men who helped to change the world in the last quarter of the century and are still changing it today.

This movie is a good start to understanding what it was like to be part of creating an entire industry from scratch. Jobs and Gates were in the right place at the right time and had the right drive to help them become giants. The movie also does a good job of exploring some of their flaws.

Well worth the time...

Triumph of the Nerds is another movie that is worth the time to see. It fills in some of stories of the other participants in the PC revolution.

The Re-Discovery of Common Sense: A Guide To: The Lost Art of Critical Thinking

Truimph of Nerds, Vol. 1-3 (REGION 1) (NTSC)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where it all began, 27 May 2012
By 
R. J. de Bulat (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pirates of Silicon Valley [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
This is a good film I first saw on cable and have now purchsed and watched on an all region DVD player. Having said that, it seems a tad dated now that Steve Jobs is dead and things really have moved on. The film is mostly about Jobs and Apple; Microsoft, while not actually a side issue, brings little to give life to Bill Gates in the same way it helps to elevate Jobs and Apple - even Steve Wozniak appears only part human, but perhaps that has more to do with the nerd stereotype. That aside, having just watched it, again, I love this film and there should, justifiably, now be a sequel. What the film shows is that Mac, or Apple as it was and ownership of the AppleMac is a love affair that Microsoft could never really manage - the film really gets this across as it does the line from Bill Gates that, being second best doesn't really matter. This is, of course, borne out in the fabulous wealth and influence that Microsoft has achieved by merely being needed, as opposed to being loved. The Mac has never been a brilliant business machine in the way a PC has, but then it is more about love and style, just like the film. Dated, by no means perfect, but really worth watching - 5 stars!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well acted popular history, 19 Dec 2005
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pirates of Silicon Valley [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Just as with the urban legend there are legends as how Microsoft and Apple came to being. This story based on a book by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine, is about the story of two parallel personalities; one wants to make a dent I the universe, the other wants to keep his enemies close.
Many realities and key players were glossed over not to mention the CPM operating system. However if we delve into two may diverse parts of this story we would loose our focus and cohesion.
It is fun to watch the parallel growth of Apple's Steve Jobs (Noah Wyle) and Microsoft's Bill Gates (Anthony Michael Hall). Especially the ability to get into their heads and the many exacerbations or the other guy.
As a previous owner of an Altair, Commodore, TRS-80, and Apple among others this movie had a special interest for me.
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4.0 out of 5 stars the forerunner of "The Social Network"..., 19 May 2011
By 
Maarten de Vries (Barcelona) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pirates of Silicon Valley [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
If you've just seen "The Social Network" (about the beginnings of Facebook), then this film may feel a bit dated, but then it is set in the 80s, so it's supposed to be dated! It's a great way to picture (literally) what "the good old days of IT" were like, which in turn helps you appreciate how incredibly fast things have been moving ever since. It also shows that the IT industry has always been a giant soap opera of key individuals, not (just) their companies, where lots of cliches apply, like "nice guys finish last", but also "what goes around comes around."
This film just begs for a modern sequel, showing the spectacular return of Steve Jobs and the meteoric rise of Apple to beat Microsoft and become the World's most valuable company, even though Microsoft still owns a healthy chunk of it. If this sequel is made, I will definitely watch it!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Documentation, 9 Aug 2012
By 
Picard (USS Enterprise) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pirates of Silicon Valley [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Although Sony Pictures are releasing a brand new movie based on the life of Apple guru Steve Jobs, 'Pirates of Silicon Valley' - released some 15 years ago - got the head start in documenting the famous rivalry between two of the biggest computer giants in the world.

But for all it's worth, the product feels more like a mish-mash of accounts that have been assembled from various sources, and truth be told, before Steve Jobs had his biography released, I imagine their was little documentation to work with. With such being the case however, a better approach to this movie would have been to focus on one particular period of Jobs and Gates' life, rather than attempting to cover as much (often unnecessary) background as possible.

This isn't to say that the story itself lacks interest, but in its whole the movie does not encourage character development. For example, the characterisation of Bill Gates is, more often than not, creepy and difficult to justify in its authenticity (The scene where Bill visits Apple for the first time in 1983 is almost non-human). I'm sure most would admit that Gates can fit the - excuse the pun - bill of a supposed computer "nerd", but this movie stereotypes that presence to a very negative level and that detracts a sense of realism.

It can also be difficult empathise with Jobs himself, as his relationship with John Sculley is not covered at all. Therefore, Sculley's motivation for concern and Jobs' anger have no base. This was surprising, because Sculley's hiring at Apple was the beginning of the end for Jobs' own role within the company.

Although there are many more grey areas, I also believe many positives can be drawn. The producers really put a lot of care and attention into the sets and environments, which greatly adds to the atmosphere of the time, era and realism of the periods themselves. I was incredibly impressed with the complete mockup of Apple's original headquarters post-1983 - even to the degree that they replicated the paintings on the wall, the original promotional material and of course the famous piano in the reception area.

And I even don't mind the acting, although I'm guessing that most of the cast were chosen based on their looks. Steve Ballmer and John Sculley look absolutely nothing like their real counterparts, although I did have a good laugh at Ballmers character in particular. To say this guy has had a few white lines in his time is something of an understatement...

So whilst let down by a imbalanced plot, the attention to detail and historical relevance makes this a worthy watch not just for individuals with an interest in computing, but also as a standalone drama.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 Aug 2014
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lot of history
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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Apple Cores. Revolving Doors. Silicon Sails The High Seas. Gates & Trees & Fences Free., 4 Oct 2006
By 
Linda G. Shelnutt "Mystery Novelist" (Rockvale, CO USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pirates of Silicon Valley [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Several aspects catapulted me into this movie with a mesmerizing intensity which caused me to watch it several times, and to know I'll continue to do so periodically.

The strongest draw to this work of art for me was to the performance of the actor (Anthony Michael Hall) playing Bill Gates, which he did with such exquisite skill that he made me feel he had captured the essence, the quiet radiance, the charisma, maybe even the core, of that larger-than-human persona, more brilliantly than I've seen done for any other characterization of a "real-life-person" on film.

In fact, each of the key actors in this film went beyond the level of outstanding, in seeming to capture his/her character in a primal essence. The voices and mannerisms of Gates, Jobs, and Wozniac, have stayed with me with such a synaptive strength that I can hear and see them any time my thoughts go there.

The actors didn't stand alone, however. They were supported with awesome perfection by the book's balanced storyline, and the art and technique of the film-making, which was executed so naturally as to be baseline effective without the viewer noticing the designs and efforts toward effect.

There was no overwhelm of design; only the feel of it.

There was the being one with the language of film, which overtook whatever reality had been playing prior to the first millisecond of the movie's motion. (For a bare bones of additional detail about film-making technique, feel free to see my review of the DVD of the movie, Suspect Zero.)

Each time I re-view my copy of PIRATES OF SILICON VALLEY, I'm left with an intense curiosity about how true to reality it seemed, and about Gates, Jobs, Wozniac, and the other characters "takes" of this rendition of who they were and what they did. A few reviews have helpfully mentioned visiting Wozniac or Gates web sites, and noted that the movie was described as being generally accurate.

If anyone has any added information on Gates or Jobs specific comments on this movie, please consider beginning a Forum in the Customer Discussion section on this page?

To be fair, maybe I should offer a few backup details for my over-the-top praise above.

Here's what I see so clearly, even now, in Bill Gates as shown in PIRATES:

I see him regularly pushing the bridge of his glasses up to a clearer viewing angle; I see the direct, open-eyed gaze of this ancient, wise soul working within a child's free-flowing, anticipatory mind.

I see his continual eagle-eyed expression, his intense curiosity and constant calculation.

It appeared to me that, for Gates, as portrayed by the actor in this film, computers are not machines; they're kindred spirits. And I don't mean that as an insult.

Steve Jobs was also shown in his unique ways of gazing, studying whatever was in his presence; his ways of speaking, and of flickering continually from a sun-splitting smile to a deadly scowl. Moods. He was a full course STUDY in them, at least as dramatized by the actor who portrayed him.

Then, of course, there was the most obvious of the many film techniques used so beautifully, that of posing the head and shoulders of Bill Gates on a large movie screen in the background, with Steve Jobs standing in a full-body pose, live, behind a podium, below the huge, two-dimensional, yet ominous presentation on the screen. Yeah, Big Brother was alive and well, ever ready, ever in the background of Jobs' motions, with no loss of strength or imposition. And yet ...

And yet ... Bill Gates came across as a hero, to me, along with everyone involved in this landmark expression of part of the evolution of human brain cell enhancement.

The way these two cultural giants were played against each other, in storyline and through the art of film, was an accomplishment of the type of simple genius which, in some ways, goes beyond even the great gifts of the Einstein's among us.

There is so MUCH art, angst, and significance in this film, I doubt its makers have seen every angle and facet of it.

This is something. This is something.

I don't know, exactly, if the film intended it, but each time I come away from this movie, I see all the people in it as nothing less than heroic. Yet, the movie clearly brought out actions and behaviors which I could not condone in any other context, in fact, which I might condemn. However, I rarely mark something with a negative triple six; as soon as I think about picking up a single stone, the smudges on my vest begin growing. Very purposely, that chagrin situation was exposed here.

This movie captures and holds not only high entertainment with heavy drama and deep comedy; it also expresses:

Irony, Anomaly, Paradox, Dichotomy, Dilemma, and more.

I seek words which mean: "The containment of opposites within a single framework, containment of a long enough duration for the duality to do the Hegel-ian thing, the ultimate growth sequence of Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis."

Yet, these two opposing elements will not synthesize, except separately, so the Thesis, Antithesis, Thesis, Antithesis seems to be in an eternal loop, which somehow enhances life and growth rather than diminishing or draining it.

If I attempt to analyze this movie much further my eyes will cross and my brain will ... will what?

It won't melt down ... it won't shut off with "does not compute." What it will do is slip irrevocably into a Gordian Knot at the base of a Universal Labyrinth. Bye, bye.

Don't go there. I have more work to do.

Thank you Bill, Steve, the makers of THE PIRATES OF SILICONE VALLEY (see the credits on this page), and the authors (Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine) of the novel, FIRE IN THE VALLEY, upon which this movie (made for cable, TNT, in 1999) was based. I could almost say the film went as far as Gates and Jobs (and their associates, friends, and families) took us, as a race, as a species, as an intriguing culture in a sentient Universe.

Maybe it's not achieving warp drive capacity which first brings a species to the attention of aliens at higher levels of consciousness and accomplishment (as Star Trek has so lusciously dramatized). Maybe it's achieving what all the above, and the ripples from them have done.

I can't understand why the debut of this movie didn't bring on First Contact. Or, has it? Where are the X-Files? Are they SLEEPING??

Chust Kidding!

What would you expect from an author of a sci fi and a paranormal mystery series who periodically reviews Amish mysteries?

I, myself, am an Anomaly, a Dichotomy, ... and some (though not a "sum") of all of the above.

Linda Shelnutt
Author of several Amazon Shorts and KINDLE books
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