A shameless Infomercial. Only with class, wit and dignity.
Sniff Code | Somewhere out there | 09/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here is a documentary that is so polished and pristine that if not for the footage in the closing credits, you'd swear that this was something that came right out of Apple's PR camp. The aesthetics of the film successfully mirror Apple's aesthetics and could almost pass as a commercial. And the movie is so damn upbeat that even when Apple is being criticized by former employees it seems to strengthen the companies image, not dampen it.
Okay, so I'll just come out and say it. It's a good documentary. A great one, actually.
The director rewinds the clock to the very beginning and shows just how much of an uphill climb innovation really is. There is no voice over narration. The documentary is pushed forward by interviews by former engineers, co-founders, marketers, collectors and pundits of the Apple legacy. Every last single person interviewed is refreshingly candid. Especially a former product engineer who says just how haphazard things were thrown together during his day at the company. The hysterical cynicism of this fellow is reason enough to watch this relatively brief documentary.
Despite the true confessions on such Apple products as QuickTime and the identity crisis of the company, especially in their signature start-up tune; the movie is, unequivocally, a mac altar. It is an open invitation for PC users to repent and for mac enthusiasts to revel in their faith or simply to renew it. You'll hear the phrase "change the world" mentioned at least a dozen times. Maybe more.
The documentary, of course, saves the best for last (or the worst, depending on how you feel about the man). That would be Steve Jobs. Much to my surprise, the documentary seems to side-step most of the brutal rumors about Jobs' brutal personality. Maybe because enough grist has been fed to this rumor mill, or maybe because the creators were hoping to get Jobs to make a cameo in the documentary -- which he doesn't. Never the less, throughout and up to the very end, the documentary comes to the final conclusion that Apple is Steve Jobs.
Okay...so now my two cents about the whole mac thing. And, yes, I'm aware that I'm about to sound like a cranky old grandfather. But the fact is I was using macs before most mac users were born. Okay, maybe not that long. But I must say, it has definitely been, how shall I put it...."interesting", to watch the herd finally start grazing on this side of the fence. These days I'm ambivalent about the mac and the PC that I use. When I watched this documentary, I did so, not to put in my tithes at the mac altar, but just to see what I've missed in the past five years after taking my ear off the ground. The answer: not much. You don't need to have your ear to ground to know about the ipod and iphone craze. This documentary is less interested in the profundity of the mac, and more interested in its enduring novelty. Consequently, it feels like a dignified infomercial, which would make it the only infomercial that I watched in its entirety."