Pirates of Silicon Valley
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Product Description

The revolution came when we weren't looking. It happened in a garage. In a dorm room. In countless hours of effort, imagining and intrigue. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates were changing the way the world works, lives and communicates. The event-packed saga of the quirky visionaries who jump-started the future unfolds with exhilarating, cutting-edge style in Pirates of Silicon Valley. Noah Wyle (ER) portrays Jobs and Anthony Michael Hall (The Dead Zone) portrays Gates in this chronicle of the fierce and often humorous battle to rule the fledgling personal computer empire. "The story is almost Shakespearean... it's a tale of lust, greed, ambition, love and hate," writer/director Martyn Burke reflects. And it's a success story unlike any other.

This dramatization of the tangled history of Apple Computer and Microsoft, based on a book by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine, hits enough of the right notes to make its failures all the more frustrating. The script follows the entwined paths of Apple's Steve Jobs and Microsoft's Bill Gates with a pointed sense of the cultural divide between the hip, self-absorbed Apple cofounder and the brilliant alpha geek behind Microsoft's eventual software empire, contrasting the Mac's countercultural underpinnings with the PC's more strait-laced origins. But Pirates of Silicon Valley seemingly can't decide whether it wants to be a serious-minded history of these key figures in the personal computer revolution or a trashy wallow in the more ignoble foibles of its principals. As a result, it falls short of exacting history while never achieving the guilty pleasure it might have.

If Gates has become synonymous with corporate conquest at its most striking, Pirates' interest lies more with Jobs, given a nervous energy and flashes of adolescent selfishness by Noah Wyle, who benefits from a reasonable physical resemblance to the Apple chief. Eyewear and a comb-over do nearly as well for Anthony Michael Hall, who also grafts some of Bill Gates's better-known mannerisms onto his performance and renders Gates as a smart if socially maladroit entrepreneur who, like Jobs, provides the ambition and business savvy to exploit his partner's computing talents. There are a few fanciful touches (Ballmer and Wozniak become Greek choruses, addressing the viewer as they comment on the principals), but the story plays out in straightforward fashion. It's tantalizing to consider how the Apple/PC melodrama might have fared with an edgier, more openly satirical script. --Sam Sutherland

Customer Reviews:

  • A Must See Movie.
    I've been a PC user since I was in early grade school, got a little taste of Mac's in Jr. HIgh, now I'm 20 and out of school, I've been a full on Mac user for about two years. Since I began using computers every day, I have always wondered how these two rival companies became to be where they are today; this movie really explains it, and it's one of the best movies I have seen to date.

    Anyone remotely interested in the history of Apple or Microsoft will really enjoy this awesome movie....more info
  • If your a geek like me then you will love this movie
    I loved this movie because it gives the Hollywood treatment to a computer geek fairy tale. Good movie, great portrayals, really helps you to understand the Apple/Microsoft/IBM/Xerox dynamic....more info
  • The Human Sides of Gates and Jobs...
    This DVD was exactly what I expected from the advertising. I think the strongest part of this DVD is that it neither heroized nor demonized Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. It shed some light on the both the flaws and strengths of these two brilliant innovators. I first heard of this DVD by watching the Podcasts of Harvard University's introductory computer science course, where it was mentioned as a source for background information. I found it encouraging because it demonstrates that even the most successful of us in life do make some mistakes and still life goes on. After watching the DVD, I visited Bill Gates personal webpage and located some public lectures he has given in which he recounts the same events as are covered in the DVD. In comparing his lectures with the DVD, I saw only minor factual discrepancies. I think it is a good case study of the motivations of sucessful leaders. By the way, if you are looking for a DVD filled with techno-jargon...This is not the movie for you. This movie did a great job of avoiding excessive geekspeak where it wasn't relevant to the story....more info
  • Excellent service and product!
    DVD was in excellent condition, shipping and delivery was on time, and I enjoyed the product. Keep it up!!...more info
  • A Good Start to See How Personal Computing Began
    This movie was well done for a smaller budget movie. Showing the viewer both sides of what ended up being one of the greastest rivalries of the 20th century. I think this movie focuses a bit more on Apple than Microfsoft. Noah Wylie as Steve Jobs gives an impressive performance showing the renegade side of Jobs as well as the cold, calculating man that along with his brillance as a leader has made Steve Jobs what he is today. Anthony Michael Hall does well as Bill Gates, the seemingly goofy, nerd that beneath the surface holds an even more cunning genius towards buiness, which just happened to be personal computing. The movie follows them from their humble beginnings through their monumental efforts to design and sell personal computing in different forms to a world that thought computers were only for engineers and businesses. Other good sources in written form are I Woz, by Steve Wozniak; Icon Steve Jobs the Greatest Second Act in the History of Business, by Jeffery S. Young and William L. Simon...more info
  • Too REal
    great movie a must see!!
    you will find out all the real dirt....more info
  • outrageous
    An outrageously funny look at the inception of two of the giants of home computing, Apple and Microsoft, in particular the idiosyncratic personalities behind the two megafirms. Hilariously done with plenty of excellent parody and Anthony Michael Hall and Noah Wyle at the top of their game....more info
  • West Coast Wizards
    I enjoyed this video story of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. I am sure there is a lot more to the story of these two men but it was fun. Mark Twain commented on War and Peace by Tolstoy saying it did not have a motorboat race. Can't have everything!?! Is there a secret message here?
    John Cutler Anderson, Lucky (nickname)...more info
  • Great Movie
    I show this movie to my Jr. High School Computer Technology classes to give them an idea about how personal computers evolved. The classes typically enjoy the movie and walk away with some understandings that a teacher lecture would not just get across to multi-media based teenager.

    ...more info
  • THE NERDS WIN!!!!!
    fantasitc - intelligent - thought provoking - fun - two exceptional actors portray two people that have changed the way we live and play!!! a great fick!!!...more info
    I was very great full that this DVD came in a speedy time frame....more info
  • A MUST HAVE FOR EVERY Nerd, historian, Business Student, leaders...EVERYONE!
    I have been so eagerly waiting for 6 months for this title to come on DVD! It was worth the wait. I recall when this television movie came out (I was in college at the time|) I totally missed it and my roommate didn't tape it! I vowed that I will watch it when it comes out on DVD. Surely enough after 6 years this is out. Anyone interested in knowing how Mac vs. Wintel came about. It's for anyone who wants to know more about the roots of both platform giants BG vs. SJ! U Will love simply because it captures history in an entire new light...Noah Rocks in this movie...he did a fantastic job acting as SJ! ...more info
  • A Fun Little Romp That's Incomplete
    The film is a great piece of entertainment, a composite of fact and fiction. Enjoy it for what it is, warned of what it is NOT: a complete history of the personal computer. ...more info
  • The Real Story
    This DVD tells the real story of Apple and Microsoft. Finally the truth is out!...more info
  • Essential Business tips from Billy Gates and Stevie Jobs !!!
    I built my business in large part thanks to the lessons taken from this movie. A couple of personal highlights :

    1) Steve Jobs shaving off his beard , cutting his shoulder length hair and buying a tacky brown business suit to the disapproving stares of his hippie friends. Why ? " Cuz banks don't like hippies "

    2) Steve Jobs on why he thought it was OK to rip off Xerox PARC Labs (which led Apple to develop the mouse and GUI technologies) : "In the words of Picasso : 'Good artists copy. Great artists steal!'"

    3) Bill Gates staring blankly at a computer monitor suddenly realizing why Microsoft was hitting the skids. They had no choice but to do business with the much hated IBM corp: " Like they say in the MOB : Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer "

    4) This one's a classic. Bill Gates sitting in the IBM boardroom with their top execs. Gates promises to deliver a much improved OS for IBM's new personal computer : The DOS . All of this with one catch :

    Bill Gates (in his annoyingly whinny voice) : "We think its best if we owned the OS. In order to further develop system improvements for you guys..."

    IBM Exec : " Sure. After all our business is in the hardware..."

    Well, needless to say, right there and then, the world's single largest personal fortune was created. Billions upon billions.

    If you like the fast paced wheelin'and dealin' years of early Silicon Valley and would like to learn more about Steve Jobs and Bill Gates: Get this DVD.

    ...more info
  • What it was about
    In the end, most people know who Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are. If you're into computers or watch the news it is kinda hard not to know. What I liked the most about this movie is the underlining story of Steve Wozniak. In the end both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are businessmen. The person who is mostly responsible for today's computers is Steve Wozniak. Gates and Jobs only marketed products made by other people like The Woz as he was called.

    At times the acting in this movie is a little over the top and the story is exaggerated from what rely happened. But everything that is in this movie did happen just not to the domination level in this movie....more info
  • Great!
    Ordered with Amazon for the nth time. But in this case it was delivered overseas to my residence in the Philippines.
    The movie was great since I forgot already the way the story was told when I first saw it years back.
    The item is intact after travelling beyond the US borders.
    Since it is region 1, had it play in the DVD of my ibook....more info
  • Great video
    I've saw this movie during a class i took and it is very informative, and humerous i could watch it over and over. ...more info
  • One of my favorite Movies Ever!
    I just love this money. I always tell everyone
    about it because of the lessons you can learn.
    I just had my whole office watch it - It ROCKS!

    Matt Bacak
    Author of Secrets of the Internet Millionaire Mind
    and The Ultimate Lead Generation Plan

    ...more info
  • Good Movie. Fun and Interesting
    I guess the only reason I wouldn't give it 5 stars is because I want more! I understand the constraints of an hour and a half movie, but to me, this could have been a mini-series. The content is accurate and the acting is very good for this type of movie. It is fun to watch Steve Jobs, portrayed by Noah Wylie, go into Xerox and have full access to their experimental graphical user interface with "windows". Then watch as Bill Gates, portrayed by Anthony Michael Hall, go nuts trying to imitate the Mac and the frustration of constant delays of Windows 1.0 reminiscent of the Vista delays. Well worth purchasing....more info
  • A Great Movie For Anyone...Not Just Computer Geeks!
    I first saw this movie in my Computer Graphics Design class and I was instantly hooked. Pirates of Silicon Valley is such a fasinating look into the worlds of Microsoft and Apple Computers. Noah Wyle's performance as Apple's Co-Founder Steve Jobs is uncanny, a direct look alike of Steve and is captured perfectly. As with Wyle's performance, Anthony Michael Hall is a remarkable Bill Gates. You don't have to be a computer geek to love and understand this film, it has something for everyone while still speaking computer lingo to all us going through the Mac vs. Microsoft war. An amazing piece of film, don't hesitate to buy!...more info
  • To enjoy
    All computers geeks have seen this movie. If you like all things around computers and technology you'll enjoy this film.
    It has several remarkable scenes. It's great the beginning with the behind the scenes of the 1984 apple commercial, Microsoft selling DOS to IBM when they have nothing (not a line of code), Bill Gates trying to convince Steve Jobs that Windows is not a copy of Macintosh, and this last scene when Steve Jobs told Bill Gates: "We are better than you", and Bill answer: "That doesn't matter"....more info
  • Great movie, but leaves you hanging
    First and foremost, this is a well-made movie. The directing is great, and the writing is sharp. It's faithful to many historical people, places and events. Those who also bought "Triumph of the Nerds" in their order will be able to see interviews with some of the people featured as characters in this movie, and the similarity in appearance and personality is a definite plus in the movie's favour.
    The only negative about the movie is the ending.. It just kinda stops. But perhaps this is because people who watch this movie will probably already be familiar with the lives and works of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. They'll know that much, much more happened after 1999, so will probably be slightly annoyed not to see it. Again, this movie (like 'Triumph of the Nerds') falls victim to having one release date in an industry which is full of release dates.
    The acting is strong and the drama is effective, especially with Steve Jobs (who seems to get favoured in this movie over the Bill Gates character). Noah Wyle is a more developed actor and therefore fleshed out his character a lot more.
    If you're a fan of computer history like me, see this movie. And if you know nothing about computers, but have heard of Bill Gates, then this is a great way to quickly educate yourself on "what actually happened"....more info
  • Historical Movie!
    This is the epic, dorky, funny, and dramatic tale of the rise of Mac & Apple over IBM. I first saw this movie at my school, but we didn't get to finish it. I loved it so much I went ahead and bought it, and've watched it a few good times since then. I love it.

    And take my word for it - I'm not one of those people easy to please with a movie. Get it, and you won't regret it. 'Nuff said....more info
  • Microsoft and Apple OS Theives and Ego Maniacs
    This great movie let's us all know what a bunch of operating system theives both Apple and Microsoft are, from the beginning. As they steal the dos operating system by paying almost nothing to IBMs mouse idea and of course back and forth from each other, it captures their true nature and egos.

    I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to see the beginning of a cultural communication revolution from the biggest theives and ego maniacs alive!...more info