NY Times reviews ‘Jobs’ bioflick: ‘All the sex appeal of a PowerPoint presentation’

“It would drive Steve Jobs nuts to know that the new movie about his life has all the sex appeal of a PowerPoint presentation,” Manohla Dargis writes for The New York Times. “It isn’t only that PowerPoint has become synonymous with the dry, dreary, droning of corporate meetings or that it’s an application developed by Microsoft, itself a favorite target of Jobs. (‘The only problem with Microsoft,’ he said, ‘is they just have no taste.’ Also: ‘They just make really third-rate products.’)”

“The historical record is all that’s stretched in “’Jobs,’ which stars Ashton Kutcher and was directed by Joshua Michael Stern,” Dargis writes. “Compression and omissions are part of any biography. So it’s to be expected that a two-hour movie about one of the most important public figures in recent times leaves out a lot, including famous feuds, forgotten colleagues and even significant business ventures. The point isn’t that there are gaps; the point is what and who have been left out.”

Dargis writes, “Mr. Kutcher doesn’t have the tools that some actors use to transcend weak material and either he didn’t receive any help or didn’t allow any real direction from Mr. Stern. Mr. Kutcher’s tendency to cap so many emotional scenes with small, self-satisfied smiles is especially unfortunate because they can’t help but bring to mind his other career as a pitchman for digital cameras. The greater blame rests on the filmmakers, who never find a way to navigate the ‘passions, perfectionism, demons, desires, artistry, devilry and obsession for control’ that Walter Isaacson enumerated in Steve Jobs, his 2011 authorized biography.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Of course we have to see it, but, after these reviews, we’re not looking forward to it.

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The Boston Globe reviews Ashton Kutcher’s ‘Jobs’ biopic: ‘More like the Cube than the iPod’ – August 16, 2013
Rush Limbaugh: Steve Jobs has greatly influenced Ashton Kutcher (with video) – August 15, 2013
Ashton Kutcher on the thrill (and risk) of playing Steve Jobs – August 12, 2013
New trailer premieres for ‘Jobs’ starring Ashton Kutcher (with video) – August 6, 2013
Woz on Ashton Kutcher’s ‘Jobs’: Young Steve was no saint – June 24, 2013
‘Jobs’ theatrical trailer released (with video) – June 21, 2013
Ashton Kutcher, Josh Gad: Steve Jobs biopic ‘was done with the utmost love, admiration, and respect’ – January 31, 2013
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Ashton Kutcher: Playing Steve Jobs was ‘terrifying’ (with video) – January 26, 2013
First footage of Steve Jobs biopic ‘jOBS’ starring Ashton Kutcher (with video) – January 24, 2013
First official photo of Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs released – December 3, 2012
‘Method actor’ Ashton Kutcher taking Steve Jobs role too far, accused of being ‘mean’ – July 27, 2012
Matthew Modine to play John Sculley, Josh Gad to play Woz in Ashton Kutcher ‘jOBS’ bioflick – June 6, 2012
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    1. Certainly, the NYT’s has it’s own agenda tilted left of center that obscures critical objectivity.

      Movie reviews nowadays are increasingly tied to a PC agenda rather than the merits of the actual movie itself.

      Case in point: Braveheart, 2005. It was universally panned in several articles in USA TODAY and most major newspapers.

      It went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

      While I take the NYT’s review and others with a grain of salt, ultimately make up your own mind. The old saw is something like critics are for people that can’t make up their own minds.

  1. This should have been released as a direct to iTunes Rental.
    From what I have seen in the adds this accuracy is questionable.

    I will wait till Tuesday to see this as it is the one day of the week the theaters in Canada have discounts.

  2. I just saw it and enjoyed immensely. Fwiw. I tend to not enjoy the crap run of the mill stuff, and I was pleasantly surprised. Btw, kutcher’s worst 5 minutes of acting are the first 5 of the movie, so give him a little pass there and he’s decent and effective throughout the rest of the film.

    1. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it. Maybe there is still hope. I’m not going in looking for it to change my life, so hopefully I can get past Kutcher.

    2. I just got back from seeing and enjoyed it very much. I wasn’t expecting that at all. Kutcher wasn’t that bad and quite effective in many scenes. I was mainly worried about what they’d distort but other than leaving out major storylines like NeXT and Pixar, it was far more accurate than “Pirates of Silicon Valley.”

      I do agree that it’s probably a litte boring and slow for non-Jobs fans or those who don’t know the story, but I actually enjoyed the pace. Much better than I expected.

  3. What else did they expect? Neither Jobs nor Woz were the sexiest man alive. So it might have the sex appeal of a Keynote presentation. Much more important are the new products and not some movie.

  4. The Times wrote this review AFTER Kutcher’s extraordinary remarks to the young audience at The Teen Choice Awards where he extolled the virtues of hard work, self reliance, honesty, generosity, and freedom. Those values are all the things that are met with contempt by the leftist NYT and Kutcher’s movie was doomed from the moment he walked off the stage.

      1. Brilliant insight from JM reporting the employment history of AK will mostly fall on deaf ears. On a website dominated by the clueless and emotional left — the heart too many times overrules the brain. Facts be damned is Modus Operandi 101. When you put down that joint, make a better case for dissing AK’s hard work ethic and rise to fame!

      1. @Wzrd

        What is your purpose here on MDN?

        Sniper shots at opinions you disagree with?

        For example, “no biscuit for you, ad Hominem or post hoc.”


        Commenting on the article itself or having a positive opinion seems out of your league.


  5. I’ll say this again; it is very likely that these two Jobs flicks (this one and the upcoming big-budget SONY / Sorkin project) will noticeably increase interest in Apple products. It is impossible to make a biopic about Jobs with any reasonable truthfulness in it without explaining the essence of Apple’s zeal for perfection and customer satisfaction. There are hundreds of millions of people out there who are unaware of this. Most of the are familiar (more or less) with Apple as a brand, but majority has no clue how fundamentally different Apple is.

    Much like “Amadeus” boosted sales of classical music (especially Mozart) in 1984 and beyond, so will likely these two flicks boost Macs, iPods and iPhones (not that they need boosting).

    1. Yes, I agree. Any young moviegoer is bound to be taken with the story arc of any reasonably approximate version of Steve Jobs—disenfranchised and rebellious; tired of everything being crap; fastening on a distant but magnificent goal, pursuing it with energy, getting sucker-punched, learning self-discipline, climbing back out of the crevasse of oblivion to triumph over the suits and naysayers. Some of us may be jaded, but this seems like a much better role model for millennials than Jay-Z or A-Rod.

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