The Boston Globe reviews Ashton Kutcher’s ‘Jobs’ biopic: ‘More like the Cube than the iPod’

“With few exceptions, nice guys don’t change the world. Especially in the digital universe. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, according to ‘The Social Network,’ appears to be quite a handful,” Peter Keough writes for The Boston Globe.

“And Apple founder Steve Jobs, who died in 2011 of pancreatic cancer, was such a piece of work that he requires two biopics to do him justice. This one, directed by Joshua Michael Stern (‘Swing Vote’), suggests that Jobs will fare better with the upcoming version from Aaron Sorkin, Oscar-winning screenwriter of ‘Network,'” Keough writes. “If one were to compare this film to one of Jobs’s own products, it would be more like the Cube than the iPod.”

Keough writes, “Nonetheless, ‘Jobs’ does offer some redeeming features — Ashton Kutcher in the title role, for one… At first, it seems like the filmmakers are up to the task, too. Though a bit corny, an early montage set in 1974, in which the latter-day hippie Jobs trips on acid with friends in a cornfield, packages many of the themes of the man’s life in a few minutes… the sequence seems inspired compared with what follows, a chronicle of high and low points in Jobs’s career put together like a PowerPoint demonstration.”

MacDailyNews Take: Stern should’ve used Keynote.

 
Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As expected from the second it was announced, this flick is merely a warm-up, lukewarm as it is, for the real “Steve Jobs” feature film which, hopefully, will be insanely great.

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21 Comments

  1. I believe a no-name lookalike would been a more believable, less distracting casting. When I see Kutcher, I see Kutcher. Will his portrayal make me forget it’s Kutcher? I guess I’ll find out.

  2. I am not sure that it is possible even for “Steve Jobs” film to be “insanely great”. The character is so big and complicated that it would be too hard to make a film without simplifying Jobs and going with more “dramatic”, lest subtle version of him.

    Walter Isaacson’s book, on which the future “Steve Jobs” biopic is based, lacks nuances of Jobs’ character — I suspect for more contrast, dramatic picture of him.

    The reality is that the book omits countless proofs of Jobs’ kindness and compassion, which could only be read through articles of memoires, but totally omitted by Isaacsson, who thought that “evil genious” stamp would sell better.

      1. Jobs never read the book and even himself admitted that he would hate it. Of course, he knew Isaacson will not be fair. This author is not known for that; he was known for biographies that create dramatic, contrast picture, rather than being fully truthful, which could be less exciting.

    1. There will likely be one noticeable consequence of these two films coming out.

      In 1984, sales of classical music, especially music of Mozart, had a major spike throughout the world, which lasted several years. There was one singular reason for that: Miloš Forman’s film “Amadeus”. It was loosely based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and it showcased a lot of Mozart’s music in an extremely positive way.

      I haven’t seen the JOBS film, but if it is in the least bit true with respect to Steve’s design and innovation philosophy at Apple, it will paint Apple in extremely positive light, which just might motivate those uninformed, who were with the “dark side” (Win / Android) so far to switch.

  3. If the upcoming version is better, it kind of sucks that this one came out, especially since the Ashton version is heavily marketed.

    Going to be tough to compel people to see the same topic again.

  4. No fictional film about Jobs would ever be good for Apple fans. It just cannot. As was said, Jobs was too complex as a person to accurately translate into a 110-minute film. More importantly, for a film to be successful, it must have enough drama to move the plot along. Writers like Sorkin will gladly take some liberty with the source material in order to make the drama more dramatic.

    We really should NOT expect a re-enactment here. It is still only a fiction film, based on a real person’s life. Very rarely did real life provide compelling drama by itself, without the need for filmmaker’s intervention to transform it into a motion picture. Apollo 13 comes to mind (although even there, they had to deviate a bit from the historic record to make the film more exciting).

  5. Is everyone forgetting about “The Pirates of Silicon Valley”? That movie is probably better than what these new ones will end up being. And remember when Noah Wiley opened a Keynote for Steve and started busting his balls? That seriously happened.

    1. That was a pretty lame TV movie with a lot of rather poor acting from third-rate TV actors. I don’t think you can seriously compare the acting chops of Noah Wyle (who through most of his acting career played just one role) and Ashton Kutcher, (as much as many here dislike his personality) who has much more talent, and more importantly, acting skills. He may have looked like Steve in that film, but the moment he spoke, out came Dr. Carter from ER.

  6. Mercifully, somewhere during post-production, someone with some brains decided to change the working title of the film (jOBS) to JOBS (all-caps). Perhaps it was a Mac user who would always get annoyed by the totally unintuitive and illogical working of CAPS LOCK in Windows (reversing the case of typed letters), realising that the jOBS capitalisation would look like it was just typed on Windows…

    Whoever decided this and for whatever reason, did a favour to the producers of the film. It is actually entirely likely that they were already inundated by emails of Mac fans pointing this out.

  7. Every review except for two (Wash Post and this Boston Globe one) have agreed that Ashton Kutcher cannot act at all. Even the Wash Post one (probably written by a fan of Punk’d) pointed out that Kutcher looked like he was just trying to make his face look like Jobs, instead of actually embodying the character. Even calling Kutcher an actor is a stretch.

  8. Steve Jobs life was worthy of a 12 part mini-series. The error is in trying to show his life in a two hour feature with it’s inevitable time compressed compromises. HBO or Showtime should’ve tackled this. THAT would’ve been an event. Cable TV is becoming so much better than theatrical films for the most part anyway and the new cinema for those who want more meat on their bones.

    1. Well, if either of the two Jobs movies does well at the box office, and if Apple continues to dominate as an aspirational brand, there is a good chance HBO or SHO might greenlight such a project. One (or two) do not exclude the other.

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