Jobs – 3 out of 5
I’m not an Apple fanboy. I own an iPod and I’m pleased with it but I feel no desire to own an iPad, iPhone or any other “i” product that Apple has out there. However, I have nothing against the insane masses that worship Steve Jobs’ company. Whatever makes those weird hipster fucks happy.
Jobs is a biopic that follows that story of one of America’s most ambitious (and, maybe, the biggest dick) businessmen to exist. The film follows Steve Jobs’ (Ashton Kutcher) life from 1971 when he was doing drugs and “totally finding himself, man” in college to 2000 where he made Apple one of the biggest companies in the world by striking the fear of god in the people who worked for him and instilling a cult following with consumers to the point they will wait days in line for a phone that is only slightly different than the last one they released.
"We love you like a god!"
"Please don't fire us!"
I never knew the man personally, so I have no idea how much of this Steve Jobs story is accurate (according to Steve Wozniak, not much of it is) but I was impressed that the film didn’t shy away from the man’s reputation of being a complete narcissistic asshole. He is the man who reportedly would fire employees just because he didn’t like the color tie they were wearing (actually, I made that up. He usually fired people in the elevator if he didn't like their pitch but I wouldn't be surprised if he hated certain ties). Going into the film, I really suspected it was going to be a really bias piece of work that showed Jobs as, basically, a tech Jesus who created a religion with fedora wearing followers but was surprised that they didn’t sugarcoat that the man was an unlovable dick who would take advantage of his best friends, kick his girlfriend out of his life because she was pregnant with his baby and just be a disrespectful turd to the people who were creating his products while all he did was wax poetically about how they need to “think outside the box” and “push the paradigm” and a whole bunch of other buzzwords that people who wanna seem smart say in order to get rich off the hard work of others.
|"Stop calling me crazy guys. I'm telling you, one day I'm going to be called a genius and|
all I have to do is release a yearly product that is only improved in slight, almost non-existent ways..."
I’m not trying to sell the man short and say that he was just a charlatan but the film doesn’t reflect the man’s drive very well. Early on when the company was just operating out of a garage, you see a man who is driven to succeed and when he’s making deals to get his product out there, you see a guy who wants to truly change the world but then…that’s it. The rest of the film doesn’t hold the balance to show a man who is both driven and ambitious and slightly underhanded. After a certain point, I didn’t see Jobs as a man who was too self-absorbed to realize he was leaving a wake of bodies behind him in his drive to be the best, I just saw a guy who was being an asshole for the sake of being an asshole. And I think that has less to do with the script and more to do with Kutcher’s performance.
|So, I'm assuming that Jobs always looked like an evil Bond villain?|
I’m not a fan of Ashton Kutcher; I don’t think he can act, I don’t find him amusing or entertaining and I have never found him to have any range. While seeing him as, arguably, one of the most famous businessmen to ever exist was probably the best performance I’ve ever seen from him, I still didn’t see him doing much to stand out. Sure, he got Jobs’ posture and mannerisms down incredibly but whenever he was on-screen, I saw the same asshole that annoyed me in the trucker hat on that awfully unfunny MTV prank show.
|Jobs? Or Kelso?|
Biopic’s are really tricky because you always get actors you know well from other projects playing real life characters that you’re brain recognizes in a very familiar way. The wrong casting choice and you’re brain says, “Hey, he doesn’t look or act at all like the guy I’ve seen on the news. What the hell, man?” and you instantly can’t engage yourself in the story. This was my biggest problem with Jobs. Ashton just didn’t look like Steve Jobs…he looked like Ashton Kutcher.
|Okay, here he looks like Jobs.|
When the film begins, we see an old Steve Jobs before it jumps back to the 70s where we see a bearded Steve Jobs dropping out of college. In both instances, Kutcher looked like he had the potential to be the Apple man because he wasn’t looking like the actor but rather like the part he was playing. However, once the beard was trimmed, he was Ashton. No make-up was done to try and mimic Jobs’ face on Kutcher and the hair he was sporting was no different than I’ve seen Kutcher sport since his days on That 70s Show. For a majority of the movie, despite the fact he walked like the man, he wasn’t Steve Jobs. He was just Ashton Kutcher living Steve Jobs’ life. It was very distracting and it didn’t help that a lot of Kutcher’s performance was flat and boring. However, I was very impressed with Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak. Not only did they make him look like the Apple co-founder, Gad's performance was just terrific.
|I assume Wozniak is explaining that aliens is how the PC works.|
I try to take biopics with a grain of salt because the events I’m seeing are only the perspective of some of the players involved and, most of the time, are not from the perspective of the person who actually lived them. I don’t look at the films like they are history lessons (if I did, I wouldn’t have found Argo entertaining) but rather I just look at them from a movie perspective and if they are entertaining and engaging. Jobs wasn’t spectacular and tended to be a little messy as it jumped from point-to-point in Steve Jobs’ life. There wasn’t much character development and we don’t really see Jobs grow as a person; we just see the movie jump to a new scene where all the needed development of the man is conveniently there when the scene arrives. However, I admire what the film was trying to accomplish, I admire that they weren’t trying to make Steve look like a saint and the film has a fantastic soundtrack.
The reality is, Jobs could have been a truly fantastic biopic but with a lead who I just wasn’t sold on or could believe to be the Apple guru and a tale that spends a lot of time jumping around, the movie looks more like a cheap, unofficial biopic that was made-for-TV rather than a big budget film.