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Jobs

Ashton Kutcher is Steve Jobs, the iconic Apple innovator and groundbreaking entrepreneur. This inspiring and entertaining film chronicles Jobs’ early days as a college dropout to his rise as the co-founder of Apple Computer Inc. and forced departure from the company. More than a decade later, Jobs returns and single-handedly sets a course that will turn the once-tiny startup into one of the world’s most valuable companies. His epic journey blazes a trail that changes technology – and the world – forever. Jobs is a riveting story of a true American visionary, a man who let nothing stand in the way of greatness. Co-starring Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, J. K. Simmons and Matthew Modine.As docudramas go, Jobs works better as a profile of an innovative company than of the demanding entrepreneur who cofounded it (Apple would have provided a more apt title). Director Joshua Michael Stern opens with the launch of the iPod, a notable development, but not an especially dramatic one, before backtracking to the college dropout days of the oft-barefoot Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher), who comes across as more of a ladies’ man than a visionary. His electronic expertise, however, leads to a job at Atari, while his friend Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad, whose comic timing enlivens the proceedings) ends up at Hewlett-Packard. When Steve finds out about the personal computer Woz has been working on at home, he sees the chance to revolutionize the industry, so he ropes in some fellow computer fanatics to construct motherboards, secures an investor (Dermot Mulroney), and launches Apple Computers. Meanwhile, his girlfriend (Ahna O’Reilly) informs him that she’s pregnant, and he kicks her out. Stern continues to alternate between professional milestones and personal misdemeanors, including Jobs’s hiring of marketing mastermind John Sculley (Matthew Modine), his ouster from Apple, and his return to shake things up with the Macintosh. Interesting stuff, except it plays more like a made-for-TV movie than a motion picture, and Kutcher’s attempts to stifle his innate charisma come close to caricature. There’s historical value here, but Stern never finds a satisfying way to reconcile his subject’s contradictory impulses, leading to a catalog of facts and figures without any underlying soul. –Kathleen C. Fennessy

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2 Comments

  1. FNDNreview says:

    ‘Jobs’ a flawed, yet informative biopic A great many words can be used to describe the late Steve Jobs. Atop the list, you’d probably find innovator and visionary, followed by several harsher words that there’s no need to use here. His contributions to the technology industry are undeniable, and while he clearly had a life full of conflict, history will always remember him as the man that started a technology revolution by co-founding the multi-billion dollar company, Apple. Today, a rough estimate projects Apple to be worth in the ballpark of $600-700 billion. And, the odds are (since you’re reading this) that you probably own a piece of technology that Steve Jobs oversaw at one point – whether it’s an iPhone, iPod, Mac, or one of several other forms of Apple technology. For all his flaws and rocky relationships, Steve Jobs managed to found a company, lose his place in it, and come back to make it bigger and better than ever. These real life events are chronicled in the biopic, Jobs.Directed by Joshua Michael Stern (Swing Vote), Jobs stars Ashton Kutcher as the ambitious technology marketer, Steve Jobs. The film begins with Steve Jobs introducing the iPod in 2001, and quickly shifting to his free spiritedness as a young man during his college years. After dropping out, Steve becomes involved with Steve Wozniak – a tech guru that has been working on a personal computer. Together, Jobs and Wozniak – along with a handful of others, begin their quest to build a company, called Apple, from the ground up. After the initial success of Apple, business and egos come into play as Jobs struggles to find his way in his own company. J.K. Simmons, Matthew Modine, and Lukas Hass also star in supporting roles.At first, Ashton Kutcher feels like an odd choice to portray Steve Jobs. However, Kutcher will eventually grow on you, despite his slightly irritating attempt to emulate Steve Jobs’ ticks and movements. Drama is not Kutcher’s strong suit, and probably never will be, but that doesn’t mean his portrayal of Jobs is any less entertaining. For the people that actually knew Jobs, it’s their job (no pun intended) to nitpick about whether this is an honest portrayal of the actual man himself. Jobs’ death was only a short two years ago, so there’s plenty of tape out there that Kutcher had the ability to study. Regardless, it’s pretty safe to say Kutcher’s portrayal of the driven, yet easily angry innovator is not so much of a questionable acting job as it is a question of whether or not Jobs was portrayed honestly and fairly. To the people that produced this film, they’ll say Kutcher was right on the money. Others that actually worked with Jobs have criticized Kutcher’s portrayal as being a bit off. In any event, and as far as this film goes, Kutcher’s portrayal provides for high entertainment value (which is the point of a film) – especially in specific scenes, including one in which he’s chewing out Bill Gates’ voicemail.Like all biopics, it’s difficult to fully incorporate every meaningful moment of someone’s life in two hours. Jobs starts at a point that allows Kutcher to pass as a young college student, frankly because he still looks like a twenty year old (and usually acts like one in most of his roles, too). From there, this film covers the most groundbreaking and strenuous moments of Jobs’ life, including the moment he chose to avoid his responsibility as a parent and his constant battles with Apple’s Board of Directors. Sadly, this script (penned by Matt Whiteley) is notable for all of things that it doesn’t include, instead of the moments it does include. The most difficult moments in the final years of his life – fighting cancer – are completely avoided, leaving years of emotional experiences out of the film.Today, people know Steve Jobs for his involvement overseeing modern technology. However, these technical works of art and their worldwide success are only touched upon briefly (except the iPhone), while the majority of the film focuses on Jobs’ spats with the people around him and his supposed “flaws.” Kutcher’s portrayal leaves Steve Jobs looking like a man that had all the ideas and had everything figured out, but in reality he had very little to do with the actual implementation of Apple products. He spent most of his time perfecting and then marketing other people’s work – a point several former employees, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak are on record pointing out.The supporting cast is also quite enjoyable, featuring Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak – a portrayal that is slightly inaccurate as it portrays Jobs as more a commanding figure in their friendship when that wasn’t necessarily always the case. Still, Gad does an excellent job depicting Wozniak, despite the implication that Wozniak was nothing more than a sidekick. And, if a film needs to have a corporate villain, there’s really no one better to play the part than J.K. Simmons – portraying Arthur…

  2. The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" says:

    EVERYTHING IS A PRESSING ISSUE The film attempts to cram 40 years of history into 2 hours. It starts with Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) dropping acid and hanging out with the counter culture group. It shows us that he was a very flawed man and early on is called an a-hole. In addition to glimpses of Steve’s personal life, we see his difficulty in dealing with the various suits who want to make dollars and sense of the company.The main problem with the film is that Jobs is the only character that is developed and he is unlikeable. There is very little connection to the viewer. While I love a 60′s music soundtrack, the songs they selected were hit and miss with clearly better selections available. The credits show us a picture of the real life individual next to the actor that played them as a way to say, “Aren’t we clever?” The secondary actors were cardboard cutouts.The film sends a message of innovation and thinking outside of the box, which is weakened by the personality portrayed of Jobs. Worth a view as a rental.Parental Guide: F-bomb. No sex or nudity.

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