Sunday, August 25, 2013

Jobs Movie Review

Ashton Kutcher stars in Joshua Michael Stern's Jobs

All's Fair in Love and Computers

I have to wonder who's more controversial (perhaps even hated, by some) Ashton Kutcher or Steve Jobs, the man he portrays so brilliantly in Joshua Michael Stern's entertaining biopic Jobs. Although I must admit, I chuckled when Kutcher first appeared on screen (as a mid-40's Jobs, addressing an Apple Town Hall) the creator of Punk'd and current star of Two and a Half Men grows on you, eventually becoming the famed Apple co-founder in the process.

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: It only takes one person to start a revolution. The extraordinary story of Steve Jobs, the original innovator and ground-breaking entrepreneur who let nothing stand in the way of greatness. The film tells the epic and turbulent story of Jobs as he blazed a trail that changed technology -- and the world - forever.

What’s Best: Like him or not, there's no denying Kutcher's sizable charm and good looks; but he puts both on hold, while becoming (there's that word again) Jobs. I was skeptical at first, but Kutcher dominates the screen, much as he did in 2009's Spread (although with a lot more clothes on, this time.) He definitely has Jobs' intensity down to a tee, and has no trouble dispensing callousness with equal aplomb. When he says, 'This company will not build shit anymore,' it's hard not to believe him.

Kutcher is surrounded by a stellar supporting cast, that includes Dermot Mulroney as Mike Markkula, and Josh Gad as an ever-lovable Steve Wozniak. An ever-lovable Woz? Perhaps not in real life, but Gad's 'Tough crowd' remark to the next presenter at a computer show, had me grinning from ear to ear. With Kutcher busy trying not to be charming, it helps to have someone likable to pick up the slack... Gad's that guy, and then some.

What’s Not: Stern heaps sentimentality onto his audience, both at the beginning (where a young Jobs is seen dancing in a field, after hearing an invisible guru's 'There's no time to waste,') and the film's almost syrupy final 30 minutes. In between, Stern hits a home run; but the final quarter of the movie almost sinks the ship.

Best Line: Time after time, Jobs proves heartless, 'Can I take a few for my friends? For my friend. For my girlfriend?' as he asks a girl he just slept with, for drugs. Classy. Not to be outdone, he bails on yet another girlfriend, when she tells him they're pregnant, 'I'm sorry: You have a problem,' before clarifying a DNA test's margin of error with his lawyer years later, '1.2 million could be the father of that baby.' The real life Lisa Brennan-Jobs must be thrilled.

Overall: Stern's film paints Jobs as an innovator first, asshole second; but who says perfection comes without a price? Jobs declares, 'We're going to make Apple cool again.' Mission accomplished! Kutcher's Jobs is always thinking ahead... moving on to the next big thing: 'I think you may be really interested in our second model,' says Jobs to a computer store owner. In true Mac-lover style, the customer bites, 'What's your second model?' Vintage Jobs. Thanks to Kutcher and Stern for relaying it so well.