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Review of "JOBS"
By Jayne Waterford
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 2013.
First published 13th August 2013. Revised 13th August 2013. Revised 2nd May 2014. Revised 13th August 2013. Revised 3rd January 2015.
REVIEW: "JOBS" by Jayne Waterford

Well that's the danger of biographies. People can recreate you once you're dead. I mean at the other extreme we have Richard J. Lewis' "BARNEY'S VERSION" (2010) where Paul Giamatti give us a man's own opinion of his life. Someone who is admired, even by his father-in-law (Dustin Hoffman) and is scintillatingly popular no matter how droll his topics. But here we have a historical figure, Steve Jobs, who really did change the world as we know it. He is a man whose life has been tweaked for the purpose of storytelling. The cause and effect of early denial and repulsion of contact with his daughter are exaggerated, particularly over the time we have. He is presented as more emotional and brutish than is possible but then I didn't know him.

Joshua Michael Stern's "JOBS" (2013) is about Steve Jobs, the deceased founder of Apple. Kutcher gives us one founding scene of Steve Jobs as we knew him closer to the end of his life, before he became ill, at the beginning of the film. We saw him on TV as the mega-popular employer whose staff adored him. Applause is a theme. He introduces the iPod in a staff meeting at Apple Town. The theme comes full circle as Jobs absent minded, but with feeling, throws a Walkman into a garbage bin after a meeting on a campus he created

for himself.

Some story telling elements are subtle, like Jobs throwing the Walkman in the bin. Like the wires he drags around the house when he trying to connect with people who should be personal friends. Still I found the tone quite glib. I feel far more compelled to describe the Jobs explored in the film than to talk about the movie.

Did you know Jobs dropped out of college, continued dropping in on courses and living on campus, sleeping in a 24 hour coffee shop during his 20s?

Ashton Kutcher was a strange choice for the title role. I suppose we're all impossibly beautiful when we're young. There are at least three scenes spent watching Ashton Kutcher walk like Steve Jobs. They go on to the point where you say to yourself, wow, if Steve Jobs straightened up and stopped looping he'd look like Ashton Kutcher. But Ashton got real. No airbrushing for his pretty face in this role! Sometimes he looks very grim and scowls. Sometimes he yells but all the while his performance is in the context of Steve Job's inspiring visionary corporate philosophy.

  • "It's got to work like an appliance."
  • "Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or come with me. Change the world."
  • "We don't do fine... We don't wait... We don't stop innovating."
  • "Here's to the crazy ones... the people who think they are crazy enough to change the world are the ones who do."

    Jobs eliminates designing after what had already been invented. His visionary corporate planning is most starkly contrasted with the cautionary and reactionary point of view of the CEO Gill whom he replaces. Gill believed, "Apple is a ship with a hole in it that's leaking and we have to.. point the ship." Jobs outlined his vision for the future of Apple in terms of, "going back to who we are and what we do and... killing every other project... This company will not make shit any more." He was fearless.

    This film was a catch up on a genius, providing context for all of the news grabs we had seen over the years and letting us in on the way he really felt about Bill Gates, "psychopathic, unimaginative criminal." Such a potty mouth. It caught us up on a major world figure the same way Alex Gibney's "WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS" (2013) caught up on Julian Assange and his defining events. We see the first game Jobs invented, an exciting combination of pong and oblongs. We see the division of labour between Jobs and his Apple co-founder Waz, growing out of their early work life. We

  • see the night lit birthplace of the APPLE 1 mother board and that it looks exactly like the board. We see the George Orwell inspired 1984 product launch.

    The costuming was distinctive in that it felt compartmentalised. Perfectly groomed clothes cut after the era and hair shaped just so belied a reality. This goofy misalignment of aims and devices found it's most entertaining manifestation in the character of Arthur Rock (J.K. Simmons). Mr. Simmons is a favourite character actor of mine. His toupee was so bad and yet so right. His Arthur Rock was something completely new. It contrasted with the simplistic arc followed by Sculley (Matthew Modine), the erstwhile CEO. While Modine's work superficially side-stepped the decision that doomed MacIntosh, remember how expensive they were? Simmons work was as deep as the people. His role was the crux of our story. Apple was a corporation founded on innovation and the board, voiced by Simmons did not like change. He was a nervous conformist who sort to stop innovation and mimic IBM.

    Perhaps this is a history that Ashton Kutcher's demographic finds relevant. In total, "JOBS" left me feeling like I had done homework and had many nights to go. Steve Jobs is an inspiring subject matter but I don't feel too ambivalent about the film. 3/10


    Joshua Michael Stern's
    "JOBS" (2013)
    Be inspired.
    Release Date 29th August 2013
    Category Young Adult Corporate Philosophy Drama
    Running Time 122, 127 or 128 minutes (2 hours, 7 minutes)
    Rating M Coarse language and drug references
    Origin USA
    Director Joshua Michael Stern
    Producers Mark Hulme
    Stars Ashton Kutcher (Steve Jobs), Dermot Mulroney (Mike Markkula), Josh Gad (Steve Wozniak) and Lukas Haas (Daniel Kottke), Matthew Modine, John Getz, J.K. Simmons and Lesley Ann Warren

    Distributor Pinnacle Films

    Official Blurb "Jobs is the powerful and true story of the visionary who set out to change the world and did. The film chronicles Steve Jobs transformation of character from the enthusiasm and self-discovery of his youth, to the personal demons that clouded his vision and finally to the ultimate triumphs of his later life. Mark Hulme and Five Star Feature Films launched the production immediately following Jobs retirement in August 2011. Screenwriter Matt Whiteley, while penning the script, utilised a team of expert researchers based on months of exhaustive research and interviews with Steve Jobs friends, colleagues and mentors to develop the most truthful and gripping picture of Jobs life." - Pinnacle Films PR