JOBS Movie Review
People like Steve Jobs. Because of iPhones or something. It's actually rather amazing that the reputably harsh founder of Apple became a celebrity in his own right; not that he shouldn't have been respected and admired for the contributions he made to personal computing, but for him, even in death, to have such a following that extends beyond tech geeks is both impressive and somewhat confounding.
Less confounding is that a movie has been made about his life.
Despite the reservations toward Ashton Kutcher's ability to play such a commanding character (he will always be Kelso to me, unfortunately for him), the actor does an adequate job portraying him. You quickly forget that it's Kutcher in the role, which is about all one can ask for. Unfortunately, his performance, like the movie, is only skin deep.
Directed by Joshua Michael Stern (Swing Vote) and written by first-timer Matt Whitely, JOBS plays perfectly well as a made-for-TV movie. Unfortunately, it wasn't made for TV. Its straightforward narrative, emphasis on career milestones rather than character development and generally bland filmmaking make the movie look, and more importantly, feel, cheap.
JOBS is essentially a less-good and less-interesting version of 1999's Pirates of Silicon Valley, which was a made-for-TV movie. Kutcher mimics Steve Jobs but I don't feel like I know the man any more than I did before.
Nonetheless, JOBS moves at a fast pace and serves as a respectable biography of Steve Jobs, even if its artistic integrity is limited. The story maintained my interest.
Steve Jobs would not have approved of the aesthetically bland JOBS, but the good news is that very few people saw this movie in theaters, they can view it in a more suitable format: on television.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.