Jobs Movie Review

jobs movieIf you are a Steve Jobs fan or Apple freak  I assume you are reading this review probably because you considering seeing the latest Jobs movie about the legendary Apple founder Steve Jobs.  To save you the trouble of 2 hours and 5 minutes of sheer pain and agony of watching the Jobs movie all the way through I will just say, don't see it.  Just spend the time reading this Jobs movie review to find out why.

Jobs Movie Review

Starring Ashton Kutcher as the tech titan that changed many industries I felt the “Jobs” movie fell short in several areas.  First I don't think Kutcher was the right person to play the role of Steve Jobs.  It is sort of clear that he is sooo in love with him that he can't put himself outside of the way he views Steve Jobs to play him the character properly.  It would have been better to find an actor that doesn't even use Apple products in my opinion.  That way he could have thrown himself into the role completely and you would know he wasn't such Apple fanboy that he can't actually act the role.

In addition the story-line feels poorly setup and the movie has odd jumps and a weird pacing.  When Steve Jobs gets thrown out of Apple they cut to a montage of all the CEO's that essentially were ruining the company and then jump to 1996 at Steve Jobs house.  What they don't want to show anything about Pixar or NEXT computers between all those years?  (For those that don't know NEXT computers was the company Steve Jobs founded after he left Apple.)  Since NEXT computer was acquired by Apple, and largely considered a Steve Jobs failure, maybe they didn't want to show that?  I guess Joshua Michael Stern, the director, is also so in love with Jobs that he only wanted to show in his Jobs movie all the good things he accomplished.

Additionally Stern doesn't explain how Jobs reconnects and reconciles with his daughter, Lisa, who he didn't want to see or acknowledge that he was the father for many years.  Even when the movie does she Steve Jobs faults they leave out important details.  For instance when Apple has an IPO Jobs cuts out the people who originally helped build the Apple II, the company's first refined consumer computer.  They don't explain or show in the movie that Steve Wozniak, Apple's co-founder, gave several of those people some of his shares to be fair.  Jobs argument was that they were not management or engineers and didn't deserve the stock options.  The difference between Jobs and Wozniak is that that one is fair enough to recognize the absurdity of not giving people who got Apple off-the-ground shares in the company, while Jobs sticks to his odd thought process.

Also there is a part in the movie when Apple gets a first look at Microsoft Windows before it launches.  It shows Jobs going berserk because Microsoft ripped off their product.  What Joshua Michael Stern fails to show is that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were friends and Microsoft's first programs, Word and Excel, were on Apple computers.  That's why it was such a blow both professionally and personally to Jobs.

The movie also could have shown the the products that were complete disasters, like the Newton, which were released when Steve Jobs wasn't there.  (Some would argue the Newton was a good product but ahead of it's time.)

Other things the movie forgot to show is that Apple actually learned about the Graphical User Interface (GUI) from Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center).  Apple does not discover or build a lot of computer technologies but they do refine them for everyday users.  This somehow was lost on Stern and Kutcher which blows my mind.  People love Apple because they try to make technology and computers simple and easy-to-use.  This is why hordes of Apple fans line up when a new Apple products get released.  The movie doesn't show that at all.

When watching the movie you get the feeling that Steve Jobs was a jerk a lot and this is pointed out readily.  While it is well known he was not easy to work with and definitely an asshole, I don't understand why they had to point this out so much.

What helped Kutcher's performance in the Jobs movie was Josh Gad, who portrayed Steve Wozniak.  I thought Gad did a good job of playing “Woz.”  He seemed to capture the attitude well and he invested himself in the role.  Of course since Wozniak isn't as well known this could be an unfair assumption.

Apple's first venture capitol investor, Mike Markula, was played by Dermot Mulroney. He clearly thought about the role and like Josh Gad was invested in it.  In the scene when he first pulls up to Paul and Clara Job's house in his gold Corvette Stingray he is a map with a notebook.  In those days this is how he would have found the garage where Apple was getting started, even if he was a hotshot from Intel.

If you are looking for better account and biography than what the Jobs movie provides, I recommend you buy a copy of “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaascon.  The biography is quite detailed, a long read, well written, and was what the filmmakers used as the basis for the script.

The Steve Jobs book actually helped me fill in a lot of the details that were missing in the Jobs movie.  You shouldn't need to read Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs to have the movie make sense though.

Hopefully nobody on Cupidtino (a dating website strictly for Apple enthusiasts) will be upset with me about this review.  I imagine if they see the Jobs movie on a date they won't disagree with my Jobs movie review though.

I can only imagine that Steve Jobs is somewhere bitching about how bad his biopic turned out.  Quite unfortunate for a man that radically changed so many industries.

If you saw the Jobs movie, what did you think of it?  Did you like it or hate it?  If haven't seen it please let me know if this review convinced you not to see it.  I would be happy to know.

Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada… if you can.