Film Review: “Jobs” (2013)

Not reviewed well by Rotten Tomatoes and others. The reviews complain that Kutcher does a passable job of creating a caricature of Jobs, but never gets inside the man.

But I strongly disagree for a lot of reasons.

I agree that the film doesn’t do a super job of exploring the intricacies of one of the most influential men of our century.  However, I think it’s impossible to portray Jobs in film.  In the end, I think Kutcher does a yeoman job of becoming a Steve Jobs we can understand, right up to the uncompromising, piercing glare that put the fear of God into so many of those that knew and worked with him.

If you want to see inside Steve Jobs, a much better visual is the 14 minutes or so of his commencement address to the Stanford graduating class of 2005. A fascinating must-watch.

The thing about Jobs is that his genius perceived the need for products that would be in demand for a market that didn’t exist and for a population that knew nothing about any of it. To show users what they need, then supply it. A cryptic talent that can’t be interpreted on film.  Like most authentic geniuses, Jobs is also bathed in imperfections and inadequacies that swirl around him as he changes the world, unclear whether they held him back or were a silent but integral part of his genius.

Business experts said Jobs had little or no business talent and got by on dumb luck.  It was remarked frequently that although he was a genius at creative innovations he would have been an unqualified disaster as President (of the United States). His genius was not arriving at the future, but getting there.  At some point in his past, his colleagues put up a banner stating: “Steve: The Journey is the Reward”.

A personal note: Sometime in 1984 I wandered into a computer shop looking to see if there was an upgrade for my Radio Shack TRS 80 with whopping 16 kilobytes of RAM. I was shown the latest IBM offering, something called a PC Jr, which was clearly junk. Over in the corner, all by itself was a greenish tan shell and keyboard smirking at me. I asked about it to be told it wasn’t a serious computer; a toy that would vanish in a few months and I needed to stick with the tried and true IBM.

Then the shell stopped smirking and flat out dared me.  So I tentatively wandered over there and was struck by lightning never to depart from the Apple Markee. As the years progressed, it was said that the difference between Macintosh users and “all others” was that Mac users were immature, insolent, audacious, impertinent, contrary, defiant, oppositional, nonconformist and conflicting. I can assure you all that’s true in spades and it all radically changed the world.

Worst feature:  Jobs’ hunched, loping gait looked contrived.

Best feature:  The Woz’s soliloquy informing jobs he was quitting Apple.

“Jobs” is entertaining, coherent and Kutcher nails Jobs as well as can be expected. I can’t think of anyone that could do it better.

I give it a solid 4 of 5 piercing stares.

Recommended by me..

Coming soon, eagerly awaited:  “Rush” directed by Ron Howard. The story of the fabled competition between James Hunt and Nikki Lauda in the mid-70s Formula-One racing circus.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s