Jobs biopic a real iplod

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

THE tu­mul­tuous life of Steve Jobs – the tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tor who founded Ap­ple, was forced out, re­turned to re­vive the dy­ing com­pany into a global gi­ant and was revered as a vi­sion­ary ge­nius when he died, at age 56, in 2011 – is per­fect fod­der for a dra­mat­i­cally sat­is­fy­ing movie. Un­for­tu­nately, Joshua Michael Stern’s earnest, overly wor­ship­ful biopic Jobs isn’t it – even if it stars Ash­ton Kutcher, an ac­tor with an un­canny re­sem­blance to Jobs who has gone to great pains to even move like his sub­ject. But his per­for­mance, like the film, is all sur­face. There’s lit­tle to il­lu­mi­nate what made the man tick or ex­actly why a col­lege dropout fond of drop­ping LSD-turned-dis­grun­tled Atari em­ployee quickly be­comes a de­mand­ing per­fec­tion­ist who prac­ti­cally wills Ap­ple’s first per­sonal com­puter into ex­is­tence. In­stead, we get reams of ex­pos­i­tory dia­logue and Jobs spout­ing mar­ket­ing slo­gans, from the open­ing pro­logue set in 2001 when he in­tro­duces the iPod to his awed staff as ‘‘a tool for the heart.’’ The de­pic­tion of Ap­ple’s early years is dan­ger­ously close to an in­fomer­cial, with the barest glimpses of Jobs’ adop­tive par­ents (his anguish at be­ing aban­doned by his birth par­ents is barely al­luded to) and the girl­friend he dumps when she an­nounces she’s preg­nant (he ini­tially de­nies pa­ter­nity of their daugh­ter, but later ac­knowl­edges her). While the mak­ers of Mark Zucker­berg biopic The So­cial Net­work did a ter­rific job of ex­plor­ing the in­ter­play be­tween his drive and his per­sonal demons, Jobs fo­cuses on the not-so-com­pelling story of how a dis­grun­tled board mem­ber (J.K. Sim­mons) and Jobs’ hand­picked CEO (Matthew Mo­dine) forced him from Ap­ple in 1985 af­ter ar­gu­ments over bud­gets and busi­ness strat­egy. Jobs agrees to re­turn to the near-bank­rupt com­pany as a con­sul­tant in 1996 and is quickly asked to be­come CEO, which is where the story ends – seven years be­fore he’s di­ag­nosed with can­cer. The real act­ing hon­ors be­long to Josh Gad as Steve Woz­niak – the geeky ge­nius in­ven­tor of the Ap­ple 1 who leaves the com­pany be­cause of his friend’s some­times cal­lous treat­ment of his most loyal work­ers. If you want the real story, read Wal­ter Isaac­son’s 2011 bi­og­ra­phy, which would have made a much bet­ter film.

– LOU LU­MENICK, The New York Post Jobs opens to­day.

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