Saturday, December 7, 2013

Film Review: Jobs

I don't know how to describe this movie. You have to watch it to appreciate... whatever it is. Make no mistake, it is not good. It is not the world's worst movie, but I would not recommend it either.

There were a lot of good names attached to the movie, Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad among them, and it was selected to close the Sundance Film Festival. But it was not developed by a major studio and had just a $12 million budget. Ultimately it feels cheap and, while ambitious, incomplete.

Story: 2/5 - Look, it's the story of Steve Jobs's life as he drops out of university and founds Apple Computer, gaining clients and investors and turning it into a major industry powerhouse. Unfortunately, the film does not do a good job of telling the story. I hope you didn't want to care when Jobs throws his pregnant girlfriend out of his house and his life, because you don't have any reason to. When he snaps at a friend and the friend tells another character that Jobs has 'changed,' we don't ever really know why. The pacing is awful.

Writing: 1/5 - This scene actually happens: Steve Jobs presents the Apple II at a computer fair, but which I mean he shows the case, says it will revolutionize the industry, then basks in a standing ovation as an actual, I swear to God, electric guitar solo cuts into the overlay. It's that kind of movie.

Acting: 2.5/5 - I don't hate Kutcher. I actually kind of like him. But he's not right for this role. He's game, you can tell he is passionate about his character, but it just doesn't work. The guy who played Kelso can't be the same guy who dumps his pregnant girlfriend and tears a swath of destruction through silicon valley - it's a level of intensity that doesn't make sense for him. There are some other decent performances in the movie: Josh Gas as inventor/co-founder Steve Wozniak, JK Simmons as tech investor Arthur Rock.

Aesthetics - 2/5 - Cinematographer Russell Carpenter won an Oscar in 1997 for Titanic. He's alright, and the movie is shot fairly well. The sets are pretty good, too. What really hurts the movie is the soundtrack. It sounds cheap, and a lot of the editing is poor as well (both audio and visual).

Total Score: 38% - Walter Isaac wrote a fantastic biography of Jobs. Read that. Or wait for the Sony Pictures movie version of it. Just don't watch Jobs.

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