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jOBS begins with the iPod, the so small but so important device that changed the future for Apple and immortalized the name Steve Jobs. While the film begins on a high note, it quickly grows into a lengthy biopic spanning an extended period of time, jumping back to 1974 and the roots of Apple Computers.
Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) starts as an intelligent drifter, but after he hooks up with Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad), his entrepreneurial spirit is honed and the company is born in the back of a garage. We spend a lot of time with Jobs over the years, as the home computer turns into a reality, as Apple Computers, Inc. eventually goes public, as Jobs drops some old friends and lets new people into his—and the company’s—life. What results is a long and twisted narrative that focuses on Jobs through too many points in time leading back into the period in the nineties when the prolific technology expert returns to Apple to turn things around financially for the company. There’s even a nice moment when Jobs gets frustrated with the function and capabilities of the then-popular Walkman device, foreshadowing the invention of the iPod. Thankfully, the movie does cut off before we get there.
Despite the time jumps and the lengthy narrative, jOBS is still an interesting watch, if you are into an idealistic take on an overbearing visionary. While the movie doesn’t shy away from Jobs’ refusal to cite himself as the father of the first child and the poor treatment he gave the guys who helped build the company in the garage, it’s also propelled by an upbeat rock soundtrack and spends a lot of time helping viewers to understand that Jobs’ vision was legendary. The Apple founder is constantly working on grandiose ideas and at the brink of some possibility or another, giving his employees famous speeches about ‘thinking differently.’ The film reportedly features some missteps in the way the characters are portrayed, however, whatever missteps it has, performances from Gad and Kutcher, as well as J.K. Simmons, Matthew Modine, and Dermot Mulroney help to balance out the harder-to-slog-through material.
Best Special Feature: The best extras is the segment looking into the way the score was put together. I’ve heard some complaints that the score is overbearing, but I found it to work within the scope of director Joshua Michael Stern’s vision, and it’s certainly one of the more interesting extras on the disc, although if you want to hear people gush over Kutcher’s portrayal, that one’s alright, as well.
Other Special Features:
"Ashton Kutcher is Steve Jobs"
"The Legacy of Steve Jobs"
Feature Commentary with Director Joshua Michael Stern
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