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Steve Jobs is a captivating figure. Yes, he is the man most often credited for Apple Computer's worldwide success. He co-founded Pixar. In more poetic accounts, he single-handedly changed the way people interact with technology and what they expect from it. But he was also a man who had a reputation for being cruel and callous in his business dealings, so much so that once got him booted from the company he started. Of course, he was later welcomed back, and rose higher than before. And when he died in October of 2011, there was an outpouring of grief around the globe, evident in impromptu shrines and memorials set outside Apple stores. People wrote notes, left behind bitten apples, and thank you cards. Others demanded we not idealize the man, but remember and learn from his faults. Basically, this conflicted portrait of Jobs is ripe for a movie biopic. And the first coming to bat stars Ashton Kutcher.
Penned by Matt Whiteley, Jobs (formerly jOBS) focuses on how Jobs went from being a college dropout to one of the most highly regarded entrepreneurs the world has ever seen. Eyebrows were raised when Ashton Kutcher was on April 1st, 2012 for the lead, but it was no April Fools joke. And soon this image of Kutcher in full Jobs gear was released:
So he had the look down, but could Kutcher, best known for his pretty boy looks and broad comedy talents, tackle this tricky balance of brilliance, bravado and bullying that made Jobs such an innovator and tyrant? Open Road Films believed so, and looked to give us all a glimpse with a clip featuring Kutcher's Jobs pitching to Josh Gad's Steve Wozniak the concept of home computers.
This clip was unveiled right before Jobs made its world premiere at the closing night of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. When Katey reviewed it there, she deemed the movie overall mediocre, but said Kutcher was among its strongest assets, explaining," He works hard not to rest on his basic physical similarities to Jobs, summoning the man's charisma and often harsh devotion to his work, delivering even the most audacious of monologues with the kind of gravitas you imagine Jobs had. Kutcher commits himself admirably to a near impossible part-- and it's a shame the rest of the film wasn't willing to work that hard."
At the time, Jobs was meant to open on April 19th, commemorating the 37th anniversary of the Apple Computer Company's founding. However, perhaps in part because of its chilly reception at Sundance, it got delayed. But like Jobs himself, the biopic is bouncing back, preparing for its newly minted August release with a new trailer, and the poster above. Still, it's a strange poster. On first glance, it looks like Steve Jobs, but then something's off. Kutcher's name, resting snugly against the movie title, clues you in that it's not Steve Jobs but Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs you're looking at. But why all the detail-crunching colors? Considering Apple has long been known for its sleek and minimalistic design, this poster seems artistically out of whack. But maybe it's meant to make you think, as its tagline teases: "Turn on your mind."
Jobs opens August 16th.