Tuesday, August 20, 2013

JOBS

Directed by: Joshua Michael Stern
Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Josh Gad, Dermot Mulroney, Lukas Haas, Matthew Modine, J. K. Simmons, Lesley Ann Warren, Victor Rasuk, Ron Eldard, James Woods


Review by James Colt Harrison

The impression given by the new movie JOBS is that Apple computer co-founder Steve Jobs was not a very pleasant person. Not only did he yell at all his employees, but he intimidated them to work harder, humiliated them, and fired them with little reason.

Ashton Kutcher has seemingly captured Job’s mannerisms, his shyness, his unique shuffled walk, bent back, and his out-of-this-world concentrated stare. There is plenty of film on Jobs from recent appearances before his death, so Kutcher was lucky to be able to study the man as he was. Kutcher has previously not shown to be much of an actor but here he redeems himself and gives a stunning performance capturing this century’s Thomas Edison. He’s mean, he’s erratic, he’s stubborn, and he’s determined to succeed. Jobs was certainly a complicated man, but most geniuses are not exactly formed in the ”normal” mold.

Many people do not know the entire story of how Apple and Macintosh were created. Here director Joshua Michael Stern and screenwriter Matt Whiteley take us from the first “lab” in Jobs’ garage to the big corporation it all became.

In the beginning, Jobs and best friend Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad) tossed around ideas in the garage and joined with a few friends ( Lukas Haas, Victor Rasuk, Ron Eldard, Nelson Franklin, Eddie Hassell) to tinker around and come up with ideas for a new computer. They all worked together and they all came up with the solutions in a group effort. Jobs stirred them on, but all the guys had faith in him and felt he would be fair as the company grew.

People have been known to change as success takes hold of them. Jobs was no different, and he seemed to be heartless toward his workers. As Jobs, Kutcher changes his appearance from his original scruffiness, cleans himself up, wears designer suits, and seemingly becomes an ogre in the process. Those workers who expected to gain from the success of the company were completely shut out. It may seem like an act of greed, and it may well have been. Many CEO’s think only of the company and not of the affect on the workers. Jobs apparently was no different.

Special mention must be made of Broadway actor Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak. He comes to us directly from the hit musical The Book of Morman (which he is scheduled to make into a movie). Wozniak was young and na├»ve and certainly as much of a genius as Jobs. “Woz”, as he was called by his friends, adored Jobs and would go to the ends of the earth for him. But when Jobs changed, Woz was greatly disappointed. Gad has a killer of a scene when he confronts Jobs. It is the type of scene that can bring Oscar® awards, and we wouldn’t be surprised if he were nominated for a Best Supporting Actor accolade.

If you are curious as to how the modern invention of the personal computer came about, this is a good film to learn what happened.

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