Home Movies Sundance Snoozer: Steve Jobs Biopic Gets Lukewarm Reviews as Fest Ends

I told you a few weeks ago: when they announce that a movie is closing a film festival, it’s no good. It usually means a big star has been thrown a bone, mostly to try and keep people around through the awards ceremony. That’s just the way it is, and so it is, with Ashton Kutcher in “jOBS.” Not that Ashton is big movie star. He is, in the most traditional sense, a celebrity who was very affable on a likeable TV show (“That ’70s Show”). He also married well, if briefly (Demi Moore, cursing herself now). Ashton is also not bad in his Nikon commercials.

But great actor he is not. And so “jOBS” closes the 2013 Sundance Film Festival to very lukewarm reviews. Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, IndieWire–all give it middling notices, pointing out that it’s a paint-by-numbers effort. And Ashton is cited in Variety as one of its least appealing ingredients.

From Variety: “…precisely that familiarity with Jobs, who reached iconic status in the years before his death, that often undercuts the effectiveness of Kutcher’s carefully judged performance. Despite the superficial physical resemblance between actor and subject, enhanced by thick glasses, longish hair and an impressive attempt at vocal mimickry on Kutcher’s part, the illusion never fully seizes hold.”

Hollywood Reporter said it was “passably entertaining” and “somewhat like a two-hour commercial covering the first 20 tumultuous years of Apple’s development…”

Nonetheless, “jOBS”–the small j is meant to mimic the small i in iPod–will be released in April by Open Road, and I wish them well.

EXPLORE SHOWBIZ411: http://www.showbiz411.com/2013/01/24/scientology-sued-over-never-opened-money-pit-100-million-building-in-florida


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49 replies to this post
  1. Interesting to see that most of these comments come from people who did not attend the Sundance premier, but choose to take the mindless sheep like action of following a critic who obviously watched the film with an immovable preconception of Ashton Kutcher. It is difficult to enjoy a film when your thoughts are more about the actors and not the characters which they portray. Have you ever been watching a movie and then person watching with you interuos a scene to say “oh he was in so-in-so movie” or “I heard they filmed this part on a green screen” or “I can’t believe this actress cheated on her husband and he forgave her” or “I heard he’s gay in real life?”…….. Can we just give the players and the film a chance to entertain us? Just sit back, get over the need to prematurely critique something you haven’t seen, and just watch the movie. To quote Ashton as Jobs in a pivital scene in reference to the personal computer… “How do they know they don’t want something if they’very never seen it?” Be your own Shepard…. not some critics sheep!

  2. Can’t say I’m surprised, what little I’ve read about this film made it sound like a dull, fawning love letter to Apple’s marketing department. As has been said the made-for-TV Pirates of Silicon Valley was awesome and went into some detail on how Gates and Jobs did what they did as opposed to 2 hours of “omagawdomagawdomagawd HES A VISIONARY!!1!”. Highly recommended, pretty sure it’s available on DVD now too.

  3. Ashton was fine in that little ’70s show, but all of his characterizations ever since have been the…exact…same…character, a dopey, brainless kid. This isn’t going over too well now that he’s wearin’ the big boy pants.

  4. 1. The clip with AK as SJ doesn’t look very good, I admit. But 2. You don’t really have to be a genius, or even intelligent, to play a genius. It comes down to acting skills, talent. And 3. Yes, there are probably much more interesting people than SJ to make movies about.

  5. Guess the aw shucks, cornball Iowa routine isnt working anymore for AK or Hollywood anymore. Not when in reality he was/is nothing more than an untreated ADHD kid now in the adult stage of the affliction. It worked for awhile—not anymore thank you. Next Movie please .

  6. good one, dontcare!
    I was going to say normally the actor goes weeks without a shower to get into the part, not baths regularly to get into the part.

  7. I could smell this a mile away. Kutcher isn’t big enough to portray Jobs. He’ll always be remembered as Demi’s little boy and this light weight performance reinforces that.

  8. “the small j is meant to mimic the small i in iPod”. Thanks Roger, I don’t think anyone reading this article would have figured that out on their own.

  9. Let’s be real here AK is suppose to be the new answer to Hollywood. Right he married an older woman to use her and then got a role because CS was out to lunch only in Hollywood. I should care about SJ there are a million and one other people I could say that a movie should be made about. Let’s see Mother Theresa…… that would be reality and truth and not the greed of the people who could care about causes she worked for. SJ was said to be a mean man. Am I surprised. Not…..

  10. Didn’t they get the memo? Apple isn’t cool anymore. Their products have become boring and stale. All the cool stuff and innovation is coming from Microsoft now. Apple is falling fast, and Steve Jobs is last year’s news.

  11. He is an immature idiot, much like the character that he played on “That 70’s Show”. Ms. Moore has made some very poor choices in her life. Hollywood and the ubiquitos “celebrities” are so quick to judge yet show a lack of character and morals. Well, they supported the Annointed One didn’t they? Birds of a feather…….

  12. Dear Hollywood,

    PLEASE STOP making movies about iconic figures IMMEDIATELY after their deaths, like we NEED your interpretation of their lives to get through our own, or as if ONLY through your interpretation we’ll fully understand or appreciate them!

    Better luck next time, Tony

  13. this movie came too soon after jobs departure from this earth…why such a rush to make money off the guy? His biography was also recently published…
    I think its information overload. AND Kutcher is no Jobs…they would have done better to get some unknown actor who was really hungry to ace the performance…
    Why not just shelve this movie and wait 10 years and film something meaningful??

  14. and this is a surprise? always amazed when people are shocked by outcomes like this. a priori what evidence was there that this would be a successful project? oh yeah, punkd was so good. right.

  15. Maybe this will finally be the performance that causes Hollywood to wake up and realize that not only is he not a great actor, he isn’t even good.

  16. “Passably entertaining”? Not a complete disaster, then. I thought this would be a very difficult film to make, since Kutcher has such distinct mannerisms.

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