About nine years ago, the Will Smith and Alex Proyas version of Isaac Asimov’s infamous Sci-Fi masterpiece I, Robot was brought to the big screen, at the time I was extremely furious, thinking to myself that there was absolutely no way in hell that Will Smith could ever do justice any Asimov piece. Regardless I still found myself reluctantly making my way to see the film, and to my surprise, I really really liked it.
Perhaps it was the fact that I walked in with such abysmal expectations, but I was so stricken by the idea that a movie which I could presuppose as terrible, could actually be good, that I began to use the tactic of underwhelming myself before a film more and more often. Sometimes, this worked to my advantage, and thus another I, Robot would be discovered, but no amount of low expectations could ever prepare me for the atrocity that was Joshua Michael Stern’s jOBS.
Initially, this review of jOBS was just going to be a top ten list of the things I hated, but because I’m already sick of thinking about this film, I am going to cut the list down to the top 5, as to distance myself from this traumatic experience as best as possible. So without further ado… here are the
Top 5 Things I Hated About jOBS
5. It Insults the Audience
Much like Spielberg did with his film ‘Lincoln’, Joshua Michael Stern seemed to find it necessary to spoon feed his audience to the point of being completely patronizing. Everything from the lowercase “j” in the film’s title, to the ridiculous opening speech by Jobs in 2001 all seemed to point to the fact that the filmmakers didn’t trust the audience to know they were seeing a film about Apple, or even who Steve Jobs was.
4. The Music
The film’s timeline spans the length of a couple decades, and for some reason, the Music Supervisor decided to take the tired route of picking songs from each time period as the backing track for each scene. To me, doing such is taking the easy way out, and once again it’s like assuming the audience is too stupid to read the subtitles telling them what year a given scene is set in. It’s not like somebody is going to be listening to a Bob Dylan song in the background and all of a sudden say to themselves “Ohhh NOW I GET IT!!”. If they were going to play time relevant songs.. then why not at least take a more innovative approach and have some modern artists cover songs from the different decades? They could have made a killing off an iTunes only release! Or why couldn’t they just take a more dramatic tonal approach to the score, heck it worked for The Social Network! Which brings me to…
3. The Social Network
Like it or not, this film will forever draw comparisons to The Social Network. In all fairness, it is extremely hard living in the shadow of David Fincher, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least try to make a good film. TSN was one of those films where every department just seemed to knock it out of the park, whereas jOBS should likely make a few people lose their CSA, DGA, and SAG memberships. The whole film played like a feature length commercial and its excess of idolatry answered the question “What would a Walt Disney biopic look like, if it was made by Disney.” It would look a lot like this, and much like this film, it would be about 120 minutes too long.
The rumor is that TSN writer Aaron Sorkin is supposedly working on a Steve Jobs script of his own, and I can only hope that this comes to fruition, so that we can just chalk this up to being like the C. Thomas Howell version of War of the Worlds.
2. Ashton Kutcher
I really really really wanted to make this a top 10 list and just have Ashton Kutcher listed as 1-10, but unfortunately I just had too much else to say! I understand that this guy is trying to be taken seriously as a dramatic actor, but his performance in jOBS is nothing short of just being terribly hokey. Somewhere right now Stanislovksi and Strasberg are rolling over in their graves as Kutcher’s performance was a complete insult to the idea of the “Method Actor”. Then there is the fact that Ashton looks ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like Steve Jobs. Not only this, but as his character gets into his later years, the makeup and glasses that the Costume & Makeup department dress him up in, make him look like he’s wearing a fancier version of those Grouch Marx style nose/glasses combos.
I am still convinced that jOBS truly is the most elaborate episode of Punk’d ever. Nothing about this film has ever seemed like it was made to be taken seriously, especially when their photo for the film guide has a picture of Ashton looking like he’s posing for a Hanes commercial (see the thumbnail at the top). Deep down I am desperately praying that all this was just one giant joke, because that is the only way I will ever give this movie credit for being either creative or original. Spoiler alert.. it sucks.