Joshua Michael Stern

Ashton Kutcher in jOBS

Editor’s note: Kate’s review originally ran during this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but we’re re-running it as the film opens in limited theatrical release this weekend. Apple founder and technology visionary Steve Jobs changed the way the world connects and computes, created one of the world’s most revolutionary companies and recently died, so of course he is now being remembered by way of an unsatisfying biopic that could have been far more creative and inspired than the final product. Director Joshua Michael Stern (best remembered for the completely forgettable Swing Vote) works off a script by newbie scribe Matt Whiteley (a former marketing wonk who was commissioned to write the script by his boss, producer Mark Hulme) that, while well-paced and interesting, also fails to illuminate much about the man and skips over large chunks of his life. As Jobs, Ashton Kutcher does a fine job (sorry, had to do it) with his role, though when Jobs amps up its intensity, he can’t quite keep his character compelling or believable.

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Ashton Kutcher in jOBS

Ashton Kutcher, Josh Gad, Dermot Mulroney, and writer-director Joshua Michael Stern have put together a handy-dandy guide to Jobs, the biopic about the iconic Apple co-creator. And while it’s basically just the men talking about how inspirational their subject matter is over footage from the trailer, it’s still a neat look at what makes the film tick. Kutcher and company are clearly very excited to be part of this film, which starts when Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Gad) were free-wheelin’ ’70s college students/dropouts and ends at the revolutionary debut of the first iPod. I’m hoping this means that at some point, someone will explain how they developed those orange and blue iMacs that we all had to use in the school computer labs. You know the ones. And while we all know that Kutcher knows the ’70s quite well, it’s a dramatic turn for the usually goofy actor. In his interview, he still seems a little awestruck that he gets to play this part. Check out the interviews and inspirational speeches in the featurette after the break.

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Ashton Kutcher in jOBS

Before this year’s Sundance Film Festival even opened, its Closing Night Film, Joshua Michael Stern‘s Ashton Kutcher-starring Steve Jobs biopic, jOBS, had already been snapped up by Open Road Films for a spring release. It was the first big buy of the festival, and it seemed to indicate that the film was more than ready for a big theatrical release. Perhaps not. Vulture now reports that the film will no longer open in its once-set April 19th date (a date that marked the 37th anniversary of Apple, natch), as the studio wants more time to put a bigger marketing push behind it. As of now, the film doesn’t have a new release date. The film premiered at Sundance to mixed reviews (it currently holds a 43% on Rotten Tomatoes, which sounds about right). In my review of the film, I found it to be entertaining, but took issue with the fact that it “is very much a film that tells, not shows, what is going and how it’s going on and what’s important, perhaps the worst sin any biopic can commit. Sadly, jOBS is in no way committed to innovation or creativity, a true shame considering its subject matter.” Oh, and it’s also just called Jobs now, because, come on.

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