by Kate Newton
Sometimes a film I genuinely want to like leaves a bad taste in my mouth before it’s even released. If things get really regrettable, I try and convince myself that I must’ve accidentally watched some pirated spoof trailer made by a 10-year-old overseas on iMovie, or that I need to stop coercing myself into reading movie news from Huffington Post because nothing good can ever come of that.
No, I’m not talking about J.J. Abrams directing the new Star Wars (that’s a whole ‘nother story, and I’m hardly an expert). Instead, I’m a little skeptical of Hollywood’s attempt to exhume a different American legend, Steve Jobs.
We live in an age where the moment a dramatic event unfolds on our Twitter feeds, some film execs are already in a boardroom trying to hammer out a working title and a release date. Lance Armstrong hadn’t even admitted to doping before Paramount had Bradley Cooper on the phone in hopes that he doesn’t mind shaving his head for a role and already owns a Livestrong jersey. Likewise, it seemed Jobs had hardly been dead a week before news of multiple biopics based on the Apple founder began to circulate the web.
And now the first has surfaced. jOBS will premiere Friday at the Sundance Film Festival before opening in theaters on April 19, AKA Apple’s 37th anniversary, but of course you knew that, you iPhone savants.
First, pioneering the lowercase “i” doesn’t mean your marketing team can lay waste to the entire alphabet, and I feel like the title plays on just the type of cornball advertising Jobs probably hated. Casting Ashton Kutcher as Jobs was another move I questioned from the onset, and strangely, the first clip of the film, released today, somehow stymied and worsened that doubt.
In the clip, Kutcher strolls through a parking garage, bantering with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, played by Josh Gad, or as I now know him, the “poor man’s Hurley.” Kutcher actually pulls off Jobs’ boundless energy pretty well, but if anything is just a bit too eager. “This is freedom! This is freedom to create, and to do, and to build, as artists, as individuals!” he exclaims to Wozniak as they bicker over whether or not Woz’s new operating system has the potential to revolutionize the computer market. “You’re overreacting!” Woz responds, exasperated. Yeah, he pretty much summed it up.
Kutcher seemed willing to rise to the challenge of the role since his casting, so maybe this scene is just a bit lacking in the writing department. Its reception at Sundance will speak volumes for the film’s potential, but until proven wrong, I’ll invest more interest into Aaron Sorkin’s more unconventional take on Job’s life.
Are you hyped for jOBS, or is it about as successful at grabbing your interest as the iPad Mini?