Among geeks, there are fewer contentious topics than the concept of Ashton Kutcher donning the turtleneck and beard for his debut as Steve Jobs in one of the two — yes, two — films about the late Apple co-founder currently in the works.
The debates might not be of "The Hobbit"-sized proportions, but there's still been plenty of talk about whether Kutcher, or even the film itself, will be able to adequately do credit Jobs' life in a truthful, yet interesting fashion. But that's not just us editorializing — take into account some of the comments thrown out by Apple co-founder and longtime friend of Jobs, Steve Wozniak, who is now taking to the airwaves to voice his early criticisms of the movie.
"It's ok to make up a dramatic scene but is much better if it sort of happened and had the meaning portrayed. But this is only one short clip of the movie. The entire movie may be very good. But the initial exposure to the social meaning of a technology revolution went in a very different direction in those early times," said Wozniak in response to one of the first scenes from JOBS that hit the Web.
Now that jOBS has made its official debut at this year's Sundance film festival, the initial chorus of reviews has started to hit the Web. Here's a roundup of what some of the early filmgoers have to say about the big Steve Jobs film:
Vulture's Jada Yuan and Katie Van Syckle: "Whether Kutcher achieves morphing into Jobs is highly debatable (Kutcher's Jobs has an improbably Midwestern accent for a guy born in San Francisco), but it's certainly not for lack of trying. The press notes talk about how much research he did on Jobs (and cite his bona fides of owning Apple stock for ten years); then there was the fact that he switched to a fruitarian diet, to the point where he ended up being hospitalized."
CNET's Casey Newton: "In the early days Jobs' co-workers had to wrestle with a man who smelled bad, who cried often, who yelled constantly, who missed deadlines, who overspent his budget by millions. He did it in service of products we love and use daily, and yet his obsessions took a toll on those around him. He also inspired others to do the best work of their lives, pushing themselves further than they ever imagined they could go. There is great drama to be found in all that, but it is not to be found in the saccharine 'jOBS.'"
The Next Web's Matthew Panzarino: "I know that his performance as Jobs will get a lot of attention, especially as there are many alive who still have their memories of him fresh in mind. But it's a fantastic, if not wholly factually accurate, performance by Kutcher."
The Verge's Ross Miller: "Where Jobs shines is these simple moments that happen without dramatic emphasis. At one point Jobs is listening to a CD player that skips and he just grumbles before finishing his thought; it's a clear reference to the iPod's inception, but here it's just a small blip in the middle of another conversation. It's a shame not more of the film was built on this idea."
Slashfilm's Germain Lussier: "Apple fans are going to be very mixed on Jobs. On one hand here's the story they've been dying to see, on screen, and it looks great. But the film feels slight because it tries to do too much. The effort is there and the film is entertaining, but it's feels like the PC version of the story instead of the Apple."
Cinema Blend's Katey Rich: "The Steve Jobs of this movie, who's constantly berating his employees to come up with something better than the status quo, would have hated the pat sentiments and dull direction of jOBS. Apple urged people to think different. jOBS does anything but."
The Hollywood Reporter's Justin Lowe: "As with any biopic, the details of the outcome are known in advance, so any sense of discovery rests with the execution. For his first produced script, screenwriter Whiteley -- director of marketing content at producer Five Star Films' parent company -- sometimes has a tendency to accord too much deference to Jobs' life story, without the critical perspective that better-developed supporting characters could provide."
jOBS officially opens in theaters on April 19.
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