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Jobs, on the other hand, takes at face-value the idea that making home computing gradually more compact and aesthetically appealing was a humanity-benefiting endeavor of creation up there with fire, electricity and vaccines. It feels like the filmmakers ordered their score, pop-music soundtrack, cinematography and structure from a catalogue of DIY Movie Biography Templates and got sent the kit for "Soaring Story Of The Hero Who Saved Millions" kit instead of the "Here's The Guy Who Made Your Music Player Smaller" package they asked for... and used it anyway.
My mouth was open and agape for huge sections of the film, unable to believe what I was watching: Scene after hagiographic scene of Kutcher's Jobs delivering his earnest New Age-y paeans to outside the box design philosophy and aesthetic perfectionism, played completely straight by the film. Young Jobs twirling with wide-open arms in field of tall grass, soaking up energy from the sun like Superman (or Timothy Green.) At one point he has a "time to grow up" breakdown in front of a mirror, forcibly flattening his unkempt hippie-hair to his skull and furiously tucking his shirt in, and the editing and score treat it like we're watching Bruce Wayne snap on his Utility Belt for the first time.
Yes, fine, Jobs' refusal (inability?) to see his job making computers as not anything more than that is well documented as his great strength and great flaw, but it didn't need to be the movie's hangup as well. The rest of the time I found myself aghast at how trite and generic its "filler" scenes are. Soon-to-be-famous people wandering through idyllic College quads in montage to the tune of Cat Stevens' "Peace Train"? In a Baby Boomer hero-worship flick? You don't say!
Suffice it to say, I wasn't terribly fond of either film, but then I'm not really the audience for it. These were produced primarily for Academy Awards voters (and also for Oprah's acolytes and the true diehards among the Apple Faithful, respectively); and it'll be a few months yet before we find out what they thought. I myself will be pushing for Pirates of Silicon Valley to be retroactively awarded the Oscar for Best Thing To Do Instead of Going To See Jobs.
Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker. If you've heard of him before, you have officially been spending way too much time on the internet. Recently, he wrote a book.