jOBS, the Steve Jobs biopic starring Ashton Kutcher, made its debut as the closing film of the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday in Utah, US, and has been greeted by mixed reviews. One person who’s not a big fan, however, is Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who says that the movie is “crap”.
Following his comments last week that the first clip revealed from jOBS was “totally wrong“, Wozniak, who is played by Josh Gad in the movie, has now deemed the film “crap,” and has gone so far as to say that Steve Jobs would have been “offended and embarrassed” by Kutcher’s portrayal of him.
Speaking to Good Morning America about the minute-long clip of jOBS that was released to the public ahead of the film’s premiere last week, Wozniak said: “As far as the personalities that were in that scene [laughs] this was just ridiculous. Like Steve Jobs was some sort of ‘oh my gosh, I’m the father of society, I’ve got the ideas that are gonna drive the-’ No, he didn’t act like that at all.”
Wozniak then said that he felt the late Steve Jobs would have been “a little offended and embarrassed by it just like myself… I think he would say that was, you know, a little bit too phony.”
After the jOBS premiere on Sunday, The Verge contacted Wozniak for comment about some of the key scenes and quotes from the movie. In his response, Wozniak revealed that he had been approached about contributing to jOBS, but had decided to help with Sony’s Steve Jobs film instead.
“I was approached early on [for jOBS],” Wozniak told The Verge. “I read a script as far as I could stomach it and felt it was crap. The Sony people got in contact with me too and in the end I went with them.”
“The early script did things like promote drugs in ways that were as foreign as the clip I saw. For example, it would have Jobs offering me drugs,” Wozniak said, though The Verge notes that this interaction was not shown in the final version of the film. “I never saw Jobs do drugs nor had any offers from him. If we ever discussed drugs, he would have known that I didn’t do them but that I basically approved of them and hung around with friends who did them (in college) so he wouldn’t have felt awkward talking about them with me. Frankly, we talked about our jobs and technology and things.”
Wozniak did have some good things to say about the film, however. “I still told everyone that I thought the Jobs movie would be a big hit and I looked forward to it,” he said. “I felt they did a very good job of casting, looking for good actors who could play the roles.”
In response, film’s publicist told Entertainment Weekly that jOBS “is not a documentary, nor is it meant to be a blow-by-blow, word-for-word account of all conversations and events… [it] is a feature film entertainment about one of the most important, creative and impactful people [in] our culture’s history.”
Those who managed to attend the premiere of jOBS have published reviews of the film, and there seems to have been a mixed reception.
TNW’s Matthew Panzarino said: “Overall, jOBS works. The lead actors are likable and appear to have put serious effort into getting the spirit of the characters right. The film looks (mostly) good aside from some of what could likely be ascribed to budgetary constraints. And though the director is a tad indulgent here and there, it doesn’t take away from the overall feeling of ‘decent’ that I came away with.”
“This isn’t going to be the canonical Steve Jobs biography movie. Honestly, Jobs was such a complex individual that I can’t see one ever being made. But, as an impressionist portrait of a specific period in his life, it’s successful. Don’t go into it looking for complete verisimilitude or whip-crack dialog and you should like it just fine,” he concluded.
Over at CNET, Casey Newton wasn’t keen on the film, writing: “My primary disappointment was in how shallow the film felt, given the extensive historical record. 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. It also inspired others to do the best work of their lives, pushing themselves further than they ever imagined they can go. There is great drama to be found in all that, but it is not to be found in the saccharine “jOBS.”
The Verge’s Ross Miller described the film as “safe.”
“As expected, there are some liberties taken with Apple’s story and even / especially the representation of some characters – but the emotional resonance of Steve Jobs himself is convincing. It’s not revisionist history, and it’s not some greater parable about the human spirit. Jobs is a point-A-to-point-B story about a uniquely innovative thinker and ruthless businessman – one that had a notable and meaningful impact on the world. It’s a good film, but it’s also very “safe” – a familiar story that doesn’t try for a bigger picture,” Miller wrote.
It’s clear that Ashton Kutcher, who plays Steve Jobs in the movie, went to great lengths to get to know his character. USA Today reports that the Two and a Half Men star tried a fruit-only diet in preparation for his role as Jobs, who was known to adhere to the diet.
“First of all, the fruitarian diet can lead to like severe issues,” Kutcher said after the film’s screening on Sunday. “I went to the hospital like two days before we started shooting the movie. I was doubled over in pain.”
“My pancreas levels were completely out of whack,” Kutcher added. “It was really terrifying… considering everything,” he said, referring to Jobs’ death in October 2011 after losing his battle with pancreatic cancer.