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11° & RAINY ON THURSDAY 27 JUNE IN SYDNEY
By Tom Glasson
August 30, 2013
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Jobs

Jobs feels more like a movie about Apple than the man who founded it.
By Tom Glasson
August 30, 2013
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Ridiculous as it may sound, some of the most compelling on-screen moments of the past decade have been found in the simple 30-second commercial spots for Apple products. Think back, for example, to the excitement on the face of the deaf girl as she's finally able to use sign language on her mobile phone, or the hypnotic dancing silhouettes cutting loose to Jet's ridiculously catchy 'Are You Gonna Be My Girl'. Best of all, picture that deployed soldier on the distant battlefront, tearfully touching the screen just as his newborn son gently does the same from all the way back home. 

Like the products they were marketing, Apple ads tapped into the notion of selling ideas and emotions — not items — and $500 billion later it was pretty clear we liked what we saw. Because of that, though, one of the biggest challenges facing the Steve Jobs biopic Jobs was to simply be better than the ads for the products he invented, and on most fronts it was, unfortunately, unsuccessful. 

Not unlike 2010's The Social Network, the Jobs film tracks its protagonist's story from his college days through to his stewardship over what is now, economically, the largest company in the world. We're presented with an unflattering portrayal of the man whose extraordinary vision sat alongside his infamous temper, ego and capacity for cruelty, particularly in matters concerning close friends and family. Steve is played by Ashton Kutcher in a performance that impressively captures the tech legend's mannerisms and cadence.

The problem, however, is that Jobs feels more like a movie about Apple than the man who founded it. Whilst we're presented with at least some of his highs and lows (the movie is at its best during those low points, most notably his dismissal by the Apple board), whenever the products rate a mention, they're given almost comical reverence; messianic machines bathed in ethereal light. There's no denying the Cult of Apple exists, but this film wasn't the place to indulge it, and when coupled with some serious omissions, such as Jobs's founding of Pixar, it's hard to not consider this biopic more Performa than performer.

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