Steve Wozniak on 'Jobs': Entertained, But Not Enough to Recommend
Now playing in theaters everywhere in a full-on nationwide release is Joshua Michael Stern's Jobs, the first film about the late Steve Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher as the innovator. We first saw and reviewed the film at Sundance, saying "it's entertaining, Kutcher is outstanding, but otherwise lacks the many layers that Jobs obviously had." Now that it's in theaters, anyone interested has the chance to check it out. One person who saw it and commented on it is Steve Wozniak, the real "Woz" and co-founder of Apple, portrayed by Josh Gad in the film. He admits: "I was attentive and entertained but not greatly enough to recommend."
Wozniak says some interesting things in a brief review in the comments on Gizmodo. "I saw the movie tonight. I thought the acting throughout was good. I was attentive and entertained but not greatly enough to recommend the movie... I suspect a lot of what was wrong with the film came from Ashton's own image of Jobs." Ouch. He goes on to say Kutcher "made some disingenuous and wrong statements about me recently" which he claims was "Ashton still being in character." (Wait, what?) He also tells a story about how they got one part of the movie wrong because he helped cover some of the employees before Apple went public.
"As to compromising principles for money, I will add one detail left out of the film. When Apple decided not to reward early friends who helped, I gave them large blocks of my own stock. Because it was right. And I made it possible for 80 other employees to get some stock prior to the IPO so they could participate in the wealth. I felt bad for many people I know well who were portrayed wrongly in their interactions with Jobs and the company. The movie ends pretty much where the great Jobs finally found product success (the iPod) and changed so many of our lives. I'm grateful to Steve for his excellence in the i-era, and his contribution to my own life of enjoying great products, but this movie portrays him having had those skills in earlier times."
Interesting. Interpreting that last sentence, it sounds like he's saying Steve Jobs wasn't the perfect innovator until he returned to Apple in 1996. However, the film portrays him as a genius all throughout his life, with the same "skills" to invent the early Macintosh in the 80's and takeover the world back in those days (before he was kicked out of his own company). As for other Steve Jobs movies down the line (like the Aaron Sorkin one we'll see one day), Wozniak says he is still involved in another one. Referring to Kutcher claiming that he didn't like this one because he wasn't paid to consult on it, he explains: "Either film would have paid me to consult, but the Jobs one already had a script written. I can't take that creative leadership from someone else. And I was turned off by the Jobs script. But I still hoped for a great movie." Alas, it wasn't that great.
For the full "review" of Jobs by Wozniak, head to Gizmodo. The film is now playing in theaters, so if you're curious to check it out and see if it's as good or as bad as everyone is saying, this is your chance. Thoughts?