So I went to see Jobs for the Thursday early showing. You know nowadays theaters aren’t even waiting until midnight to show Friday releases.
The movie was absolutely remarkable and blew me away, despite my being a huge Pirates of Silicon Valley fan. The previews didn’t even do the movie justice. When I saw previews I thought that startup investor, entrepreneur and actor Ashton Kutcher would fail in comparison to Noah Wylie’s portrayal of Steve Jobs in the 1999 TNT film that’s now a cult classic.
Kutcher has been praised over and over again for his portrayal of Jobs. We knew before the movie debuted that Kutcher had studied Jobs more intently than any other role. Several news sources, mostly tech leaning, also pointed out that with Kutcher’s investment in startups, role as startup adviser, and entrepreneurial spirit, he was paying homage to a pioneer in a field that he may love even more than acting.
The script was very well written and chronicles the birth of Apple, to the ousting of Steve Jobs and then Jobs’ triumphant return to Apple and his subsequent replacing of the Board of Directors.
The movie opens with Kutcher (as Jobs) unveiling the iPod at an internal Town Hall meeting. The camera angles make the viewer wonder if they are watching some old Steve Jobs footage instead of Kutcher.
I’m not sure if it was in the screen play, Joshua Michael Stern’s direction, or Ashton Kutcher’s acting but the movie really stares down the barrel of entrepreneurship and takes a lot of time (possibly for dramatic effect) looking into those “startupy” moments of Apple.
For example, the movie concentrates on the early stages when Wozniak has an idea and Jobs shows him the potential. It looks at the founding team in a way that resonates with two person founding teams of today’s startups. There’s a tech guy (Steve Wozniak) and a business development guy and visionary (Steve Jobs), and of course Jobs is the ultimate visionary.
While the duo is adding employees 3 through 6, they are still in Jobs’ parents garage. They even have a token “young guy” who just wants to be a part of something, and they don’t even need to pay him (at first). During that sequence of events you also see Jobs pitching over 100 companies on the phone, crossing names off of a list until the one angel believes in them. That is of course Michael Markkula.
Most of us startup folks knew the story of Apple well before the movie was even an idea, even before Walter Isaacson’s book came out. But we all knew the story of Facebook as well and went to see The Social Network.
The movie shows the struggle between the visionary leader and founder, the board of directors, and the CEO who was actually handpicked by Jobs. It repeatedly shows the iteration upon iteration of Apple and even spends a good amount of time on Apple’s big failure under Jobs, Lisa. Some may say that Newton was the company’s biggest failure, but that wasn’t under Jobs).
To tell the whole story, the movie could have gone on six hours, but in two hours and five minutes they did an amazing job of talking about the legacy of Steve Jobs and that legacy should resonate with all of our readers.