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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - January 2014

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 "Jobs" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Clements

movie-january- 2014-jobs

Synopsis

Ashton Kutcher stars as Steve Jobs in this feature-length biopic that chronicles the professional life of quite possibly the most successful businessman of all time.  The story picks up as Jobs drops out of college and co-founds Apple Computers.  Then it takes you through the company's early growth, Jobs' ouster from the company right on through his triumphant return more than 10 years later.  

Specifications

  • Universal
  • 2013, Color, Rated PG-13, 2 Hr 9 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: VC-1
  • English 5.1 DTS HD Master
  • Starring:  Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons and Lesley Ann Warren
  • Directed by:  Joshua Michael Stern
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

It can be quite challenging to make engaging  biopic films of famous icons.  In this case, I  thought the weak link in this film would be Ashton Kutcher, but he was much better than I expected.  This movie is instead undone by not tapping into Jobs the way I wanted.  The main theme of the film is Jobs' cold-hearted drive for greatness.  There is a certain drive and obsessiveness that is required for great success.  This is demonstrated, but the whole thing is hollow.  We don't know what Jobs' core motivations are.  There is just too little depth and insight for this movie to score a win in my book. 

Technical

The early parts of the film have a yellow-ish cast that is apparently related to the historic period.  This gives way to a much more neutral palette as time marches on in later scenes.  But the picture remains soft and lacking in dynamic punch throughout.  

The audio is servicable if also unspectacular.  This move is dialog-driven and voices are reproduced with fine definition.  There is some very interesting music from the 70's and 80's that is well recorded and mastered in 5.1. 

Extras

This 2-disc set comes with the Blu-ray, a DVD, an HD Ultraviolet streaming code and an iTunes Digital Copy.  Other on-disc extras are:  Deleted Scenes, The Legacy of Steve Jobs, Feature Commentary with Director Joshua Michael Stern, Ashton Kutcher is Steve Jobs and Jobs: Behind the Score.