Biopics are tricky beasts. At their best, they can provide deeper insight into their protagonists–even when certain details are combined, eliminated or otherwise fictionalized. On the other end of the spectrum lie a plethora of problems, such as blasé regurgitation of known facts, focusing on either too much or too little of someone’s life, and/or reducing the subject’s life to a highlight reel show with no real substance. One would hope that a movie such as Jobs, about one of the great creative visionaries of our time, would be inspired by the same creative spark. Alas, that hope is sadly not realized.
Hit the jump for my review of Jobs on Blu-ray.
Earlier this week Universal’s Kick-Ass 2 was the clear frontrunner for weekend box office glory but, what a difference a day makes. The R-rated action-sequel earned an estimated $5.8 million from 2,381 locations for second place on Friday, but should fall to third by Sunday. Just as Kick-Ass 2 descended, Lee Daniels’ The Butler was on the rise. With a big assist from co-star Oprah Winfrey, the TWC release claimed a Friday estimate of $8.3 million from 2,933 locations and a new weekend target of $25 million or higher. That would put the prestige pic in the same range as The Help – the Oscar-winner that lit up 2011’s late-summer box office.
Though it would be difficult to tell from the top five chart, Friday’s box office hosted two additional new releases: Jobs and Paranoia. The biopic starring Ashton Kutcher as Apple co-founder Steve Jobs took in $2.6 million from 2,381 locations and sixth-place on Friday. Paranoia fell flat with just $1.3 million from 2,459 venues. Based on Friday’s estimate, the thriller starring Liam Hemsworth and Harrison Ford will struggle to top $4 million through Sunday. Check back tomorrow for full details.
|| Lee Daniels’ The Butler
|| Kick-Ass 2
|| We’re the Millers
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Jobs opens today in wide release.]
For a movie about a man who championed innovation, Joshua Michael Stern‘s Steve Jobs biopic, Jobs, is awfully safe and conventional. By the end of the movie, most viewers will know as much as they previously did about the tech innovator or possibly even less. Stern and screenwriter Matt Whiteley‘s depiction of Jobs makes one of the most influential figures in American business seem like nothing more like a savvy salesman who bullied people into following his vision. Ashton Kutcher‘s lead performance veers between convincing and distracting, and while Josh Gad impresses as Steve “Woz” Wozniak, Jobs is a bland biopic that never provides any insight into the man behind the Macintosh.
A new clip from director Joshua Michael Sterns’ Steve Jobs biopic Jobs has been released online, showcasing Ashton Kutcher’s Jobs trying to motivate his employees. The pic continues to looks like a TV movie and it’s tough to see how it brings anything new to the table. Pirates of the Silicon Valley covered the same territory in 1999, so if you’re going to make a film about Steve Jobs’ life, at least try something different.
Hit the jump to watch the new clip, click here to watch four more clips, and click here to read Matt’s review of the film from Sundance. The pic also stars Josh Gad, Dermot Mulroney, Matthew Modine, Lukas Haas, Ron Eldard, and J.K. Simmons. Jobs opens August 16th.
Open Road Films has released four clips from the upcoming biopic, Jobs. The film stars Ashton Kutcher as Apple founder Steve Jobs, and goes through the standard rise-fall-redemption story arc of most biopics. I saw the film at Sundance, and was surprised at how a film that showcased an innovator could show so little innovation.
Hit the jump to check out the clips, and perhaps you’ll get a sense of what I mean. The film also stars Josh Gad, Dermot Mulroney, Matthew Modine, Lukas Haas, Ron Eldard, and J.K. Simmons. Jobs opens August 16th.
It’s a reunion of sorts for the two leads of CBS’ Two and a Half Men today as a pair of new posters have hit the web. Ashton Kutcher takes on the life of innovator Steve Jobs later this summer in the biopic Jobs, and now Open Road Films has debuted the stylish first poster for the film. The one-sheet harkens back to the old color scheme of Apple, as a bearded Kutcher makes up the entirety of the poster. The first trailer for the film was a bit all over the place and Kutcher still seems like an odd casting choice, but I’m interested to see how audiences react to the film. Personally, I have much higher hopes for Aaron Sorkin’s own Steve Jobs biopic over at Sony. Jobs opens on August 16th.
Additionally, a new character poster for Robert Rodriguez’s sequel Machete Kills has been unveiled, this time introducing Carols Estevez as “The President.” Carlos Estevez is, of course, Charlie Sheen’s real name, but it appears that Rodriguez is having some fun with the marketing of the upcoming grindhouse pic. The film’s massive cast also includes Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Lady Gaga, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Mel Gibson. Machete Kills opens on October 4th. Hit the jump to check out both posters.
The trailer has been released for the Steve Jobs biopic, Jobs (thankfully, no longer called “jOBS“). The by-the-number biopic stars Ashton Kutcher as the Apple founder, and traces his path through the rise, fall, and resurrection of the company. The trailer is filled with cringeworthy titles referring to Jobs as “The Original Innovator”, “The Original Rebel”, and “The Original Visionary” because there was no innovation, rebellion, or vision before Steve Jobs and his friends (who he would later backstab) started building computers in their garage. Sorry, everyone who lived before 1976. I caught the film at Sundance, and thought it was fairly safe and forgettable, although I did get a laugh out of Jobs “transforming” by tucking his shirt into his jeans.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Josh Gad, Dermot Mulroney, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons, Ron Eldard, and Matthew Modine. Jobs opens August 16th. [Update: We've updated the article with a few new images from the film.]
For a movie about a man who championed innovation, Joshua Michael Stern‘s Steve Jobs biopic, jOBS, is awfully safe and conventional. By the end of the movie, most viewers will know as much as they previously did about the tech innovator or possibly even less. Stern and screenwriter Matt Whiteley‘s depiction of Jobs makes one of the most influential figures in American business seem like nothing more like a savvy salesman who bullied people into following his vision. Ashton Kutcher‘s lead performance veers between convincing and distracting, and while Josh Gad impresses as Steve “Woz” Wozniak, jOBS is a bland biopic that never provides any insight into the man behind the Apple.
We’ve got a pair of first clips from the following movies to share today:
- jOBS – Starring Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs and Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak, this first clip shows off the passionate vision and understated genius of the respective Apple co-creators. jOBS opens this April.
- Bullet to the Head – Starring Sylvester Stallone as hitman Jimmy Bobo, this first action-packed clip reveals Bobo’s bathroom brawl with Keegan (Jason Momoa), a precursor to the eventual ax fight. Walter Hill’s Bullet to the Head opens February 1st.
Hit the jump to watch both clips.
We’ve got another round of Sundance-bound biopic images today:
- jOBS – Starring Ashton Kutcher as the late Steve Jobs with Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak, jOBS chronicles the rise of the titular co-founder of Apple Computers. Look for this picture to open sometime in April.
- Lovelace – A biopic of porn star Linda Lovelace (Amanda Seyfried) reveals the darker side of her rise to infamy. Lovelace debuts at Sundance on January 22nd. The report also tells us that Sarah Jessica Parker’s role as feminist Gloria Steinem has been cut.
Hit the jump to see the new images.
The upcoming Steve Jobs biopic jOBS is slated to premiere at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival, but it appears that the film has already secured distribution ahead of its public screening. Open Road Films announced today that it is partnering with Five Star Feature Films to distribute the film, which stars Ashton Kutcher as the legendary innovator. Directed by Joshua Michael Stern, the pic covers Jobs’ life from 1971 through 2000 and promises “an immensely personal portrait” of the Apple guru. Open Road has slated an April release date for the film, so fans won’t have to wait too long to see Kutcher’s portrayal. Sony has a competing Jobs biopic in the works from screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, but that project is still a ways from coming to fruition.
Hit the jump to read the press release. jOBS will serve as the closing film for the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, which runs from January 17 – 27th.
Today, Sundance announced their stellar Premieres line-up and we have the first images from a few of the movies playing in the category:
- Big Sur – Written and directed by Michael Polish, starring Jean-Marc Barr, Kate Bosworth, Josh Lucas, Radha Mitchell, Anthony Edwards, and Henry Thomas.
- Breathe In – Written and directed by Drake Doremus, co-written by Ben York Jones, starring Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones, Amy Ryan, and Mackenzie Davis.
- The East – Written and directed by Zal Batmanglij, co-written by Brit Marling, starring Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, and Patricia Clarkson.
- jOBS – Directed by Joshua Michael Stern, written by Matt Whiteley, starring Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons, and Matthew Modine.
Hit the jump for the images and synopses. The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs January 17 – 27.
New images from the respective sets of Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street and Joshua Michael Stern‘s (Swing Vote) jOBS have found their way online. The Wolf images give us our first look at Leonardo DiCaprio in his turn as Jordan Belfort, a former financial rock star of sorts whose own memoir of the same name is the basis for the film. While we’ve already seen pics of Ashton Kutcher doing his best Steve Jobs impersonation while wearing a turtleneck and on LSD, today’s images give us a better idea of how well he can pull of the “button-up, cardigan, sweater vest” look.
Check out the images after the jump. The Wolf of Wall Street is aiming for a 2013 release and also stars Matthew McConaughey, Jon Favreau, and Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead). jOBS co-stars Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Matthew Modine, Ahna O’Reilly, and Lukas Haas while also staring down an unspecified 2013 release.
Emboldened by the success of Valentine’s Day, Garry Marshall took another crack at the holiday-based all-star anthology in 2011, with similarly repulsive results. This time, though, movie-goers commendably ignored him (and hopefully quashed plans for Columbus Day or whatever the hell was coming next). Of course, it’s never a good idea to interpret the commercial failure of a terrible movie as anything more than an aberration. But in this case, there was an encouraging sense that the world had finally revolted against a sub-genre populated by cynical, bald-faced cash-grabs.
And indeed, New Year’s Eve is the romantic comedy distilled to its basest form; a film that trots out a dizzying array of A-listers and expects applause, while abandoning time-consuming chores like character, story and dialogue. Hit the jump for the full review.
A few set photos from the Steve Jobs biopic jOBS have surfaced, giving us a look at Ashton Kutcher doing his best “Steve Jobs on acid” impression. The Apple visionary made no secret of his past experimentation with LSD, and it appears that director Joshua Michael Stern’s indie biopic has at least one scene in which Kutcher’s Jobs goes tripping in a field. Noah Wyle did a hell of a job portraying Jobs and tackling his fascination with LSD in the TV movie Pirates of Silicon Valley, so Kutcher has his work cut out for him.
Additionally, a couple more images of Angelina Jolie in character in Disney’s Maleficent have surfaced. The story centers on the Sleeping Beauty villain and “reveals the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse the baby, Aurora.” Yesterday some set photos landed online that gave us a look at Jolie performing some flying stunts, but this batch is much less death-defying. Hit the jump to check out the set photos from both jOBS and Maleficent. [Update: We've removed the unofficial images.]