jOBS is going to be terrible

20:57, Jul 30 2012

I loved The Social Network. Sure, it was inaccurate in many ways, and led to a belief that Facebook's success is based on a good idea (it isn't); but Sorkin's (The West Wing, A Few Good Men) dialogue was excellent, it was cast excellently, the hacking was realistic, the soundtrack was incredible, and it looked great. I think I just used all my positive adjectives for the day.

So when I heard that Sorkin was writing a film based on the life of Steve Jobs, I was pretty content. It seemed somewhat of a cashgrab, but if someone was going to do it, I was glad it would be Sorkin. Pirates of Silicon Valley is pretty good, but there is more about Jobs to explore. I was confused at first, however: was this the same film I had heard about with Ashton Kutcher as Jobs and that stupid name?

It isn't, thank god. There are two films about Steve Jobs in production - Sorkin's yet-unnamed film, which isn't yet written, and, wait for it, jOBS, which has finished filming. jOBS will beat the Sorkin to the cinema, and as such will be seen as "the original" by many.

Now, I wouldn't want to pan a film I haven't seen, but everything about jOBS screams for me to hate it. First, obviously, the title. Steve Jobs didn't even come up with the "i" thing, and the "i" in apple products actually stands for something.* What does the lowercase "j" mean? Am I supposed to pronounce the title as "jay-obs" or will everyone in the film pronounce them "ip-ods"? Of course, they don't care that people will hate the name, they care that it is gimmicky enough to get people talking, and that "j" looks like "i".

I could get past a bad name. Then I read a bit more about the "creative spark" for the film here, which can be summed up as "oh my god when this guy retired some people who work for me cared heaps so why shouldn't I make money off that?**" The guy who is writing/directing seems to have only made terrible films, and appears to have no background in technology. Sorkin didn't exactly have a background either, but the lack of Hollywood Hacking in The Social Network was the exception, not the norm. I can see Ashton Kutcher saying "we need a gooey", ugh.

Speaking of Ashton. He didn't really pull off his non-comedic role in The Butterfly Effect, in my opinion, but it wasn't THAT bad, and at least he has a background in technology. The rest of them don't really look like who they are supposed to play, but benefit of the doubt, I suppose.

Movies about tech companies are always going to be tricky. There just isn't that much drama to a guy coding all night, or begging investors for money. It can be done, The Social Network shows that, but let's just hope it isn't just a cynical cashing in next time. 

* Internet, mostly, though they like to invoke other ideas with it too.

** I should note that as cynical as this production seems, it seems to have started after Jobs retired, not after he died.

***** At least it isn't a Shining prequel.

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