In fact “Jobs” was so widely thrashed, its first weekend of release netted a measly $6.7 million in ticket sales and an extremely disappointing seventh place finish. Even Apple’s other co-founder and technical genius behind Apple, Steve Wozniak, felt he was “entertained but not greatly enough to recommend the movie”.
The question for legions of Apple lovers is, despite what critics say, is “Jobs” still worth seeing? For those who have remained loyal to Apple for years, if not decades, the answer should be yes. In fact those same supporters might just say, just like some of Apple's failed products such as the EMate 300 and the Newton, not all of it’s good, but you still love it anyways. Yet unlike enormous masses of people who swarmed opening day of MacWorld San Francisco in years past, many loyalists apparently chose to stay home, presumably to pluck away at their Macs, iPads and iPhones.
This is not, of course, meant to discount top film experts, collectively with an 18 percent approval rating of “Jobs” on Rotten Tomatoes. Take for example, the review from The Wrap’s Alonso Duralde, titled “Needs a Trip to the Genius Bar”- “paradoxically feels like it’s rushing through Jobs’ life and times, never capturing the man’s contradictory nature or satisfyingly placing him in a specific historical context”. Duralde's comments seem to be the prevailing arguments amongst top film critics.
Of course, there were some positive stances, like Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, although admitting in her positive review, “the movie itself, ultimately worshipful, ends up being Jobs-like in the cold way it treats flesh and blood people”. Yet, “ultimately worshipful” is precisely why more true loyalists should still see "Jobs" in theaters, particularly those who have followed Apple well before its computers came equipped with color monitors or know what an LC or Performa is.
Despite reasonably fine portrayals from Ashton Kutcher, Steve Gadd as Steve Wozniak, and a strong supporting cast, early Apple employees Daniel Kottke and Bill Fernandez have come forth to point out inaccuracies in the movie, such as the scene where Wozniak informs Jobs he is leaving Apple. “Jobs” also failed to mention Wozniak’s moral and ethical decision to share “large blocks of my own stock” to original employees like Kottke, who were ruthlessly left out of stock options. Although TNT’s 1999 television movie, “Pirates of Silicon Valley” makes mention of Wozniak’s generosity, it's barely a blip on the screen and deserves far greater acknowledgement.
Nevertheless, it’s doubtful most, if not all former employees can’t appreciate the extra attention they all deserve in the history of Apple. In fact, the movie puts almost all of the original team in a largely positive light, except perhaps of the late Jef Raskin, who deserved a much better movie fate and was primarily responsible for recruiting the profoundly talented Bill Atkinson.
True, the story rushes through Jobs’ life and fleetingly covered many important events in the history of Apple, particularly with Jobs’ tense interactions with anointed CEOs and board members. But it’s nearly impossible to cover every important instance on the complex life of the man who helped co-found one of the world’s most recognizable companies. The story did highlight several important landmarks in the life of Steve Jobs, from founding Apple in a Los Altos garage and outrageous refusal to accept being father to Lisa, the gut wrenching dismissal, then gloriously returning to help resuscitate Apple from the brink of insolvency, eventually to emerge as the world’s wealthiest company, in part due to the resounding success of the iPod, featured prominently in the movie’s first scene.
Is “Jobs” a huge disappointment? According to the top film experts and early Apple employees, yes. Even Rotten Tomatoe’s approval from more than 17,000 user ratings is just 53 percent. But to those fiercely loyal Mac addicts who have followed Steve Jobs and Apple every single step of the way, it might still be a successful movie, but perhaps only after it appears on iTunes.