Steve Jobs biopic pops up on Netflix
"Jobs", starring Ashton Kutcher as Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, is now available on Netflix in the US.
Love him or hate him, there's no doubt Steve Jobs was a fascinating, complex and contradictory figure. Two years on from his untimely death, you can now watch biopic Jobs on Netflix in the US.
Ashton Kutcher dons the black turtle-neck in a dramatisation spanning Jobs' early life as a college drop-out in the 1970s to the launch of the iPod in 2001, taking in the period he left to start a rival firm and his eventual triumphant return.
Director Joshua Michael Stern isn't afraid to portray the uncompromising Apple co-founder in an unsympathetic light, but moves too briskly through the events of Jobs' life and leaves out too much of his personal relationships to really explore the contradictions of the man's character -- the hippy who built a capitalist empire, for example, or the adopted son who refused to acknowledge his own child.
Jobs didn't set the box office alight, but will be of interest to technology fans as a potted history of the company Jobs started with a bunch of misfits in his garage, and the boardroom manoeuvrings that later forced him out.
Jobs is rated PG-13, presumably for a bit of light swearing and a scene of mind-expanding drug-taking by the youthful Steve. The film is available to stream for free if you're a subscriber for $7.99 per month, or you can download it in standard and high definition from iTunes. It's not currently available for UK Netflix subscribers.
I could have done without the stirring music every time Jobs has an idea, but I did like Josh Gad as Apple's other founder Steve Wozniak, the man who actually created the early computers. The real-life Woz says there are "a lot of things wrong" with the film, and is involved instead with a rival film written by Social Network scribe Aaron Sorkin.
Sorkin will take a very different tack and show only three key moments in Jobs' life, behind the scenes of assorted product launches. Word on the Hollywood grapevine is that former Batman Christian Bale is the top choice to play Jobs.
Apple fans outside the US can watch Jobs on US Netflix with a bit of jiggery-pokery, or follow the rise, fall and rise again of the Apple supremo in documentary Steve Jobs: Billion Dollar Hippy, and Funny or Die parody iSteve, starring former Apple ad shill Justin Long.
Meanwhile Lenovo is no doubt hoping some of that Jobs genius will have rubbed on Kutcher after recruiting him to design tablet in real life.