Woz on 'Jobs': No, just no

In a review posted to Gizmodo, Steve Wozniak calls Ashton Kutcher "disingenuous" and believes the new movie is wildly inaccurate.

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read

A difficult reviewer. James Martin/CNET

It must be strange watching someone else playing you in a movie.

Especially if they're playing the you that you were many years ago. Who can honestly say they have an accurate memory of the way they were? Time rewrites every line, so Barbra Streisand tells me.

One can sympathize, therefore, with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak having to watch a younger actor play a younger him in the new movie "Jobs."

One can also admire that he has been very open in his reaction.

In comments posted to Gizmodo, Woz expressed something between bewilderment and dismay at what he saw.

His statements might, to some, almost seem self-contradictory.

On the one hand: "I suspect a lot of what was wrong with the film came from Ashton's own image of Jobs."

And on the other: "I thought the acting throughout was good."

Perhaps one should take that as a suggestion that Kutcher played his role well, but that the person he was playing wasn't Steve Jobs.

Woz also took the time to rebut Kutcher's criticism that Woz hadn't been prepared to advise on the movie because of money. Kutcher implied that Woz was connected with the Aaron Sorkin Steve Jobs movie (due out, who knows) and therefore was tied financially to it.

As if money would somehow be an issue for Steve Wozniak.

Woz said Kutcher was "disingenuous." He even suggested amusingly that Kutcher must have still been "in character" when he said those things. Did he mean that Steve Jobs might say unjustly critical things? Surely not.

As far as Woz is concerned, Kutcher's movie already had a script, so how was he suddenly supposed to take creative control of it?

Moreover, he didn't like that script. His thumbs were largely down about the movie too (like those of many reviewers). He said he wasn't entertained enough to recommend it.

Woz also took the opportunity to reveal his own action with respect to 80 people who had been left out of the stock-sharing at Apple's IPO. They were rewarded, he said, out of his share. He admitted in further comments, however, that one of those was not Ronald Wayne.

Wayne was the third co-founder of Apple, who left the company. He gave up a 10 percent share of the company in exchange for two payments totaling $2,300.

"I did not help Ron Wayne. It was an oversight. Nobody is perfect. I think he deserved some too, but not as much as those others, due to being part of us for such a short time," he said.

Nobody is, indeed, perfect. Still, Woz had one parting thought on this cinematic effort.

"I'm grateful to Steve for his excellence in the i-era, and his contribution to my own life of enjoying great products, but this movie portrays him having had those skills in earlier times," he said.

The day they make a biopic that accurately reflects the truth (whose truth?) is the day that movies become live-action affairs. Actually, the day they make documentaries that reflect the truth will also be a very interesting day.

The past lives in your head and toys with it. There is little more jolting than an ex-lover or best friend telling you how you behaved years ago, when you had no sense you'd been like that at all.

The past is like plaque on your teeth. You can keep trying to gouge it out and examine it. But you can never get rid of it all.

Just as you can never really know what it truly looked like when it first came to pass.