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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sean Kelly

My Thoughts on iSteve

iSteve

After the death of Steve Jobs in 2011, it seemed the race was on to make a biopic based on his life.  First out of the gate was jOBS, staring Ashton Kutcher, which recently debuted at the Sundance Film Festival.  In addition, there is a competing biopic in the works being written by Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network). 

Well, Will Ferrell and Adam MacKay’s comedy video website Funny or Die has decided to jump onto the bandwagon and create what they have dubbed “The first Steve Jobs movie.”  While Funny or Die is typically known for sketch comedy, iSteve is a full 78 minute film, available for free on the website, which gives a unique perspective on the life of Steve Jobs.

In this parody version of his life story, Jobs is played by Justin Long, who is best known as the “Mac Guy” from Apple’s commercials.  Other cast members include Jorge Garcia as Steve Wozniak, James Urbaniak as Bill Gates, Michaela Watkins as Melinda Gates, and John Ross Bowie as John Sculley.  I do have to admit that I have to give the filmmakers credit for actually using real events in Jobs’ life to provide the framework for what is ultimately a completely fictional biopic (there is even a disclaimer that says so in the credits).  Other than that, this film is absolutely atrocious.

I like the Funny or Die website and have watched and enjoyed many of their short comedy videos.  However, you have to take note of the word “short.”  The average video on Funny or Die is only two to six minutes long.  With iSteve, they took something that might have made a funny sketch and stretched it out to feature length, just so they can give it the gimmick of being the first Steve Jobs biopic to be released.  However, in doing so, they added a lot of filler to the story, which just got worse as it went a long.

I admit to laughing a bit in the early goings of the film when they began a running gag in which Steve Wozniak was ignored, while Jobs got all the attention.  However, the film started losing me in the second half of the film when they started including things like “Silver Surfer” virtual reality sex scenes and acid trips with, a very badly portrayed, Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins.  I’m not even going to get started on Jobs getting inspired by George Lucas’ concept of midi-chlorians.

In conclusion, I guess one shouldn’t expect much when a  feature length film is posted for free on a comedy website.  At its best, iSteve is more akin to a cheap direct-to-video feature than anything that you will ever expect to see in theatres.  However, I do have to say that this is one experiment I hope Funny or Die doesn’t try to attempt again.

2 | REALLY DISLIKED IT

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).