Gizmodo scored a nifty scoop yesterday when it got Steve Wozniak to review Jobs, the bio-pic starring Ashton Kutcher.
Woz gave it a pretty tepid review.
“I thought the acting throughout was good,” Woz wrote. “I was attentive and entertained but not greatly enough to recommend the movie.”
Kutcher fired back in an interview.
“Woz is being paid by another company to support a different Steve Jobs film,” Kutcher said. “It’s personal for him, but it’s also business. We have to keep that in mind.”
In his review, Woz goes on to point out what he sees as the movie’s major flaw: It attributes Jobs’ mythical business and technology brilliance, which Woz says only really came into play during and after the release of the iPod, to the man’s entire life.
By contrast, the movie stops at that point.
“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,” Woz concludes.
Woz thinks that Kutcher is lashing out at him because he’s still “in character.”
That, perhaps, says more than anything about the relationship between the two men in real life.
Woz also notes that he donated many of his shares after the IPO to Apple employees who wouldn’t have otherwise received stock. (A fact also covered in the recent biography of Jobs by Walter Isaacson.) [Updated. Thanks, Ikai!]
As to compromising principles for money, I will add one detail left out of the film. When Apple decided not to reward early friends who helped, I gave them large blocks of my own stock. Because it was right. And I made it possible for 80 other employees to get some stock prior to the IPO so they could participate in the wealth.
That might be a self-serving comment from Woz, but keep in mind that Jobs — when he took over Pixar — eliminated the equity of all existing employees.
You can watch the trailer for Jobs, or catch it in a movie theater near you.