“On the Job” got better promotional mileage, but the even better viewing treat last week was the similarly titled film, “Jobs.” —No real confusion there!: “OTJ” was about guns for hire, while “Jobs” told the inspirational story of Apple computers’ founder, Steve Jobs.
What made “Jobs” a riveting viewing experience was its refusal to be simply a puff-up piece to boost its visionary subject. Yes, he was a wiz at what he did, but he was otherwise a troubled and driven man who pushed his coworkers to the limit to achieve the “perfection” he sought in his lifestyle-altering inventions.
Thus did viewers realize that, when it comes to visionaries, you decidedly get the bad with the good, because the complete focus needed by the complex invention and product-development process sometimes makes driven world-changers neglectful of their interpersonal and romantic relationships.
The film bio was also made eminently viewable by the spot-on portrayal of the title character turned in by Ashton Kutcher. Most of the time, Kutcher comes up with deft and charming performances that he can do with one eye closed and two hands tied behind him—but, in this breakthrough assignment, he really had to work, think and hustle to measure up to the complex person he was portraying.
In so doing, the actor revealed that there’s much more to him than his having been Demi Moore’s boy toy, and his hit comedic performance in “Two and a Half Men,” which saved the hit sitcom from ruin after Charlie Sheen’s rude and abrasive exit.
‘This Is Us’
Another new film that is also viewable, albeit in a radically different way, is “One Direction: This Is Us,” which is about the music scene’s top new boy band, made up of heretofore unknowns, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson.
Only a few years ago, all five teens languished in total obscurity, until they were put together on an inspired hunch by record and TV producer Simon Cowell, who can obviously spot diamonds in the rough a mile away!
The film is the usual filmed concert and tour documentary, but it’s also more than that, because it bothers to figure out why this particular boy band has trounced the competition and successfully mounted an SRO world tour that has helped make it the top musical act in many countries.
There’s more than just tween and teen-fan fanaticism going on here, because each member of the group refuses to lose his unique identity, unlike many other boy band-mates. Instead, they come off as five separate talents who love performing together, but insist on being true to themselves, both as performers and as persons.
Of course, there’s a lot of technical and production savvy supporting them, but it’s still the boys’ individual personalities and performing strengths that shine through—and win the day!