iSteve is pretty darn stupid. The film doesn’t make any attempt not to be stupid–occasionally, one has to imagine they went for the more stupid option–but it’s not unwatchable. In a few ways, it’s a great example of why biopics don’t work. In director Perez’s version, Steve Jobs doesn’t really have a particularly interesting life. The low budget nature even hurts further dumb joke ideas–when Jobs (played by Justin Long) moves back home after getting fired at Apple, his parents don’t appear. They’re always offscreen. At least they could have done the “Charlie Brown” adult talking bit….
As far as the bits go, some are a lot better than others. The subplot with Melinda Gates (Michaela Watkins in iSteve’s best performance) romancing both Jobs and Bill Gates is really funny at times. The stuff with Jobs directing Justin Long in the TV commercials is good. Perez isn’t making a movie about Jobs as a celebrity or Apple as a successful company or even a spoof biopic (it’s too inaccurate). For a few minutes though, it plays like a vanity project for Long–when he casts someone spoofing him to be in the commercials. If iSteve had any actual focus, instead of some sporadic, awesome eighties or nineties jokes, it might have worked.
Long’s okay in the lead. He doesn’t really have a part.
The editing–there are six or seven editors–is fantastic. Great soundtrack too.
iSteve’s biggest joke is its existence. But it could be worse.
Directed by Ryan Perez; written by Perez, Danny Jelinek, Charles Ingram, Anne Rieman, Nick Corirossi, Allison Hord and Bradly Schulz; director of photography, Brian Lane; edited by Pat Bishop, Andy Maxwell, Perez, Chris Poole, Caleb Swyers and Jelinek; production designer, Tricia Robertson; produced by Hord; released by Funny or Die.
Starring Justin Long (Steve Jobs), Jorge Garcia (Steve Wozniak), James Urbaniak (Bill Gates), Michaela Watkins (Melinda Gates), John Ross Bowie (John Sculley), Steve Tom (Don Commodore), Nick Corirossi (Dell Dude), Anthony Gioe (Justin Long), Charles Ingram (George Lucas), Paul Rust (Billy Corgan), Juzo Yoshida (Otogawa), Jill Donnelly (Annie Leibovitz), Art Evans (Ol’ Mose), Joe Farrell (John Hodgman), Brian Huskey (Professor Palladino) and Kyle Mooney (Father).