Funny or Die

Review: Funny or Die's 'iSteve'

April 17, 2013: 8:10 AM ET

We can only hope that the first Steve Jobs biopic out of the gate is also the worst.

Wozniac (Garcia) and Jobs (Long) at

Wozniac (Garcia) and Jobs (Long) at the Homebrew Computer Club

FORTUNE -- It's hard to say exactly when the feature film called iSteve -- released Tuesday on Funny or Die's website -- jumps the shark.

It could be the very first scene, when a balding and bearded Steve Jobs (played by Justin Long of the Get a Mac commercials) breaks the fourth wall of theater and says to the audience: "What's that? You want to hear my story?"

Or when Jobs returns from an acid trip with the specs of the original Apple computer so fully formed in his mind he only has to dictate them to a rapidly scribbling Steve Wozniak (Jorge Garcia of Lost).

Or when Jobs and Bill Gates (James Urbaniak) become unlikely gigabuddies and spend an afternoon in the Jobs' garage "programming" by attacking old circuit boards with a saw, stapler and hammer.

For me the low point of this low-budget biopic was when Jobs and Melinda French Gates (Michaela Watkins) don headgear, strip to their green metallic skins and have virtual sex in a computer-generated landscape.

But what can you expect from a movie that screenwriter Ryan Perez claims was filmed in five days from a script he wrote in less than a week using only Jobs' Wikipedia page as source material?

iSteve was billed as the funniest and least accurate of the three Steve Jobs movies in production. It's certainly inaccurate: Almost nothing happens in Perez' history of Apple (AAPL) the way it really did or in its proper sequence. But it's also not particularly funny -- which doesn't bode well for a comedy website called Funny or Die.

The movie feels like an over-long Saturday Night Live skit that never quite gets rolling. But it does have a couple things going for it. Garcia is charming as an overstuffed Wozniak -- as loyal as a puppy and never, ever given his due. And there's one scene, 63 minutes into this 78-minute disaster, that feels authentic.

"No! Cut! Cut! Wrong!" Jobs shouts after a bad Get-a-Mac take. "What are you doing, Justin? You're supposed to be cool and artsy and hip. The kind of guy you wanna grab a Jamba Juice with. What is this, huh? I don't want to get a Jamba Juice with you. I would never get a Jamba Juice with you. I don't think anyone here wants to get a Jamba Juice with Justin. Raise your hand if you want to get a Jamba Juice with the bee pollen and all the fixings with this little smarmy piece of shit."

Now that sounds like the real Steve Jobs. The one that Justin Long may have actually met.

iSteve's ambition was to be the first Steve Jobs movie out of the gate, and in that it almost succeeded. jOBS, the one starring Ashton Kutcher, was screened at Sundance in January, although its official release has been indefinitely postponed.

Sony's big-budget version, based on Walter Isaacson's biography, is still being written by Aaron (The West Wing, The Social Network) Sorkin. It could be long time coming, but I'm hoping it'll be worth the wait.

Link: Funny or Die's iSteve.

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