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  • Computer Chess [DVD] [2013] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Computer Chess [DVD] [2013] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

9 customer reviews

Price: £11.53
Only 1 left in stock.
Dispatched from and sold by supermart_usa.
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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Alliance Inc.
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00EO2I6PQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 110,449 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Set over the course of a weekend tournament for chess software programmers thirty-some years ago, Computer Chess transports viewers to a nostalgic moment when the contest between technology and the human spirit seemed a little more up for grabs. We get to know the eccentric geniuses possessed of the vision to teach a metal box to defeat man, literally, at his own game, laying the groundwork for artificial intelligence as we know it and will come to know it in the future.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By technoguy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 May 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Computer Chess is an interesting attempt to capture the feelings of an other era(the 80s) through a simpler technology(Sony ATC-3260 tube camera).It's a paradox, because computer chess was about developing computer software programmes to take on human beings in games of chess.This film depicts a conference held in a hotel where different programmers meet in an annual tournament to find a winner.At the same time in the hotel there is a bizarre cult of seekers into sexual and spiritual awakening, using group awareness exercises. We are going back to the simpler forms of computer technology,when programmers instilled their intelligence levels up into a computing chess programme.It's the early form of artificial intelligence.The fact that it's in black and white is because of the technical limitation of video but it strangely enhances the beauty of effect,with dull/shallow focus,grey palette and the blooms and smears of light.Necessity the mother of invention.The documentary format the best way into this world,a homage to it.We also get the clunky machinery involved.

These nerd-voyagers are on the frontiers of new mental worlds.Their awkwardness showing their indifference to human reality,as the machines become more human,showing traits of consciousness and moods.Chess is really a Maguffin,since you do not actually see any games carried out in detail.Instead the film shows the point when human intelligence merges with computation,the eccentric frontier and its border guards,geniuses, weirdos, geeks of all persuasions,dope-freaks,conspiracy theorists,mavericks,folkies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ian on 8 Feb. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
It's the early 80s, and a computer chess championship is being held at the same hotel as a new age workshop. Two bunches of oddballs in the same place... are they going to affect each other?

The thing that will probably determine whether or not you will enjoy it is knowing that it's a 'mumblecore' film, filmed on location, at least some of it with a 1980s video camera, with a cast you probably won't have heard of. There's lots of talk and not much action - the answer to the question 'what happens?' is 'not much!' You could blink and miss some of the most significant bits. In fact, it's almost dreamlike in places, but for me those are the best bits.

If you know about computer chess, you won't learn anything new and will be able to spot a couple of small technical mistakes, but you'll also recognise that some of it is absolutely spot on. It captures the chatter during a computer chess tournament, for example. (The players aren't going to be distracted from their thinking!) It has the person announcing that his program does things in a 'human' way and declaring how much better than everyone else it will be... and it losing. It also has some of the delightfully 'eccentric' personality types involved - this is the source of it being labelled a comedy, and it's a character piece rather than one with jokes.

Pat Henderson, shown as probably the sanest of the men, is clearly based on David Levy, the chess International Master (not Grandmaster - it's a sign of how far off programs were from beating the world champion that they couldn't even beat Levy in a match until 1989) who had the famous bet and who commentates at events. They do miss his endearing habit, when a program made a bad move, of asking its programmers why it had done that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CarlosTheDJ on 24 April 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I can't really give this film the justice it deserves - anything I write doesn't feel quite on the button.

Jokes about 1980s programming languages, swingers, drugs and chess all in one movie? And it works?

Oh it does work. It works in spades.

Just go with it and get sucked-in for 90 minutes - you may not get it, but you won't regret it.
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By K. Gordon TOP 500 REVIEWER on 31 July 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This low key mockumentary is so dry in it’s humor that it’s more likely to produce a nostalgic or rueful smile than a belly laugh. Set at a 1980s man vs. computer chess competition, and shot on what looks like a video camera from the time, it certainly succeeds in capturing a time, place and atmosphere.

On the other hand, some of it starts to get a bit repetitive and meandering. Unlike Christopher Guest’s hysterical mockumentaries, this is so close to ‘real’ for much of it’s length that it started to wear down a bit. And then when it switches to a more ‘over-the-top’ tone, as when one of the young leads is hit on by a pair of middle-aged swingers, it suddenly feels like a scene from another film.

None-the-less, this is an impressive accomplishment, using it’s lack of budget as a plus to create the feel of a truly home made documentary of the time. It may not be brilliant, but it’s sweet, inventive, and fun, which puts it well ahead of most of what’s out there.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Martin Smith VINE VOICE on 27 Jan. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
There are very mixed reviews of this movie around, ranging from disappointed chess players ("I was expecting more chess") to those unsettled by the subtle, labyrinthine plot and those expecting the jokes to be announced.

Approach it with no of those preconceptions, and there are many delights to be had.

Shot on an early Sony video camera, circa 1975, it has a fuzzy, lo-rez vibe and the image sparkles with artifacts. Subsequently you'll become lost in the time period, it will be very easy to believe you're in 1979. The excellent production design, particularly clothes, hair, computers and motel rooms add to this. There is much fun to be had watching these computer pioneers develop what they believe the future of computers to be (one character astutely speculates that in the future computers may assist dating - how little they realized!)

Then there's the humour - this really is a hilarious movie, from character comedy (like the guy who turns up to the chess tournament, neither a computer geek or chess buff, purely to buzz off the vibe and ends up getting all the geeks high) to superbly surreal situations (the one guy who can't get a hotel room ends up knocking on random doors, tries to seduce women just to sleep on their floors and ends up caught up in the throes of a new age self-help / swingers group). It's subtle stuff, though, Hangover this ain't!)

The arc of the movie contrasts the geeky logical outlook with the new age-rs "be yourself, love everyone" philosophy, giving us a way-out-there (and unexpected) conclusion. This is highlighted by the schizophrenic nature of the soundtrack Morgan Coy's analogue bleeps and what sounds like blues on a player piano contrasted with some lovely folky acoustic songs by Collie Ryan.

The Blu Ray looks fabulous, and the special features provide a lot of interesting background and value for money.
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