2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A unique voice, destined for cultdom,
This review is from: Computer Chess (Masters of Cinema) (DVD & BLU-RAY DUAL 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.