[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…
Searching for Bobby Fischer
Every journey begins with a single move.
A prepubescent chess prodigy refuses to harden himself in order to become a champion like the famous but unlikable Bobby Fischer.
My favorite sport is Chessboxing
“It doesn’t mean anything, it’s just a game.”
“No, it isn’t.”
This movie is about chess the same way Moneyball was about baseball. And yet, not being a player myself, it made me think of what might it mean for chess to be one’s life’s companion, to be able to feel the chessboard like not very many people do, to take lessons from all the games of chess back into the real life.
My favourite moments in the movie were those glimpses of chess being something more, something better, something beautiful: an early speed chess game interrupted by rain; a tower made for fun out of chess pieces; the rapid-fire, almost instinctive exchanges of moves.
Excellent cast of actors and characters, not to mention cameos from many famous chess players. Worth checking out. The only major problem is James Horner phoning it in, but hey, not the first time either. Just don’t watch it straight after Field of dreams.
#14 in my 99 90's Movies month. (Which, I have to start in December thanks to Netflix's routine end-of-the-month purge. Aarg!)
Why are there villains in a bio pic? A 90's bio pic drama about a child prodigy that isn't a Disney film? And the way Super-Snotty Evil Nemesis to Ben Kingsley's Masterclass teacher introduces his spawned-in-a-lab creation and the fact that he taunts his opponents with belittling Evil Laughter and stares Everyone Down with Evil Brown Eyes in closeup is straight up Ivan Drago. The film literally treats him like a soulless Terminator. How is that more inspiring? True to life? It isn't. It can't be. That's why Arnold Schwarzenegger is a So Bad It's Good icon and why…
It's like The Karate Kid for overachievers.
How important is it to win? What is the true significance of competition?
First-time director Steven Zaillian approaches these questions, and shows us a very intimate look in young Josh Waitzkin’s world of familial strife, adolescence, and chess championships. Max Pomeranc is excellent as Josh, and Ben Kingsley, Joe Mantegna, Larry Fishburne, and the always-reliable Joan Allen round out an excellent, assured supporting cast.
Intelligent, fun, and electric movie-making.
Part of Revisiting the 90s in 2015
A well made film, but some of the ethical/moral lessons are questionable. His teacher, played by Ben Kingsley, tells our young 7 year old protagonist that he must view his opponents with contempt, that they are lower than him. Terrible fucking lesson to teach a kid, but thankfully it looks as if Josh Waitzkin doesn't take that lesson to heart, as he never seems to view any of his opponents with contempt. Plus his father acts like a major asshole at one point when Josh loses a game. He not only rebukes him, but does so in the rain, while the poor little bastard is shivering and about to catch pneumonia. Hope that…
It's so weird hearing Joe Mantegna and not seeing Fat Tony on the screen in front of me.
Before Whiplash there was Searching for Bobby Fischer, a.k.a. Innocent Moves, a film about (but not really about) chess that is defiantly good - a forgotten classic. Moves along a familiar trajectory but does so in beautiful fashion, with Conrad L. Hall bringing out all the evocative textures in sunlight, rain, and the chess game itself, whose pieces bear all manner of finely crafted dents and grooves. Only complaint is that Laurence Fishburne's street hustler is underutilised. But that's about it. The final showdown is every bit as exciting as Balboa vs. Creed.
Completely adorable, but there are also a lot of interesting themes at play around the psychology of chests and prodigious talent, and how much pursuing excellence is worth compared to having fun. I heart Joe Mantegna.
An uplifting and moving drama from Steve Zaillian, that somehow makes Chess look absolutely enthralling.
horner's score brings this one down a bit. sooooooo schmaltzy. otherwise this is fantastic.
I accidentally stumbled across this on Netflix having been looking for an easy watch of something I hadn't seen before, and I have to say it's one of the better performances by a child actor in the shape of Max Pomeranc's characterisation of Josh Waitzkin of the Chessmaster fame.
Ben Kingsley and Laurence Fishburne give two good performances in their two different ways of mentoring Josh. I don't necessarily think you'll like this film unless you have an understanding of some of the concepts of Chess but nonetheless it's a pretty good watch and something a bit different.
Just rewatched this film after many years, and I still love it. Maybe a little heavy-handed, maybe a little saccharin, but really well acted and it just works.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Complete list. :-(