In 1980, a tournament of computer geniuses meets up in a hotel to build a chess program with the ultimate goal: beating a human player.
Blazing out of Sundance and proceeding directly to the cult canon, Computer Chess is one of our favorite indies of the decade: a hilarious, weird, endlessly inventive shaggy dog comedy about the birth of our new era from “mumblecore” headmaster Andrew Bujalski. Long live A.I.!
While I greatly appreciate the film's aesthetics, ultimately I found it's plot uninteresting, unfunny and dry. Thematically there are some cool ideas but they are greatly underdeveloped. Somewhat disappointing.
It nails the look, I'll give it that. And it induced a novel, mildly stirring desire to see a film adaptation of Stewart Brand's Spacewar: Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums. But unfortunately, Computer Chess is another neat idea turned near-miss from the still promising Andrew Bujalski, and confirms Gore Vidal's radical theory that boredom in the arts can be, under the right circumstances, dull.
In its own warped, humble way, this could be called "Origins of the 21st Century": an eerie, lo-fi, ultra-dry comedy about the struggle to create artificial intelligence when the human kind is hardly working out. In an era when Sundance is synonymous with blandly quirky Little Miss Sunshine clones, this is a sign that the free-form daring of early Linklater and Haynes is still alive and well. I love it. 5 stars.
Annoying, grating, frustrating and completely distancing, this was really quite a chore. The style was trying so hard to be quirky and different that it was just became unbearable, it has some interesting points to make about humanities relationship and fascination with technology, but this was really disappointing. 2/5
One of the best movies in recent years! Its an existential surreal satire into the unknowns of computer chess contest culture. The stylistic choices the movie takes on becomes its own language full of bizarro insight that's distinctive. This movie makes Lo-Fi its bitch! God, just go fucking see this movie!
I ran to see this to cleanse myself of the disappointment of "Pacific Rim". "Chess" strips away the empty calories of CGI, giving us more unadulterated moments of human (or non-human) interactions. The analog video format lends not only a vintage look but also a singular surrealism that supports the film's own bizarre turns. Btw, the lone female in the team is still a rarity today: IT conferences are sausage fests.