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.
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.
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