6.3/10
4,172
39 user 135 critic

Computer Chess (2013)

Not Rated | | Comedy | 7 November 2013 (Germany)
Trailer
1:56 | Trailer
A 1980s-set story centered around a man vs. machine chess tournament.

Director:

Andrew Bujalski

Writer:

Andrew Bujalski
2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Funny Ha Ha (2002)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Marnie just graduated from college, drinks likes she's still in school, and is looking for a temporary job but a permanent boyfriend. She loves a guy who doesn't love her (?), ping-pongs ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew Bujalski
Stars: Kate Dollenmayer, Mark Herlehy, Christian Rudder
Beeswax (2009)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A pair of identical twin sisters -- one, who has been paraplegic since youth and gets around in a wheelchair, and the other -- 'same face, different bodies.'

Director: Andrew Bujalski
Stars: Tilly Hatcher, Maggie Hatcher, Alex Karpovsky
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Alan is a musician who leaves a busted-up band for New York, and a new musical voyage. He tries to stay focused and fends off all manner of distractions, including the attraction to his good friend's girlfriend.

Director: Andrew Bujalski
Stars: Justin Rice, Rachel Clift, Andrew Bujalski
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The general manager at a highway-side ''sports bar with curves" has her incurable optimism and faith, in her girls, her customers, and herself, tested over the course of a long, strange day.

Director: Andrew Bujalski
Stars: Regina Hall, Haley Lu Richardson, Dylan Gelula
Tabu I (2012)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A restless retired woman teams up with her deceased neighbor's maid to seek out a man who has a secret connection to her past life as a farm owner at the foothill of Mount Tabu in Africa.

Director: Miguel Gomes
Stars: Telmo Churro, Miguel Gomes, Hortêncílio Aquina
Détective (1985)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In a palace of Paris. Two detectives are investigating a two-year-old murder. Emile and Francoise Chenal are putting pressure on Jim Fox Warner, a boxing manager, who owes them a huge ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Laurent Terzieff, Aurelle Doazan, Jean-Pierre Léaud
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

MEUTHEN'S PARTY unmasks the rise of the provincial politician Dr. Jörg Meuthen who doesn't shy away from spreading racist sentiments with a smile on his face.

Director: Marc Eberhardt
Passion (1982)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A film director has an inspirational crisis while working on the production, Passion, and struggles with the nature of work and art.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Hanna Schygulla, Michel Piccoli
Nothing Personal I (2009)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Alone in her empty flat, from her window Anne observes the people passing by who nervously snatch up the personal belongings and pieces of furniture she has put out on the pavement. Her ... See full summary »

Director: Urszula Antoniak
Stars: Lotte Verbeek, Stephen Rea, Tom Charlfa
Les Mistons (1957)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Five young boys in pre-puberty are collectively attracted by a beautiful, young woman, Bernadette Jouve. She awakes in them the springs of luminous sensuality. As they are too young to love... See full summary »

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Gérard Blain, Bernadette Lafont, Michel François
The Arbor (2010)
Documentary | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Portrayal of the late Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar.

Director: Clio Barnard
Stars: Manjinder Virk, Christine Bottomley, Natalie Gavin
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A woman involved with a terrorist group becomes dangerously close to the police officer guarding the bank they plan to rob.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Maruschka Detmers, Jacques Bonnaffé, Myriem Roussel
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kriss Schludermann Kriss Schludermann ... ADVANTAGE Member
Tom Fletcher Tom Fletcher ... DEEP SPEED Member
Wiley Wiggins ... Beuscher
Patrick Riester Patrick Riester ... Bishton
Kevin Bewersdorf Kevin Bewersdorf ... Cameraman
Gene Williams ... MONSIEUR D'ECHECS member
Jim Lewis Jim Lewis ... John
Cole Noppenberg Cole Noppenberg ... CAPA X Member
Myles Paige Myles Paige ... Papageorge
Gerald Peary Gerald Peary ... Henderson
James Curry James Curry ... Carbray
Bob Sabiston Bob Sabiston ... McVey
S. Kirk Walsh S. Kirk Walsh ... Hotel Clerk
Daniel Metz Daniel Metz ... Reini Urban (as Daniel C. Metz)
Stephen Wheeler ... Panel Skeptic
Edit

Storyline

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. Written by Production

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An artificially intelligent comedy from the director of Funny Ha Ha and Mutual Appreciation.

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 November 2013 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Комп'ютерні шахи See more »

Filming Locations:

Austin, Texas, USA

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,683, 21 July 2013

Gross USA:

$102,041

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$127,852
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Computer Chess See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Pauline: Peter, did you ever stop and ask yourself how many squares are on a chess board?
Bishton: 64. It's an 8 by 8 grid.
Pauline: Well... but don't you see how limited that is?
Bishton: No, it's actually very complex once you start to think about it as a programming problem. Just the number of possible games explodes exponentially with each move, it's close to 10 to the 120th power. And to try and compute all those games might take even longer than humanity would be around to do so.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Panel Skeptic ... Dr. red text]" See more »


Soundtracks

Organ Freakout
By Kevin Bewersdorf
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Peeling away layers to find the bleak sameness
11 November 2013 | by StevePulaskiSee all my reviews

I can sit through the most ponderous Joe Swanberg film, the most ridiculous thing ever directed by the Duplass brothers Jay and Mark, respectively, and can even tolerate monotony bestowed upon a talky independent movie in terms of my affection and devotion to the mumblecore movement in cinema. However, when watching a film by the proclaimed "godfather" of the movement Andrew Bujalski, I find myself in a figurative wrestling match between myself and his films. His films are well shot, wonderfully lit and captured given the minimal budgets, and are believably conducted from an acting standpoint, but when the characters open their mouths, not much interesting comes out and when the plot "gets going," not much noteworthy seems to happen. Arriving at the conclusion of his directorial debut Funny Ha Ha, his follow-up effort Mutual Appreciation, and now, his latest endeavor, Computer Chess (arguably his best reviewed film), I am met with nothing other than emptiness, isolation, and very little to write about.

When I enjoy a film that falls in line with the mumblecore movement, bearing a micro-budget, naturalistic dialog, simple but thoughtful acting, themes classified under the title of social realism, and a basic plot that offers much discussion, I'll talk about it for days and write a long, healthy review of the film. When I don't enjoy a film of the mumblecore movement, I'll struggle for sometimes over an hour trying to summarize why I didn't enjoy it. Films like these rely so heavily on character and realism that not liking the film likely means that you didn't like the characters for some reasons.Your tolerance for simplicity, tone, and character needs to be relatively high or the film is likely to escape you. Computer Chess escaped me early on and neither I nor it every reconnected.

The story concerns a computer chess tournament circa 1980's, when the home-computer/computer revolution was jut gaining momentum. People were in awe at the fact that a person can play a machine in a game like chess and have a chance at losing. The power of a machine shaped like a large box was greatly underestimated and tournaments for computer chess and other basic video games became relatively common. The picture is aesthetically complete, showing the players as probably how they were. Many of them wore button-down shirts, vests over their shirt, pocket-protectors, thick-rimmed glasses, had neatly combed hair and a fine-trimmed mustache, along with the benefits of khaki pants and their brain power.

Long story short, they were geeky, but they also were the reason why computers advanced so much in such a relatively short period of time. One look into the history books - or this film, in particular - and you see their equipment was clunky, slow, and unreliable. If they wanted better materials, they couldn't utilize the internet to their advantage. All they could do was do what they could with what they had, and they became the technical pioneers of a larger-than-life industry that many of us take for granted today.

Writer/director Bujalski does a nice job on the environment and the atmosphere of the picture, making the entire project have the look and possibly the aroma of a 1980's chess tournament. The computer and software equipment they had defines the very principles of primitive technology, and Bujalski shows this by incorporating memorable computer sounds of the time, along with the believable execution of an early computerized chess tournament. The black and white photography the film bears only emphasizes this quality. It also helps a film with weak or uninteresting material to make up for it in the aesthetic department, but unfortunately, Computer Chess can't entirely rebound.

Reviews of Computer Chess have marveled at the existential value of the picture. Most everyone has hailed the set design and the aesthetic work (my sole attraction before and after watching the film). And some claim that there's a great meditative style to the picture that offers a valuable viewing. I was free of almost everything in that vicinity watching the film. Bujalski's commitment to recreating an odd, specific time-frame in history deserves significant recognition, but the story he concocts around alienating characters leaves a lot to be desired. When admiration for the history subsides and fascination with aesthetics simmers, what you have is another film with a tiresome story. Like peeling away at the unique looks of a human being to find we're the same on the inside; that's never any fun.

Starring: Kriss Schludermann, Tom Fletcher, and Wiley Wiggins. Directed by: Andrew Bujalski.


23 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 39 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed