Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Checkmate Nitpick

I fell for the trap of thinking that a chess movie starring Danny Glover and Sean Astin on Netflix couldn't be that bad. I probably fast forwarded through the last 30 minutes, but I still regretted the time I lost on it. No need to warn you of spoilers because I'm really doing you a service if you never watch this turkey. Mash up a bank robbery plot, a family disintegrating in the midst of a health crisis, and a high stakes chess game, and you'd probably do better than what director Timothy Woodward Jr put together. I should have read the reviews before I hit play because it's basically a string of the lowest ratings you could give.

I found myself shouting at the television screen because for a movie with a chess-themed title, they sure didn't know chess. Here are a couple of screenshots to play at home:

1. Vinnie Jones is sitting behind the black pieces awaiting his opponent. What's wrong with this picture?

2. Danny Glover arrives at the opposite side of the board and sets a case down. There are two things wrong here.


1. The black king is on Vinnie's right and the black queen is on his left. Standard setup should always have it opposite.

2. The player of the white pieces brought his own half-set which happens to match the style of the black pieces; this never happens because no one breaks up sets. The right lower corner nearest to Danny Glover should be a light square.

1 star for spending money on named cast members, 0 for skimping on writers who could put together plot, characters, or dialog. I still don't know why the chess game had any relation to the rest of the movie, but you know what? I just don't care.

1 comment:

ChessAdmin said...

I find it pretty amazing that Hollywood can't get basic chess stuff right in a majority of the films, which just goes to show you how far cinema is from reality (and that the producers don't care to be accurate).

When it does happen it's a pleasure to see, though (i.e. in "From Russia with Love").