Film Pawn Sacrifice - review by AncientChess

BeNiceYouGuys

For all my chess buddies, I've done a video review of the movie at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7U6yDomJQr8

Drawgood
Hi, is this really Rick from ancient chess? I really love all your videos. Watched them all by now. I've watched your review of Pawn Sacrifice few days ago and I think you're actually being too nice and lenient toward it. Personally I am very disappointed with the movie. The actors not looking like the historical figures could be forgivable since the director couldn't be expected to always find perfect actors. But the things that bother me, and seemingly many other people, is the plain lazy mistakes and historical revisions in favor of fiction. I've read Bobby Fischer's biography by Brady and assuming even that may or may not be entirely accurate at least we can be sure that the biography is mostly accurate. But this movie just changes everything and adds all sorts of cinematic sensationalism where none is appropriate. Of course there are also various inaccuracies with the props. Doesn't the movie show Bobby Fischer use a magnetic wallet style pocket chess set? I thought he used an old style peg chess set. I doubt the magnetic one he uses in the movie was even sold back then.
zealandzen

Gotta be happy there's a chess movie at all, and as a stand-alone piece of entertainment, it's superior to the regular cinema fare, even to The Martian that is raking in the millions.

Great review. Thanks! You are correct that McGuire can't match Fischer's presence. I didn't have a problem with the women's makeup overall. You are hysterical at 11:00. 

fburton

Thanks for the great review.

edley_anglin

Drawgood: "Doesn't the movie show Bobby Fischer use a magnetic wallet style pocket chess set? I thought he used an old style peg chess set. I doubt the magnetic one he uses in the movie was even sold back then."

The chess set depicted in the movie did exist back then as I purchased one during the summer of 1972 and yes, Fischer used one as well as one of the magazine's covering the match (Time, Life, Newsweek) published a photograph of Fischer analysing a game on the set.

BeNiceYouGuys

Thanks for the comments. For some reason, I hadn't realized this thread was going on ... until I chanced upon it 3 years later! I haven't done any videos in a long time and am trying hard to make the time and focus my energies to get back to it. Your comments are always greatly appreciated.

varelse1
Drawgood wrote:
Hi, is this really Rick from ancient chess? I really love all your videos. Watched them all by now. I've watched your review of Pawn Sacrifice few days ago and I think you're actually being too nice and lenient toward it. Personally I am very disappointed with the movie. The actors not looking like the historical figures could be forgivable since the director couldn't be expected to always find perfect actors. But the things that bother me, and seemingly many other people, is the plain lazy mistakes and historical revisions in favor of fiction. I've read Bobby Fischer's biography by Brady and assuming even that may or may not be entirely accurate at least we can be sure that the biography is mostly accurate. But this movie just changes everything and adds all sorts of cinematic sensationalism where none is appropriate. Of course there are also various inaccuracies with the props. Doesn't the movie show Bobby Fischer use a magnetic wallet style pocket chess set? I thought he used an old style peg chess set. I doubt the magnetic one he uses in the movie was even sold back then.

Hollywood always takes those kinds of creative liberties. 

Pawn Sacrifice actually came out quite accurate compared to say, Braveheart. NOTHING was accurate, in that film.

Taskinen
varelse1 wrote:
Drawgood wrote:
Hi, is this really Rick from ancient chess? I really love all your videos. Watched them all by now. I've watched your review of Pawn Sacrifice few days ago and I think you're actually being too nice and lenient toward it. Personally I am very disappointed with the movie. The actors not looking like the historical figures could be forgivable since the director couldn't be expected to always find perfect actors. But the things that bother me, and seemingly many other people, is the plain lazy mistakes and historical revisions in favor of fiction. I've read Bobby Fischer's biography by Brady and assuming even that may or may not be entirely accurate at least we can be sure that the biography is mostly accurate. But this movie just changes everything and adds all sorts of cinematic sensationalism where none is appropriate. Of course there are also various inaccuracies with the props. Doesn't the movie show Bobby Fischer use a magnetic wallet style pocket chess set? I thought he used an old style peg chess set. I doubt the magnetic one he uses in the movie was even sold back then.

Hollywood always takes those kinds of creative liberties. 

Pawn Sacrifice actually came out quite accurate compared to say, Braveheart. NOTHING was accurate, in that film.


As if you could compare the two. One based on 1970s, other to 1200s. Every source regarding William Wallace and the time of Edward I is at least to some extent ambigious, and hence much more open to creative fictional liberties, than say a film trying to depict 1970s.

Pulpofeira

Still, I doubt the real Wallace looked older than his parents-in-law!

varelse1
Pulpofeira wrote:

Still, I doubt the real Wallace looked older than his parents-in-law!

Me too.

Is also unlikely he wore a kilt, or war paint, or married a mere commoner.

Pulpofeira

300, now that's an accurate one. Ancient Greece on an alternate universe. But it was all about the lolz, actually.

varelse1
Pulpofeira wrote:

300, now that's an accurate one. Ancient Greece on an alternate universe. But it was all about the lolz, actually.

Yes.

With a male to female nipple ratio, of 600 to 4.

cgrau

A well done review, Rick. Many thanks for sharing it.

While chess players look for the accuracy of the chess details, I'm pretty sure Macguire and director Ed Zwick had a different project. I find it no surprise that a film about paranoia and the Cold War arises in the middle of the War on Terror. I think this nexus is what Macguire and Zwick sought to explore. I've discussed this elsewhere in this forum, and it's the subject of this review in Salon.

https://www.salon.com/2015/09/16/the_cold_war_is_back_and_it_never_went_away_bobby_fischers_tragedy_and_the_conflict_that_ate_americas_soul/

Again, thanks for your thoughts and well-done review.

lighthouse

Was not Bobby Fischer a tall Guy ?  not a midget hobbit .