Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Searching for Bobby Fisher

Steve Zallian, 1993 (8.5*)
Engrossing story of a kid, Josh Waitzkin, played by Max Pomeranc, who loves to play chess, and who is enthralled by playing speed chess in a local park, where his talent is spotted and he is befriended by Larry Fishburne, who tutors him and provides comraderie. His father, in another excellent performance by Joseph Mantegna, wants to help his son achieve his goals, and hires conservative chess master F. Murray Abraham to take his son to the next level, serious tournament competition. The film's title alludes to U.S. chess sensation (and eccentric) Bobby Fisher, who broke the Russian's hold on the world chess championship in the late 60's (and then became a recluse), but has yet to see a successor emerge from the U.S. This is an excellent story about learning about something you love and showing determination toward your goals, even if you're only 7 years old. Based on a book by Josh's father Fred Waitzkin.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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