Monday, November 25, 2013

Are good movies for nerds still possible?

This weekend I watched Computer Chess and The Internship on Apple TV.
Sadly, I feel that both film fail my test for being great.

Computer chess is really pretty fun. It is not "funny" but brings enough retro geeky elements into the script to touch a lot of "├╝ber nerd" soft spots. If you are like me and have lived the late seventies and early eighties micro-computer revolution, then you definitely get value of the first three quarters of the film. The let down is the last quarter. I will not spoil your fun by giving you the plot, but I can say that the film tries to meet up with a broader audience by bringing in deep issues of faith within a "fantastic" settings. I just didn't feel this worked.

The internship suffers a similar "try to broaden appeal" problem. The issue here is sex. Maybe it is the reediting for the Apple TV version, or I am just old fashion, but this film had way to much "open" sexual dialog (and scenes), and not enough inhibited behavior to be a "true" geeky movie.

Hopefully there is a business model out there that allows movies to be true to their spirit, without being a flop. These two movies show that these producers do not know of it.

You may ask what is my definition of a movie for nerds?
Here are a few of my favorites: Electric Dreams, Colossus - The Forbin Project, The Brain, Pi, Tron.

What is interesting in this list is the common theme: The separation of mind from body within a rational framework.

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