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February 1993


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"Bill Johnson - CC T1 Instrument. Manager T2A 4-7791" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 1 Feb 1993 08:18:05 -0600
text/plain (84 lines)
To all those out there interested, I have just watched the movie
"Knight Moves" with Christopher Lambert, Tom Skeritt, Diane Lane
(Mrs. Lambert). For those who are interested in chess as a movie
plot device, "Knight Moves" does a reasonably good job using it.
SPOILERS AHEAD!!! If you don't want to know specific details about
the movie, please go no further!!!!!!!!!!
OK. In the beginning, we see the obvious flashback to when Lambert is
a young and brillant(?) chess player at the local State Chess Championship.
Judging by the number of chess pieces on his side of the board, he is
wiping out this other young yet obviously shaken chess player (both look
to be pre-teens. Lambert defeats the other kid, and as he reaches for
the other kid's hand for the handshake, the kid stabs him in the hand
with a fountain pen and jumps on Lambert. Cut to the disturbed kid in the
hospital with a nervous breakdown. The kid is sent back to his broken
home where his father leaves forever and his mother, in a drunken stupor,
decides to commit suicide. The kid discovers his mother after seeing a
pool of blood collecting on the floor coming from the ceiling. He
subsequently gets his chess board and pieces, which have been locked away
per doctor's orders, goes to the kitchen, pours a glass of milk and
plays a game of chess with himself...
Well, the movie continues with murders committed by someone that has taken
a shine to Lambert; the murderer wants to play a game with Lambert to see
who is better/smarter. The murderer calls him at a Round Robin Chess Tournament
and leaves him clues to the murders he is going to commit.
Tom Skeritt is the town sheriff/chief of police and Daniel Baldwin is
the town detective. Diane Lane is brought in from the local institution
as the Psychologist. All do well as their characters; Skeritt is always
good, Lane is whinny enough and pretty enough to take your mind off
of what's going on, but Baldwin plays a great character as the bad
cop in the "Good cop/Bad cop" scenario - a gritty kind of Andrew Dice Clay
kind of guy that Dice REALLY should have been cast as. This role might
have re-launched his movie career! But, I digress...
The plot twists and turns with no one knowing whether Lambert is the
murderer using accomplices, whether he is the psychopath from the
flashback sequence in the beginning of the movie, etc.
This movie is JUST good enough to recommend. Murder mysteries are very
difficult to review or recommend when you have to compare them with the
likes of Hitchcock, Chandler, etc. This is NOT Hitchcock, but it is
entertaining and there's lots of blood and also there are questions throughout
the movie that take your mind off of trying to figure too out quickly who
this murderer really is.
This movie may not last too long other there with the lot of current movies,
and it may be hard to find with all the many movies currently playing.
So, if you do find it and you like chess and mystery, go and see it...
It's rated R for violence, blood and a few sex scenes with female frontal
(from the waist up) nudity. Also some obligitory scenes of the psycho
killer attacking people with a knife...
Bill Johnson
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