Searching for Bobby Fetcher

by ChessBase
11/9/2005 – We must confess: we haven't a clue what this one is about. Apparently a film production company is planning or is in the process of shooting a satirical movie on chess. There is a trailer on the web site, and the Internet Movie Database lists the project as "in production". Figure it out yourself.

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The dedicated web site (link below) seems to consist of nothing but the trailer, which is available in Windows Media or MAC Quicktime. The trailer is 15 MB long (DSL) or 8.8 MB (Dialup) and doesn't appear to stream.

"Robert Fetcher was once a household name," the anchor says. "But what's become of him since? Behind this door lies the answer."

"Robert was the white Emanuel Lewis of his day," the film tells us, "without the whole little person thing."

The 24-year-old Robert Fetcher playing in the finals of a children's tournament

And triumphing after he has checkmated his youthful opponent.


Jamie Duif Calvin gave us her take on this enterprise: "This looks to me like a work by a new filmmaker who is heavily influenced by director Christopher Guest. (Guest's films include Best in Show, Waiting for Guffman, A Mighty Wind, and he was one of the writers and actors for Spinal Tap.)

As for why they picked a chess theme – why not? These kind of movies start out with, "Wouldn't it be funny if...?" and then try to set up each scene so that it's delivered with great seriousness by the actors, but is supposed to be absurd to the audience. It's hard to do. Guest is very good at it, but even so his humour is less universally accepted than a more direct comedian like Jim Carrey or even Jack Black.

Andrew Bell of San Diego, USA wrote: "I enjoyed most of Guest's three major "Mockumentary" films ("A Mighty Wind", "Best in Show" and "Waiting for Guffman"). Of course, "This is Spinal Tap" is the penultimate "Mockumentary" (posing as a "Rockumentary") and will likely stay on its perch as such forever. In that movie, Guest played Nigel Tufnel, the band's bass player, and gave one of the best comedic performances I have every witnessed.

The Knight to F4 trailer gives the impression of a very bad film. The acting is way over the top and the situations (being pepper-sprayed by a cop over a race dispute, being slapped by a woman due to being too forward, a fat guy bathing, the Emmanuel Lewis comparison) don't glue anything interesting together and are all unfunny and derivative of much better work. It seems to be a good premise ruined once more.


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