In the spirit of Harv Glazer’s Rubik’s Cube documentary 20 Moves, I really tried to sum up my opinion about the film in 20 words – it didn’t work. But, hey, I don’t mind elaborating on the aptitude of Glazer’s satisfying work.
It’s really cool to watch an icon grow from scratch; a process Glazer’s 20 Moves captures gracefully. The puzzle toy starts off as a symbol of a tumultuous time in history, picks up steam, and makes the transition from an amusing pastime to an intellectual tool. Glazer even takes audiences through the toy’s business background including behind-the-scenes glances at marketing strategies. Luckily, the documentarian (along with insightful interviewees) translates the methodical jargon into an understandable language without slowing the film down.
20 Movies faces a challenge (or rather editor Mahi Rahgozar does) when Glazer chooses to use a soft-spoken interview with toy inventor Tom Kremer as the doc’s baseline. Kremer is a fountain of knowledge and experience, but he delivers his stories and information in a way that grinds against the type of high energy Glazer is wanting to achieve. When other speakers are integrated, 20 Moves hits its goal. The celebrity appearances are a nice touch since they allow breaks within the meaty content – the Steven Adler bits are especially funny. However, brief snippets with actor Drake Bell (College, Superhero Movie) are absolutely pointless since he basically reinforces the wild popularity behind the Rubik’s Cube and how he was alive to remember it. Interest and longevity are both addressed before he even hits the screen.
20 Moves, like the puzzle toy itself, entertains and educates.
20 Moves screens at Toronto’s Canadian Film Festival on Saturday, April 2 at 3:15 pm at The Royal Cinema.