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Pawn Sacrifice is a period drama about famed chess player Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire), following Fischer’s rise from his childhood in Brooklyn through to his famed matchup with Soviet Grandmaster Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber) at the 1972 World Chess Championship. The film captures Fischer’s adolescence as a time of burgeoning mastery of the game, while struggling in a fatherless home and beset by early signs of mental illness. Set during the height of the Cold War, tensions between the United States and Russia play a critical role in the story, as they fuel many of Fischer’s fears and anxieties over perceived Russian spying and surveillance. His paranoia reaches a fever pitch in Reykjavik, Iceland, the site of his famous duel with Spassky for the world championship, leading to a remarkably compelling finale. Writer director Steven Knight and director Edward Zwick have crafted a striking depiction of a real-life genius grappling with fraying sanity, and Maguire is stunningly evocative as the abrasive and acerbic Fischer. For the viewer, no advanced knowledge of chess is necessary to enjoy this vivid depiction of one man’s historical achievement in the face of profound mental disturbance.
HBO Max is a subscription-based on-demand platform that is only available in the US. New subscribers pay $15 a month, with an annual subscription option also available.
When you subscribe, you’ll get HBO’s world-class exclusives, such as The Wire and Game of Thrones but HBO MAX also functions as a bundle: you’ll get content from DC, Criterion Collection, Looney Tunes, Studio Ghibli, Turner Classic Movies, and Crunchyroll.
Most mobile devices that can stream video support HBO Max, although there is yet no app for Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices.
Amazon’s premium membership program includes access to the streaming platform Prime Video, more commonly referred to in this publication as simply “Amazon Prime.”
If you live in the US, the UK or Germany, you have the option between paying a yearly or monthly subscription fee for an Amazon Prime account, which comes with a bulk of other retail and delivery services. People in other countries where Amazon is not operating may be able to access it from a browser only.
In addition to on-demand streaming, you can rent or purchase TV shows that are not on the service for an additional fee. As well as Amazon devices, the app is available on any mobile device, including iOS, Android, or Windows. The app also works on Apple and Windows computers, on a wide range of TVs, mobile devices, and games consoles.
Netflix is an ad-free streaming platform that operates on a monthly, or annual, subscription.
There are three pricing plans – Basic, Standard and Premium – and the one you choose will determine the number of devices that you can simultaneously use to watch Netflix, in case you want to share the account with someone else.
There are three plans, though pricing differs from region to region. First up is the Basic plan, which allows you to watch on one device at a time. Upgrading to the Standard plan allows you to watch shows and movies, and download them for offline viewing, on up to 2 different devices at a time. The top-tier Premium plan lets you watch and download on up to 4 different devices, and comes with the options to watch videos in HD and Ultra HD.
Once subscribed, you can watch movies and TV shows directly on your browser via Netflix.com.
You also have the option of downloading the app on pretty much any mobile device, including iOS, Android, or Windows. The app also works on computers using Windows XP or later and Macs with OS X Tiger or later.