Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The King of Kong - DVD Review

THE KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS (****) - Starring Steve Wiebe, Billy Mitchell, Walter Day, Robert Mruczek and Brian Kuh. Directed by Seth Gordon.

This movie has an underdog hero in Steve Weibe, an egomaniacal villain in Billy Mitchell, injustice, competition, and a real 1980's formula to overcoming adversity. It could have been a Christopher Guest mockumentary; the people are so naturally funny in their geekiness that the world of video-gaming is now a topic Guest cannot tackle. How can you top what is real?

Billy Mitchell got the top score for Donkey Kong in 1982, and it has made him arrogant, king of his molehill. The whole classic gaming culture seems to have been built around worshipping Billy's accomplishments. Then along comes regular guy Steve Wiebe, who videotapes himself getting over a million points in Donkey Kong. Billy and his minions find an excuse to invalidate the score, and Underdog v. Establishment is on.

This was not nominated for Best Documentary of 2007, and while I haven't seen Taxi to the Dark Side, Operation Homecoming or War/Dance, there is no way Sicko is a better documentary than this. Rated PG-13 but shoulda been PG. I don't know what movie the MPAA was watching. Donkey Kong too mature a theme?

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