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Friday, February 01, 2008

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

Bob and I rented this from Netflix the other night. I found it amusing, in a Trekkies or American Splendor sort of way. For me, the best part was when Steve Wiebe filmed himself in his garage breaking the world record for Donkey Kong. The camera was focused on the game screen, but in the background we heard Wiebe's young son shouting "Daddy, come wipe me! Daddy, come wipe me! STOP PLAYING DONKEY KONG!!!!!!" This scene summed up the story perfectly.

Anyway, here is the official site for the documentary.

I enjoyed this movie more than anything I’ve seen recently. But it’s funny, if you read the promotional stuff for the film on their website, it makes you wonder if the Director and Producer have seen their own film. I can’t see how any reasonably intelligent person can watch this movie and NOT come to the conclusion that Billy Mitchell, the “reigning” Donkey Kong champion is a total and complete douchebag. He and the kangaroo court at the video game “record center” screwed the other main character Steve Wiebe in ways that would embarrass Karl Rove. I guess Mitchell has a moderately successful business, but his life seems to revolve around being the head geek lording it over the pathetic band of ‘80s video console addicts who trail along after him like whipped puppies.

Plus his haircut sucked.

I don’t really blame the Producers too much, you won’t sell too many DVD’s if you have to promote you movie with the subtitle, “Watch an obnoxious dickhead who peaked at 17 doing something completely pointless compete with a fairly nice guy who needs to grow some balls.”

A great f'in movie! At first I was like, this is not good storytelling, but once they got to the point where they weren't catching us up on what had happened and were able to film things as they happened it was excellent. The various shots of Billy Mitchell as he lurks in the background or talks with his henchmen on the phone as they report on Steve's game are hysterical. And the use of the Leonard Cohen song as Billy Mitchell's theme was awesome. And we were sooo rooting for Steve by the end it was ridiculous. We both clapped when the tag said he had beaten the champ's recorded high score.
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