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The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
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King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (DVD)
In the cutthroat world of Donkey Kong, only one can rule! A middle-school science teacher and a hot sauce mogul vie for the Guinness World Record on the arcade classic, Donkey Kong. Steve and Billy engage in a cross-country duel to see who could set the high score and become the King of Kong! Along the way, both men learn valuable lessons about what it means to be a father, a husband, and a true champion - discovering that you don't always need to win to be a winner. "A hilarious and moving study of the obsessive competition between the all-time scoring leader on Donkey Kong, an odd Floridian, and a father of two who gets sucked into a world of mind-blowing passive-aggressiveness." Boston Globe]]>
The stuff of gladiatorial battle is here: good versus evil, right versus wrong, nerd versus... super-nerd? At any rate, it's a more entertaining showdown than most fictional movies can muster. The King of Kong is the saga of Steve Wiebe, a Redmond, Washington dweeb who sets a new record in the video game Donkey Kong, only to see his accomplishment challenged by the grand poobahs of the gaming establishment. And if you don't know how pernickety the grand poobahs of the gaming establishment can be, well, one of the pleasures of this movie is finding out about this collection of oddballs. It seems Wiebe has toppled a score that has stood since 1982, when eminent "Gamer of the Century" Billy Mitchell set it, and Mitchell isn't too happy about being overthrown. A black-mulleted showboat, Mitchell provides the perfect counterpoint to Wiebe's mild-mannered family man, and the smaller fish around him are no less colorful. This is one of those movies you watch in delighted disbelief, marveling that such people exist--and that they gladly allowed themselves to be filmed. Director Seth Gordon does an important thing in presenting this world of eccentrics: he doesn't mock them, or provide editorial nudging; he simply lets them be. The result is an ingratiating classic. --Robert Horton
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It's about a guy (Billy Mitchell) who got the world record high score on the video game Donkey Kong way back in the early 80s. This guy then lives the rest of his life riding the glory of this nerdiest of nerd accomplishments. Think of it like the big-game winning high school jock who lords it over his town for the rest of his life, but the guy is really a super-jackass. It's like that, except it's 1,000,000 times nerdier.
When the crown jewel of his so-called fame is challenged (and rightfully BEATEN) by an incredibly decent guy (Steve Wiebe) - this mullet-headed jerk (i.e. Billy Mitchell) and his gallery of nerd-henchmen basically disqualify Steve's score and repeatedly serve to undercut every valid attempt for Steve to prove he's better. The rest of the film is an embarrassing display of poor sportsmanship and cowardice (by Mitchell the mullet), and an incredible amount of character and integrity (by Steve Wiebe).
I wouldn't buy this movie, but it's worth a rental if you want to trigger some nerd rage.
in the end, I can't decide if I think it's sad or funny that Steve Weibe and a few other "normal" people get caught up in this delusional little world of competitive classic arcade gaming. Billy Mitchell is really something else though..I'm reminded again of fictional characters like Napoleon Dynamite's Uncle Rico...characters who seem to be stuck 20 years in the past..it's really something to behold...
The whole time I was watching the movie, I kept expecting someone to jump out and yell, "surprise!!!" It really felt like it was actually a parody, but the fact that it really is completely rooted in reality was the truly mind-blowing part. There are so many nooks and crannies where culture gets bunched up, it's easy to forget that there are whole other worlds of people and drives out there.
I would really recommend this movie to anyone as a classic "good" vs. "evil" battle movie. There is ego and innocence, locked together, that really gives this movie a tension that is so hard to manufacture.
Most recent customer reviews
The movie is engrossing with the quirkiness of that era, but you will be rewarded for buying this disc just for the...Read more