Friday, December 26, 2008

Wildcat11 Recommended Movie: "King Of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters"

With the Northern Willamette Valley and the Portland Metro area being covered in a brutal snow storm the past few weeks it has kept most residents of the area indoors and that means A LOT of movie watching the past few weeks. We've watched some solid mainstream hits like Iron Man, to some bland comedies like Get Smart. However, Mrs. 11 and I found a real gem this past week that is a MUST watch for any movie buff.

"King Of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters" is a documentary that was released by Picturehouse in early 2007. The story is centered around the classic arcade gaming world and the most difficult classic game, Donkey Kong. Back in the early 1980's a teenager named Billy Mitchell shattered the previous Donkey Kong high score on record and nobody has come close since. Mitchell is a character that even Hollywood could not have conceived. 20 years since his Donkey Kong record performance and he's still the top dog of this geek filled community and by the level of Mitchell's cockiness you would think he is on the level of a movie star.

But Mitchell's record and status gets threatened when a laid-off Boeing worker named Steve Wiebe starts making Kong sized waves in the gaming community. Steve Wiebe is about as likable of a guy you could ever meet. He's a father of two and trying to transition into a science teaching career. He's a talented guy but has never really carved an identity for himself or really been someone who's "made it". Steve's life has been filled with 2nd place finishes and has seemingly has never been able to measure up.

At first I thought there was no way I would be into this film but within the first 5 minutes I was sucked into the trials and tribulations of Steve's journey to respectability and overcoming Billy's constant roadblocks and passive aggressive moves to sidetrack Steve's advances on an "unbreakable" record. Besides Steve and Billy, the film is chalk full of almost unreal charters that worship Billy and support Steve.

Do yourself a favor and swing by your local video store and pick up a copy of King Of Kong. It's a underdog story in a weird and sort of pathetic world of classic arcade gaming.

Also, if you're looking for another off the beaten path flick check out Rocket Science. Nothing like a kid with a stuttering problem trying to make his high school debate team.

1 comment:

grasshopper said...

how could you not root for Steve Wiebe to take down Billy Mitchell...