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The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters


None January 17th, 2008

kingofkong
ace, the documentary may be about an egotistical hot-sauce salesman named Billy Mitchell defending his world record on the old Donkey Kong arcade game, but really it's about one man's need to regain his confidence and self-esteem. That man is Steve Wiebe, a mild-mannered family man and math teacher who's encountered a few bumps in the road of life. Unexpected unemployment leaves him with too much free time, so he throws all he's got into trying to best Mitchell's score.

I won't spoil the end, but he's my new hero. Turns out, the adage that it's not whether you win or lose is true "” it's all how you play the game.

Director Seth Gordon lucked into a gold mine of a story in this rivalry, and what emerges is an imminently watchable, just-about-perfect film. Even those who don't think they like documentaries or video games can't help but be entranced.

The disc presents a wealth of bonus footage, and a brief cartoon of Kong history. But the coolest feature is its flippable cover, feature a charming coin-op montage from artist Scott Campbell. To see this film is to love it.

"”Rod Lott

 
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