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The King of Kong – A Fistful of Quarters (2007)

“Well maybe they’d like it if I lose. I gotta try losing sometime”

Well they told me this was good, one of the best ever documentaries. They were right, who are they? We might have to do a review on them one day. This really is a very good film. I say film as it had so many elements that set it aside from just the run of mill, set piece documentary films we see so much of. The King of Kong had it all. The battle of good versus evil, the empathy for the underdog, thrills, suspense, sadness and a happy ending. I will be honest, I am
not the biggest fan of happy endings. I would much rather intrigue or the abrupt ends that provoke the cries “Nooooooooooo” as the credits role. This happy ending, however, was appropriate and right, oh and a true story obviously.

The Film is essentially a look at the road to the World Record attempt for the Highest score in Donkey Kong, the retro Nintendo classic. I played this straight after I watched this film; safe to say, not my greatest moment. It really is a good, gripping watch. Your love and hate for certain characters develops very early in the film which helps you stay hooked for the remainder. The villain, ‘Billy Mitchell’, is quite impressive in his ability to repel and disgust you, he truly is a Bastard. The video tape incident quite literally made me want to
scream. You also develop this need for the protagonist, ‘Steve Wiebe’, to prevail. Not just prevail but blurt the line, ‘kill the prick’. His almost too sombre but heart wrenching efforts to get his (the prick, sorry Billy Mitchell) attention in the ‘nirvana’ of arcade locations…. ‘The Funspot’.

What I wanted to make sure from this write up is that all the descriptions and reviews for this movie, well the ones that matter, are true to their word. When you watch this you won’t take your eyes off the screen until the very end, where I predict you will be quite surprised and more importantly satisfied. It will anger you in parts as it did me, but I feel that is a tribute to the writer / director seeing the great prospect of interest in the main characters. You
should definitely check this one out. Seth Gordon, the director and the main reason behind the film, really does hit the spot with this one. Werner Herzog, he’s getting closer…..

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