The King of Kong

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
Okay, you* HAVE to go see The King of Kong. The Snook and I just got back from a special preview showing in Newtown. (I won some free tickets from Kinokuniya.) The movie is a documentary about a rivalry between world champion Donkey Kong players. I know, I know – supreme geekiness, right? And the movie doesn’t stint on showing you just how nerdy some of these guys are. We all had some good laughs at the start. (My favorite was the guy who plays Centipede with his FEET.) But then somehow in the middle, we really started to care about Steve Wiebe breaking the odious Billy Mitchell’s record. When he played the game at Fun Spot, people actually started applauding. And then to see the bitchiness with which it was taken away with him, and to see how his much his family and friends supported him and how much everybody wanted to see him succeed… It was just awesome. I even felt a bit teary at the end, and there was enthusiastic applause during the film’s coda. (Be sure to sit through the credits, which are pretty funny.) It’s like we all went in just expecting to laugh at the dorks – and ourselves – but instead it really did become much bigger than that. I’d recommend this film to just about anybody. It’s that good.

Quote of the night, from the Snook: “When they start playing Nick Cave when you appear in the movie, you know you’re the villain.”

* Especially Amy and Hank, who will LOVE. IT.


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  1. lol we had free tickets too!

    We agree it rocked. How much did u hate billy at the end of the movie?

    Have u seen that the twin galaxy website? I didn’t want to give any plot spoilers…

  2. I’ve been surfing the web since we got home, so yeah, I read about the record. Too bad! He’ll get it back. 🙂

  3. We watched this a few weeks ago on… um… chBT. We’d heard about in on the Filmspotting podcast a while back, and didn’t know at that point if it would ever be screened here on not. Both of us loved it. I especially love the tagline… “Don’t get chumpatized”. 😀

  4. I remember seeing some ads for this a while ago.

    As a huge MAMEster from way back, I’m *so* going!

    And I’m dragging Kathleen with me!

  5. You’d love it! And I think she’d enjoy it too. The people are nerdy, but I think the film itself is supremely relatable…

  6. Shame on me: not only was this made locally (for me), the director is the son of one of my grad school professors and… I’ve still not seen it! Hopefully, this will inspire me to get my Netflix in gear and watch the movie!

    Regardless, I’m glad for Andy and his son’s sake that you’re promoting the film.

  7. I just watched this a few days ago and it was awesome. We’ve had it for a few days, but the name wasn’t sounding too amazing so I passed by it.. until I read your post and couldn’t believe I was missing out on something so awesome, when it was sitting under my nose for days!
    It was sheer brilliance. I’m seriously hating Billy Mitchell though – and I snickered to myself the whole movie at how awkward & weird he looks. I can’t believe he’s got the new highscore – I wonder if it was live or recorded..

  8. The Mister and I *just* finished watching this and we both absolutely *loved* it, a rarity in our house. Thanks for pointing our Netflix queue to this gem!

    PS: Isn’t it so satisfying when you hit on the *perfect* word to describe something? Odious suits Billy Mitchell to a *T*.

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