The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

( 5 )

Overview

Seth Gordon's documentary The King of Kong follows the exploits of the two best Donkey Kong players in America. Billy Mitchell has held the world record for the popular video game for over 20 years. The film covers his rise to prominence, and the circle of associates he keeps in the Twin Galaxies organization, which serves as the official referee and scorekeeper of the electronic gaming world; within the organization, Mitchell is highly revered for his prowess at a number of games. Eventually Steve Wiebe, with ...
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Overview

Seth Gordon's documentary The King of Kong follows the exploits of the two best Donkey Kong players in America. Billy Mitchell has held the world record for the popular video game for over 20 years. The film covers his rise to prominence, and the circle of associates he keeps in the Twin Galaxies organization, which serves as the official referee and scorekeeper of the electronic gaming world; within the organization, Mitchell is highly revered for his prowess at a number of games. Eventually Steve Wiebe, with time on his hands now that he finds himself without a job, decides to seriously hunker down and challenge Mitchell's record. Gordon gets close to both men, and shows how the passionate arcade subculture harbors very powerful feelings about both of them.
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Special Features

Feature commentary with director Seth Gordon, producer Ed Cunningham and associate producer J. Clay Tweel and Luis Lopez; Feature commentary with Chris Carle (entertainment editorial director, IGN) and Jon M. Gibson (founder, i am 8-bit); Extended interviews; Animated short "A Really, Really Brief History of Donkey Kong"; Arcade glossary; I am 8-bit music & art gallery; Theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Classic villains, the ones who really stick with you, can be difficult for a screenwriter to invent -- which is why, sometimes, it's best just to let real life do the work. In the terrific documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, one such classic villain is gloriously on display -- video game record holder Billy Mitchell, a Floridian whose two decades at the forefront of competitive gaming have transformed him from a presumably likable prodigy into a devious narcissist who uses every double standard in the book to stay atop the roost. In the other corner, we have Steve Wiebe, a sweet, multi-faceted dad from the Pacific Northwest who has the audacity to be really, really good at Donkey Kong. Seth Gordon's film gives us an epic struggle between these two archetypes -- the nice guy and the douchebag -- that eventually assumes Wrath of Khan proportions. But The King of Kong is about so much more than video games, viewing the seemingly frivolous activity of manipulating a joystick as a metaphor for all our hopes and ambitions. It also shows how the powers that be -- particularly an incestuous organization like the Twin Galaxies gaming society, which certifies world records -- can conspire to crush those ambitions. Whereas other gamers should look at this condescending a-hole and see a genuinely bad person, instead they see a hero and standard bearer for the small pond in which they all want to be big fish, and see Wiebe as the dubious outsider trying to shake things up. Wiebe's attempt to change minds -- and get his Donkey Kong record recognized -- is the story's thrilling high. The King of Kong showcases the natural human impulse to be the best at something, and reminds us that it's up to the individual whether this pursuit entails unforgivable self-involvement, or quiet dignity.
Los Angeles Times - Kenneth Turan
Obsession creates its own fascination, and never more so than in King of Kong, a sprightly new documentary that's as compulsively watchable as the vintage video game it focuses on is addictive.
Baltimore Sun - Michael Sragow
This film about fierce competition among classic video-game players is a comic action epic in documentary form. It captures fear -- and heroism -- in a handful of dusty video games.
TV Guide - Maitland McDonagh
Like "Air Guitar Nation," the stranger-than-fiction cast of characters is fascinating, and their high-stakes machinations are nothing short of mind-boggling.

This film about fierce competition among classic video-game players is a comic action epic in documentary form. It captures fear -- and heroism -- in a handful of dusty video games.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/29/2008
  • UPC: 794043112348
  • Original Release: 2007
  • Rating:

  • Source: New Line Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Subtitled
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Time: 1:30:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 7,709

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Billy Mitchell Participant
Doris Self Participant
Steve Wiebe Participant
Nicole Wiebe Participant
Steve Sanders Participant
Todd Rogers Participant
Walter Day Participant
Brian Kuh Participant
Robert Mruczek Participant
Technical Credits
Seth Gordon Director, Cinematographer, Editor
Ed Cunningham Producer
Luis Lopez Associate Producer, Editor
Craig Richey Score Composer
J. Clay Tweel Associate Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters
1. Opening Sequence [5:54]
2. Billy Mitchell [4:20]
3. Steve Wiebe [5:09]
4. Twin Galaxies [4:38]
5. A World Record [5:34]
6. Foul Play [5:42]
7. Score Rejected [3:41]
8. Live Play [4:19]
9. New Live World Record [5:58]
10. Taped Score [4:43]
11. Score Accepted [5:52]
12. Guinness [5:55]
13. Road Trip [8:09]
14. No Record [6:30]
15. Two World Records [4:37]
16. End Credits [1:59]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters
   Play Movie
   Special Features
      The Saga Continues
      Commentaries
         Feature Commentary with Director Seth Gordon, Producer Ed Cunningham and Associate Producers Clay Tweel and Luis Lopez
         Feature Commentary by Chris Carle (Entertainment Editorial Director, IGN) and John M. Gibson (Founder, I am 8-Bit)
      Bonus Footage
         Play All
         Festival Q&As
         Steve Sanders Reacts
         The Stylings of Billy Mitchell
         Roy Awesome Disinformation Clip
         The Music of Steven J. Wiebe
         Walter Day Profile
         Video Game Wizard - Music Video
         Twin Galaxies News Update
         Steve's DK Strategies
         Side by Side Gameplay
      Extended Interviews
         Play All
         Billy Mitchell
         Steve Saunders
         Robert Mruczek
         Brian Kuh
         Greg Bond
         Joel Hedge
         Dwayne Richard
         Mark Alpiger
         Todd Rogers
         Doris Self
         Aboner Ashman
      A Really, Really Brieg History of Donkey Kong
      Arcade Glossary
      I am 8-Bit
      Trailers
         Theatrical Trailer
         Sneak Peeks
   Set Up Options
      Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
      Audio: English 2.0 Stereo Surround
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: Off
   Select a Scene
   DVD-ROM & Online Features
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Very Cool Little Documentary!

    As a gamer, especially one who likes old games, I really enjoyed watching this. Essentially, an aspiring novice gamer sets out to beat out the long time Donkey Kong record holder Billy Mitchell, (who, if you ask me, seems a little too full of himself, but that's neither here nor there). I don't want to say too much or cast too many opinions of things in this movie, because I don't want to spoil anything, but I definitely have respect for Steve Weibe...and all of the gamers in this movie for that matter. I love many of the old games, and they have done stuff on them I could only dream about. On the whole, if you're a gamer or you just want to see a cool story about determination and heart, this is definitely worth a watch.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A story Hollywood couldn't even think up.

    This is one great story that will appeal to a wide range of people. It has better storytelling and character development than 90% of Hollywood productions. You will never sympathize for the good guy or despise the bad guy more.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The King of Kong

    By far one of the greatest stories in history. I know the title ignites the far opposite, but when you see this epic tale between, quite honestly, good and evil, you'll change your mind. Very few films have left me with such inspiration.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Highly Recommended

    I went in to the film entirely aware of the favorable reviews it had garnered. After finally viewing the film, I can assure you that they are all well-deserved. Entirely lovable and full of heart, I can't think of any reason not to view this documentary, videogamer or not.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews