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King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
     

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

4.8 5
Director: Seth Gordon

Cast: Billy Mitchell, Doris Self, Steve Wiebe

 
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

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.

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/29/2008
UPC:
0794043112348
Original Release:
2007
Rating:
PG-13
Source:
New Line Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:30:00
Sales rank:
9,667

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

Cast & Crew

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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The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Heavy_Metal_Sushi More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yorick-TheLast More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.