The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
Director: Seth Gordon
Released: August 17, 2007
If you ever fear you have no life, just pop this movie in your DVD player and you will see a whole bunch of people who truly have no life. Now even though I just insulted pretty much everybody in this movie, I will say I did find it hellava entertaining and fascinating. This documentary follows two people: Billy Mitchell who is the Donkey Kong champion (of the world!) and got the first highest score for it back in 1982. He's since scored over a million points. There's also Steve Wiebe, a middle school science teacher who, during a time when he was unemployed, decided he was going to try to beat Mitchell's score and did achieve this in 1999.
Wiebe videotaped his gameplay and sent it to some place in Iowa (of all places!) that apparently records scores for video game play. There, one of the workers had to watch the hours of Donkey Kong gameplay to make sure Wiebe didn't use any cheat codes and can verify his score is legit. The same guy also mentioned he had over two hundred video tapes to watch of other games. Wow, if I had a job like that, I would kill myself. No, I really would. I can't think of anything more boring and monotonous. Just imagine having to watch hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours...(okay, you get the idea) of footage of video games and having to pay attention to every little detail. Ugh... And I mean, does anyone really give a crap about who holds the highest score for a certain game? I certainly have never heard of Billy Mitchell before I saw this, but I digress...
When it's verified that Wiebe did beat Mitchell's score, he gets lots of press for it in Seattle. (And if there was any national press about it, I certainly don't remember it.) However, his score is revoked when people (you could say they're Team Billy) cried foul and said there was something amiss about Steve's arcade machine. This was a part of the movie I really didn't understand and it seemed a little fishy that fanboys of Billy were trying to get Steve's score disqualified... Seriously, get a life...
So Steve's score doesn't count and Billy returns as the Donkey Kong champ, but Steve goes to some video game convention and beats Billy's score live, but Billy sends in a videotape of him reaching over a million points and it goes on and on. In fact, I believe the movie ended with Steve having the highest Donkey Kong score at the time the movie was wrapped, but one of the special features on the DVD continues with Billy and Steve alternating the highest score. I think Billy has the highest score now and I could look it up, but I honestly don't really care.
As for Donkey Kong, I don't think I've ever played it. It's possible I played it when I was really young and don't remember. The only games I remember playing in the arcade were Super Mario Bros. (the old school one!) and Pac-Man. I do remember playing Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat a couple times, but I would get my ass kicked in five seconds.
If you're a Donkey Kong/ arcade game aficionado, you will really enjoy this movie and even if you aren't, you'll still get a kick out of it.