Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
In the 1980's, Billy Mitchell set several video game records that transformed him into a nerd God. He liked the notoriety it brought and used it as a side project from his successful restaurant/wings sauce line. By 2006, most of his records had been broken except for his Donkey Kong score.
Steve Wiebe lost his job working for Boeing (sound familar). Weibe decided that he was going to break the Kong record. Mitchell learns of his challenger and starts trying to discredit Wiebe's record breaking attempt. When one of Weibe's attempts breaks the record, a crew from Twin Galaxies (a reknowned website that verifies and tallies up video game records) comes out to investigate. They find a substance on the game board (more nerd references) in Weibe's machine that they feel could be compromised since it came from Mitchell's rival Roy Shildt.
TKOK is at it's heart an underdog story of the unemployed father Wiebe trying for once to succeed at something. Wiebe's backstory is heartbreaking and inspiring. Mitchell has since fired back at the makers of the film charging them with painting him in a unfavorable light. Whether or not that is the case, TKOK is a breezy film that never overly complicates things. It has a clear story and does a nice job of showing you a world that most of us didn't know existed. The dvd is loaded with lots of extras as well as what has happened to the rivalry since the filming.