Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

The King of Kong

Rated: PG-13 
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: August 17, 2007 Released by: Picturehouse

It's hard to say how bad a fictionalized Hollywood version of The King of Kong would have turned out.

This endearing, surprisingly riveting documentary by Seth Gordon really doesn't need its subtitle as a funny and affecting morality tale unfolds from the videogame Donkey Kong.

Billy Mitchell is the chicken/hot sauce magnate who has held the game's record for a quarter of a century and out of work engineer Steve Wiebe is out to be the best at something.

Suffice to say, when one Mr. Awesome appears and the conglomerate known as Two Galaxies makes their presence known, the documentary takes on a darker complexion.

The disciplined Gordon sets up the good vs. evil scenario well, but with depth of perception into the art that gamers strive for in the midst of its industry malfeasance. If there are tiny defects in this intriguing cinema verite it could be in some lingering shots and a repetitiveness.

Some may liken Mitchell to a naughty Kenny Loggins with his long mane, and Wiebe's training in his garage while maybe not attentive enough to his needy family easily insinuates a training scene out of a Rocky movie.

The King of Kong builds to a clash of titans at New Hampshire's videogame nirvana Funspot near Weir's Beach, but one doesn't have to be an arcade afficianado to appreciate the intrigue behind what high scoring dreams may come.

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