I have been feverishly trying to put the final touches on my latest game, Pumpkin Man, but have been stalled by the movie King Of Kong. Steve and my sister were discussing it today, and even though I have been itching to see it, I haven’t had time. I was jealous that they had seen it, so I ran out and rented a copy. After watching it, all of the special features, and listening to all of the commentaries, I am in awe. The best documentary I had seen before this was a little know opus on middle American film makers called American Movie. King of Kong is just as good or better.
American Movie told the story of Mark Borchardt and his struggles to a create a horror film will little money, poor equipment, but a lot of heart and some talent. The film is filled with real life American wonders in its characters. Some of them seem too far fetched to be actually real, but I have never heard anyone claim they were anything but. Very much in the same vein, King of Kong is filled with interesting characters that almost seem impossibly surreal. Like most cinema (and much of today’s new media), some information is left out to tell a good story. Don’t worry about that until after you watch the film though. It is a riveting underdog story with touches of treachery and that will keep you glued to your seat.
It tells the story of Steve Weibe, a school science teacher who is trying to beat the Twin Galaxies posted high score on Donkey Kong. Steve is very much a West coast outsider threat to the old boy network protected Donkey Kong high scores of the Twin Galaxies own Billy Mitchell. Steve struggles (seemingly alone) against a cast of over-the-top villains that wouldn’t seem out of place in episodes Knight Rider, or the A-team. Mitchell is made out to be a little shifty and dishonest, while the Twin Galaxies gang’s one-sided poor treatment of Weibe (for the most part) will leave a bad taste in your mouth. Of course, it is mostly a one-side take, and I know it has come under fire a little for compressing time, and leaving out some material. All that being said, it is a great work of art, and a must see for any film fan, especially a retro fanatic like myself.