KING OF KONG
After watching a bunch of
feature films and documentaries on subject matter that is of
no interest to me, Iíve come to the realization that any
subject matter, done the right way, can be made interesting.
The King of Kong is a documentary about competitive classic
gaming that is not only interesting, but surprisingly
exciting. Of course with a documentary part of the process
is luck and director Seth Gordon got really lucky with
characters that are better than fiction.
In The King of Kong, Billy Mitchell is the reigning champion
of Donkey Kong. Heís also known for being the first person
to play a perfect game of Pac-Man and holds a bunch of other
world record in games like Centipede and Burger Time. Billy
has a big ego and his world records are something he holds
near and dear. When challenger Steve Wiebe threatens his
Donkey Kong world record, Billy Mitchell does anything he
can to undermine Steveís efforts.
Steve Wiebe is the exact opposite of Bill Mitchell, he is a
nice guy that never real achieved much success even though
he was a talented athlete and musician. After being
laid-off, Steve Wiebe runs into the world record score for
Donkey Kong and decides he will try to beat it. As he gets
better and better, he starts video taping his world record
attempts and achieves over one million points smashing
Billyís record. Here is where all the controversy begins as
the official holder for gaming scores, Twin Galaxies,
rejects his score and says he has to performance in person
at a sanctioned Donkey Kong machine at a place called
Funspot features some of the funniest scenes in this
documentary, because it is here that we meet Brian Kuh and
his introduction is classic. Brian is seen throwing his
stuff into his bag, throwing the bag in his trunk and
slamming the trunk shut. We ever know what he was mad about,
but he probably lost while attempting to break a world
record. At Funspot, Steve Wiebe attempts to break the world
record all the while Brain Kun is trying forcibly to
distractive him and calling Billy on the phone to tell him
of Steveís progress. Steve Wiebe doesnít get to a million
points but still breaks Billyís record, but wait, Billy has
a few tricks up this sleeve when he has Brain Kun play a
video with a record breaking million point score. The
competition heats up when Steve and Billy are said to go
head to head in Billyís home town for an entry in the
Guinness book of world records.
What makes this documentary so special is the characters.
The conflict here plays like that of good versus evil. Billy
is make out to be the bad guy while Steve plays the hero.
Itís the classic battle, and it works for this doc making it
one of the most entertaining documentaries of 2007.
Picturehouse has done a great job with this DVD. Forgoing
the ugly plain black cases that are the usual, the case is
clear and includes collectible artwork. The DVD is also
loaded with over 90 minutes of extra footage and has plenty
of bonus features.
Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1)
English 2.0 Stereo Surround
The Saga Continues - Read
whatís happened between Billy and Steve since the filming of
Festival Q&A - The cast answer
questions at a bunch of different film festivals. (10:43)
Steve Sanders Reacts - An
interview with Steve Sanders, one of Billyís best friends,
three weeks after the theatrical release discussing gamers
who lie about their scores and why they gave Steve Wiebe
such a hard time. (6:09)
The Stylings of Billy Mitchell
- Billy parents and friends talk about his look and how heís
stuck in the 80s. (2:30)
Roy Awesome Disinformation Clip
- Roy Shildt a Guinness Book World Record holder at Missile
Command talks about why he has not gotten any recognition.
The Music of Steve Wiebe -
Shows Steve at the drums and his friends discussing how good
he is at it.(4:47)
Walter Day Profile - The
head of Twin Galaxies is profiled. (8:16)
Video Game Wizard - The
Video Game Wizard video by John Farley. (2:58)
Twin Galaxies News Update -
An old archived video featuring a news update by Walter Day.
Steveís DK strategy - Steve
discusses his winning game playing strategy. (3:08)
Side by Side Gameplay - A side by site comparison of Steve
and Billyís game play (6:24)
Extended Interviews - Interview with cast. The
best of the lot is Brianís Kuh interview.
A Really, Really Brief History of Donkey Kong
- The history of Donkey Kong is explained. (1:03)
Arcade Glossary - Definition of terms used in
the gaming culture.
I am 8-bit - Features music and art inspired
by video games.
Commentary by Director Seth
Gordon, Producer Ed Cunningham and Associate Producers Clay
Tweel and Luis Lopez
Commentary by Chris Carle
(Entertainment Editorial Director of IGN and Jon M. Gibson
Founder of I am 8-bit
By Milton Brayson
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