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In the early 1980s, legendary Billy Mitchell set a Donkey Kong record that stood for almost 25 years. This documentary follows the assault on the record by Steve Wiebe, an earnest teacher from Washington who took up the game while unemployed. The top scores are monitored by a cadre of players and fans associated with Walter Day, an Iowan who runs Funspot, an annual tournament. Wiebe breaks Mitchell's record in public at Funspot, and Mitchell promptly mails a controversial video tape of himself setting a new record. So Wiebe travels to Florida hoping Mitchell will face him for the 2007 Guinness World Records. Will the mind-game-playing Mitchell engage; who will end up holding the record?Written by
Steve Wiebe challenged for the Donkey Kong record on live television from E3 2009, aired on G4TV. It was the first and only time to date that an arcade world record attempt took place on live television. Mitchell was also invited to play, but declined to do so. See more »
The Donkey Kong cabinet that Steve Wiebe installs in his garage is a combo Donkey Kong/Donkey Kong Jr. cabinet, however the markings on the cabinet are those of a stand-alone Donkey Kong Jr. cabinet. Wiebe specially purchases and installs the "brains" (PCB) of the combo game into his Donkey Kong Jr. cabinet in the course of the movie. See more »
I've pointed out to Steve that he's the person he is today because he came under the wrath of Bill Mitchell.
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Though this geeky arcade fighting flick may remain an acquired taste, The King of Kong feels like one of the more entertaining documentaries to emerge in years. Even though you would think the chief demographic of forty year old virgins and basement-ridden, antisocial, hardcore, old-school gamers would flip the bill, Kong immediately offers so much more on so many different levels of psychological and sociological intrigue that anyone not self-conscious enough to feel embarrassed for investing an emotional stake into a Donkey Kong showdown, (highlighting a bittersweet anti-climax) will find themselves deep inside a world they never thought imaginable.
The mock-epic tone, which so many supporting characters delightfully contribute to, feels seized by director Seth Gordon and infused into his charming take on good-vs-evil, letting this potentially inspiring metaphor stretch it's wings into a blossomed, well-rounded quirk-fest far more fun then it's rigorous gaming pedigree would suggest.
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