Monday, 29 June 2009

The King of Kong

Ken Burns has put together an amazing 90 minute documentary that will seriously be enjoyed by anyone, but if you are a computer game fan, its AN ABSOLUTE MUST!

The King of Kong, is a documentary about bragging rights among video game geeks. Its about the earlier days of video gaming, nostalgic, humorous and utterly compelling.

The story in a nutshell: Back in the mid-80s, a video game mega-guru named Billy Mitchell set the all-time world record for Donkey Kong. (Donkey Kong, you'll remember, is the game in which Mario made his debut while trying to rescue the princess from a grumpy giant ape.) Mitchell's record remained uncontested until 2006, which is when a mild-mannered family man called Steve Weibe broke the all-time high -- but when he submitted his score to the "official" gaming commission, it was denied because Steve racked up all his points on a home-based machine. Apparently the only way to truly claim the record is to play the Donkey Kong machine that's inside a specific Funland location. But that didn't stop Mitchell from submitting his own video-taped record -- and that score WAS accepted as yet another new world's record.

Suffice to say it's a long and winding road to the title of Kong King, and director Seth Gorden captures all the whole damn story in all its geeky glory. True that the flick paints Mitchell as an arrogant lout while Wiebe is portrayed as a sensitive little sweetheart, but both of the guys' legitimate personalities seem to burst through at every opportunity. Wiebe is a sad-sack nice-guy who's had a bunch of financial problems, while Mitchell's a cocksure and self-adoring entrepreneur who basically refuses to acknowledge his challenger's existence! Throw in a handful of video game experts and a few insights from the long-suffering spouses, and you've got a human interest story that's just too delicious to ignore.

If you loved the 80’s computer game vibe from our t-shirts, you will love love love this movie.

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