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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
Several of those depicted in the documentary, including Wiebe and Mitchell themselves, claim that it does not accurately depict events. For example, Wiebe and Mitchell were, and still are, on much friendlier terms than is suggested, and another player's record was in place during some of the events but is omitted. The director has conceded to many of these claims in statements, arguing that the fictionalized account is more entertaining. See more »
When Billy Mitchell is describing an analogy of top WWI fighter aces, he claims the top French ace shot down 24 enemy planes. In reality the top French pilot (René Fonck) shot down 75 enemy planes, He also claims the Red Baron shot down 87 enemy planes, when he only had 80 confirmed kills. See more »
If anybody wants to see, there's a Donkey Kong kill screen coming up.
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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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