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Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story (2010)

G  |   |  Documentary, History, Sport  |  15 October 2010 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 341 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 8 user | 19 critic | 4 from Metacritic.com

Shows how the classic board game has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon, and follows the colorful players who come together to compete for the coveted title of Monopoly World Champion.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Narrator (voice)
Philip Orbanes ...
Himself (as Phil Orbanes)
Ken Koury ...
Himself
Matthew McNally ...
Himself
...
Himself (as Dave Ulmer)
Richard Marinaccio ...
Himself
Tim Vandenberg ...
Himself
Domenic Murgo ...
Himself
Bjørn Halvard Knappskog ...
Himself
Dale Crabtree ...
Himself
...
Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Dr. Caroline 'Cathy' Ryan (archive footage)
Kenneth Brandon Baker ...
Himself
...
Jack Donaghy (archive footage)
Stephen Balzac ...
Himself
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Storyline

Ever since the 1930s, no board game has had the lasting worldwide success of Monopoly. Although it started as a protest simulation, the game evolved to be a welcome wish fulfilling fantasy of being a financial high roller in the Great Depression. In this film, the history of the game is retold with its tremendous popular culture influence and the little idiosyncrasies that grown around it. In addition, we are introduced to various players who are compete around the world for the real cash prizes that go far beyond $200. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Rolling the dice is just the beginning...


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G
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15 October 2010 (USA)  »

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Under the Boardwalk  »

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User Reviews

 
Embodying a businessman for one lengthy game
24 October 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story is a spectacular documentary, tracing the famous board game back to its creation and shows how it almost instantaneously became a recognizable, cultural phenomenon. One of my earliest memories with the iconic board game is playing at the dinner table with my grandmother in the afternoon. We would either play that or Mille Bornes before she'd go on her way with cooking dinner. Needless to say, it was one of the happiest, warmest memories of my childhood.

The documentary begins on the right foot, showcasing Monopoly's popularity with not only kids, but long-devoted adults who find the game to be simply enticing and exciting. We meet six different men who have all been impacted by the game, whether or not winning one of the many Monopoly game tournaments (yes, there is such a thing) or just using the game's diverse benefits to help people in a way few would've ever thought. Domenic Murgo was the 1995 Rhode Island state champion of the board game. Tim Vandenberg teaches Math using Monopoly as a trick to show students how to balance finances, purchase properties, and other real-world skills. Vandenberg states that one would assume the kids were just goofing around, not taking the game and its benefits seriously, but their words would soon be eaten after showing that the kids who participated in the Monopoly activity at school performed more efficiently on standardized testing than those who didn't.

Among the other men are Matt McNally, the 2003 U.S. Champion, Ken Koury, 2003 runner-up, Dale Crabtree, who tied for 11th place in the online Monopoly tournament and was fortunate enough to get one of the last six spots to compete with the champions, and Rick Marianccio, another man competing in the same tournament who wants to use the money he wins for a wedding.

The way the picture balances out discussing the games history, its overwhelming fanbase, and its place in history for being one of the most innovative games ever made is astonishing. One commenter states he feels that the reason Monopoly is so loved and cherished is because of not what's happening on the board game, but what is happening around the board game. When playing the game, you're striking deals, negotiating profits, and trying to keep your head above water so you can live to roll the dice again. You've embedded yourself in the life of a businessman for a short time and you must follow through and abide by the rules like one. I believe pop culture author Tim Walsh said it best; even if you were a kid, playing Monopoly, you were treated like an adult.

It's interesting that the film explores the world championship tournament of Monopoly, but also, the way the game is cherished and how seriously it is taken online. The online "Pogo" game is quickly growing in popularity, and in the most serious corner, where the professionals play in online games, the top twenty-three finishers are invited to the U.S. Championship in Washington D.C. where they each have a shot at winning $10,000. But in order to even qualify for the game that defines your chances to win the championship, thousands must first take a quiz and write five essays before even being eligible.

Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story explores each characters' story with stunning development and clarity, also giving us a deep look inside the fanbase of it all. One woman had her bathroom completely remodeled into Monopoly heaven, with property listings as tiles, large, replica shoe game pieces as faucet handles, and a replica board created on the tiles of her floor. Another man has collected over thirty Monopoly games boards, ranging from The Simpsons Monopoly to sports teams Monopoly, etc.

In the mix of all this, one question that continues to pop up throughout the documentary is what was your favorite game piece? To answer the question, mine was an obscure one; one I haven't seen in other sets except the one my grandmother gave to me. It was the iconic Monopoly figure, sitting as his desk, staring in awe like he just won a huge sum of money, all crafted with traditional metal. I have no other why I picked this other than it was the largest, heaviest game piece in the set.

Starring: Zachary Levi, Domenic Murgo, Tim Vandenburg, Dale Crabtree, Matt McNally, Ken Koury, Rick Marianccio. Directed by: Kevin Tostado.


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