|Index||8 reviews in total|
There aren't too many documentaries that your grandmother will enjoy as much as your eighteen year old brother, but this film is one of them. The entire film is a celebration of the game of Monopoly which so many people have happy memories of playing. The film moves quickly and the scenes of the Monopoly tournaments are fascinating. We are introduced early on, to some of the very quirky contestants of the tournaments and follow them as they progress to the finals. Along the way we learn a little of the history of the game and there are some great Pop Culture references to Monopoly as well. If this film comes to your area, see it.
If you were obsessed with Monopoly, as I was, you will love this film. And you will be amazed at how the world has been as obsessed as you were. What a heart warmer this movie is, bringing you back to the pre internet days when playing a game of Monopoly, that sometimes went on for days, was the most exciting thing to do. It all comes alive and then some in a delicious romp through history. Who knew that Monopoly is an industry that has gone through many incarnations and is available in what seems to be every language in the world, not to mention being the occasion of a robust tournament circuit that is in full flower today? This beautiful and well executed production, which stays interesting throughout, has to leave you smiling.
I am sure it is the same for most people, but this game reminded me of
when I was younger and played it with my friends. The hours of fun (and
fighting) that I had with my cousins is what I remember most. I
remember the games would take so long, that we would go to sleep and
start it back up first thing in the morning. The whole night I wouldn't
sleep because I was always worried that they would cheat. I now know
why the game use to never end (no one ever thought about reading the
This movie was very rich in history and entertainment. To see it origins and growth over the years, and also its effects on others is very interesting. I actually bought a set of Monopoly that day and have a regular game with my friends. Great movie.
From the DVD's cover, I was expecting a fascinating story about the
origins about the Monopoly game and how it progressed over time.
Instead, the movie was one scene after another about a professional
Monopoly tournament and interviews with the participants-some of whom
were hard to understand and none of whom were really interesting.
While the tournament might have been of interest, I was hoping to hear more about the Monopoly game in general. Namely, how and why it originated, how it became so popular, its influence on culture, etc. But the movie was practically all about said tournament, and it failed to catch my interest. Unless you are into Monopoly tournaments, don't bother.
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
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.
I wasn't sure what to expect from this documentary, and went to see it
because my son married into the Tostado family. I mean, how interesting
could the game of Monopoly be? We went to see it on opening night in
San Diego, and though we didn't realize it, were greeted at the door by
one of the stars of the movie. I was pleasantly surprised by the
quality of the documentary. It kept me entertained, and actually seemed
to encourage audience participation. The movie had many interesting
characters. I found the parts about the competitions especially
At the end of the screening there was a Q&A period, and he had some of the past national champions there to answer questions. I thought it was a very good documentary.
I found that although "Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story" had some interesting moments, I never really got into this documentary. It could because they spent so much time focusing on an international Monopoly championship (so?) and didn't spend enough on the history of the game. Or perhaps it's because I never really loved Monopoly (I did like the film about Scrabble a lot more interesting) since so much of its outcome seems controlled by chance. All I know is that by the time the film was over, I felt completely neutral about it--not impressed nor did I dislike it. In many ways, it reminded me of boiled rice--filling but not particularly exciting on its own. Now I am NOT saying don't watch it--just saying my reaction was so ambivalent.
Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story (2010)
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
For fans of Monopoly this documentary is going to be a must see while others will probably want to stay clear. At just 87-minutes this documentary pretty much goes through the entire history of the board game from its earliest versions and then tracks it's progress throughout the years to where it's finally at a point to where it's played in over one hundred countries and has pretty much taken over the mainstream and pop culture. The documentary not only covers the board games history but we get to learn about other things including the collectors, the various versions, different rule changes and there's even a large portion of the running time devoted to the various championships that take place each year throughout the world. Again, if you hate playing the game then it's doubtful you're going to enjoy this documentary, although I guess the history behind it might appeal somewhat to you. However, if you're a fan of the game and enjoy playing it I don't see how it would be possible for you not to fall for this film. Yes, there's no doubt that there are some flaws in the movie and the personal drama in the championship isn't nearly as intense as the "battles" in something like THE KING OF KONG but there's still plenty of great stuff here. Some of the most entertaining moments deal with the history of the game and how the original creator pretty much begged game companies to buy the product outright, which they refused and they ended up giving him royalties instead and this has made his family members filthy rich today. Other interesting topics include how the game started to pick up speed and go around the world as well as stories about it becoming popular in the media and on television shows and movies. The championship footage is also fairly interesting as we learn about the various rule changes and we get to hear from many of the people in the tournament as they talk about how they got interested in the game as well as things like their favorite game piece. UNDER THE BOARDWALK: THE MONOPOLY STORY is a fun way to spend 90-minutes and is worth watching for fans.
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