King of Kong, A Fistful of Quarters – Movie Review

I’m going to tell you what this movie is about and you’re going to say, “There’s no way I’m watching this, it’s way too geeky for me, only the biggest nerd in the world would enjoy, that’s why Rob enjoyed it so much.”  My goal is for you to give it a shot, because I really think everyone would love this movie. 

What Kind of Movie Is It?
This movie is a documentary, but it’s not a really cut and dry documentary, they do a great job of editing the movie so you really get into the story, they set it up perfectly so you’re rooting for one guy and hating the other.  It is edited like a movie, the plot builds, thickens, and gets so tense you want to scream, and in the end, you’re begging for a happy ending. 

What’s the movie about? 
There’s this guy, his name is Billy Mitchell, he’s like the greatest arcade gamer to walk on this planet.  Here’s an example of how good this guy is, he got an award (picture above) for playing Pac-Man until the machine shut down because it ran out of levels and he never lost a life.  He has the records for Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and a couple of other games, he was even profiled in LIFE magazine.  Anyways, he’s really full of himself and he thinks he’s the greatest guy to walk on the planet, he talks a lot of crap, wears ridiculous ties, and he does a great job of making himself out to be the perfect villain, you will hate this guy!

The other main story is this really nice guy who was an engineer and got laid off.  He has a family and appears to be somewhat normal except for one thing, when he gets laid off, he decides to pursue the Donkey Kong record.  As we start to find out more about his background, you realize this record is about something bigger and the way everything else is going in his life, you are pulling for this guy to do it.  As the movie progresses, you find out there’s a lot of obstacles in this guy’s way.  Mainly Billy Martin and his henchmen that are determined to ruin this guy’s chances. 

The movie rarely shows Donkey Kong footage, the movies focused on the characters, the competition, and the strange things people do to stay on top.  It’s sad, funny, and completely entertaining to see this weird sub-culture of people who have made their entire lives about video games. 

Do I Recommend It?

This is the best movie I’ve seen in a very long time.  It’s a fairly low budget movie, the characters are really awkward and strange, but in a weird way, I could see this being a Wes Anderson masterpiece, and it’s a documentary.  You have an unbelievable cast of characters filled with quirks and motives, you have plot twists where you’re constantly wondering about what happens next, and in the end, you want the good guy to win so badly. 

I’m a geek, so I know this movie is in my sweet spot, but I really think a lot of people would love this movie, if you just have the patience to get past their weird occupations, goofy appearances, and the fact that this movie revolves around the world record in Donkey Kong. 

If anyone wants to borrow it, I’d be happen to loan it out.

8 thoughts on “King of Kong, A Fistful of Quarters – Movie Review

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