THE KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS (Alliance, 2007) D: Seth Gordon, w/ Steve Wiebe, Billy Mitchell. Rating: NNN; DVD package: NNN
From the rivalry of two men battling to reach the world’s highest score on antique arcade game Donkey Kong, director Seth Gordon has crafted a movie that manages to be silly and touching at the same time.
Billy Mitchell, the reigning champion, is slim, trim, vain and intense. He presents himself as an upbeat go-getter who learned his wonderful life skills by mastering the game. He’s the movie’s bad guy.
Steve Wiebe, the challenger, is an able guy who somehow never made it to the top spot at anything. His mom thinks he’s a little autistic. His wife worries about him. He’s the good guy.
Around them, the other obsessives make high-minded pronouncements while they politic and perhaps cheat. Gordon gives them all the time they need to reveal themselves and expound their views.
The 90 minutes of extras are worth a look, particularly the journalists who gleefully trash both Mitchell and Wiebe on their commentary, and the gallery of Donkey Kong-inspired art and music.
Extras Director and producers commentary, game journalists commentary, outtakes, extended interviews, Donkey Kong history, arcade glossary, Donkey Kong-inspired art and music gallery, update. Widescreen. English, Spanish subtitles.