The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

Director: Seth Gordon
Year Released: 2007
Rating: 2.5

After getting laid off from Boeing, Steve Wiebe decides, of all goddamn things, to master Donkey Kong (the arcade version) and challenge video game champion Billy Mitchell's record, though as it turns out, the World of Competitive Gaming is one giant nasty clique, with Mitchell being a gamer dweeb's idea of an ultra-suave superstar. It's a curious oddity, this documentary, slight but well-intentioned, positing Wiede-as-underdog against Mitchell-as-cocksure-champ, with the odds defiantly against Wiede because of Mitchell's socially-challenged entourage of creepy adulators. Several of the participants have refuted the documentary's 'facts,' though a few things are clear: (a.) the score-keeping 'system' by Twin Galaxies, in this instance, is most certainly biased and unreliable, (b.) I don't care what you call it, going over to someone's house to examine their private property is unethical and creepy (some people involved balked at director Gordon's referring to these intruders as "goons," but that's exactly what they are), (c.) it wasn't hard to make Billy Mitchell look like a jerk (he may be a 'nice guy once you get to know him' and he may very well 'force feed cancerous children hot sauce,' but he has a monstrous ego and acts like he's God's Gift to The World - just read the interview in The Onion or watch the MTV special on gamers), (d.) Mr. Awesome needs his own cable TV show and (e.) Jeff should be grateful his wife is as tolerant as she is (we should all hope to have spouses as ... understanding as her). But the smartest comment made in the entire movie comes courtesy of Wiebe's daughter, Jillian: "Some people ruin their lives to be in [The Guinness Book of World Records]." She's talking about you, Dad. And, as someone admittedly interested in gaming (but aware of how much valuable free time it can take up), I agree.