Monday, June 2, 2008

Movie: The King of Kong

The little lady and I saw a great documentary last night called The King of Kong. It's about a man's attempt to break the world record Donkey Kong score set in 1982. Like any good documentary, though, it's also about a lot of other things: The way passions give shape and meaning to lives. The formation of tribes, their petty politics and ingrown provincialism.

You could easily take this material and turn it into a comedy like, say, Dodgeball, with Ben Stiller playing the mustache-twirling, reigning Donkey Kong champ and spicy chicken wing sauce kingpin Billy Mitchell. But it would be completely unnecessary. As the saying goes, you can't make this shit up.

And you definitely don't need to be a video game fan to enjoy. While the material doesn't quite lend itself to the pathos of a movie like Crumb, it's close! Good stuff.


  1. Lee,

    Been a while, thought I'd check in on you and found the new blog. Nice look - polished, professional, and not covered up in "look at me" web 2.0 gidgetz.

    I'm too pedestrian, my last two cinematic experiences were Iron Man and the new Indian Jones movie. Iron Man was a comic book I had to keep reminding myself, although I rather enjoyed Robert Downey's character. I left 'Jones perhaps a bit disappointed, remembering them as more vivid and epic when I saw the original trilogy in my youth. This led me to go buy the DVDs and I'm rewatching with adult eyes. Ha! Yeah, different than I remember, but still enjoyable. Less serious and more campy than I remembered.

  2. Hey Mark. Nice to hear from you. I owe you an email.

    I don't get out to the movies anymore, for obvious reasons, and I don't really even see that many on video anymore. So little time and so much disappointment . . . .

    No one I've heard from has liked that Indiana Jones movie much. But I'll give it a look on video for the very reasons you give.

    The web site . . . well, thanks. I just got tired of running a server at home and of being responsible for maintaining the weblog software. I get plenty of that kind of fun at work these days. The main thing keeping me with the home server was how very very free it was. So I decided to buy a domain and direct it to a free Blogger blog. One day, when I'm rich and famous, I'll do something fancier.

    Now exporting from my homebrew weblog to Blogger was some fun, particularly the comments. The API doesn't work quite as advertised. And you can only post 50 entries/day using the GoogleData API. Bluh. But that's over with. Now I just type things in text boxes and it works. Yay!

  3. I liked the new Indy movie, but my expectations were filtered through the Star Wars prequels. I watched Raiders and Last Crusade a couple of days prior - I skipped Temple of Doom because a) there's only so much of Kate Capshaw and Short Round a man can take and b) April is bug-o-phobic. Basically, the new Indy movie hovers somewhere between an homage to or a parody of the originals. It's a little too over the top in places, and there are a couple of absolutely silly moments (I'm thinking the monkies, in particular), but it's still better than Temple of Doom.

    That said, I thought King of Kong was fantastic. April couldn't watch it though. She just kept coming into the room muttering "nerds" under her breath.

  4. Nerds are my favorite kind of people.

    Anyway, April married one, so I'm not sure what she was expecting.

    (When we watched it, we diagnosed about half the people with Asperger's Syndrome -- conservatively.)

    Those Star Wars prequels blow. Actually, so does Return of the Jedi. Frickin' Ewoks.

  5. Apparently, I'm a stealth nerd.

  6. Stealth nerds know the Jedi mind trick.

  7. Well hello freaks! My computer managed to walk away in a mysterious moving incident about a year ago. I lost all email addy's.

    Please allow me some time to regain my nerditude. Is this King of Kong readily available?

  8. Hey, BC,

    Looks like King of Kong is available on DVD. I found it on Netflix.

    Bummer about the computer. My new email address is available through the "profile" link under my ugly mug.