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The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters 2007
Description: In this hilarious arcade showdown, a humble novice goes head-to-head vs the reigning Donkey Kong champ in a confrontation that rocks the gaming globe to its processors! For over 20 years, Billy Mitchell has owned the throne of the Donkey Kong world. No one should beat his top score until now. Newcomer Steve Wiebe claims to have beaten the unbeatable, but Mitchell isn't ready to relinquish his crown without a fight. Go behind the barrels as the two war it out in a vicious fight to earn the game of the real Lord of Kong.
Released: 28 Feb 2008 Director: Seth Gordon Writers: Seth Gordon Actors: Steve Wiebe, Mark Alpiger, Adam Wood, Walter Day Genres: Documentary, Biography, Sport
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The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters Reviews:

Lord of Kong (or Billy vs. Steve, basically), is an perfect movie about a rivalry that tells a lot about tournament in our culture. The film portrays Billy, the Donkey Kong Champion, doing everything in his power to hold his record and to deny Steve Wiebe (wee-Bee) the game of globe record holder in Donkey Kong. Steve is an outsider in this culture where Billy is an icon, and at first there are folks within the video minigame community who do not wish him to succeed. It becomes type of a struggle between nice and evil, as the powers that be test to keep down those not in power. Suddenly, Steve is the guy you're rooting for, if only just to beat that smart-ass Billy. It is a adventure that takes you through the darker and seedier side of the video minigame revolution of the '80s. If it seems silly to be writing about such weighty problems of nice and evil when a film is about a video game, watch the movie: it really does the job of making you care about what happens to these odd, fascinating people.


I saw this at the Traverse Town Movie Festival and it was probably the greatest movie of the festival.This perfect movie has everything that a film fanatic loves to see: the classic character and villain story, action, suspense, drama, and comedy. Who would have thought all of this would come out of a documentary about Donkey Kong? The storyline follows Steve Wiebe, a family boy from Washington trying to beat the arcade juggernaut Billy Mitchell's globe record score on Donkey Kong. The movie is perfectly edited by introducing both characters, showing their history in the video minigame culture, and giving the viewers a sense of which person to root for. It's hysterical the method this easy storyline is made out to look like an action journey film. Steve is the underdog, the boy that has a large adventure ahead of him. But to overcome the challenges and test to claim the game of Donkey Kong master, he gotta face the enemy Billy Mitchell and his video minigame minions.This movie is one of the most fun times I've had in a theater in long time. The entire audience was involved, cheering on some characters, laughing at others, and applauding many times. It's so much fun to watch an underground culture and see folks you didn't know existed.My favourite part in the movie is probably when Steve has to present up in person and prove his ability. It's so hilarious, suspenseful, and inspiring.The Lord of Kong is a terrific film. It's a lot of fun, there's never a dull moment, and it really shows what a nice movie is supposed to be like.


If it weren't for the sincerity of it all- or maybe because of it- Lord of Kong should be conceived of as a mockumentary. But there's no joking with these guys, which sometimes makes it a lot of fun to watch the tournament between Billy Mitchell and Steve Weebie (right method to tell the name?), where sycophants and idiosyncrasies fly on the former's self-spun empire/network and on the latter just your average suburban housewife and children going somewhat begrudgingly along the ride. It's a saga though not just about them, but about the globe of gaming, of the mind-set that pervades everyone from lawyers to 'Roy Awesome' to tiny old ladies competing at Qubert, and the nature of tournament itself. Not since Rocky- and maybe even better in its exuberance and humility- has one seen a tale of the underdog and the lord played out in odds that could seem somewhat silly.But what's so nice is how first-time director Seth Gordon plunges the viewer into this world, and it's instantly recognizable to anyone over 18 and under, well, 55 to 100- anyone who's ever gone to enjoy one of the "old-school" arcade minigames like Donkey Kong or Pacman/Mrs. Pacman or even Pong. We see how the users have to not just go into the minigames haphazardly by luck; like football, there's game-plans and strategies, and like that sport there are also some obstacles that are apart of the nature of the design of the sport. There's a entire wonderful facet one takes for granted, for example, about the technology of the machines, which despite being eclipsed many times over by fresh systems can still be tampered with, as is the situation with Steve's first machine that reaches the top score, and then discredited because of a chip possibly (or not) being replaced or implanted in to give leverage at a non-gamer store.Yet the more slippery side-stepping for users is what's even more intriguing. Characterization can be a tricky thing for the documentary director to deal with, but in Lord of Kong it becomes something of a controversy left by the wayside as Billy surpasses Steve's score with a minigame he played recorded on videotape- while Steve set his score by an official Twin Galaxies referee (Walter Day, to be exact, who's a hero in and of himself)- with more than a several skips right were the score could register. Telling it skims the line of reality and mockumentary comes with the territory- after a while watching Mitchell is like watching someone who's improvising as he goes along, hiding behind his perfectionist guise as a world-class champ and purveyor of fine hot sauces with his fake-buxom wife and lackeys watching each transport Steve makes.Aside from it being compelling storytelling as one sees the transformation of Steve from failed baseball pitcher and drummer to a Donkey Kong (and Donkey Kong Junior) champ, making all-time high scores while his children cry about their terrible behinds, it's one of the greatest kinds of sport-genre details in years. Many times one sees this played out, and it's been parodied in the likes of Dodgeball ("Nobody makes me bleed my own blood" came to mind once or twice looking at Mitchell, and his smart but biased cronies are like classic helping characters), and the clichés and conventions receive the better of the narrative. This time there's no pressure to push it into what's expected: we genuinely care what happens in this war of the joystick, as Steve sheds genuine tears testing his ass off at all accounts of live happenings whilst Billy sulks away in his living room hearing the upgrades on his phone.As far as triumph-of-the-human-spirit stories go, Lord of Kong is hilarious entertainment, sometimes for all the strangest (Day's would-be musical career) and silliest reasons (what's so unique about the Guiness ebook of records, Steve's daughter asks), but engrossing as documentaries could get- one of the greatest of the year in fact.



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