King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters Seth Gordon

King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters Seth Gordon
Grown men bickering over the high score of a videogame invented more than 25 years ago hardly seems like the subject of a compelling documentary, but The King of Kong features a litany of human archetypes. It’s a classic showdown between the "David” — underachieving schoolteacher Steve Wiebe, risking his marriage on an arcade cabinet in his garage — and the "Goliath,” in the mulletted form of long-standing world record holder Billy Mitchell. There are allegations of corruption (world record tracking organisation Twin Galaxies seems in Billy’s pocket) and there’s controversy (Wiebe’s world record-breaking score, captured on videotape, is rejected while Mitchell’s is rubberstamped as authentic). There are eccentric characters galore, and the window King of Kong opens into this odd community of classic gaming devotees is the key to its charm and success. As revealed on this DVD, director Seth Gordon and producer Ed Cunningham were initially trying to cover the whole world of classic gaming before unearthing the emerging Donkey Kong showdown. It’s a perfect subject, since many consider it the most challenging videogame ever, its invention made the Nintendo company (it was Mario’s first-ever appearance) and its iconic imagery holds many in its thrall, as revealed by a videogame-inspired art and music gallery on this DVD. Extended interviews and post-release screening footage reveal that Mitchell and Wiebe continue to battle for top spot in the record books. Of a bunch of deleted scenes, the side-by-side look at their Donkey Kong styles, with commentary, is the geekiest (and therefore coolest). Of the two commentaries, the filmmakers’ one is rote; go for the bitingly sarcastic one by an editor at gaming site IGN and the founder of gaming art exhibit "i am 8-bit.” Plus: arcade glossary, more. (Alliance Films)