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SIFF 2007, day 3

King of Kong- USA, Documentary

This was way more fun to watch than you'd expect from a documentary. Somehow, a movie about Donkey Kong, you know the 1980s classic arcade game, managed to make a movie about an epic struggle between good and evil. The good guy, Steve Wiebe of Redmond, WA decides to attempt to beat the legendary high score set by Billy Mitchell back in 1982. No one had come even close to that score since, until Steve submitted his video. The battle begins when the authenticity of the tape is questioned, then the questions of whether Steve's Donkey Kong arcade game was somehow tampered with, and his struggles continue, but by the half-way point, you really want Steve to be the Donkey Kong victor. He just comes across as a really awesome guy who wants to play fair with the record holder.

And this is where the movie gets really fun. Billy Mitchell, the original holder of the record Donkey Kong high score is the perfect movie villain. He wears black and has dark, shoulder length hair that is perfectly feathered. He is the ultimate in corny 1980s evil, talking trash about his rivals, boasting about his own greatness and going on and on at about his hot sauce. Billy is one of those guys that knows he is the coolest and probably was... back in 1982! But today, inspires giggles.

But King of Kong doesn't laugh at these characters of their situation, but documents the feud, investigating claims of authenticity, favoritism, corruption, etc. This movie takes the subject of Donkey Kong seriously and thus, it is a blast to watch the events unfold, but also informative. Great movie!

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