Movie Reviews: The King of Kong

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The King of Kong directed by Seth Gordon

For those of you that read my review of Pixels, the awful movie starring Adam Sandler, I bring you “The King of Kong,” which to me is an example of a good video game movie. The story centers around the competitive world of arcade record holders and the eccentric cast of characters that surround it. At the center is Billy Mitchell, a hot sauce guru and former record holder of the Donkey Kong point record (along with other classic games like Pac-man) who plays the most self centered video game villain ever.

The funny thing is this is not a movie. This is a documentary.

Steve Wiebe, a science teacher decides to to break Billy Mitchell’s world record of 874K and smashed it with a score of over  million. What ensues is the back and forth game of a man trying to get recognition in an entrenched culture that refuses to accept him. The trash talking and mind games of this eSport is worse than some physical sports to a degree. These rivalries and memories last decades and reputations can be ruined in an instant. (Just ask Roy Shildt)

My favorite part when I watched it (and I think many other people based on the memes) is when Brian Kuh, a man who moves near Funspot Arcade just to be near the center of the action, walks around informing patrons of the arcade that Steve is about to get to the famous “kill screen.”

As for the central rivalry, the ending was very on point in how records can change hands fast, especially once everyone discovers accolades and fame that come with it. Since the the movie, the record has been broken many times, but none with the pizazz and paranoia as what is covered in this documentary.

GUEST REVIEW: “DILLY DITCHELL” (VIA MYSTERY REDDIT POST)

Let me point out that greatness doesn’t happen very often in the world. Innate greatness is gifted to a very few on Earth. Billy Mitchell is one of those fine men of high mental agility, physical reflexes, and eyes like a hawk. The documentary is the biggest fabrication of lies is the Zapruder film. Billy Mitchell is an arcade god. Your’re a damn fool if you think Steve Wiebe had a clean board. They cut like 30 minutes of the plot. They also cut out a very unbiased hot sauce taste test that was meticulously set up for the film crew. I’m not gonna say how I know, but sources closes to me say his boards were tampered. In fact, every machine he plays on are tampered with. The only true Donkey Kong machine resides where Billy Mitchell lives. 

Movie Rating 9.5/10 Donkey Kongs.

For those interested in the progress on the Donkey Kong record, below is accurate as of today, per Twin Galaxies.

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Movie Reviews: Pixels (aka what went wrong?)

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Pixels directed by Chris Columbus

From the same director that sailed the ocean in 1492 … I mean, directed Home Alone and Harry Potter, and Adventures in Babysitting, you would think he would have received the script for Pixels and automatically known what to do with a video game movie.

I mean, how hard is this? As a big budget summer movie ($88M) you would think the goal would be to target kids between the ages of 8 and 18. To do this, you would imagine a story involving kids right? You know, you are making a movie about video games and main characters who fight video games, right? Instead the do the most ludicrous thing possible.

They get Adam Sandler (age 48), Kevin James (age 50), and Michelle Monaghan (age 40) to star in the film . WHAT? Not only was the source material old (arcade games from 30 years ago), but they inflict double the damage with old actors, as ex-players. What kid wants to play a video game and imagine an old man playing the game to win? This is crazy.

In the Last Starfighter, the story revolves a teenager who lives in a trailer park, who achieves a high score in a game and then gets taken off to another galaxy after setting a high score. The movie was targeted toward teenagers. Did they go get Bob Hope to be the lead star of the Last Starfighter and expect kids to watch it? Nope. They took an Obi-Wan and fish-out-of-water approach.

But no, the only kid in the movie is a weakling who gets captured. Plus, let’s not make Sandler give a crap about anyone ever and just make him a single Geek-squad repairman. Who cares to make him even try to act anymore. Lame.

The sad thing is the story itself was ok. A story of has-beens could be decent if it was a father son story maybe. I would have had the main cast like the Goonies, where the kids play modern day games and the father tries to bond with his son with his old games and they make fun of it, but when the shit hits the fan, the father’s skills come into play. Make the father like an Obi-Wan character, but the cast as young. What kids want to see the banter between Monaghan and Sandler? Is there an Obi-Wan type character in the film? Yes. How, you ask? Go older of course! They get 61 year old Toru Iwatani, the programmer of PACMAN, to make a cameo. Does anyone in America know who he is outside of arcade circles? I think 99% of arcade players back in the day have no idea who he is. But yes, he loses an arm … then gets it back in the end (How? Why? Are you kidding me?)

What is especially disappointing is how awesome Peter Dinklage was. He played Eddie Plant, an ex-champion and bonafide asshole with a heart of assholeness, until the last minute, of course. He plays it so over-the-top, it is entertaining to watch. He tried to play a character while the three lead actors above essentially played themselves.

The special effects in the movie were actually pretty cool. The PACMAN chase was a good sequence. The Donkey Kong ending would have been epic if it was kids facing something foreign, and not Sandler playing the game. Come on, really? A 48 year old man has issues about a video game contest he lost? But wait, he has the confidence now to play?

So bad, but the concept had so much potential. I could have written 2 better scripts in a month. They could have done such cool stuff. What a waste.

GUEST POST: “DILLY DITCHELL”

What is with you? Are you out of your damn mind? This movie had everything a growing kid in 2015 wants. Pacman and Donkey Kong and Space Invaders will always be popular and relevant. These games age like fine wine. Did you see PACMAN chomp down five city blocks? Come on. That itself was worth the price of your Redbox 99 cent rental. The fine character study of Tyrion Peter Dinklage was a work of art. He was channeling his inner arcade champion like the best of them. They probably had some of the best consultants in the business on the movie set. You best back the hell up from this movie and focus on that art house shit you seem to love on your blog. Ditchell Out. 

Movie Rating: 4/10 PACMAN GHOSTS (2 of the ghosts is for Dinklage, 1 ghost for Donkey Kong, 1 ghost for PACMAN)