Monday, January 19, 2009

the doc is in

once a virile social stalwart, documentary movie night has fallen on hard times lately, brought down by the virus of my own disorganization more than anything else. (don't ever catch that virus. it's a bad one.) but, thanks to the magic elixir of on-demand entertainment from netflix, documentary movie night made a miracle comeback last weekend with a screening of "the king of kong: a fistful of quarters," an inside look at the battle for the world record in that video game favorite, donkey kong.

now, you can scoff all you want at video game nerds (i certainly do), but let me be clear when i say that these people are not joking around. the business of video game world records is a serious one. watching the whole thing unfold was way more intense than, say, watching tom cruise plotting to kill hitler. seriously.

on one side, you have steve wiebe, a mild-mannered and bad-lucked junior high science teacher whose wife thinks he's a loser and whose mother thinks he might be slightly autistic. he puts a donkey kong arcade game in his garage and sets about to take down the world record, even if it means ignoring his children while they scream for help from the bathroom. this prompts said children to say things like, "work is for people who can't play video games." amen.

on the other side you have the world record holder and hiss-worthy villain, billy mitchell, who runs a hot sauce business on the side, and has two important things that every video game champ needs: a wife with fake boobs and a time machine, which allows him to maintain a truly stunning 1980s hairstyle. (ok, i don't know if he really has a time machine, but his hair is not from this day and age.)

other than that, i don't want to give away too many details, but i will say that the human drama is unparalleled. there is subterfuge and intrigue, threats are made and tears are shed and the feuds in video game world rival anything from mobland. evil billy mitchell is like the godfather of video games, with his minnions and his flowing locks. really, you won't believe it until you see it.

i recommend that you prepare yourself carefully before attempting a viewing on your own. the mounting stress as the story twists and turns may take some time off your life, or at least cause you to stress-eat more pumpkin-oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies than you really should.

to prove my point, here is a little peek:

can you handle that?


Derek said...

Thanks for reminding me of this incredible movie. I loved it.

Kate said...

Are you taking suggestions for next time? If so, MURDERBALL!

Mojo said...

Just watching that clip makes me want to watch it again. Good choice for documentary night. PS - Billy Mitchel is a turd.

Evan said...

This was the first movie Evan and I saw as a couple. He wouldn't hold my hand because his brother was there and Evan felt self-conscious about it. We have since rented it and watched it again. It is hilarious. Have you seen my post about Evan's dreams and read how he imitated Donkey Kong in a dream after watching this movie? Priceless. Murderball sounds interesting. How come we don't know about documentary movie night?

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

if you're taking suggestions

autism the musical

best documentary i've seen in a long time

(p.s. why not a field trip documentary movie night to sundance? they have the best ones ever. so jealous of you SLCers right now.)

Oertel said...

Holy freak that's amazing.