King of Kong

kingofkongposter.jpgThrough happenstance and sheer luck, I found myself at a screening of the documentary King of Kong at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. In a Summer that had it’s share of several fun, big-budget, entertaining movies, I have to say that this movie has been the best. It’s basically about a genuinely nice guy who tries to break the world record at Donkey Kong, the classic arcade game from the 80’s. Without ruining the story, the people involved (I really should call them characters), the drama, and the intrigue make for a story that you wouldn’t believe if it weren’t so true.

Afterwards, we got to enjoy a Q&A with the director, producer, and one of the “stars” of the film, as well as watch him play a little Donkey Kong on one of the museums classic arcade games. He wasn’t trying to set a new record there, especially since a camera crew from HBO kept interrupting him. We then walked around and enjoyed the exhibits the museum has to offer (Richard Gere is pretty short). It’s going to be undergoing a major renovation and expansion, and I can’t wait to see what it’s like after it’s all done.

Yes, there was a bit of nostalgic interest for me in this film since I grew up during the time that Donkey Kong and Pac-Man were considered cutting edge, but this film transcends that and gives you a glimpse into the seedy underworld of competitive classic gaming…a world that no one outside of it knew existed. If you’re looking for a movie to see, I would highly recommend it. There’s a certain kind of laugh that only real, unscripted, life can illicit, and this movie is full of it. It’s also pretty inspirational, to boot.

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