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Movie Review: The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

Alternate Title: Captain Video

Story: The drama, intrigue, alliances, passions and long held grudges in the competitive world of video gamers makes for some terrific entertainment in this fun documentary by director Seth Gordon.

Who knew that Donkey Kong, introduced as one of the first of the video games back in 1982, has loyal followers, world record holders, referees and self-appointed watch dogs to assure that all is Kosher?

This fun film covers the history of the game, all the major characters involved over the years and introduces us to the rivalry between the egotistical, never a hair out of place, Billy Mitchell, Donkey Kong's 20 year world champion and Steve Wiebe, an extremely likable family man and science teacher from Seattle who wants to chllenge Mitchell's record. Allegiances are drawn quickly and, like Rocky, you just can't help rooting for the underdog.

I will not spoil any of the fun for you but do stay for the closing credits.

Acting: This is a documentary so it is not applicable but some of the characters seem to be right out of central casting.

Predilection: Absolutely none other than the fact that I like documentaries. I have never ever played a video game in my life.

Critters: Does the monkey in Donkey Kong count?

Food: No time for gourmet eating while gaming. The only food I saw was pizza and Ricky's BBQ sauce, the company that Billy Mitchell seems to own.

Sex Spectrum: Surely this category does not exist in the geeky world of video gamers except for one of the crazies who is on the fringes of the gamers society.

Blatant Product Placement: Nintendo, Nike shirts worn by many of the players and the aforementioned Ricky's BBQ sauce.

Visual Art: The manic visuals of video games does nothing for my aesthetic sense.

Theater Audience: A handful of laughing fans who seemed to know more of the in jokes than I did.

Weather: Arcades have no weather.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 3

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I was entertained throughout.

Predictability Level: I was hopeful - but was not sure of the outcome.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Rental is a fine way to go.

Length: 90 minutes