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Top Movies of the Decade #83

83.  The King of Kong

king_of_kongFrom my original review:

“[King of Kong] is classic, if kooky, rivalry material. There are goons, and a supportive (if at times exasperated) wife, and someone named “Mr. Awesome.” There’s a lot of posturing, and buildup to a big showdown. Like Rocky and Apollo, the rivalry works because the rivals are opposites: Mitchell is the engineer of an image, and every step he takes is carefully calculated. Wiebe, on the other hand, is a heart on the sleeve kind of guy, who wouldn’t know a dramatic gesture if it hit him across the head. The documentarians have done an incredible job of being in the right place at the right time; it feels like every five minutes we’re witnessing a conversation that ought to be happening in a back room somewhere.

It’s hard to write stuff this good, this engaging, and yes, this deep. The geeks go to great lengths in the first few minutes of the documentary to have their hobby taken seriously, and really, why not? Is it really harder to hit a guy in the head more time than you get hit than it is to score a million points at Donkey Kong? So if we accept them as serious competitors – all the while laughing at their geekiness, for sure – then we can get on to the joys of watching a great movie about great competitors.

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