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IdleRich
06-01-2012, 01:51 PM
I know I'm late on this but wow - my friend bought me this as a late Christmas present - plopped through the door yesterday and I watched it. I did have high hopes but I was totally blown away by how good and, particularly, how insane it was. I'm well aware that even the most seemingly uninteresting sub-culture can be filled with strange characters but the bad guy in the film - and he is definitely a bad guy in the film - is beyond belief. He's completely beyond parody and could easily be the model for the Jesus character in The Big Lewbowski or Ben Stiller in Dodgeball - except he seems to be much more over the top.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIBrcU768Cg

The rest of the characters are also nutters, weird dysfunctional members of a bizarre subculture who are apparently challenged by a nonentity beating Billy Mitchell's twenty-five year old record.
The story is beautifully done because the underdog's record is unrecognised on the most spurious of grounds; partly as it was on video, not in front of the referees from Twin Galaxies, the self-appointed body that tries to regulate the "sport" and partly because representatives from Twin Galaxy also allegedly broke into Wiebe's house, took apart his machine, photographed all the parts and were unhappy about what appeared to be a gummy residue on one of the parts of the circuit board! So the underdog goes along to the main arcade and beats the record in front of everybody - only to have his new record immediately usurped by a new score from Billy Mitchell submitted by video tape!
This huge injustice is what drives the story and leads you to rooting like mad for the modest, clean-living family guy Steve Wiebe (apparently a Christian who later released a cd of Christian music called King of Song) as he has to travel back into the lions' den and confront a load of passive-aggressive nerds who phone each other about his movements and completely clam up when he enters the restaurant where they are eating. I won't tell you what happens next but it's well worth watching.

But...

The film has since been massively disputed by many of the protagonists who point out that another guy who also beat the twenty year old record has been completely whitewashed out of it, that selective editing makes the baddies look worse than they were and that events have been moved round in time, deleted and, according to one guy, totally made up


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYKKe9BO5mU

Also, since the film was made the record has changed hands back and forth between Wiebe, Mitchell and a new contender called Hank Chien. I've spent the morning watching youtube videos of different viewpoints and reading about who did what and when. I guess I'll never know definitively which records were legitimate or to what extent anything portrayed actually happened but I'm still pretty certain that Kuh, Mitchell and the former referee Mruczek are really quite unpleasant people.
But there NEEDS to be a sequel to bring me up to speed with all the developments since in a dramatised manner. I'm hooked!

Bangpuss
07-01-2012, 05:32 PM
Yep just seen it, and it's brilliant. Like you, I have spent some time catching up on the latest developments. I'm not sure a sequel is warranted, unless it features more of the deliciously despicable Billy Mitchell.

Have you ever played Donkey Kong? I haven't, but would like to try. It looks really difficult.

PeteUM
07-01-2012, 06:42 PM
Fantastic film. My simple binary moral universe refuses to let me believe that Wiebe isn't thee uber underdog he appears to be in the film, but I would have to watch a follow-up if there was one. Where's Nochexxx? He hipped me to this...

IdleRich
08-01-2012, 12:06 PM
Yeah Billy Mitchell is the bully (I almost mentioned Bill Murray in Kingpin as well) but Brian Kuh is the wimpy little kid who hides behind the bully and says "yeah" whenever he insults someone.

petergunn
11-01-2012, 10:31 PM
Brian Kuh is a nasty, sniveling, little shit, isn't he?

that arcade Fun Spot is about 2 hours from my parent's house, so go there every once in a while... the part of New Hampshire it's in is an old timey resort area that is now best known for it's Biker Run every year...

you can buy a house around there for $50,000, so i wonder how much Brian retired on... i like to picture him doing so with like 150,000 and just eating Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches and Hamburger Helper 3x a day and budgeting himself 5.00 a day in tokens... we all know he was some sort of computer guy, maybe he got bought out of a internet startup or something... but, what a funny way to spend a windfall, to retire @ 30 to dedicate the next 50 years to video games...

i asked one of the women working there about him, they just said he comes in all the time, but i've never seen him...

it is kinda cool to play the Donkey Kong machine that's in the movie, but i mostly play pinball there... they have about 30 machines, from the 60's to the present day...

petergunn
13-03-2012, 09:58 AM
just watched this on netflix:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chasing_Ghosts:_Beyond_the_Arcade

it may well be better than King of Kong... no drama or storyline, just a real look at that period in the early 80's when video games blew up and the complete and total eccentrics who were the champs... really enjoyable...