Monday, April 07, 2008

King of the Documentaries -- Robin

Jay has been bugging me lately to watch his new favorite documentary. But almost weekly Jay says, “You need to watch my new favorite documentary,” so I’m always a little hesitant to commit myself to his newest favorite documentary, knowing that next week it will be a newer favorite documentary.

But this last one was different. He mentioned it almost every day for weeks. And when that didn’t work and I still didn’t rent it, he rented it for me and forced it into my hands. The documentary is The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. It’s about a guy who tries to beat the record score in Donkey Kong.

I know…I thought the same thing. Please, Jay, find better things to do with your life.

But, oh-my-god, if it wasn’t one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen. Amazing! The reason it was so amazing wasn’t the impressive editing, which is what I think makes Michael Moore’s movies so great, but because the characters (or real people, actually) were so fascinating. They were weird, quirky, offbeat, and way over-the-top. They made the characters from Napoleon Dynamite look like characters in a wax museum! The guy who held the Donkey Kong record for years was almost too hard to believe. How could someone be that conceited? That rude? That jerky? And have a hair cut that bad!?!?

I think if the movie had been a work of fiction, no one would have felt it was authentic. The characters would’ve come off as one-dimensional and pat. Which is something to keep in mind as a writer…that even though real-life people are sometimes quirky and over-the-top, their fictional counterparts have to have much more depth to be believable.

But since it was "real", the characters were completely fascinating. So much so, that my husband watched it twice. Which means Jay’s newest favorite documentary was that good.

So everyone, please go rush out and rent The King of Kong. But do it quick, because next week, Jay may have another new favorite documentary. My guess? It’ll be about the man with the world’s longest fingernails. Or maybe those guys who gulp hot dogs?

- Robin


Katie said...

Okay Robin, I must say...I would have been like,"yeah...yeah...that sounds good (wink wink) I'll watch it sometime." BUT you were sooo convincing that I just put it on the top of my netflix list, so I should have it in my hands in a few days :-)

P.S. I LOVED Napoleon Dynamite - that was what sold it.

Colorado Writer said...

Sounds like something my oldest would like to watch.

I held the Ms. Pacman record at our Pizza Hut for a long time when I was twelve.

Disco Mermaids said...

Okay, Jay's been trying to get me to watch this one for weeks, too!

Even though I loved DK as a kid, and held the record for a few weeks at the Balboa Beach Hotel Arcade (okay, not an arcade, just a little back room with Donkey Kong, PacMan, and Frogger) in the sixth grade, I still didn't think this doc would interest me.

Dang, Robin. SOLD!

I think I had a hard time believing Jay because the last time he set me up with a handful of documentaries, one was about the history of CORN (the food, not the band with a "K") and another was about a Drew Barrymore stalker. Where does the boy find these things??

(I'm up before the crack 'o noon!)

Katie said...

Eve - so the corn one sucked? I saw the trailer for that one time and thought it might be good...

My daughter just told me that McDonald's chicken mcnuggets are solid corn?! Is this true? Jay - care to answer?

Maybe she heard about it from the corn movie - ha! ha! That sounds funny.

Katie said...

If it is true, Robin the mighty Vegan, can eat 'em

Disco Mermaids said...

Mmmm...corn nuggets...yummy.


Colorado Writer said...

Corn? When did I have corn?

(running joke at our house.)

Disco Mermaids said...

I think I see why the two of you don't trust my opinion. Eve, I told you not to watch the corn doc. It made me fall asleep!

Stay away from the corn doc, y'all!

(Wow. Now there was a string of words I never thought I'd use.)

- Jay

Katie said...

Okay - so the corn cobumentary it!

(sorry - I am cracking myself up and just HAD to use that word.)

Christy Raedeke said...

Holy mullet! I'm working my way through the doc section of Netflix and watched "The King of Kong" a few weeks ago. Definitely a must see! As someone who is married to a gamer, this worked well as a cautionary tale...

Greg said...

Fire up for Netflix! Thanks for the tip, Robin.


a. fortis said...

As someone with some out-of-control gamer friends, I'm almost afraid to watch that documentary. But I must go find it. Netflix is going to find this sudden inexplicable surge in King of Kong rentals...