A couple of great documentaries I’ve seen this week are The King of Kong and The Kid Stays in The Picture. The King of Kong follows two Donkey Kong champions as they try to top one another’s (extremely) high scores. It’s remarkable the passion people can have, and there’s a handful of gamers world wide who have the high levels of focus and manual dexterity to ocnquer these old-school arcade games. The mind games seem exaggerated, but the difficulty of Kong, etc don’t. Games these days seem like a walk in the park. Apart from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, naturally. Despite what the blurbs say, Kong is not hilarious. It’s funny in a quirky way like The Office (UK version) is due to the differing personalities of the two competitors, but also how stereotypical the gaming geeks really are . If you like King of Kong, you’ll love Trekkies, which is an older doco about Star Trek fans. That film makes me laugh till I cry every time I see it.
The Kid follows Robert Evans’ rise to film producing for Paramount in the 1960s and 70s. Discovered at a pool he became a baby faced actor and then a novice producer. His credits speak for himself though, with The Godfather, Rosemary’s Baby, Marathon Man and many 70s classics which all owe their existence to his firm belief. Cocaine and pride played his downfall though and then he went to helping make stellar films, to producing How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. Let that be a lesson about the dangers of drugs, kids.
Both films are gripping in a way only true stories can be, filled with head scratching moments. Trailers for both films, plus the classic Trekkies, are below. Good holiday viewing.