King of Kong:
Once in a great while, pure good and pure evil, in it’s purest form, come along and meet in a titanic battle that ultimately makes you believe in the great forces of nature. This is not exactly that movie.
Sometimes, real people are the best characters you can’t create because there’s no substitute. Real life arcade champion Billy Mitchell is one of those people. You couldn’t make this guy up if you had a writer’s room of 30 working tirelessly day and night. He still has a mullet. He dresses like he never left the 80’s. He lives behind a veil of records and bravado. He’s an expert in video games and hot sauce. He pulls strings behind a record keeping arcade game service like a puppet master. What stands to interrupt the balance of this strange and egotistical existence?
A simple man named Steve Weibe. A man with no job, no prospects and seemingly no hope. A star baseball player who blew it in the big game. He humbly and earnestly, with no direction, takes a stab at one of Mitchells’ past video game records: high score on Donkey Kong the arcade cabinet. And lo and behold, somehow, this average joe actually does it. But, no one believes him. So, he’s left to face off against the infinitely resourceful and cunning Billy Mitchell to prove that this down on his luck guy can actually find some.
This is a documentary that may seem to be fairly mundane, but it’s a dramatic ride to watch this guy try to get some credit for doing something that no one wants to acknowledge. And Billy Mitchell; there’s no one like him. I’ve seen this one a few times already and it gets better each time.
The Imposter (AMC)
Look at these two people:
1 is obviously a child, in an older picture. The other is obviously a grown up. But, really look into their eyes, the structure of their jawlines, are they the same person? Are they so much not the same person this comparison seems ridiculous? What if that young boy went missing, when he was a kid, and the man on the right showed up and had been tortured, kidnapped, performed surgery on, and had been scarred beyond all belief since he was taken? Could they be the same person knowing all that?
This documentary is a thread unraveling that’s hard to turn away from, and just like King of Kong, it’s about real people, and sometimes reality is much more unimaginable than anything Hollywood can create from thin air. I don’t want to play spoiler here and reveal much more than to say that I was glued to the couch for 80 minutes or however long this is wanting to know the truth behind this whole situation. It’s damn good television that’s human interest, criminal psychology and makes you cringe, but not in the same way the Republican Debates did last night; it’s not about our future leaders bickering at each other like children; it’s about children who grow up to become things we don’t recognize but find a place for regardless. Enjoy the magic show.