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Monday, Sep. 1, 2014

King of Kong & California, Trade, Combacks, Invasion, & More...

Posted Monday, January 28, 2008, at 10:23 AM

It's that time of the week and Movie Gallery is getting LOADS of new movies.

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

This flick is a documentary about the highest score on a Donkey Kong Arcade machine. Billy Mitchell held the top score since the '80's and Steve Wiebe decided he could beat it. Thus, he played and practiced and eventually Steve beat the score and recorded it. He sent the tape to Twin Galaxies (the Record-Keeping website) to validate his score and they refused it. From there, the documentary really takes off with the cameras capturing lots of emotion and drama unfold through the quest for the best King Kong score as Billy Mitchell refuses to play Steve Wiebe. This is a great documentary that is both interesting and extremely funny. Even if you don't care about Donkey Kong or video games, you'll find this documentary very intriguing, as it focuses on the human emotion and the obstacles that one man has to overcome. This is my pick of the week!


I watched King of Kong and was sure that it would be the best flick I watched all week, and then I watched Trade. Trade is about human sex trafficking and a young girl who is captured and thrust into this world. Her brother chases after her across Mexico and eventually ends up partnering with a cop played by Kevin Kline. The duo unsuccessfully try to involve the proper authorities, but eventually take things into their own hands when the girl is being auctioned off online to the highest bidder in New Jersey. Trade is a marvelous picture that exposes a world that the filmmakers say is a real world threat in the United States and that the U.S. Government just isn't looking for human trafficking. The entire movie is very shocking in what these people do to others. The movie has a great performance by Kevin Kline, who up till this point, I was largely not a fan of. Matter of fact, I almost didn't watch this flick because I didn't care for Kevin Kline. Regardless of my past feelings, Kline does a very understated performance that captures the screen. He really picks the movie up after not being in the first 30-40 minutes. The rest of the actors/actresses are decent but are sometimes unconvincing in their roles which brings the movie down a little bit. Overall a very thought-provoking drama that pulls at the heart and a must watch. Would have been a pick of the week if King of Kong didn't edge it out by the tiniest margin.

King of California

Another movie with King in it was released this week and also another very good flick. From start to finish, this is a quirky little film. It stars Evan Rachel Wood as a young girl who is forced to provide for herself when her mother leaves the family and her father goes to a mental institution. Upon his release and return home, Evan still provides for the entire household as he continues to act crazy searching for a long lost treasure buried somewhere in California. He eventually traces it to be buried underneath a Costco store and makes plans to break in and dig for it at night. The father is played by Micheal Douglass who gives a very smart performance as a somewhat mentally ill man with lots of love for life. The interplay between father and daughter make up most of the movie and is quite enjoyable to watch. With two solid performances and a neat little story, King of California is worth a rent.

The Comebacks

One of the biggest commercial releases for the week is also one of the worst. To me, the spoof genre is relatively like watching a home video of someone falling or hitting themselves on purpose. Sure, sometimes it puts a smile on your face, but overall, you just can't wait till its over as there is no plot, no developed characters, and really nothing that funny begging you to stay and watch for the next joke. However, I acknowledge that a lot of people enjoy these flicks. I do not, so if you liked any of the previous spoofs like Scary Movie, Epic Movie, or Date Movie, you'll probably like this Sports Movie called The Comebacks.

Daddy Day Camp

Officially the worst movie of the week. Originally a straight to DVD release that was somehow released in theaters, Daddy Day Camp is the sequel to Daddy Day Care starring Eddie Murphy. This time Cuba Gooding, Jr. gives it a try and does a great job performing a terrible part. Kids will love it, grown-ups will probably hate it.

The Invasion

A flick that I didn't have time to watch. Here's a description: The mysterious crash of the space shuttle leads to the terrifying discovery that there is something alien within the wreckage. Those who come in contact with it are changing in ominous and inexplicable ways. Soon Washington, DC psychiatrist Carol Bennell (Nicole Kidman) and her friend, Dr. Ben Driscoll (Daniel Craig), learn the shocking truth about the growing extraterrestrial epidemic: it attacks its victims while they sleep, leaving them physically unchanged but strangely unfeeling and inhuman. As the infection spreads, more and more people are altered and it becomes impossible to know who can be trusted. Now Carol's only hope is to stay awake long enough to find her young son, who may hold the key to stopping the devastating invasion. Let me hear your thoughts!

Feel the Noise

Another low-budget dance movie. This time, a rapper flees the 'thug' life to live with his father and gets involved with Reggaeton, a blend of musical genres. He teams up with some friends who then learn how to overcome obstacles and give an explosive final performance. Much like any of the dance movies to come out over the past couple years, this one follows the formula and gives a reliably watchable film, but not one worth returning to. Worth a try, if you have already seen Trade and King of Kong.

That's it for this week. A lot of releases and I still didn't cover them all. The Nines, Rocket Science, and Bordertown are also new releases coming out this Tuesday. As always, they are available at Movie Gallery and feel free to come back and let me know your thoughts.

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Confectionary Glaze
Cody Dame
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Cody Dame is the CEO and owner of three local McCook Businesses, Game On, Spotlight Studios and Divine Productions. He also manages to work for the McCook Daily Gazette.