Bangback: The Pinball Movie

We all loved King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters for its David and Goliath story and its peek into the hardcore geek life of competitive arcade gaming. Whether it was completely accurate or not (it was NOT, by the way), it was something that gamers and non-gamers were able to enjoy and have fun with. I’m not sure who is making this, and I’m not sure when it will be out, but Bangback: The Pinball Movie looks to be providing a similar experience. Rather than a David and Goliath story, however, this one focuses on the return of the man who used to rule competitive play in pinball tournaments. The former #1 player simply disappeared from competition roughly ten years ago, but now he’s ready to come back. Check out the trailer below.

Oh, excuse me, but I was just informed that I should not be calling it a comeback.

And as an added bonus, quite possibly the greatest music video of all time.

Gore Verbinski to direct BioShock film

The famed Pirates of the Caribbean film director, Gore Verbinski, is going to direct the film adaptation of the 2K hit, BioShock. Variety broke the news, and they also confirmed that John Logan is in talks now to write the screenplay. For those that aren’t familiar with John Logan, he has writing credits on quite a few notable films, including Gladiator, The Last Samurai, The Aviator, and Sweeney Todd. You can view his IMDB page, here: John Logan. BioShock is the first movie deal for 2K Games.

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Click the pic to buy BioShock for the Xbox 360 from Amazon. Do it.

BioShock was my runner-up for game of the year last year, and I feel it’s one of the finest games available for the Xbox 360. I know most game movies are terrible, but given the setting and style of BioShock, I think they might be able to pull off something spectacular. I just really hope they don’t play with the story or themes too much, because the game is a true masterpiece from both visual and storytelling standpoints. If you own a 360 and still haven’t played BioShock…I hate your face.

Review – The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

I know that this comes a bit late, but I’m hoping the extra attention helps another handful of individuals to get out and see what I feel is one of the best gaming-related films ever made. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters is a documentary that follows two avid gamers as they compete to claim the world record score for Nintendo’s classic arcade title, Donkey Kong. In typical fashion, the documentary chooses their protagonist (Steve Wiebe) and their villain (Billy Mitchell) early on and encourages viewers to pick their pony to cheer for as the plot unfolds.

As each player makes attempts to one up the other, you get peeks into their daily lives and their lifelong struggles. For Billy, it seems that everything has always come easy to him. He’s always been the best at what he’s involved in. You see montages of Billy being handed awards, being praised, and even being named the video game player of the century. On the other hand, Steve is portrayed as the guy that’s always had a rough road ahead of him. Steve’s music career fizzled and failed, he was laid off of work the day he signed the papers for his home loan, and he just can’t seem to quite get to the #1 spot in anything he aims for in life, despite being a very talented and likeable guy. The emotional favorite defintely is Steve, but there’s something about Billy that makes you want to see him stick it to all his critics and envious opponents time and time again.

There comes a point in the film when it ceases to be about a video game or a high score and becomes more about the human spirit and an investigation into what drives us to seek out opportunities to excel in life. The documentary is full of highs, lows, comedy, and genuinely touching moments that you wouldn’t expect to find in a film tied so closely to a simple video game. The people, while certainly portrayed in a way that nearly reduces them to mere characters (possibly the only real flaw in the film), are so genuinely devoted to their hobby that you can’t help get swept up into the excitement of the chase for a new world record.

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I would encourage any gamer to see the film, but I also think non-gamers would get a kick out of The King of Kong as well. My wife, who only casually approaches this hobby was laughing and smiling throughout the showing. And I, as a gamer, haven’t had so much fun watching a documentary in all my life.