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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Viewers get to pick sides between the arrogant reigning Donkey Kong champion and a nice-guy family man, dogged by bad luck, who seems to need the affirmation and approval of his peers badly. There are a few female players glimpsed, but women are mostly supportive (maybe slightly exasperated) spouses.
Violence & Scariness
None, except quick flashes of violent video games over the end credits.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A sexy still photo of a nude couple (covering up each other's private parts, barely), is shown, illustrating the sordid past of a video gamer.
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"Bastard" and "kick that guy's ass" used, but the point is made that profanity is actually frowned upon in this milieu.
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Products & Purchases
Not only are video games, video game parlors, and shop franchises ubiquitous, we also see plenty of the chicken hot sauce sold by one of the contenders in his day job.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Gaming is verbally compared to drug addiction, and some interviewees smoke.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is not a King Kong related movie in any form, but a rollicking documentary about extreme video gaming. The PG-13 rating from the MPAA is unwarranted, even though there are a few swear words and brief glimpses of sexy still pictures. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS is a funny documentary whether you are wild about vintage video games like Donkey Kong or not. Actually it's funnier if you don't care. Maybe "alarming" is more like it. Parents who think their kids spend too much time with the xBox or Playstation might find this film semi-reassuring, in that it shows men (and some women) who have devoted their lives to video gaming and made something serious out of it. Perhaps even too serious.
The movie doesn't go out of its way to mock these game fanatics, but still, you occasionally find yourself giggling. It's just Donkey Kong! Get a life! Still, the film raises a question if these men and their mortal combat is any less legitimate than the NBA, NHL, or NFL pro heroes who make the cover of Sports Illustrated. Maybe Shaq, Lebron, Barry Bonds, etc., could also lighten up and remember that it's just for fun, too.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.