'The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters' documents an epic rivalry for the top score in an arcade video game. Meanwhile, in 'The Invasion,' those body-snatching aliens have landed. Again.
Courtesy of New Line Home Entertainment
The King of Kong (PG-13)
In one of the all-time great episodes of "Seinfeld," George Costanza will do anything to preserve his high score on an arcade game of Frogger – even if that means lugging the fridge-sized console through rush-hour traffic to plug it in before it loses battery power. George has nothing on Billy Mitchell, a real-life gamer whose arcadian rhythms long ago earned him the top score in the history of Donkey Kong. So when Steve Wiebe, a likable science teacher from Seattle, submits a videotape of himself hopscotching over barrels to break the record, Mitchell, along with the insular gaming community, is quick to question the unknown upstart's bid for the title. What ensues in this documentary is more sublimely hilarious than even a Christopher Guest mockumentary. Grade:
The Invasion (PG-13)
Sci-fi directors belong to a most fickle fraternity. Every new work is always open to reinterpretation; this applies to even the senior members, and the most treasured work. Consider "The Invasion," a remake – twice-over – of 1956's "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Here, Nicole Kidman takes point, playing a psychiatrist who discovers that those dang aliens have crashed her party. She turns to a friend (Daniel Craig) for help, and shock and awe ensue. The flick is best with mood – eerie blues and grays dominate – and there a few great "gotcha" moments. But the nuance of the original is sorely missed. Grade: