Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story

Release Date:  2010
Production Company:
Director: Kevin Tostado
Run time: 88 minutes
Seen on: Free Documentary DVD from Enoch Pratt Free Library, also on Netflix Watch Instantly
Tone:  Lighthearted and fun.  Appropriate for all.
Website: http://www.monopolydocumentary.com/

I picked this up at a whim at my local library.  They have a great free movie section, including a wide range of documentaries.  While I started to watch this, I almost turned it off about 15 minutes in.  (I usually give documentaries 20 minutes first.) I was not drawn into the documentary at first.  I was never a fan of Monopoly growing up.  It never seemed to have an end.  I enjoyed games with a clear end like Life or Sorry!  However, once I gave it a chance, I was drawn in.

The film has several aspects: the history of the game, talking heads of fans of the game, and footage of Monopoly competitions.  The serious players shared their techniques, game collections, and rivalries.  While most of the competitors are likeable, a few were not.  I began to root for certain competitors and look for the downfall of others.  (I was pleasantly surprised by one's loss.)

The documentary was an enjoyable look at one of America's popular pastimes.  It reminded me a little of Wordplay with its competitive aspects.  Overall, it was a closer look at a popular and common game.

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