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MOVIE REVIEW: CRAZY LEGS CONTI: ZEN AND THE ART OF COMPETITIVE EATING * * * (3 stars out of 4).

13 March 2005

This funny and smart documentary about competitive eating contests maintains just the right mix of reverence and whimsy for the sport. We follow narrator Crazy Legs Conti, holder of a world record for eating the most number of oysters in a single sitting, as he pursues his dream of qualifying for the Fourth of July Nathan’s hot dog eating contest.

I think my favorite moment in the movie was when he Conti meets 131-pound Takeru Kobayashi, who has dominated the Nathan’s contest for the last few years. Conti says that to compare Kobayashi to Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods is an insult to Kobayashi, because Jordan isn’t scoring twice as many points as the next leading scorer in the NBA, and Tiger Woods isn’t finishing tournaments with twice as many shots below par, but Kobayashi is eating 50 hot dogs at the Nathan’s contest, and the second place finisher is only eating about 25.

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