Is there any other filmmaker with the ability to make documentaries as fun as those by Morgan Spurlock? I don’t believe so. His latest film is not only solid entertainment, as usual, but also reveals a side of Spurlock that I, for one, had no idea existed until now – his hardcore inner geek.
Where Spurlock is usually the central character in his films, he’s nowhere to be found in ‘Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope’. There are hundreds of thousands of geeks out there – many of whom carry celebrity status – who feel the exact same way he does about Comic-Con, so he lets them give testimonials about the convention that draws over 150,000 visitors to its grand San Diego, California event each year. Stitching the story together are interview segments featuring Kevin Smith, Joss Whedon, Eli Roth, Corey Feldman, Frank Miller, Seth Green, Olivia Wilde, Stan Lee, Kenneth Branagh, Guillermo del Toro, Seth Rogen, Matt Groening, Edgar Wright, Paul Sheer, Harry Knowles and countless names known within the comic book and nerd worlds. These interviews hold together the narrative at hand.
Attendees of Comic-Con not only include fans wanting to get a glimpse at the future of the comic book world, but fans with agendas. The narrative of ‘Comic-Con’ follows six specific people on a mission at the 2010 convention. There’s “The Soldier,” a member of the armed forces looking to have his art portfolio reviewed with the hopes of getting offered a job on the spot; “The Designer,” a young make-up and costume designer who has brought to life various characters from ‘Mass Effect 2’ for the Masquerade; “The Geek,” a super geeky artist also looking for a positive portfolio review and a job; “The Collector,” a fan on a mission to locate a specific limited-quantity action figurine; “The Lovers,” a young man looking to propose to his girlfriend in Hall H during a Kevin Smith panel; and “The Survivor,” a comic book vendor from Colorado who needs to sell his most prized comic book (a pristine ‘Red Raven’ #1 worth more than $500,000) to keep his comic book shop afloat.
One need not be a geek to enjoy the hell out of ‘Comic-Con’. In the film, the geeks shamelessly come out to play, and what you see is far more entertaining than the ‘Star Trek’ convention you may have imagined it to resemble in your mind. You’ll root for these determined people as they set off on their wild adventures. I dare say that I was clinched up with more anticipation for them as I watched this film than I have ever been with a sports drama. As proof of how fun and enthralling this documentary is, as I watched a screener of it late one night, my wife poked her head in just to see why I was laughing so hard and ended up sitting down and finishing the rest of the movie with me. I haven’t cheered this much in a documentary since watching “the raffle” scene during ‘Waiting for Superman’. Believe me, this is one documentary that you don’t want to miss.
Note: If you’re interested in ‘Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope’, be sure to check out my interview with Morgan Spurlock and one of the main “characters” on the High-Def Digest main page soon. Spurlock also explains what we can expect from future “episodes.”