The Critic – Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope

This last weekend the biggest gathering of geeks in the world happened in San Diego, the ultimate fan gathering, where comics, genre films, celebrities, and regular folks alike all meet up in one massive center to see their heroes and try to get their hands on some exclusive wears at the convention. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, I’m talking about San Diego Comic Con!

Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope is an incredibly honest documentary about the world biggest pop culture event. It written by Joss Whedon, Morgan Spurlock and Jeremy Chilnick, and directed by Morgan Spurlock. For those of you who are thinking “That name sounds really familiar”, Spurlock was the mind behind Super Size Me, 30 Days and Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? He has said that he is a closet geek, well up until now I guess, and that this movie came about after Stan Lee suggested they make a movie together. Spurlock thought he was just being nice, but when he got the call he was thrilled to get on board with this movie. And now all us geeks and nerd can get this movie in our grubby little hands.

The film focuses on the journey of six people as they get ready and head to the convention. Skip Harvey “The Geek”, his goal this Comic-Con is to show his art portfolio to everyone he can and try to get signed with any company that will take his work. Similarly Eric Gallego “The Solder” tells us how all he wants to do is draw at all hours in the day, and it really shows of in some of the work that he does, it’s great stuff, really, and he’s going to do everything in his power to come home from the con signed with someone to do some work with them. James Darling and Se Young started dating at the Comic-Con before that, they are both huge Kevin Smith fans and James is planning to propose to her at the Kevin Smith Panel. Chuck Rozanski is the owner of Mile High Comics and throughout the movie he brings up a very realistic fear of the direction the Con is going, he’s there selling comics and trying to break even and make some money to make the trip out worth while.  Finally we have Holly Conrad, a very talented costume designer who hopes that she’ll get noticed and turn her passion of creating costumes into a full time career.

Throughout the film snippets of interviews are shown from people like Stan Lee, Joss Whedon, Kevin Smith, Paul Dini, Seth Rogan, Seth Green, and others. They talk about their experiences at conventions, what the comics, movies, and fans mean to them and say all around interesting things that are fun to listen to. There are hilarious moments like the times Stan Lee is walking through the con interacting with fans and just, being himself, Kev Smith is being himself as well, really everyone is just having a lot of fun at every turn of this movie, which is really fun to see. Other times, when the big guys aren’t being interviewed, they have pulled in some random Con Goers to talk to them about what the world of Genre means to them, you hear some really great stories during these parts, and a lot of them are super relatable.

Most of the film was shown in a really cool way, they made each scene look like it was a panel from a comic book, they didn’t use up all of the screen, which some people might be annoyed by, but I really think that it added to the story being told at Comic-Con. The scene transitions were really well done too, they would freeze what was happening, it would turn into an animated panel from a comic, zoom out, show a bunch of previous panels, then go on to the next, go back to live and it would continue. I though this was a great addition to the film and it just made me enjoy it all the more.

There isn’t really a ton I can tell you about a documentary and not make it pointless to see by saying all the things I want to, so I’ll just leave it at this. Check this movie out if you are a lover of comics, genre films or just geekery in general, it is a lot of fun to watch and just a great look at the convention. The music is nothing special, documentaries such as this don’t really need any strong music, but the bits that are there are just fun and geeky.

I guess the lesson to learn from this is that the movie is just geeky, what else can you expect from a documentary about Comic-Con?  I enjoyed this movie a lot and I’m sure you will too. In the end it’s the story of the Con and the story of these six character’s and we get to find out what happens to them throughout the con.

Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope: 10/10 [Buy this movie]

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Follow Nathan on Twitter @Nait93.

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