Director(s): Morgan Spurlock
IMDB Rating: 6.9
A behind-the-scenes look at the fans who gather by the thousands each year in San Diego, California to attend Comic-Con, the worlds largest comic book convention.
|Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope (iPod)||Resolution: 480x320 px||Total Size: 354 Mb||
|Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope (DivX)||Resolution: 640x480 px||Total Size: 655 Mb|
We have taken some photos of "Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope". They represent actual movie quality.
VillageVoiceNY (15 May 2013)
Far from the nerd-in-a-barrel bloodbath it could have been, thisdocumentary follow-along at the 2010 edition of San Diego's annualcomics and pop-culture extravapalooza is a tender, thoughtful paean togeek community. Comic-Con tracks a handful of participants eager tomake a splash, including a pair of would-be comic-book illustrators, anambitious spare-time costume designer, and Chuck Rozanski, crankyproprietor of Denver's Mile High Comics, who's just looking to keep hisbusiness afloat. The emotional high point comes when a young manproposes marriage to his girlfriend at a...Read the full review here: http://www.villagevoice.com/movies/
DonFishies (15 May 2013)
Besides being a not so subtle nod to Star Wars, Comic-Con Episode Four:A Fan's Hope is a documentary told through the viewpoints of eightindividuals as they descend into the madness that is the San DiegoComic Con. All of them have a purpose to be there, and all have a goalin mind, whether it is to sell a rare comic, win a masquerade or getsigned on as an artist for a comic book company. Morgan Spurlock's latest documentary was one of the late entries on mylist of films to see at this year's past Toronto International FilmFestival, and one I have continued wrestling with over how I felt aboutit. Packed with dozens of hilarious interview clips with real andinternet celebrities, along with actual footage from the floor,Spurlock valiantly tries to capture what it is like entering andnavigating through the four day convention that becomes bigger witheach passing year. He gets access to some behind the scenes material,and offers a fan's eye view of some of the panels and events that hadoccurred at the 2010 event. But what holds the film back from being anything but a fun and amusingdiversion for the geek and convention crowd, is the fact that it is afilm lovingly made almost explicitly just for them. While theinterviews are entertaining and downright hilarious, they do notprovide any real insight or explanation for what fan culture is or whyso many people go to Comic-Con year after year. Even the storiescontained within the film do not answer why these people do what theydo, simply that they go to obscene lengths to make sure they can pulloff their goals. I assume Spurlock's main goal was to tell multiplestories (more on that in a moment), but I cannot help but feel ithinders the film. It seems content at simply existing, as a memento foreveryone who experiences this kind of subculture.Then that brings up another point Â what is the ultimate goal here? Igo to at least one major fan convention per year, so I have experiencedthe rush of seeing and meeting geek idols, witnessing the detail ofsome of the costumes, and talking shop with people just like the onesprofiled here. But what about people venturing in with no real grasp ongeek culture? What are they supposed to take from this? Are they evensupposed to venture into this film? It seems a bit elitist in thatrespect, because there is nothing really to grasp if you do not alreadyhave some preconceived knowledge on the topic. In his previous films,Spurlock has tackled tough topics and asked some tough questions. Whilesome segments and films work better than others (the less said aboutthe borderline ridiculous Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?, thebetter), he still made a real attempt at getting the answers. Here, hejust seems content without asking the bigger questions, and as aresult, the film feels like a much weaker effort.While I do fault Spurlock's lack of analysis here, I must praise thefact that outside of name credits, he does not appear in the film atall. He offers no narration whatsoever and does not appear on-screen atany time. He lets the people being profiled tell their stories, andlets the interviews help guide the film through its less-than-90-minuterun time. It is a bit flabbergasting at first, considering how prolificand personal he has made his other documentary films, but I think ithelps reflect his maturity both as a documentarian and filmmaker, andas a storyteller. It allows the film to become a more intimate film,and helps reinforce the notion that it is a film made as a kind ofmemento for the geeks. It is made up of their stories and quips, andSpurlock never interferes or redirects the film to follow him and histhoughts. It makes the film that much more different in that respect,and I think is the key reason why it works at all.Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan's Hope was an interesting idea on paper,but I think in practice it comes off as more flawed than it should.While it is entertaining to watch the ups and downs of the peopleprofiled within the film, I cannot help but feel underwhelmed by thegeneral lack of analysis on Spurlock's part. There have beendocumentaries before on specific fan cultures, but no real workscentred around the mother of all conventions. There was plenty ofmaterial he could have mined and a wealth of individuals who could havegiven keen insight on the idea of fan and convention subculture. But inthe end, it feels like a whole lot of ideas, and not a lot of actualfollow through. As a love letter to the people that come out to SanDiego once a year, it succeeds. But as a documentary on fan culture, itfails.6.5/10.
janarrah1 (05 May 2013)
I've been to the Comic Con International 5 times over the years andthis movie captures the feel and the heart of the convention eventhough comics become less and less the core of the event each year. Iwon't tell you why....but you will definitely tear up during one of theclimactic scenes. Show this movie to you family and friends so theywill understand why nerds are such good people.....and if you aren't anerd, that's your loss! It's available online so you don't have to benear one of the limited number of theaters showing this movie....Ican't wait for the DVD to be released since this is already my pick fordocumentary of the year!
Markus Emilio Robinson (05 May 2013)
Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland This is notMorgan Spurlock trying to dispel the geekdom surrounding Comic-Con, asmuch as it is his love letter to the fanboys (worldwide) who enjoydressing up as Vulcan's or Storm Trooper's. Spurlock, most notablyknown for his lampooning of McDonald's in "Super Size Me", now exploresthe cultural phenomenon that sees around 140,000 gather for a comicbook convention annually in his new film "Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan'sHope". Shockingly making not one cameo in his own film, Spurlockconducts interviews with the likes of Kevin Smith, Joss Whedon, FrankMiller, Matt Groening, Seth Rogen, Eli Roth, Seth Green and Godhimself, Stan Lee, as they share memories of this San Diego conventionfrom its grass roots beginnings (where only 500 attended) to the worldrenown, commercial juggernaut it is today (most of the interviewees Ijust mentioned are also behind the production of this film in some wayor another). But the real entertainment value comes when Spurlockexplores the individuals that make up the essence of Comic-Con. FromHolly, a costume designer who dreams of performing in the infamousComic-Con Masquerade (where fans put on skits dressed as characters inmany cases in order to get themselves jobs) to Eric and Skip, two veryskilled artists attempting to break into the industry via portfolioreview, to Chuck, an ageing vintage comic book dealer, attempting toget that one last big score, to James, an ultimate fanboy, who plans onproposing to his girlfriend at Comic-Con. But maybe the mostinteresting aspect within the film is when Spurlock focuses on howcommercialized Comic-Con has become; for better or for much worse. Theissue of the dwindling number of fans actually going there with thepurpose of buying comics is brought up again and again. In saying allof that, I was a fan of a small aspect of Comic-Con before seeing thisfilm; which leads me to my next point. The general downfall with"Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope" is that it doesn't really work ona purely documentarian entertainment level, if you aren't already intosome aspect of Comic-Con.Side Note: Just in case you were wondering, the "small aspect" ofComic-Con that I related to the most was a segment about a ToyCollector (don't call them "Dolls") who will stop at nothing until hegets the rare Action Figure he will never open.To most, Comic-Con is known for its fantastical costume play, wherepeople dress up as their favorite characters from TV shows, movies(usually Superhero, Sci-Fi or Anime) or video games. And Spurlock doesdo a somewhat decent job of getting to the bottom of why these peoplefeel such a connection with this particular convention, but again ifyou don't care going in, then "Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope" willnot make you care. In fact, if you don't really have an interest inComic-Con before watching, some of the overall brashness of everyone's"if you don't like it then screw you" attitudes in this documentary mayall together turn some off.Final Thought: Almost purely informational, even though Spurlockfollows around a few interesting people, there is little in the way ofconflict as far as an actual plot goes in "Comic-Con Episode IV: AFan's Hope". In fact, I would go so far as to say that much of thisfilm seems hastily put together, due to its extensive use of interviewswhich don't work to push the story forward. So, on a purely technicallevel, this is an average documentary at best; and even a bitdisappointing by Spurlock's standards (even though in some critic'sminds, he has shown himself as a one hit wonder). But, if you enjoySuperhero merchandise, graphic novels, comic books, or think you wouldget a kick out of watching Joss Whedon and Kevin Smith geeking all overthemselves, then you will find something to like here. On the otherhand, if you read the title of this film and were immediately confusedabout the reference, skip this movie.Please visit my page on Examiner.comhttp://www.examiner.com/x-52464-San-Jose-Indie-Movie-Examiner and leaveany comments you have about this or any review. The more hits I get thebetter. Thank you.Follow me on Twitter @moviesmarkus
FilmPulse (30 April 2013)
The phenomenon of San Diego's Comic-con has grown to astronomic levelsin both attendance and exhibition since it's inception in 1970. It hasmorphed into something much more than just a gathering of comic booknerds, packed into a hotel conference room. Comic-Con encompasses allthings pop culture, be it comics, movies, games, or anything elsepeople can geek out over. Famed director Morgan Spurlock decided tochronicle the 2010 con, and follow a select few to document theirreasons for being there, and their experience.In addition to following around a genuine, and interesting cast ofcharacters, Spurlock sprinkles in some interviews with some of thecon's most prolific figures including Kevin Smith, Joss Whedon, SethRogan, and many more. Having these people give their thoughts andanecdotes about the con was a nice touch, and added some flavor to thefilm.The real meat of the documentary, however, is with the interestinggroup of central characters. We see two aspiring artists, a costumedesigner, a collector, a comic book dealer, and a young couple in love.All of the characters have different reasons for being there, and yetthey all share the same passion for comics, movies, and games. Thecharacters were varied enough to keep things interesting, and they wereall very likable people. In addition to learning about who these peopleare, and their reasons for attending Comic-Con, we learn that there'smuch more to the con than to simply see famous people and buymemorabilia. People use Comic-con as an opportunity to showcase theirtalents, and hopefully further their careers.One of the other important topics discussed in this documentary is theconcept of geek culture, the rise of geek coolness, and thecommercialization of Comic-Con. As most of us know, many of the thingsthat were considered nerdy when we were kids, are actually cool now,and as a result, many companies are cashing in. When Comic-Con began,it was just a small convention focusing on comics, however now, comicstake a backseat to all the other stuff going on in the con. Nowadays,many of the people that attend, don't even know, or particularly careabout comics. This is upsetting to comic book fans, especially sincethe industry has been suffering for years.Although Comic-Con Episode IV may not break new ground in thedocumentary genre, it does give people an inside look at one of thebiggest pop culture events of the year. As stated in the film, everyonecan find something to love about Comic-Con, and the same can be saidabout the film itself. It's a light and enjoyable film, that'scertainly worth a watch, even if you aren't a die hard comic fan.Adam FilmPulse.Net
Emma Dinkins (30 April 2013)
For years I have wanted to visit San Diego and experience the Comic-conconventions. The pull was exceedingly strong following the news of the2008 convention introducing a reset Star Trek, which was supported bysome of the cast members. The second installment is my most anticipatedsequel for viewing. This film showcases the fanaticism surrounding theconvention and the opportunities sought by entrepreneurs, would beartists and designers looking to begin a career within the comic book,science fiction and fantasy industry. The Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan'sHope did an excellent job of allowing the audience to get a true feelfor what it's like to actually participate as a fan. It may be that thedocumentary was expressly done to provide understanding but in my caseit made me feel completely averse to ever going in person. A multitudeof people queued up to attend a venue, was what I would call a hostileenvironment. If you had nobody with you or no buddy you could not eventake a bio break without losing your place. The wait times, the race toa prized toy and the ensuing competition to get a much sought out pieceof memorabilia or a collector's item was daunting to say the least andwitnessing a triumph did not make it any better. I do not believe Iwould ever go to the convention as a fan. There were some heartwarmingstories that made viewing this film worthwhile, that of the Artist,whose talent was undeniable, as was also the case for the Designer. Itwas nice to see and hear from some of the sci-fi heavy hitters likeJosh Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: TV series, upcoming TheAvengers), and Kevin Smith (Dogma, Reaper: TV Series). I have been afan of both of their works for quite some time. I knew that Kevin Smithwas talented, but I never knew that he was so funny. He has a veryquick wit which was exhibited when speaking about his eleven year oldself and when addressing the couple who became engaged during his Q&Aat the convention. This was an interesting documentary, but in the endthe effect that it had on me is I will consider myself lucky for neverhaving been to the convention, not sure if that was the desired outcomebut that's how it panned out. I give the film an amber light.
Review total: 6, showing from 1 to 6