Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this Morgan Spurlock documentary captures the experience of going to Comic-Con, one of the world's largest conventions for fans of comic books, sci-fi, fantasy, video games, and other forms of pop culture. It follows six attendees as they prepare for the experience and then attend the four-day spectacle, interspersed with interviews with celebrities who reveal their inner geeks. Expect a bit of language (including "f--k" and "s--t") -- much courtesy of self-professed fanboy and notorious potty mouth Kevin Smith -- and a few revealing outfits. And, of course, Comic-Con glorifies a very commercial event that exists solely to promote movies, comics, merchandise, and other products, though it also celebrates following your dreams, no matter how geeky anyone might think they are.
What's the story?
In COMIC-CON EPISODE IV: A FAN'S HOPE, director Morgan Spurlock trains his lens on Comic-Con, the annual San Diego event said to be the world's largest gathering of geeks. Spurlock follows six attendees -- two would-be illustrators, a costume maker, a comic merchant, and a couple who fell in love at the prior year's event -- through the four-day fest that celebrates sci-fi and fantasy movies, TV shows, video games, and comic books. Spurlock also sprinkles in interviews with celebrities, including Joss Whedon, Kevin Smith, and Stan Lee, who explain how Comic-Con fits into the pop-culture universe and why it's so important.
Is it any good?
Spurlock, who has been the main character in most of his previous films, doesn't appear in Comic-Con; instead, he lets the people at the show do all the talking, which is probably for the best. Talking to these loyal fans reveals the depths of their love -- for the event, for the genre, and for the massive spectacle of the entire geek tribe celebrating its shared appreciation for underappreciated art forms.
But that only goes so far. Limiting the film to the experiences of six people makes Comic-Con seem small. Yes, we see huge crowds and dozens of celebrity appearances, but the film doesn't quite give viewers the full experience. While it looks like they're all having plenty of fun, there's much more going on that we don't get to see -- and that looks like it could be even more exciting. Ultimately, going to Comic-Con is probably more of a thrill than watching a film about it.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about Comic-Con. Would you like to attend the event? Why? What do you think it's intended to accomplish? Who is it meant to appeal to?
How do you think Comic-Con fits into the entertainment industry? Does it serve a purpose other than promoting the sale of various forms of pop culture?
|Theatrical release date:||April 6, 2012|
|DVD release date:||July 10, 2012|
|Cast:||Kevin Smith, Seth Rogen, Stan Lee|
|Studio:||Wrekin Hill Entertainment|
|Topics:||Magic and fantasy, Superheroes, Misfits and underdogs, Space and aliens|
|Run time:||88 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||some sex and drug references, language and brief horror images|