The Kidd Vs. COMIC-CON EPISODE IV: A FAN'S HOPE
(Full disclosure: Harry Knowles, head of Ain't It Cool News, is a producer on the documentary COMIC-CON EPISODE IV: A FAN'S HOPE, alongside director Morgan Spurlock, Joss Whedon, Stan Lee and Thomas Tull. As usual, at no point in time was I contacted about the film by any of the listed parties, their representatives or anyone associated with the film, outside of scheduled interviews and the arranged viewing of COMIC-CON EPISODE IV: A FAN'S HOPE, regarding my review)
COMIC-CON EPISODE IV: A FAN’S HOPE isn’t your usual Morgan Spurlock documentary. For one, he’s nowhere to be found in it, so, if you’re looking for the documentarian to drive the stories of Comic-Con weekend, you might be a little disappointed. You shouldn’t be though, as in his stead, Spurlock uses interviews and the raw emotions of the fans and professionals that have helped make San Diego Comic-Con the geek peak on an annual basis. Instead of Spurlock telling you how much Comic-Con means to fans of movies, comic books, television, anime, video games, etc., he allows them to do it in their own words, giving you a crystal clear picture of the passion for everything the event encompasses, no matter what segment of the geek population they represent.
COMIC-CON never aims to chronicle the history of San Diego from its first year in 1970 to the present. It does however tell the stories of a handful of SDCC attendees who are making quests of different sorts to the 2010 Con in order to accomplish something great for themselves. A couple of the stories have higher stakes than the others, and it’s when these tales are playing out on-screen COMIC-CON shows just how important Comic-Con can be to some. There’s a high degree of drama inherently a part of watching Holly the cosplayer invest all of her time, effort and money into creating accurate real-life versions of the MASS EFFECT 2 characters (complete with animatronics) as she hopes to win the Masquerade. The same goes for Chuck the comic book dealer who is facing the reality of a fading industry and a minimized place at the Convention which is no longer centered around comics any longer. There’s also a pair of illustrators looking to chase their dreams of working in comics, staring at the uncertainty of whether or not they’re good enough until they have a chance to meet with talent scouts from the various publishers who can offer up a honest assessment. To them, Comic-Con is more than just a fun weekend, and, because of that, there’s something to their individual journeys.
However, not all of these stories are winners. COMIC-CON also showcases a toy collector whose main goal is purchasing an 18-inch Galactus exclusive and a guy seeking to propose to his girlfriend at Comic-Con one year after meeting at the event. The payoffs to these two scenarios come nowhere close to matching the builds, particularly in the case of the couple. They may be a great pair in private, but, at least in this short glimpse, the girl comes across as smothering and highly co-dependent, forcing you to actually root against the proposal going so smoothly. If I can’t take watching them together in short bursts during the film, I can only feel for the life this poor bastard is going to live in matrimony when he can’t even take a leak in peace.
The interviews are a nice break from the gravity of these situations, offering up anecdotes and often times humorous takes on what Comic-Con has come to mean to everyone over the years. Joss Whedon stands out with his analysis as does Kevin Smith, who, regardless of how self-important he’s become over the past few years, is still capable of being funny in his observations and stories. Whenever the two of them pop up, you know you’re in for something good that stands apart from the more serious takes of others.
The greatest strength of COMIC-CON EPISODE IV: A FAN’S HOPE though is giving you an overall sense of the community by delivering a wide-ranging view of the different aspects of the Convention. For those who’ve attended in the past, you may not know of all the things that go on outside of your schedule, so you get a taste of everything that goes on. There’s something for everyone, with those various elements all receiving their due. And, as someone who has yet to make it out to San Diego for Comic-Con (one year… one year…), the film makes you feel like a part of the community atmosphere just by watching. Yeah, it’d be much better to be there in the flesh, but, if you can’t afford the airfare and the hotels, COMIC-CON EPISODE IV: A FAN’S HOPE is a good enough substitute for being in attendance that you can experience from the comfort of your couch.
"The Infamous Billy The Kidd"
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April 6, 2012, 8:47 p.m. CST
April 6, 2012, 8:59 p.m. CST
They should cut out the extended nobody coverage and just interview and follow around the major geek celebs with short clips of fanboys here and there
by Nerd Rage
I don't give a shit about random starving artist. I want behind the scenes insight from dozens of geek icons.
April 6, 2012, 9:09 p.m. CST
I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
April 6, 2012, 9:22 p.m. CST
As far as this Doc, i cant wait to see it. As for Kevin Smith, if Whedon can somehow get his hands on a comic movie why not Smith?? We know he would have given us a much much better Lantern. He can be given the reins to some of the franchises out there, maybe a Billy Batson movie?? Tying in later with an epic stand alone Superman movie?? But im dreaming now. Anyways like i said if Wedon (Harry's buddy) can get one, id like to see smith with 150 million of spending.
April 6, 2012, 9:50 p.m. CST
It was actually pretty damned fantastic - Now I wish they'd do a similar show for each year of the con going forward
There's much less of the "lookit-me, lookit-me" attention whoring cosplay bullshit than the promo materials made it appear to be. I'd love to see more of the footage that didn't find its way into the final product. Overall, it just made me want to be in San Diego at con right the hell now.
April 6, 2012, 9:52 p.m. CST
It had it's moments, but just felt kinda all over the place and not very cohesive. Trekkies did it better. None of the people profiled were really all that interesting.
April 6, 2012, 10:36 p.m. CST
April 6, 2012, 11:15 p.m. CST
When I heard he was involved in this the first thing I thought of is that he was making fun of every comics fan and out to make them look as stupid as possible. You know, like he always does.
April 6, 2012, 11:25 p.m. CST
Kevin Smith would actually have to learn a thing or two to be considered a proficient hack. He doesnt write dialogue, he writes mini-speeches that the characters take turns spewing out. No one in their right mind would give him 200 million plus to make
April 6, 2012, 11:29 p.m. CST
Whatever promise he had after Clerks/Chasing Amy was pissed away by laziness/weed/lack of talent. Dont despair though, maybe he can self-produce that stoner-man character from the comic book (or whatever the fuck its called)
April 6, 2012, 11:31 p.m. CST
April 6, 2012, 11:37 p.m. CST
by Bedknobs and Boomsticks
comics any longer. It's just a movie preview fest.
April 6, 2012, 11:59 p.m. CST
It is basically heaven for me. From the first time I set foot on that crowded exhibit hall, I knew I was home. Kevin Smith had a great quote which basically said it was like heaven, in that everything you ever loved, from comics to toys (even ex girlfriends in my case) were there. That was a good quote, which captures the essential truth of SDCC quite well. Now, has it gotten insanely overcrowded since 2000? yes. Are comics being marginalized by film/tv? Yes it is. But I ask you to look at the biggest movies of the last decade- overwhelmingly they are Genre films: Comic Con geared films. This is the GOLDEN AGE of fandom. When it ends, it may never come again. I for one am going to enjoy it while it lasts.
April 7, 2012, 12:02 a.m. CST
And a good documentary filmmaker in her own right.
April 7, 2012, 12:32 a.m. CST
by Junior Frenger
...obviously her boyfriend. Get out now while you have the chance!!!
April 7, 2012, 12:34 a.m. CST
by The Infamous Billy The Kidd
Are you THE guy?
April 7, 2012, 12:39 a.m. CST
April 7, 2012, 1:13 a.m. CST
by Horace Cox
Spill the details.
April 7, 2012, 1:23 a.m. CST
But it was a big party school, so I was rarely lonely.
April 7, 2012, 1:27 a.m. CST
by Horace Cox
I fucked around with at least a quarter of the chicks in my major, which seemed to be a magnet for dirty sluts. Not that I was complaining, mind you.
April 7, 2012, 1:45 a.m. CST
April 7, 2012, 4:36 a.m. CST
I mean having gone there every year since 93 as a fanboy first, then there with a small press company for a few years, to now just an old casual buyer of stuff...to see that some still have naive dreams of making from what is now just a big hype machine is sad. Comic Con just lost its soul and now so overblown and almost impossible to get into that its lost its charm. But saying all that I'll still be there in July frustrated with the crowds and all hassles involved.
April 7, 2012, 5:29 a.m. CST
by Mike J
..... Harry Knowles talks about how brilliant he thinks the totally authentic Prometeus screenplay he was sent was? Because I'd pay good money to watch that.
April 7, 2012, 8:40 a.m. CST
She wasn't smothering. She just couldn't stand to be away from him. Obviously, you've never had a girl feel that way about you. Which is your problem, not theirs.
April 7, 2012, 9:04 a.m. CST
by Tom Fremgen
Ok I would watch that movie! I'd love to see the build up from nothing to what it is now! As for this movie, not much interest. Maybe because I've gone to Comic-Con several times in the late 90's and early 2000's- but it's so damn huge now, I won't even want to go to San Diego during the time of the Con!
April 7, 2012, 9:36 a.m. CST
Not into costumes or toys....or geeks. I do come here for the news, though.
April 7, 2012, 10:22 a.m. CST
April 7, 2012, 10:23 a.m. CST
by The Infamous Billy The Kidd
That's unhealthy, dude. The poor guy couldn't get a second to himself.
April 7, 2012, 10:32 a.m. CST
April 7, 2012, 10:46 a.m. CST
Kevin Smith has stated repeatedly, and once at "An Evening with Kevin Smith" that I attended, that he'd never direct a comic book movie because he'd rather watch them and he doesn't have the patience to direct a movie like that with lots of action and special effects. He said he'd never do one. I love Kevin Smith, he's down to Earth, came up with his own style of writing, and ultimately admits he has little talent beyond what he has already done. He's a great representative of geekdom. So try not ripping on him for not doing something he doesn't want to do.
April 7, 2012, 11:16 a.m. CST
Your writing is lackluster, your ability to enjoy something that isnt a full on geek fest is missing. You should be a blogger at best period!. As far as kevin smith not having enough talent to write and direct feature films. Cop Out Zack and Miri both made Huge bank. Clerks made for 27,000 made a shit ton of money. Not only has Bruce Wilis destroyed Mr Smiths Ability to enjoy Directing hes chased his tubby ass into retirement. I love Kevin Smiths movies his pod casts etc The man is a genious, However sticking to your principles can only take you so far Sir!. Take afflecks speech from Jay and Silent Bob strike back...thats how most directors should be. first you do the whitewashed hollywood crap then you do your movie and then you do the movie cause your friend says you owe him :).. Kevin Smith would have been a great director, cant do any worse the Micheal BombBay. or a few of the other crappy directors out there!. All i know is this i paid to see each of mr smiths works in a theater, i will not pay to see remakes reimaginings or any other theft of a movie i have previously payed cash to see in a theater.
April 7, 2012, 2:35 p.m. CST
I get what your saying about Michael "all-style-no-substance" Bay (thank you Jay Baruchel), but HIS movies make BANK. Off the top of my head, I believe Transformers 2 alone made more than all of Smith's put together. Which just goes to show there is no justice.
April 7, 2012, 3:21 p.m. CST
April 7, 2012, 3:21 p.m. CST
April 7, 2012, 3:47 p.m. CST
I looked in new releases, documentaries, independents, all movies. Can't find it.
April 7, 2012, 4:38 p.m. CST
I am KROGAN!!
April 7, 2012, 6:43 p.m. CST
by Tom Fremgen
Cop Out budget- $30mil Dom Gross $44mil Foreign $10mil Zack and Miri make a Porno buget- $24mil Dom Gross $31mil Foreign $10mil (check Box Office Mojo) So not Huge bank, but still successful. And I'm sure is Kevin's movies had an extra $170 million of special effects and explosions, then they would probably match what a Bay film makes.
April 7, 2012, 7:56 p.m. CST
Because theater owners take no cut, no actors get backend points and prints and advertising are free.
Those are both money losers.
April 8, 2012, 12:58 a.m. CST
and $7.99 for HD. Get to see that creepy yet cool ass Cosplayed Blanka in HD
April 8, 2012, 5:06 a.m. CST
by Bob Loblaw Law Blog
I've never been to Comic-Con, but I absolutely loved the film. My favorite profile was the comic book store owner who had been to 38 Comic-Cons in a row! Great stuff... and Morgan Spurlock is super nice. He stayed in the lobby to take pictures, sign autographs and chat. Good times.
April 8, 2012, 10:59 a.m. CST
Considering that I'm a poor office temp who gets no paid vacation and lives in the midwest, this movie is probably the closest thing I will ever come to seeing SDCC. That, and re-watching The Guild season 5 - although that appears to be more of a gamer's con than comics.
April 8, 2012, 5:41 p.m. CST
You install the xbox vudu app and you get a $4.99 credit. This means you can watch the film in hd for free. Watched it today and it was a good look into the life of comic con. Nice job all that were involved. Was happy to see the couple didn't end up getting married at comic con the next year.
April 8, 2012, 9:58 p.m. CST
Kidd, you couldn't be more wrong about the couple. Yes, she clung to him in a sea of strangers, but it only added to the drama of him getting the ring. As a romantic at heart, the payoff was truly endearing and funny.
April 9, 2012, 8:44 a.m. CST
get shit-faced wasted with some fellow geeks and start a fight with some tolken geeks about why LOTR sucks it hard. Plan it!
April 9, 2012, 12:29 p.m. CST
by Joe Plumber
They're positioned at right below her rib cage. Did one of those aspiring illustrators draw that?
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