Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope - a film by Morgan Spurlock explores the amazing cultural phenomenon by following the lives of five attendees as they descend upon the ultimate geek mecca at San Diego Comic-Con 2010: Eric, an aspiring illustrator, is hoping to impress publishers and land a job; Holly, costume and creature designer, hopes her creations will win the big prize; Chuck, a long-time comic book dealer, is looking for a big sale to pay off his debts; Skip, longtime amateur illustrator wants to be discovered at this year's event; James, a young fan, hopes his girlfriend will accept a dramatic proposal. One on one interviews with Comic-Con veterans who have turned their passions into professions include Stan Lee, Joss Whedon, Frank Miller, Kevin Smith, Matt Groening, Seth Rogen, Eli Roth and others are shared throughout the film along with up close and up front coverage of all the panels, parades, photos, costumes, crowds and camaraderie that make up one of the largest fan gatherings in the U.S. (Wrekin Hill Entertainment) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Apr 4, 2012
    He (Spurlock) takes Comic-Con seriously. He talks to Kevin Smith, Harry Knowles, and other famous grown-up geeks, but mostly he follows a handful of people whose dream it is to pass through the fan/professional looking glass and carve out a place for themselves in the industry of fantasy.
  2. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Apr 5, 2012
    A look at the annual San Diego convention that is sweetly empathetic where previous Spurlock works have been brash and confrontational. Plus, it's a lot of fun.
  3. Reviewed by: Mark Feeney
    Apr 12, 2012
    "I've seen the look on people's faces when I've brought them there," Whedon says of the convention. "It's the look I had on my face. 'My tribe, my tribe, I've found my tribe.' "
  4. Reviewed by: Kirk Honeycutt
    Apr 1, 2012
    You could point a camera just about anywhere at Comic-Con and record something weird, amazing, funny, stupid or all of the above.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Apr 12, 2012
    What's missing in Morgan Spurlock's latest documentary is a key ingredient: Morgan Spurlock.
  6. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Apr 3, 2012
    Nothing but 88 minutes of a gushy lovefest would have been grating, yet these episodic stories make the film feel like just another going-for-the-gold doc drumming up investment in a cultural curio. The Con's still the thing; a game-changer like this deserves deeper anthropology instead of being reduced to a gladiatorial arena for aspiring fringe dwellers.
  7. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Mar 29, 2012
    Morgan Spurlock has little to say about Comic-Con other than that its attendees value it on a par with Christmas.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. Apr 8, 2012
    The movie is really interesting, have a great an interesting details about the Comic Con, but the biggest problem is that some moments are boring, and much, Is an interesting mode to watch this event, but no more. Collapse
  2. Apr 11, 2012
    It's a feel-good movie with a ton of great cameos from the royalty of the comic-con world (Kevin Smith, Joss Wheedon). It tracks 4 or 5 different attendees with varying agendas for the show, but those individual stories could have been a touch more interesting / compelling. And sure, the Revenge of the Nerds theme is great, but it could have had a sharper edge to it to really make you care about these folks. I guess I expected a bit more after having seen Spurlock's tv series and Super-Size Me. I thought he'd have a more original Comic-Con story to tell. Expand
  3. Apr 6, 2012
    Considering the treasure trove of weirdness and fascinating material that a massive event like San Diego's annual Comic-Con offers up, it's surprising the convention hasn't received the feature-length documentary treatment until now. Director Morgan Spurlock's 'Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope' revolves around the 2010 convention, exploring the evolution of Comic-Con from its origin as an event for hardcore comic book enthusiasts to one that now relegates the actual comic book aspect to the background, with much more of an emphasis put on general pop culture content such as movies, TV, books, toys, and video games. Along with some of the film's high profile producers (Joss Whedon, Harry Knowles, and the unfailingly cheerful Stan Lee), numerous other celebs and artists like Frank Miller, Matt Groening, Seth Rogen, Kevin Smith, and Kenneth Branagh weigh in with their take on the convention. The documentary had a companion coffee table book released in July and is Spurlock's second feature this year after 'The Greatest Movie Ever Sold'.

    Incorporated into the probing of the convention's history and relevance are the individual stories of a handful of Comic-Con attendees. There's the two amateur comic book artists looking for their big break into the business, who are willing to endure harsh criticisms of their portfolios from professionals and the sting of rejection. Then there's the couple who met at the previous year's convention, with the boyfriend hilariously attempting to break free from the clingy grip of his girlfriend in order to pick up the engagement ring ('Lord Of The Rings' themed, naturally) he'll present to her when he proposes during the convention panel featuring filmmaker Kevin Smith. Chuck, the crusty owner of America's largest comics retailer, Mile High Comics, struggles with a decision to sell one of his ultra-rare issues to pay off some debts and generally frets about how his sales at the convention are going. Another man seeks his Holy Grail of toys for his collection, a limited edition figure of Marvel Comics' Galactus character. Finally, there's Holly, an aspiring costume designer for whom a two minute appearance on stage at the Comic-Con masquerade event is the biggest moment of the year. Her and a small group of friends dress up as characters from the 'Mass Effect' video game.

    Clearly, with so many examples of arrested development from these folks, there's plenty of opportunity for ridicule here. I mean, what's not to laugh at in a scenario involving a grown, married man who pursues a toy with unwavering conviction? Laughing at, and not with, these people is an inevitable by-product of such fanatical behaviour, but the viewer also can't help but develop some level of respect for the passion and focus the characters demonstrate towards their obsessions, despite the pummelling their individual levels of cool take. As a hardcore fan of U2 and Bruce Springsteen who has, on a number of occasions, spent anywhere from twelve to sixteen hours at a time waiting in general admission lineups at their concerts and gotten puzzled looks from most people when I tell them about it, let me just say that on some level I can relate to these Comic-Con eccentrics.

    Despite the interesting subject matter, Spurlock's documentary feels flat and just never achieves liftoff. He has a lot of balls to juggle with the numerous paths the film follows, but many of them lead to unfulfilling conclusions and an uneven movie. I've seen nearly all of his previous film and television work and thoroughly enjoyed all of it and Spurlock, like fellow documentarians Michael Moore and Nick Broomfield, has always taken an active on screen and narrative role in his projects. Here, the charismatic filmmaker barely appears in the film and provides no narration. Perhaps there's a connection, perhaps not.
  4. Apr 6, 2012
    Guys, just because Comic-Con and cosplay are awesome, doesn't mean any dip**** made documentary about it is. Why, oh, why couldn't a competent person make this film??? It could have been so much cooler. There's so much more to Comic-Con! Expand