Since 1970, Comic-Con in San Diego has grown from an small and obscure comic book event, to a major multi-media extravaganza attracting thousands. As various creative celebrities discuss what attracts them to this shindig and how it has grown and changed, we follow various people who have come from all over. Whether it be a veteran comic book vendor trying to make a profit in an event that is now marginalizing his medium, aspiring artists wanting to break into it, an ambitious costumer or a romantic geek with a special surprise for his girlfriend, they all experience a special time of year where the fantastic imagination is celebrated.

Also Known As: Комик-Кон, эпизод четвертый: Фанатская надежда, Comic-Con Epizod V: Fani kontratakuja, Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope, Comic-con Episódio IV: Esperança dos Fãs, Comic Con: Ein Trip durch die Welt des größten Science-Fiction und Fantasy Festivals, Comic-Con: O Mundo da BD

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  • caune-girts
    caune girts

    For years I have wanted to visit San Diego and experience the Comic-con conventions. The pull was exceedingly strong following the news of the 2008 convention introducing a reset Star Trek, which was supported by some of the cast members. The second installment is my most anticipated sequel for viewing. This film showcases the fanaticism surrounding the convention and the opportunities sought by entrepreneurs, would be artists and designers looking to begin a career within the comic book, science fiction and fantasy industry. The Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope did an excellent job of allowing the audience to get a true feel for what it’s like to actually participate as a fan. It may be that the documentary was expressly done to provide understanding but in my case it made me feel completely averse to ever going in person. A multitude of people queued up to attend a venue, was what I would call a hostile environment. If you had nobody with you or no buddy you could not even take a bio break without losing your place. The wait times, the race to a prized toy and the ensuing competition to get a much sought out piece of memorabilia or a collector’s item was daunting to say the least and witnessing a triumph did not make it any better. I do not believe I would ever go to the convention as a fan. There were some heartwarming stories that made viewing this film worthwhile, that of the Artist, whose talent was undeniable, as was also the case for the Designer. It was nice to see and hear from some of the sci-fi heavy hitters like Josh Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: TV series, upcoming The Avengers), and Kevin Smith (Dogma, Reaper: TV Series). I have been a fan of both of their works for quite some time. I knew that Kevin Smith was talented, but I never knew that he was so funny. He has a very quick wit which was exhibited when speaking about his eleven year old self and when addressing the couple who became engaged during his Q&A at the convention. This was an interesting documentary, but in the end the effect that it had on me is I will consider myself lucky for never having been to the convention, not sure if that was the desired outcome but that’s how it panned out. I give the film an amber light.

  • jeremy-estes
    jeremy estes

    What is the matter with the makers of this documentary? They included one token female voice among a huge number of of fan boys. All other females were either being proposed to by their geek boyfriend or seen in the background and referred to as “slave girls”. That is incredibly offensive.The longer I watched, the more glaring the lack of females became. Though some of it was interesting, it was way too long for me, but once I started getting uncomfortable because of the overwhelming absence of women, I had to sit through the whole thing to see if all of it was really that bad. It was.I really have to wonder why women are invisible to the makers of this film. Is it sexual revulsion? Mental illness? There really is no excuse for this sort of thing.

  • alex-andres-alvaro-perea
    alex andres alvaro perea

    Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland This is notMorgan Spurlock trying to dispel the geekdom surrounding Comic-Con, as much as it is his love letter to the fanboys (worldwide) who enjoy dressing up as Vulcan’s or Storm Trooper’s. Spurlock, most notably known for his lampooning of McDonald’s in “Super Size Me”, now explores the cultural phenomenon that sees around 140,000 gather for a comic book convention annually in his new film “Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope”. Shockingly making not one cameo in his own film, Spurlock conducts interviews with the likes of Kevin Smith, Joss Whedon, Frank Miller, Matt Groening, Seth Rogen, Eli Roth, Seth Green and God himself, Stan Lee, as they share memories of this San Diego convention from its grass roots beginnings (where only 500 attended) to the world renown, commercial juggernaut it is today (most of the interviewees I just mentioned are also behind the production of this film in some way or another). But the real entertainment value comes when Spurlock explores the individuals that make up the essence of Comic-Con. From Holly, a costume designer who dreams of performing in the infamous Comic-Con Masquerade (where fans put on skits dressed as characters in many cases in order to get themselves jobs) to Eric and Skip, two very skilled artists attempting to break into the industry via portfolio review, to Chuck, an ageing vintage comic book dealer, attempting to get that one last big score, to James, an ultimate fanboy, who plans on proposing to his girlfriend at Comic-Con. But maybe the most interesting aspect within the film is when Spurlock focuses on how commercialized Comic-Con has become; for better or for much worse. The issue of the dwindling number of fans actually going there with the purpose of buying comics is brought up again and again. In saying all of that, I was a fan of a small aspect of Comic-Con before seeing this film; 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 on a purely documentarian entertainment level, if you aren’t already into some aspect of Comic-Con.Side Note: Just in case you were wondering, the “small aspect” of Comic-Con that I related to the most was a segment about a Toy Collector (don’t call them “Dolls”) who will stop at nothing until he gets the rare Action Figure he will never open.To most, Comic-Con is known for its fantastical costume play, where people dress up as their favorite characters from TV shows, movies (usually Superhero, Sci-Fi or Anime) or video games. And Spurlock does do a somewhat decent job of getting to the bottom of why these people feel such a connection with this particular convention, but again if you don’t care going in, then “Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope” will not make you care. In fact, if you don’t really have an interest in Comic-Con before watching, some of the overall brashness of everyone’s “if you don’t like it then screw you” attitudes in this documentary may all together turn some off.Final Thought: Almost purely informational, even though Spurlock follows around a few interesting people, there is little in the way of conflict as far as an actual plot goes in “Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope”. In fact, I would go so far as to say that much of this film seems hastily put together, due to its extensive use of interviews which don’t work to push the story forward. So, on a purely technical level, this is an average documentary at best; and even a bit disappointing by Spurlock’s standards (even though in some critic’s minds, he has shown himself as a one hit wonder). But, if you enjoy Superhero merchandise, graphic novels, comic books, or think you would get a kick out of watching Joss Whedon and Kevin Smith geeking all over themselves, then you will find something to like here. On the other hand, if you read the title of this film and were immediately confused about the reference, skip this movie.Please visit my page on Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/x-52464-San-Jose-Indie-Movie-Examiner and leave any comments you have about this or any review. The more hits I get the better. Thank you.Follow me on Twitter @moviesmarkus

  • helena-huhtala
    helena huhtala

    I had heard of comic-con before but never really understood what went on there. I was a huge comic book fan (X-men, Tales from the Crypt and Archie, etc.) but I really did not think that they were still all that popular, especially with the all the electronic gadgets that are out today. As the film illustrated, there are still folks out there that love to draw action figures (my brother being one of them) and are looking to break into the comic book industry. The two gentlemen depicted in this film are adamant about the opportunity to show the portfolios of their art and this film takes us with them on their journey on trying to get there and get someone to look at their work and hire them. I actually started to feel sorry for one of the guys because he was really heart-broken and I felt his pain. The film also showed other aspects of the convention like what goes into actually making some of the costumes that are showcased and what the sales folks have to compete with trying to sell their books in an electronic age. I enjoyed the film about the inter-working of the convention that is held in San Diego annually; I just had no idea that so many people attended and how many geeks (me being one) are actually left in this world. Emma and I are planning on attending the one that will be held here in Irving, Texas next month. That should make for some interesting pictures (smile). If you are a lover of comic books, action heroes and all related stuff, this would be an excellent film for you to experience.

  • enrico-das-neves
    enrico das neves

    Morgan Spurlock’s newest “unique documentary” could be split into two entirely different movies: 1. “Movie No. 1” tells different personal stories of people who are putting themselves out there as they travel to San Diego for Comic-Con.2. “Movie No. 2” isn’t a movie. It’s actually difficult to define. Morgan Spurlock got celebrities and people in costumes to stand in front of a white screen. And they talk about Comic-Con. A LOT.I don’t think either of these movies is particularly terrible, and in fact, some of the “Profiles in Comic-Con” from Part 1 were really well done.There was a pathos-ridden piece about Mile-High Comics, and its attempts to sell Red Raven #1 (the most valuable Marvel Comic ever published). And there was the comedic piece that was legitimately funny, where a young dork tries to publicly propose to his young dork girlfriend.The problem was that those story lines (along with at least 3 others) were meshed with random crap from “Movie No. 2” about how celebrities and other fans like Comic-Con.Famous people being funny (like Matt Groening and Joss Whedon) is cool, but it took so much time away from the profiles that were stretched across the whole movie.For instance, when a Navy employee eventually sells some of his art, it felt like I only identified with him because he seemed like a nice guy. The “build-up” from Spurlock was kind of thin, and mostly involved him walking around San Diego and looking up at the sky.Even at 88 minutes, I could’ve given Spurlock some serious editorial advice. The interlude involving the parade of women in Princess Leia bikinis was just gross and unnecessary. And it was presented with no connection to anything else.The aforementioned wedding proposal was funny, but it devolved into the “Extended Cut” of the “climactic” Kevin Smith panel when he proposes. You should save the video of the guy wandering around, and of Kevin Smith bantering, for the DVD.Not to mention that the movie demonstrates that Comic-Con was facilitating the dork’s ability to make his public proposal, and that moment arguably demonstrated an agreement between Spurlock and the “Con”. I’m not expecting Edward R. Murrow from Morgan Spurlock, but that just makes me sad.And now that I’m not pulling any punches, the movie had terrible cinematography and visual editing. Having “on the ground” footage of Comic-Con is fine, but Spurlock tried to art it up. He would often float the camera upwards and/or laterally, which makes you think about the camera instead of his “real people protagonists.” And I don’t want to say his *AWESOME COMIC BOOK PANELS* are seizure inducing, but they definitely challenged my eyes’ ability to absorb gaudy colors. And doing them over and over again, such as an announcement that it is now ‘Day 3″ of a 4 day convention, is just lazy.I decided to give this movie a six star rating because it has a lot of interesting moments, even if they are mostly incredibly shallow stories of happiness or rare sadness. But if you like Morgan Spurlock or nerdy celebrities, then the time will fly by fairly easily.That being said, this feels like a typical live spot for basic cable. And I’m sure some day it will be that, and only that.– Jason LunaThis review first appeared in Geek Speak Magazine – http://www.geekspeakmagazine.com

  • pani-sviatoslava-zabashta
    pani sviatoslava zabashta

    Baseball caps and awful facial hair are very much in evidence in this affectionate look at the San Diego Comic-Con, directed by Morgan Spurlock (himself, of course, no stranger to the dreadful moustache). We meet the owner of Mile High Comics (who has a stock of 8million comics) hoping to sell the first issue of 1940’s ‘Red Raven Comics’ for a cool $500,000; the young woman marshaling her troupe of costume parade participants (as part of which she has created a nifty moving face mask – we tried hard in the early 90s’ UK Comic Art Convention, but this is a different league altogether!); there are a couple of wannabe artists – one promising, one whose ambition is perhaps bigger than his ability; and the young man planning to propose to his girlfriend during one of the panels – except she won’t leave him alone long enough for him to collect the custom-designed ring he’s commissioned. Many professionals are interviewed: Kevin Smith is especially funny (“At Comic-Con now are all these fourteen- and fifteen year-old girls dressed as vampire chicks who in five years’ time are going to be so slutty and absolutely perfect…”)Comics- and media fans are, of course, an easy target for lampooning, but this film treats everyone with respect and shows how important Comic-Con is for many people who appreciate the chance not to feel embarrassed about their hobby, and who love being able to talk to like-minded people who understand: “It’s like having your own country” says one woman, and how right she is.

  • kajetan-kornek
    kajetan kornek

    San Diego Comic-Con International began in 1970 as a one-day only convention in which comic book fans gathered in the basement of the U.S. Grant Hotel and bought and traded magazines. A little over 100 people were in attendance. That, according to original founders Mike Towry and Richard Alf, was considered a successful turnout. Could they have foreseen that it would balloon into an annual pop culture phenomenon that in recent years never had less than 100,000 people in attendance? Although they are still given areas for showcasing, it isn’t so much about comic books anymore; major media companies, especially TV networks and movie studios, vie for space to promote their latest productions, with big name Hollywood celebrities and filmmakers serving as hosts for gigantic press panels.I have never attended Comic-Con, and quite frankly, I have no desire to ever attend. One of the reasons I appreciated “Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope,” Morgan Spurlock’s newest documentary, is that it allows people like me to view the convention from a safe distance – no heartbreak from not getting into sold-out events, no waiting in obscenely long lines, no pushing or shoving through densely packed crowds, no chance of being deafened by cheering throngs, no risk of getting into fights with frothing fanboys over a misunderstanding. We obviously aren’t show every nook and cranny of the San Diego Convention Center, but we do get wonderful snapshots of the major events, the most prominent being the celebrity press panels in a 6,500-seat venue known as Hall H.”A Fan’s Hope,” a joint venture between Spurlock and executive producers Stan Lee, Joss Whedon, and Harry Knowles, is an entertaining mixture of convention footage, subject interviews, and fan testimonials. While a few of the latter are given by anonymous attendees, most are given by celebrities, all of whom feel a personal connection to Comic-Con and its community. Whedon, Knowles, and Lee all make statements, but so too do Frank Miller, Seth Green, Seth Rogen, Thomas Jane, Eli Roth, Olivia Wilde, and most amusingly, Kevin Smith. Noticeably absent is Spurlock himself. Indeed, this is the first of his documentaries in which he neither makes an appearance nor provides a narration. This begs the question of why he feels so attracted to Comic-Con. Whether or not you agreed with his previous documentaries, his appearances in them made it clear that he had vested interest in his subjects.Filmed during the 2010 convention, the film documents the lives of six fans, all given nicknames, all of whom hail from different parts of America and have deeply personal reasons for attending. We have Skip Harvey and Eric Henson. The former tends a sci-fi themed bar while the latter currently serves in the U.S. Air Force. Both are talented illustrators who dream of being hired by a major comic book publisher. Armed with portfolios, they wait in long lines to have their work critiqued by trained representatives. We have James Darling and his girlfriend Se Young Kang, who immediately hit it off after first meeting at Comic-Con a few years earlier. James now wants to propose to Se Young in grand fashion, namely during a panel hosted by Kevin Smith. For all his planning and coordination, the one thing James didn’t count on was Se Young refusing to leave his side for even a few minutes. This will be a tricky one to pull off.The two most compelling subjects are Holly Conrad and Chuck Rozanski. The former is a young costume/creature designer and seamstress; she, along with a group of friends, participates in Comic-Con’s Masquerade Ball dressed as characters from the video game “Mass Effect.” Naturally, the costumes were all meticulously hand crafted by herself. One of her friends dresses as an alien creature, one that requires the use of a motorized latex head. The end result could easily rival a theme park animatronic. The latter is the owner of a Mile High Comics store in Denver, one that’s struggling to turn a profit. He brings with him his most prized possession: A mint-condition first issue of “Red Raven,” one of the rarest comic books ever published. Understandably, he laments the fact that Comic-Con has over the years veered further and further away from its original intended purpose.That doesn’t seem to have stopped it from happening, and it certainly hasn’t stopped anyone from attending. In fact, the 2010 convention currently holds the record for having the largest attendance –130,000-plus. I grant you that it’s a rather bland fact, although I suspect that if we had been given such statistics, “Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope” might have been an even more enlightening documentary. Seeking a layman’s explanation for the convention’s appeal, I consulted friends and fellow film critics Mike and Joel Massie, who have both attended Comic-Con annually since 2006. Not surprisingly, they see it only from a moviegoer’s perspective. “It’s really about seeing celebrities,” Mike told me, “watching advanced footage and seeing exclusive tidbits about movies that are sometimes years in advance.” I, for one, am far more comfortable living with the anticipation.– Chris Pandolfi (www.atatheaternearyou.net)

  • malxaz-melik-ize
    malxaz melik ize

    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 last July and is Spurlock’s second feature of 2011, following 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.

  • sofie-roht-mba
    sofie roht mba

    Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope is a well made documentary – apparently made to order for the geekiest. I doesn’t try to uncover some deep dark secrets behind this famous convention, which has grown from a small gathering of comic book and superhero die hards to a major convention, but simply shows us what happens at this convention. And just following some of the people interacting with others is really quite interesting to watchWatching the people who attended the 2010 convention, including comic book dealer, Chuck; Holly, a costume designer and a couple of fans trying to get their ideas sold; one soon realizes that this is a salute to the event itself. There is a strong and very real feeling of camaraderie with pretty much everyone that attends. This is because the geeks have conquered (as they probably should) and appreciate their growth in numbers. There really isn’t a strong opposing view on Comic-Con or what it is all about. But that’s okay, because that is not what this is about. it is about the people, their characteristics and what happens at this convention, which has become a real force to be reckoned with.Once again, director Morgan Spurlock (Supersize Me) has brought us a documentary that is entertaining while giving us some insight in his subject matter.

  • ian-lopez
    ian lopez

    The transformation of San Diego’s Comic-Con International is fascinating. What was once a small comic-book convention intended to connect comic creators with their fans has evolved into an annual celebration of geek culture that validates and rewards those who have dived deeper into the pop-culture pool than most.What Morgan Spurlock has done with “Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope” is essentially to re-validate Comic-Con, only with the big picture in mind. He and the film’s many producers have crafted a love letter to this convention, one clearly born from their inner-geek’s own longing to capture what the Con has become.As such, it’s hard to say how much an “outsider” to geek culture would even care about what happens at Comic-Con and consequently this film. It does take a certain predisposition to care about the subjects of the movie, namely to accept their obsessions with comics/gaming/movies and in some cases their dreams and aspirations to make the leap from fandom to professionalism. Anyone who can relate even the slightest bit to that notion, however, will enjoy the film.The best choice Spurlock and co-writers Jeremy Chilnick and Joss Whedon (yes, that Joss Whedon) make for this documentary is to come at the Con from every possible angle. They have found a diverse group of subjects that as a whole manage to embody every type or person or personality who passionately seeks out Comic-Con each year.The chosen subjects consist of two aspiring comic book artists hoping to get valuable feedback and perhaps even a job offer from the major names in the business; a young woman hoping her costumes featuring Mass Effect video game characters will grab some attention; a long-time comic book collector and vendor contending with the shriveling devotion to comics at the convention created specifically for them; a young man who hopes to propose to his girlfriend whom he met at Comic-Con the year before.Some of these subjects aren’t even likable people, but there’s something that even someone who’s only part geek will connect with in each of them. They are dreamers, and they all embrace the kid inside without any trepidation, and anyone who does that or yearns to do that more often will be caught up in these stories.Peppered into these narratives are testimonials from various celebrities or annual Comic-Con personalities. While they lend an authoritative voice to the documentary, their words and thoughts feel remarkably more hollow in comparison to the people whose stories are being told. Even if they are genuine, they feel like a forced means of guiding the documentary from chapter to chapter.And then there’s the fact that it’s not exactly poignant. The end note is that Comic-Con is a place where everyone can let their geek flag fly, a point that becomes evident minutes into the movie. The only challenging question that the documentary raises is whether Comic-Con has “sold out,” yet that’s not the emphasis of the film. Documentaries are supposed to push boundaries and ask tough questions, but “Comic-Con: Episode IV” was created similar to how a middle school student chooses a research topic — because the subject is something he loves, not because he has some provocative thesis he’s dying to test.Setting aside those pre-teen motivations for making the film in the first place, “Comic-Con: Episode IV” is exceptionally well made for what it is — a celebration of geek culture and the dreamer’s mentality.~Steven CThanks for reading! Visit moviemusereviews.com

  • catherine-de-clement
    catherine de clement

    I’m not an avid comic book fan, but I really enjoyed this cheerful, passionate geek-doc. It’s really not as much about Comic-Con in itself, as it is about the people that travel there from different parts of the world in order to follow their lifelong hopes and dreams of distinguishing themselves in this ever-changing, tremendously cool industry. By juxtaposing the interviews with some awesome, well-known people, with the adventures of a few Comic-Con regulars Morgan Spurlock achieved a subtle level of tenderness and showed a much different side of this enormous, spectacular fan gathering. The subheading (A Fan’s Hope) reveals the whole truth about this picture, as the movie truly corresponds to the adventures of five attendees, who think of Comic-Con as a place of ultimate fulfillment. Comic-Con is a cultural phenomenon that’s able to bring together not only all the true geeks and cos-players, but also many people, who aren’t actually interested in comic books, yet they still want to take part in this splendid event. The truth is that this is the only place in the whole world where all of those people can really feel at home.Apart from showing the passion and energy that permeate the place, this documentary also ponders a very difficult topic, namely the gradual demise of the cult fan-base, due to the overpowering force of corporate impact on the industry. While comic books will be made and fans will still read them, Comic-Con is slowly changing into a sort of business conference, where money is mentioned more times than any superhero or villain. That’s a thought that the creators of the movie leave the audiences with.

  • emilis-kairys
    emilis kairys

    The biggest reason I watched this documentary was that it was co-produced and directed by Morgan Spurlock–and he always seems to make interesting films. However, I was very surprised at the style of the film, as it’s nothing like his other movies and you don’t see him at all during the picture. Instead, you simply are taken to ComicCon in San Diego and get to see the sights as well as follow a few nice folks there. There are also LOTS of interviews with the royalty in the geek world. This made the film very free-flowing and natural–like a REAL experience in going to this convention as well as getting a personal interview with these people. Now considering it’s practically impossible to get tickets (believe me, my daughter has tried!), it’s the best most people can do. My only complaint? I would have liked to have seen more! Highlights–seeing the guy propose, the AMAZING cos-play team and the guy who wanted to become a comic artist AND succeeded amazingly well!

  • caroline-vieira
    caroline vieira

    I thought this film was well-made, using an interview format to tell the real story about Comicon. I actually went to the 2010 show that Spurlock used to document SDCC and I was surprised to see myself in the photo pit with others shooting the Mass Effect cosplayers. Maybe I should get a residual.The film follows some fans and their stories, what their goals are for the con and a nice wrap-up with what they actually achieved. I especially liked James and his girlfriend as he prepared to propose marriage to her at the Kevin Smith panel. Very funny, especially when she makes the remark “I hope James doesn’t ask any stupid questions.” Indeed.The clips from fans and actors was cool as well. The Kevin Smith F-bombs at the end though, I could have done without.I’ve been following Mile High Comics outspoken owner Chuck Rozanski for some time, since he used to write for the now defunct Comic Buyers’ Guide. His insight into the comics business and getting in a free plug for Mile High was a smart business move getting it all on film. Chuck is not totally correct that San Diego is not focused on comics.They are right though that comics have fallen to a secondary status with the A-List stars and Hollywood’s impact on the show.To have to show dial down a bit to two shows has been proposed, aka Anaheim and San Diego. Another alternative was for the Hollywood end to go to Los Angeles.Film is recommended and very cheap on Amazon Instant Video, only 99 cents to rent!

  • elisabeth-johansson
    elisabeth johansson

    Review: This is a great documentary about the Comic-Con event which bring all types of people together, all for the love of the comic book heroes and games. You really do see how important this comic event is too people and how seriously it is taken. You get to see interviews with the great Stan Lee and actors like Seth Rogen and Kevin Smith. As I’m not that big into comics, I didn’t know a lot of the other people who are famous in that world, but you can see that they take there art seriously and that the convention really opens doors for people who want to make it in that business. You also get to follow a couple of up and coming artists who try and sell themselves at the convention and a guy who is trying to sell some rare comics. In all, it’s a great insight into a world that I never new existed. Great Watch!Round-Up: This film did make me want to go to the event, just for the experience and the stars that preview there movies. From the costumes to the various items that are on sale, there is something for everyone, but it’s mainly for comic fanatics. I couldn’t believe that a man was trying to sell a rare comic for $500,000. Anyway, the director done well with mixing up the documentary with a mixture of elements. From a marriage proposal to a girl trying to win a competition with her costumes, it really is one of those movies were you wish you was there. Judging by the amount of money that the comic book hero movies are making nowadays, it obvious that were never too old for a super hero saving the world.Budget: $1.5million Worldwide Gross: $35,000 (Deserved More!)I recommend this documentary to people who are into there comic book heroes and video games. 6/10

  • ronald-clayton
    ronald clayton

    The phenomenon of San Diego’s Comic-con has grown to astronomic levels in both attendance and exhibition since it’s inception in 1970. It has morphed into something much more than just a gathering of comic book nerds, packed into a hotel conference room. Comic-Con encompasses all things pop culture, be it comics, movies, games, or anything else people can geek out over. Famed director Morgan Spurlock decided to chronicle the 2010 con, and follow a select few to document their reasons for being there, and their experience.In addition to following around a genuine, and interesting cast of characters, Spurlock sprinkles in some interviews with some of the con’s most prolific figures including Kevin Smith, Joss Whedon, Seth Rogan, and many more. Having these people give their thoughts and anecdotes about the con was a nice touch, and added some flavor to the film.The real meat of the documentary, however, is with the interesting group of central characters. We see two aspiring artists, a costume designer, a collector, a comic book dealer, and a young couple in love. All of the characters have different reasons for being there, and yet they all share the same passion for comics, movies, and games. The characters were varied enough to keep things interesting, and they were all very likable people. In addition to learning about who these people are, and their reasons for attending Comic-Con, we learn that there’s much more to the con than to simply see famous people and buy memorabilia. People use Comic-con as an opportunity to showcase their talents, and hopefully further their careers.One of the other important topics discussed in this documentary is the concept of geek culture, the rise of geek coolness, and the commercialization of Comic-Con. As most of us know, many of the things that 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, comics take 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 care about comics. This is upsetting to comic book fans, especially since the industry has been suffering for years.Although Comic-Con Episode IV may not break new ground in the documentary genre, it does give people an inside look at one of the biggest pop culture events of the year. As stated in the film, everyone can find something to love about Comic-Con, and the same can be said about the film itself. It’s a light and enjoyable film, that’s certainly worth a watch, even if you aren’t a die hard comic fan.Adam FilmPulse.Net

  • josefina-ugarte-moya
    josefina ugarte moya

    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 eight individuals as they descend into the madness that is the San Diego Comic Con. All of them have a purpose to be there, and all have a goal in mind, whether it is to sell a rare comic, win a masquerade or get signed on as an artist for a comic book company. Morgan Spurlock’s latest documentary was one of the late entries on my list of films to see at this year’s past Toronto International Film Festival, and one I have continued wrestling with over how I felt about it. Packed with dozens of hilarious interview clips with real and internet celebrities, along with actual footage from the floor, Spurlock valiantly tries to capture what it is like entering and navigating through the four day convention that becomes bigger with each 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 had occurred at the 2010 event. But what holds the film back from being anything but a fun and amusing diversion for the geek and convention crowd, is the fact that it is a film lovingly made almost explicitly just for them. While the interviews are entertaining and downright hilarious, they do not provide any real insight or explanation for what fan culture is or why so many people go to Comic-Con year after year. Even the stories contained within the film do not answer why these people do what they do, simply that they go to obscene lengths to make sure they can pull off their goals. I assume Spurlock’s main goal was to tell multiple stories (more on that in a moment), but I cannot help but feel it hinders the film. It seems content at simply existing, as a memento for everyone who experiences this kind of subculture.Then that brings up another point – what is the ultimate goal here? I go to at least one major fan convention per year, so I have experienced the rush of seeing and meeting geek idols, witnessing the detail of some of the costumes, and talking shop with people just like the ones profiled here. But what about people venturing in with no real grasp on geek culture? What are they supposed to take from this? Are they even supposed to venture into this film? It seems a bit elitist in that respect, because there is nothing really to grasp if you do not already have some preconceived knowledge on the topic. In his previous films, Spurlock has tackled tough topics and asked some tough questions. While some segments and films work better than others (the less said about the borderline ridiculous Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?, the better), he still made a real attempt at getting the answers. Here, he just seems content without asking the bigger questions, and as a result, the film feels like a much weaker effort.While I do fault Spurlock’s lack of analysis here, I must praise the fact that outside of name credits, he does not appear in the film at all. He offers no narration whatsoever and does not appear on-screen at any time. He lets the people being profiled tell their stories, and lets the interviews help guide the film through its less-than-90-minute run time. It is a bit flabbergasting at first, considering how prolific and personal he has made his other documentary films, but I think it helps reflect his maturity both as a documentarian and filmmaker, and as 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 of memento for the geeks. It is made up of their stories and quips, and Spurlock never interferes or redirects the film to follow him and his thoughts. 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 people profiled within the film, I cannot help but feel underwhelmed by the general lack of analysis on Spurlock’s part. There have been documentaries before on specific fan cultures, but no real works centred around the mother of all conventions. There was plenty of material he could have mined and a wealth of individuals who could have given keen insight on the idea of fan and convention subculture. But in the end, it feels like a whole lot of ideas, and not a lot of actual follow through. As a love letter to the people that come out to San Diego once a year, it succeeds. But as a documentary on fan culture, it fails.6.5/10.

  • ivanka-orlovic
    ivanka orlovic

    I’ve been to the Comic Con International 5 times over the years and this movie captures the feel and the heart of the convention even though comics become less and less the core of the event each year. I won’t tell you why….but you will definitely tear up during one of the climactic scenes. Show this movie to you family and friends so they will understand why nerds are such good people…..and if you aren’t a nerd, that’s your loss! It’s available online so you don’t have to be near one of the limited number of theaters showing this movie….I can’t wait for the DVD to be released since this is already my pick for documentary of the year!

  • olof-holmberg
    olof holmberg

    Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock brings his usual care and attention to a subject that, this time, sadly never gets it. From fast food, to terrorist-hunting, to product placement, and now to the largest convention in North America, Spurlock has proved diversity and that if you add the right balance of seriousness and wittiness to any subject, you’ll be able to create a wonderful documentary. That’s exactly what he does with Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope.To my knowledge and research, this is the first documentary ever made focusing on the convention itself. Sure, when it happens in July we have updates on the web, and VLogs from a number of people, but nothing has ever been compiled into a full length movie. Spurlock chooses to follow along four people who are traveling to the convention from all walks of life, with different goals in mind.They are “The Geek” (Skip Harvey, a bartender hoping to write a graphic novel and get feedback on his artwork at the convention), “The Solider,” (Eric Henson, also hoping to become a comic book artist to support his wife and kids), “The Designer,” (Holly Conrad, a young woman in a small, concise town who is designing costumes for a Mass Effect reenactment she hopes to put on), and “The Survivor,” (Chuck Rozanski, a struggling-comic book store owner who is hellbent on making a huge profit by selling hundreds of comics at the convention. Including the extremely rare, first issue of Marvel’s “Red Raven” which can command thousands of dollars online).In the mix of chronicling these four strangers, Spurlock also sets his sights on getting opinions and commentary from actors and directors who have been to the Con themselves. One of them is Kevin Smith, my favorite director, who attends Comic-Con to provide a monstrous Q&A session in the largest room of the convention. Other celebrities include Hostel director Eli Roth, stating that there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a passion for something you liked when you were young, Knocked Up star Seth Rogen, and comic book king Stan Lee.We also follow a man who proposed to his girlfriend at Kevin Smith’s panel last year at Comic-Con, as well as seeing a toy collector who is determined to acquire another entry in his prized collection, much to the dismay of his wife.These people are genial, optimistic, and effortlessly likable. They aren’t wallflowers, who sit back and expect to be taken under the wing immediately without contributing some amount of effort. They take the steps necessary in order to achieve their big goals. Comic book store owner Chuck seems to be the odd-man out when stating this, but if you look at his persistency, continuing to have faith in the comic book community and constantly spending money to run his store, he is truly fighting just as hard as the other subjects in the film. He already has his dream, he’s just fighting to keep it.The one downside with the documentary is Spurlock, himself, has virtually no part in the film whatsoever. This is quite a shame, seeing as we can see just by the way he captures the footage and edits it together (not to mention, last year, he wrote a book about the convention with the same title as the film) that he has a true love for the Con and the crowd it draws. Why doesn’t he ever interact with the four subjects or the crowd themselves? It’s a bummer because on top of him already remaining silent, it almost seems he doesn’t have any questions for the people, when we already know that is highly unlikely. Spurlock seems to sit back and watch the fun happen, without ever getting involved or enjoying it for himself.I would still call Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope a documentary that needed to be made. As I’ve grown older, I’ve found it important to look at all walks of life with an open mind, and to see documentaries further illustrate that idea is wonderful. This is definitely an eclectic and ambitious film, not only documenting an extremely popular convention, but the kinds of people you’ll find there. From what I hear, that’s half the fun of going.Starring: Skip Harvey, Eric Henson, Holly Conrad, Chuck Rozanski, Kevin Smith, Seth Rogen, Eli Roth, and Stan Lee. Directed by: Morgan Spurlock.