If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Unfortunately, I have never ventured to Comic-Con. I have always wanted to and will some day (according to my bucket list). Might I add, this documentary has whetted my appetite toward the experience in more ways than before. What brings geek culture together is conventions. It is place where fans of different comics, movies and television shows can come together and not be weird or out-casted by people who think more highly of themselves. This is heaven for fandom and it has grown to such a tremendous rate in the past 40 years, that people aren't out-casted anymore. It has become more of a society than anything and that is what the director, Morgan Spurlock, attempts to show you here with this documentary. He tries to show the world and nature of this massive convention. While, telling seven different stories from seven different people.
The film starts with two aspiring artists. The first: "The Geek," who is a bartender at a science-fiction-like bar. He draws by looking at pictures of different characters like Captain Kirk, Spock and even H.P. Lovecraft. The second: "The Soldier," draws characters he has seen before, but from scratch with his one design and voice. Both are going to Comic-Con to hopefully get a review from different companies and to get connections for work. The third person: "The Designer," makes costumes in her garage. For the Comic-Con that year, she decides to make costumes for the video-game, Mass Effect 2. She shows off her costumes at contests during the Con and possibly get attention for her designs. The fourth: "The Survivor," has been to Comic-Con 38 years with plans to sell his incredibly rare No. 1 Red Raven comic for higher than $500,000. The fifth: "The Collector," has a massive collection of toys and hopes to get an 18-inch Galactus figure this time around. The fifth and sixth: "The Lovers," met at Comic-Con the previous year with the boyfriend hoping to propose to his girlfriend at a Kevin Smith panel.
As you can see there is a lot of characters the film goes through, but it does a good job at holding it's ground for that part of the film. The problem is Spurlock's lack of focus on the transformation of Comic-Con. The original convention began with only 500 comic buyers in 1970 and now there are more than 150,000 people traveling to San Diego to experience this pleasure. Instead of focusing on the aspect of seven different under-dog stories, Spurlock should have woven it in with the growth of this convention and the experience of new people coming to this culture every year. We see different costumes, toys, comics and movies, but we never get to see or feel what it is actually like to visit this place for the first time. Anyone who doesn't care for the Con won't understand this film or even care about it in any way, shape or form.
What brings this film humor and more life are the celebrities that talk about the experience. You have Kevin Smith, Eli Roth, Joss Whedon, Edgar Wright, Stan Lee, Robert Kirkman, Guillermo Del Toro, Frank Miller, Matt Groening, Grant Morrison and even Harry Knowles. Hearing all these people you come to admire and enjoy helps bring a grasping sensation of what this film wants to be. Instead of a historical documentary it brings a heart-felt story, that still has problems with where it wants to go. You do care for these seven different people, you do want to see them all succeed and you do feel bad for those who don't. But the problem lies within the execution. Spurlock makes good films and helps you understand different perspectives. Whether it be fast-food or marketing for films, he gives you insight on an idea whether you like the outcome or not. That is why this film accomplishes it's task when you think it would fail.
This film had potential and could have been the best Comic-Con documentary, but instead it's more of an ABC special that happens to be on. I did enjoy it, while being disappointed in the outcome and execution of the way the story was told. It's definitely worth your time and will give you motivation along with desperation to visit Comic-Con, but if you don't care about it that much or aren't part of the geek culture, then this film isn't for you. Personally, I enjoyed it enough but wanted more. I give it a Matinee. No, this didn't need more Storm Trooper. Thanks Lucas.
See ya all on the other side,
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