San Francisco is pretty much fanboy heaven. We don’t just have comic book shops, we have a comic book lounge that may or may not be run by a Super Villain. Other cities have book clubs and pool tournaments; we have PetchaKutcha and Nerd Nite. Even our alternative culture is perpetually on the edge of descending into total geek-dom - supposedly adult Burning Man Festival points at a very specific desire, to dress up like someone else, to cosplay (costume play).
Morgan Spurlock’s new film, Comic-Con: Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope, is about just that desire.
It’s not easy to root for Morgan Spurlock. He laughs too hard at his own jokes. He seems condescending. And he is, at times, a master of the obvious.
Who would have guessed that a steady diet of fatty foods and a strictly observed regimen of zero exercise could result in long-term weight gain? Spurlock turned that novel notion into Super-Size Me (2004) before returning to theaters four years later to ask a question – Where in the World Is Osama bin Laden? – that he didn’t really try to answer.
It begins as a roundabout version of a classic Internet love story, if such a thing can be said to exist. Eight-year-old Abby Pierce, an aspiring artist from small-town Ishpeming, Michigan, contacts Yaniv “Nev” Schulman, a 24-year-old New York photographer, on Facebook, asking permission to paint one of his photos. He gives it, and soon receives a copy of the painting in the mail.
The story doesn’t end there. Intrigued by Abby’s precociousness and her 19-year-old half-sister Megan, a striking blonde singer, Nev pursues a relationship with the Pierces, first online and later on the phone. He gets to know their mother, Angela, who tells him she’s capitalizing on Abby’s talents by opening her own art gallery.