Get ready for some Iron Man irony.
COMIC-CON: EPISODE IV - A FAN'S HOPE (Morgan Spurlock). 88 minutes. Opens Friday (April 20). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNN
Deploying an anonymous crew, director Morgan Spurlock wisely keeps himself out of this look at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con, which tries - with some measure of success - to capture the energy of the West Coast nerd mecca.
In three decades of operation, the SDCC has expanded from its origins as a comic book convention to become the world's premier pop-culture festival. Spurlock's cameras follow a handful of people - a collector, a costume designer, a vendor, two aspiring artists and a sweet-hearted nerd who's planning to propose to his girlfriend during a Kevin Smith Q&A - through the frenzy of the convention.
Spurlock breaks up the busy convention footage with testimonials from various celebrities who've wandered into his studio, including geek icons Joss Whedon, Edgar Wright, Guillermo del Toro, Todd MacFarlane and Robert Kirkman.
But he never figures out how to shape the material - and he can't help poking fun at some of the more extreme nerds, giving the movie a sour undercurrent of jocky superiority that's completely at odds with Comic-Con's all-inclusive vibe.