Just in time for the annual San Diego Comic-Con, which happens this weekend, Morgan Spurlock’s endearing and broadly accessible documentary on the event, Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope is now available on DVD. The catch is that a simple version is not yet out for purchase or rental, at least anywhere I’ve seen (the film’s website and distributor claim it should be out in stores today). Instead there are limited edition packs for sale that include action figures of Spurlock and producers Joss Whedon, Stan Lee and Harry Knowles, of Ain’t It Cool News.
Of course, if you just want the movie, it’s been available in VOD and other digital formats for a while. But appropriate for comic geeks who like collectible items (and toys) these new bonus items will be a hot item at SDCC, where a few different versions will be available (there will also be a screening of the film Thursday). For those not making it out this year, you can get the Spurlock/Whedon pack and the Lee/Knowles pack from NECA and American Collectibles via Amazon beginning tomorrow. The former pack will also be sold at Toys R Us stores after SDCC.
As for the actual DVD, it includes a lot of deleted scenes, a making-of feature and extended interviews with people like Whedon, Ellen Page, Felicia Day and Kevin Smith.
Here’s the opening of my review of the doc, which I caught last fall at the Toronto International Film Festival, at Movies.com:
I cannot lie. This movie made me very happy. Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope, Morgan Spurlock’sfluffy and consistently funny (and shockingly not first-person) look at the San Diego Comic-Con, is not just a puff piece advertising this huge event, which doesn’t really need help attracting crowds anyway. It’s a puff piece, no doubt, but it’s also an endearing profile of a phenomenon that non-geeks may think is impossible to understand or relate to.
As it turns out, what goes on at this annual convention of outcasts-turned-incasts (if only temporarily) seems pretty universal. And indicative of the human spirit and our common desire to be comfortably social among likeminded souls. Those of us cinephiles seeing the doc at a film festival perhaps know what that’s like. Others of you may relate through acknowledgement of your own passions and hobbies.