Thursday, September 13, 2012

Movie Vault Review: Confessions Of A Superhero [2007]


Background:
Year Of Release: 2007
Genre: Documentary
Directed By: Matthew Orgens
Starring: Christopher Dennis, Maxwell Allen, Jennifer Gehrt (Jennifer Wenger), Joe McQueen
Duration: 92 minutes
Thumbs Up:
+ Characters with very interesting personalities and back stories
+ The struggle to live the dream in Hollywood
Thumbs Down:
- Perhaps if there was a true conflict taking place, it would have taken this documentary up another notch
In A Nutshell / The Verdict Is In:
"Hollywood is a place where dreams are made and dreams are broken. Everybody and their mother wants that lead role," Christopher Dennis tells us early on. Well Confessions Of A Superhero is a documentary that shows us exactly that. Everyone that comes to Hollywood dreams of becoming a star but only a very few actually succeeds in doing that. Here we follow four people who dress-up as costumed characters (also known as "street performers") at Hollywood Boulevard and accepts tips for every photo taken by tourist with them. No one however actually is obliged to give them tips and the law prohibits them from charging people money for photos. The tips they receive can range from $5.95 a day to $200 or $300. They also cling on to the hope of making it big in Tinseltown by attending auditions every now and then.


Christopher Dennis, who resembles the actor who actually played Superman, Christopher Reeves is the unofficial leader of these street performers. He is a obsessed with The Man Of Steel and his house is full of Superman merchandises and posters, which he estimates is close to $1 Million in value. Christopher also considers himself a Superman historian and keeper of artefacts. We get to see that he is a heavy smoker when at home but keeps to a noble code of never doing so when in costume out in the public. He also claims to be the son of Oscar winning actress, Sandy Dennis. While Sandy's family acknowledges the fact that she was a very private and secretive person they do not believe she ever had a child. Also interesting about Christopher is that he lives with his girlfriend who is a PhD student in psychology.


Next we have a George Clooney look-a-like named Maxwell Allen, who dresses-up as Batman. This is a guy with anger management issues who keeps talking about a dark past doing dirty work for, in his words, "a very Italian" rich man in Texas. We get to see interviews from the other characters saying how hard it is for them to believe Max's stories. Even his own wife tells us that "his bark is worse than his bite" and perhaps only 50% of what he says is true. He boasts to having black belts in various martial arts and having weapons training. We then cut to a scene where he is attending a martial arts class and completely sucking at it. He also confesses to his therapist about leaving a huge body count in his past. I swear there was a moment where even the therapist carved-out a tiny smirk hearing Max's claims. In my opinion, anyone who has even little knowledge on body language can detect he is lying. Telling these stories while nervously touching ears, scracting hands, etc. How did he get out of his dark past? "Either you die or everybody else dies," he tells us. Apparently everyone else was killed and he was the last man standing. Suuuure.


We also have Jennifer Gehrt (now know as Jennifer Wenger), a former cheerleader who dresses-up as Wonder Woman. We get to see tension between her and her husband whom she married on a whim at Vegas. As this documentary progresses we get to see.... surprise, surprise... her move out of their house to live with her friend.


Finally we have Joe McQuinn, who puts on the costume of The Incredible Hulk. He arrived in Hollywood during the Rodney King riots and was homeless for four years. We get to see him get some good news as he is called to star in a movie called Finishing The Game: The Search For A New Bruce Lee [2007] directed by Justin Lin (whom of course now has recieved fame for Fast Five [2011] ).

Confessions Of A Superhero is a fascinating look into the lives of these flawed characters in Hollywood Boulevard. A quick look on Rotten Tomatoes shows only 12 reviews so far which means not many people have seen this. But it is interesting to mention that all 12 reviews list this as "Fresh" which results in an overall rating of 100%.
Selected Quote:
"Sure a doctor saves lives, but is he remembered? Is he there for all times, like, people are still talking about Marilyn Monroe. People are still talking about, you know, Elvis Presley. People in the entertainment business are forever here".
Rating:
7 out of 10

6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. If you mean filming location, well I'm not from the US and have yet to set foot there, but I would assume Hollywood Boulevard is in Hollywood. If you mean whether this is produced by a Hollywood company, then I have no idea. Still an entertaining documentary though.

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  2. I haven't even heard of this one, Asrap, shame on me! I LOVE superhero stuff so this is something I'd enjoy. Thanks for your review, it's odd how this sort of flew under the radar [pardon the pun] :D

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    1. Definitely no shame because a look on the Internet and not many actually have heard of this. I actually stumbled on this by accident when searching for superhero photos and the one with "Superman" on bed came out.

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  3. I remember watching this on Netflix, and unfortunately, I found it quite sad. These people probably have tremendous talent, but they are forced to these kind of jobs. It was a great reminder to always follow your dream. Haha, probably had a different reaction to this than you did :)

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    1. I did find it a bit sad. But most importantly it made me respect the people who did manage to make it in Hollywood, as we can see from this documentary, it isn't easy to do.

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