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Wednesday, August 3, 2011



"I like to think that my future holds, uh, fame and fortune. But I'd like to say that I've got the fame without the fortune right now."
-- Christopher Dennis

Confessions of a Superhero is a 2007 documentary directed by Matthew Ogens that follows the lives of four Hollywood Boulevard street performers who dress as superheroes and make a living taking pictures with tourists. We get an inside look at the following performers: Christopher Dennis, who plays Superman; Maxwell Allen, who plays Batman; Jennifer Wenger, who plays Wonder Woman; and Joe McQueen, who plays the Hulk. By giving a bit of back-story on each of these individuals, Ogens gives a rather in-depth look at the people themselves as well as the psyche behind continuing with this seemingly fruitless profession.

I decided to watch this movie after finding it on NetFlix Instant Watch. Considering I'm currently staying about two miles from where these people work on Hollywood Boulevard, I thought it'd be a neat little flick for me to see right now. I could theoretically head out right now and go meet these people - if they're still working there, of course - and tell them how I just watched their movie.

The film itself is a little slow-moving, and it does take a bit of patience to keep yourself engaged with the intertwining stories. Because it's a documentary on individual people, don't expect much in terms of a storyline (I realize docs often don't have "storylines," but sometimes there's something a little easier to follow). If you're not into movies that are solely based on characterization and character development, this one probably isn't for you.

The people are interesting enough, but it feels like we get a little more story on both Dennis and Wenger. Yeah, the Allen and McQueen storylines are nice, but there's something more attractive about Superman and Wonder Woman in this film. I personally think that Jennifer Wenger has the beauty to be a big-time star, but I can't necessarily speak for her acting ability. Dennis, however, seems to be the most emotionally damaged of the lot, claiming to be the son of the late Academy Award winner Sandy Dennis, a claim which her family denies. Still, it makes for entertaining cinema when you have out-there characters gracing the screen. Also be on the lookout for cameos from the likes of Stan Lee, Antonio Banderas and Margot Kidder.

At the end of the day, Confessions of a Superhero is a thoughtful documentary that will probably prove to be entirely forgettable. It's the story of four mortal souls trying to make a name for themselves, and they're doing it in the best - or only - way they know how. It makes you realize how far some people will go to make it big, diving to the depths of taking pictures with tourists and hoping they'll toss a tip your way.

Movie Review Summary
Grade: B+
1.5 Thumbs Up

Addition to Awards
2007: Nominee - Best Documentary

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