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Two documentaries in a row! We’ll try to keep some variety going from day to day on Watch This Now, but when I saw that Confessions of a Superhero was on Hulu, I just had to share it with you. Funny, weird and more than a little sad, this doc follows the lives of some people who play characters in front of Mann’s Chinese in Hollywood, and how they live is… well, sort of how you always suspected.
I love the Hollywood Boulevard characters. There’s Superman (who I see at the New Beverly all the time. He brings a Superman costume to get signed by the celebrity guests), and there’s Batman, and there are three or four Jack Sparrows. There’s an Elmo and a Homer Simpson, and lately some Jokers. I’ve seen Freddy, Jason and Mike Myers. Yesterday there was Black Uncle Sam, with a cardboard cut out of Barack Obama.
These people make their livings by taking pictures with tourists. Since they can’t charge for the photos, and rely on ‘tips,’ things sometimes get heated – especially with Batman, who has anger management issues (!) and who actually does look a bit like George Clooney.
Confessions of a Superhero follows these people as they try to make their ways through life, pursuing their dreams (most of them, like everybody else in Hollywood, want to be actors). What’s fascinating is how the characters reflect the people – or is that vice versa? – and the little society they’ve created out in front of Mann’s. For instance, Superman is the leader. Duh, of course he is!
There’s some stuff that’s scary – like Superman’s apartment, which he claims contains over a million dollars in Superman memorabilia – and stuff that’s sweet – like Superman’s relationship with his odd girlfriend, and their trip to Metropolis, Illinios. It’s a pretty great documentary, and if all that doesn’t sell you, it also includes an appearance by Drew McWeeny, formerly Moriarty of Ain’t It Cool News and now with HitFix!
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey