Synopsis: Chronicles the lives of four mortal men and women who work as characters on the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard.
Director: Matthew Ogens
Starring: Jennifer Wenger, Christopher Dennis, Maxwell Allen, and Joe McQueen
Best Boy Grip: Tadd Kroneck
CraigMakk: (Theater) This movie is an intriguing look at the lifestyle of those who make a living dressing as superheroes outside Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. While that may not sound interesting, trust me on this…it is. The movie gives you some insight into the chances people take to become famous in Hollywood, whether they fail or succeed. While you may be a bit uncomfortable with the commitment Superman brings to his role, or a bit sad over the effort Hulk has to put in, or a bit scared from the insanity oozing from the real-world Batman, the stand-out fan favorite is clearly Wonder Woman: with her adorable looks and her down-South sensibilities, she will have you cheering for her to succeed from beginning to end. At the end, you will believe a man can fly…or at the very least that a woman can be hot and a geek all at the same time.
Serious Jest: (Rental) I am so glad CraigMakk pushed me to watch this movie so hard. I had my first real-life encounter with the Hollywood Boulevard performers a few years ago when I first visited L.A. I have to admit, my first impression was to question why someone would go out there and do what they do, when they’re not even paid by the Theater or other surrounding businesses to do so. I also questioned why anybody would pay money to take a picture with an obviously fake version of a famous character. I was with my good friend and Fraternity Brother, Pedro Hernandez, who by then was already a regularly performing stand-up comedian (having gone on tour with Drew Carey in Afghanistan for the troops) and a former cast member of BET’s Hell Date. Pedro quickly explained this strange world to me, and ended by saying, “As crazy as any of this may seem, I won’t ever disrespect any of these people. They’re out here hustling, instead of sitting on their ass complaining about how hard it is to make it in Hollywood.” That resonated with me then…this film drove that point home.
Despite the fact that all four of the main subjects share the same crazy job, they are very different people, with very different philosophies and approaches. Ogens chose a perfect combination of actors to contrast; it’s awesome how, often, two of the actors are the most similar in one respect, but also the most different in another.
Documentaries will seldom get 5 mugs from me. While I may consider a documentary a must-see, and worth 4 stars, it is unlikely that I will consider a documentary a must-see-right-away, or a must-own. This one came close to getting 5 from me, though. Maybe if I lived in L.A….