Matthew Ogens documentary ‘Confessions of a Superhero’ was almost magical. At first as I started watching it the magic appeared to be that this was documented proof that there were people out there in the world more screwed up than I am, but as movie went on and you got know these loons they actually stopped being insane anomalies… or at least some of them did, and they became what they really were which are people with hopes and dreams and goals and problems… just like the rest of us. Who walk around dressed like Superman and shakes down tourists.
If you’ve ever been to Los Angeles you’ve seen them. Those people who are dressed up as various characters, mostly superheroes, hanging outside of Mann’s Chinese theater milling around and shaking down tourist for spare change. You may have wondered what kind of person dresses up like Captain Jack Sparrow on a 110 degree day, or maybe not, but Matthew Ogens did and somehow he found four of the most interesting characters that the planet earth has to offer.
Headlining our crew is Christopher Dennis as Superman. As he has told us he mainly got into the ‘entertainment business’ because of his Oscar winning, Tony Award winning mother Sandra Dennis. Thing is nobody in Sandy Dennis’ family, that would be her brother, nieces and nephews, has ever heard of Christopher Dennis. Not that one would expect them to claim a self admitted former meth addict who has a Superman obsession like few ever have had. Still, Mr. Dennis is the senior citizen of these shakedown artists outside the theater as he knows the rules, shows the other characters the proper way to beg, knows the cops and takes what he does very, very seriously.
Then there’s Maxwell Allen or Batman. While Christopher Dennis is certainly a little off center, he’s a nice harmless man. Max… well… he’s crazy for real. Max has some
anger management issues which ain’t cool when you have three black belts and used to be an undertaker for the mob and have left a trail of bodies from Texas to California. You see what I’m saying about my man? Max also bears a shocking resemblance to George Clooney. The minute you see the dude you will say ‘damn, he looks like George Clooney’. Unfortunately looking like George Clooney and not being George Clooney isn’t conducive to getting acting gigs and paying the bills, which is why if you’re in front of Mann’s Chinese Theater and you take a picture with Batman, I STRONGLY suggest you give my man couple of bucks. And I’m not trying to be funny. You’ve been warned.
Tennessee Bell Jennifer Wegner clocks in as Wonder Woman and though she’s can be a bit of a ‘B’ at times, she’s fairly well adjusted, though the voluptuous pretty girl is finding the sledding in Hollywood daunting. Not helping is the fact that her marriage is on the rocks, none of which we attribute to her hitching up to some dude she’s known for a week and scurrying off to Vegas for a quickie nuptial. Now I think Jennifer is one fine looking woman and I would give her a part if I had a movie to cast, but she probably could stand to lose about twenty to satisfy those bony knock kneed lovers out there in Tinsel Town.
Finally there’s Joe McQueen as the Hulk. Joe is from North Carolina as has been struggling with this acting thing for over a decade with almost no luck. Joe was also homeless for four years living hand to mouth. When you first look at Joe you would initially think that he’s the nuttiest of them all but actually he’s the most well rounded and clear thinking character this movie has to offer, which is probably why Ogens spent the least amount of time with him. Not to say that Mr. McQueen is playing with a full deck. Still, when he got the part in the movie ‘Finishing the Game’ you couldn’t help but root for him, and Joe, I remember you from that movie.
So this collection of characters goes about their lives and we meet their families… yes… Superman actually has a girlfriend. Who’s a psychologist. Never a dull moment in that relationship I’m thinking. Eventually you become completely engrossed with these people and you start to care for them and you will see them as more than freaks who dress up in costumes and harass tourist for spare change. I was really hoping that Christopher Dennis would win that Superhero look-a-like contest at the Metropolis Illinois Superman festival. That contest had to be rigged by the way considering the winner looked like John Goodman in a Batman suit. I found myself pulling for Wonder Woman to get that ‘American Idol’ commercial and I was pulling for Batman to be way less crazy. I mean this guy is so out there that even The Hulk was like ‘damn, that dude is nuts’.
Matthew Ogens did a masterful job in putting this film together and on an interview on the DVD he presented this movie exactly how he saw his characters. First as strange oddities and then over time as real people. ‘Confessions of Superhero’ is one of the warmest, funniest and genuine documentaries I have ever had the pleasure of viewing.