Super Hero Party Clown

Sweet-natured "Super Hero Party Clown" gently ribs comicbook-derived cinema cliches by reducing them to absolute basics, minus the superheroics.

With: Randy J. Blair, Zach Sutherland, Shelby Barnes, Adam Sessa, Cynthia Abrams, Phillip Silva, James Dean, Larry Barrot.

Sweet-natured “Super Hero Party Clown” gently ribs comicbook-derived cinema cliches by reducing them to absolute basics, minus the superheroics. Result is a romantic-comedy triangle wherein the snobby rich kid battles for the ingenue’s love against a good guy with the very geeky titular day job and no extraordinary abilities whatsoever. Booked for a hometown San Jose run in May, writer-director Jeremy M. Inman’s first feature could’ve used a sharper edge and bigger laughs to snare broader theatrical prospects. Still, it’s a pleasant, polished lightweight diversion that should score sales in various home formats.

Floppy-haired Eugene (Randy J. Blair, charming) enjoys donning a mask and spandex to play “Arachnid Man” at children’s birthday parties. But he’s convinced such fanboy employment is a chick de-magnet, and refuses to reveal his secret identity at a fete for the little bro of Emily (Shelby Barnes), an old classmate he’s loved from afar. While Eugene attempts new strategies to win her over, with unreliable input from sidekick Garth (Zach Sutherland), Emily’s b.f. (Adam Sessa) deploys dirty tricks to discredit his perceived rival. The outcome is obvious, the path seldom surprising, but slickly packaged “Clown” stays likable throughout.

Super Hero Party Clown

Production: A Spartan Film Studios presentation of a Two Bros. production. Produced by James Jeffrey, Fred Guess, Cathy Leyba. Executive producers, Wesley Nelson, Barnaby Dallas, Ned Kopp, Nick Martinez. Directed, written by Jeremy M. Inman.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Jake Humbert; editor, Kim Duong; music, Justin Humbert; production designer, John York; art director, Vanessa Gilovich; costume designers, Cass Carpenter, Susie Nunez. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, March 19, 2011. Running time: 86 MIN.

With: With: Randy J. Blair, Zach Sutherland, Shelby Barnes, Adam Sessa, Cynthia Abrams, Phillip Silva, James Dean, Larry Barrot.

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