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Superheroes (2011)

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A journey inside the world of real life caped crusaders. From all over America, these self-proclaimed crime fighters, don masks, homemade costumes and elaborate utility belts in an attempt to bring justice to evildoers everywhere.

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'Superheroes' will introduce us to several of the country's most famous masked heroes including, Mr. Xtreme, a 33-year-old security guard officer by day, but a goon's worst nightmare by night. We'll follow Mr. Xtreme on his nightly patrols through the streets of San Diego, as he tries to stop evildoers and protect the innocent. We'll also meet the New York Initiative, a fantastic foursome of real life superheroes living together that tackle crime fighting, one Brooklyn borough at a time. Lead by Zimmer, we'll watch as they take to the streets and try to lure criminals out of hiding with their controversial Bait-Patrols. With over 300 registered superheroes in the United States, we'll definitively uncover the 'Real-Life Superhero' cultural phenomenon and discover what inspired these everyday citizens to take the law in to their own hands as they try to make the world a better and safer place for all. Written by Anonymous

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21 January 2011 (USA)  »

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SUPERHEROES. Fighting for Truth, Justice… and their own Comicbook.
19 December 2013 | by (Cherry Hill, NJ) – See all my reviews

Hollywood has perhaps reached its saturation point with comic book and superhero movies with every film now becoming more of an event: a-list stars, groundbreaking f/x, tie-ins, lead-ins and hints at a larger universe packed with even more superheroes. Maybe it's time to take a step back. Show a real hero, totally DIY. Mike Barnett has attempted this.

The WATCHMEN Blu-ray set contains a featurette interviewing "real life" superheroes. Mostly these were young men wearing bulky costumes of sewn together sports equipment and pronounced delusions of grandeur; although one interviewee was ex-military and simply patrolled as a concerned citizen in fatigues and a buzz cut. The HBO documentary SUPERHEROES amps this idea into a feature-length spectacle.

Mike Barnett presents a typical day-in-the-life perspective of the non- typical man-in-tights. Or clunky plastic armor. With names, among others, like Mr. Xtreme, Zimmer and, ahem, Master Legend. Although their hearts are in the right place, a food-and-clothing drive conducted and distributed to and for the homeless of San Diego being a very worthy effort, their heads most definitely are not. Barnett shows these heroes as misguided - Mr. Xtreme possess no guide in life other than comicbooks, which he reads obsessively in his van – publicity-seeking – an unintentionally-hilarious Master Legend drinks and cavorts with college girls in that crime-ridden gotham of Orlando – or thrill-seeking – the NYC-based Zimmer who patrols dark streets just looking for a head to bash in.

Unfortunately, Barnett's docu never presents a clear viewpoint. Are these losers real and sympathetic, slaves to a worthy ideal? Or are they to be mocked at? Severely. Throughout the film the viewer does both. But they shouldn't. At times, the film appears to be as just as a rambling mess as Mr. Xtreme on patrol: sometimes boring, at times embarrassingly cringe-worthy. Also unfortunately, the preventing of crimes, or exacting flying fists of justice as Zimmer so obviously wants, never occurs. Giant aliens don't attack. There are no criminal masterminds' plans to foil. Not even a simple grab-and-run from the local 7-Eleven. This exacerbates the question running through the whole film: so what?

Hey, if anything, the film invites you to grab a drink with Master Legend. He has a Facebook page.


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