Customer Reviews: Superheroes
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When you think about it--you probably have definitive feelings when it comes to ordinary men and women masquerading as costumed superheroes. I'm not quite sure what I expected when I sat down to this lively documentary feature, but I have a much greater appreciation and understanding of the subject matter than I did going in. I'll just be honest and say it, I found the whole idea a little silly. And yet, to a large degree, I am a convert. The world would undoubtedly be a better place if more people took such an active and participatory role in civic events and community. This spirited movie has so much heart--with a fair share of comedy and even thrills--it becomes strangely irresistible, thought-provoking, and oddly touching.

First and foremost, I would commend director Michael Barnett with his even-handed and well balanced approach. He introduces a diverse cross section of superheroes for this piece. Major characters tend to come across in one of three ways--comical, a bit sad, or (for lack of a better word) truly heroic. In very different ways, however, they all stand out. Whether as actual crime fighters, community advocates, or charitable figureheads--these guys and gals put themselves on the front lines. What they battle, for the most part, is apathy. And their greatest strength is caring. Many come from difficult circumstances and playing the hero can be a form of survival or a case of redemption.

The film has so many memorable highs. A group in Brooklyn polices the street in a sting operation. Several groups help the homeless. And, in perhaps the film's most harrowing moment, a lone man faces down a drug dealer. For whatever reason, these are real heroes simply by their willingness to become involved. The film counterbalances with psychological profiling, police insight, and even gets an brief assist by Stan Lee. You might be surprised by how affecting this film is. I watched it for a bit of amusement, and it ended up inspiring me to achieve more and participate. 4 1/2 stars, I'll round up for good intentions. KGHarris, 8/11.
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SUPERHEROES (2011) is one hell of an HBO documentary. It tells the story of real life "superheroes": people dedicated to helping their communities, their neighbors, anyone who needs help. The fact that they dress in actual costumes (some are awesome, some are awful) only adds to the urgency of the message this film conveys.

And no, I do not think these people are "vigilantes". Let no one try to convince you of that straw man argument. If anything, I am inclined to encourage this activity - and on a personal level, encourage them to put a LOT of thought into the design of their costumes. Remember superhero costume designer Edna Mode from THE INCREDIBLES? "No capes!!"

Tempted to laugh out loud in the beginning, this film left me stunned and happy about 10 minutes into it. The fact that there are such people out there made me happy! You know who else did this? Mother Teresa! And the sad thing for her was she did not believe in God the entire time, so really she's the prototype superhero.

Zimmer, my hero from the New York Initiative and favorite of the various groups, is an eye-catching, fetching and dedicated man. All of these people have one thing in common: their dedication to those around them, the innocent, the victims, the poor. Zimmer's colleague "T.S.A.F." ( stands for "the silenced and forgotten") is one tough young lady.

And as I said, I am glad they are out there. You will be glad you saw this documentary, because not only does it show how badly our world has become screwed up - it shows what certain people are ready to sacrifice to set things right. If only my Buddhist students had showed such courage. We strap into our costumes everyday - robes, shoulder robe, shaved heads - and what gets done? NADA.

Follow the adventures of these real life superheroes and ask yourself: Could I pay that price to help my fellow humans? I'll bet the answer will be "NO". So thank heavens for all of these people.
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on December 31, 2011
I was fortunate to attend a premier for this film before final edits, so it was incredible to watch the films growth. I wasn't sure what to expect and was pleasantly surprised. This is a great, fast moving movie. You really come to connect with this group of "superheroes". Some more than others. It's interesting to think that one of the superheroes featured started his journey based on a brutal crime that happened over 50 years ago in NYC.
I would recommend this film based on it's entertainment value alone, but am even more supportive of it knowing that the featured heroes are now out on the streets trying to help the homeless with food and provisions, as well as by trying to keep those streets safe. I would love to see a follow up to learn what has happened with the main characters since the films final release. Kudos to the director and producer on a heartfelt movie that brings great insight into the lives of these ordinary people with extraordinary aspirations.
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on December 13, 2011
I enjoyed this movie a whole lot. In fact I am mad 'cause my daughter lost the dvd so I can't watch it again. I wish they could have spent more time in Utah covering the Black Monday Society, but at least they did get covered. I am fascinated by this Thanatos from Britsh Columbia and I am really into how this is about Charity work, not fighting supervillians. I thought the team in New York were off because they had the leader dress up like a very muggable guy but then they got no takers cause the cameras were there the whole time and then he wants to know why no one tries to mug him. Anyway I am so happy about this charity work angle that they made sure to focus on and the producer had the right point of view and mindset, there is nothing more meaningful than people being cared about and helped and they feel like they are worth helping! Life is hard, it's great to see helping for once!!! <grin>
This is a serious documentary and it does raise awareness of an odd phenomenon in modern society, I think if they cover the Black Monday Society there is a lot more material to explore about this whole concept of Real Life Super Heroes that they can make another documentary. The biggest challenge would be filming without the camera being noticed. I guess its like they say science cannot observe nature for by being observed it is not in its original state. I know that one drug pusher might have tried his mettle if there were no cameras...but he would have had his ass handed back to him if he tried! Most of the Documentary centers on the extreme justice league and its main member: Extreme Justice with about equal parts on the New York scene and the Team from Florida. This is if I have my facts straight as I only got to watch it once.
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on December 21, 2012
I caught this originally on HBO and had to buy it. I've always been a fan of comics and hadn't heard of these individuals. Some of their stories are moving, some of them seem like they need some help themselves. Most of these people don't have much but what they do have is a gift to want to help and protect others.
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on November 23, 2011
I didn't love the documentary. Though there was an attempt to be fair and objective--it often seemed as though the director/producer chose clips to ridicule these uncommonly brave if odd men and women. These super heroes had the camera rolling when they were at their most vulnerable--instead of honoring that, the makers of this film took advantage.

I did love the super heroes. No they are not cops--but obviously the cops aren't able to keep these communities safe. These odd ducks are dedicated/disciplined/brave and face off against drug dealers, muggers, and other evil doers. They befriend, protect, and look out for the most vulnerable/undesirable members of our society like homeless people. These odd ducks are super heroes and deserve our admiration and appreciation for their courage and compassion. I won't ever wear a costume--but this movie inspired me to pay attention and to not sit idly by. No more victims of apathy like Kitty Genovese!

The quote at the beginning sums it up:
"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." Albert Einstein-- and he should know--he had a front row seat to the evil of the Holocaust with the whole world looking on and doing nothing.
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on March 16, 2014
I actually rented this movie by accident (meant to rent Superhero Movie, which is a comedy) but figured, since I paid for it, I might as well watch it. I wasn't disappointed and am actually glad I decided to watch it.

It seems like all of these people must have had some pain in their lives that they had a hard time getting over to cause them to chose the path they chose and that is sad. I just hope they stay safe and truly find peace with whatever caused them to need to adopt their persona and escape. As quirky as they may seem I think they do good, maybe not as much as they originally intended but we can all help in some way to better this world.
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on June 12, 2013
I'm a Real-Life Superhero and one of the older of the bunch. During the film's premiere at the San Diego Comic-Con, in a theater packed with not only "civilians," but also fully-costumed Real-Life Superheroes, I was privileged to sit between my friends, Thanatos and Razorhawk. We had just completed a long and hard day's work, handing out thousands of dollars of food and supplies to the homeless in a far-less lucrative area of the city.

I was compelled to gently squeeze the shoulders of my fellow heroes when they said their most poignant words onscreen. And I was also very pleased that they had the opportunity to have their wise words and good work shown while I maybe had two seconds of onscreen time. I'm quite proud of my friends!
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on June 30, 2013
I definitely recommend this documentary. Very inspiring and you can't help but be proud of our nations heroes. Police, firemen, superhero and otherwise.
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on August 22, 2013
With all the Superhero movies coming out,
why can't there be real superheroes ?
I found this movie to be so entertaining !
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