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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Format: Amazon Video|Change

on March 2, 2014
Until recently, I was peripherally aware of people who, for whatever reason, had assumed costumed alter-ego identities to engage in actions ranging from questionable (and life-threatening) vigilantism, to community service for the less fortunate folks in various communities who had fallen through the cracks, but other than fictional depictions of do-it-yourself heroes in popular culture, or the odd reference to the much-hyped "Phoenix Jones" of the Seattle area (who, interestingly, wasn't even mentioned in passing here), I was unaware of just how widespread such folks were, remaining ignorant of the lives and professions they practiced while not behind a mask, or their motives, such as personal trauma, religious beliefs, or concern about public apathy. So this film went a long way towards enlightening me about such individuals.

I was going to nitpick about more such individuals not being covered beyond New York, Vancouver, or Utah, seeing as how a U.S. map pinpointed a large number of the communities where such "superhero" activity was documented, but then, this film probably had a small budget, which would've made such thorough coverage prohibitive. So I'm letting it slide.

Interestingly, I learned about this documentary from, surprisingly enough, the DVD audio commentary for the 2013 superhero action film, Kick-Ass #2 (sequel to the 2010 cult hit about fictional do-it-yourself superheroes), whose director, Jeff Wadlow, mentions that the documentary Superheroes was used as a reference source when designing the fictional superheroes of this action-adventure film. He cites in particular, Zimmer (whom he mistakenly identifies as Z, alas), the gay hero of the New York Initiative who goes unmasked (saying that it's not unlike being closeted), as the inspiration for the fictional Insect Man, whose motives are very similar to Zimmer's. He also claims that Superheroes helped in designing and grounding two other heroes, a Mom-and-Pop super team, whose costumes are made more down to Earth, unlike the way the same characters appeared in the comic of the same name. So using a reality-based film to influence a big-screen hit was a very nice touch.
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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 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 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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I find the whole RLSH dynamic fascinating, and this documentary is the most notable of the few videos now available on this intriguing subculture. I definitely recommend this film and indeed bought it, as I found myself returning to it again and again. This doco covers the gamut of RLSH's, from the eloquent, intelligent characters like "Life" to the borderline alcoholic Master Legend and the disturbingly-clad Superhero (who actually would probably be a great voiceover artist, but seems to enjoy his costume a bit too much) to the chubby, simple, but good-hearted Mr Xtreme, there are many interesting tales to be told here. Definitely recommended.
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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 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 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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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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