Monday, August 8, 2011

LOOK! UP ON THE SCREEN! by Joseph James Bellamy

JJ Bellamy
All of you who read my work regularly know that I am a huge fan of comics and the superhero sub culture. It should come as no surprise to all four of you that I was very excited to see Captain America: the First Avenger. Having seen it, I can now say with total clarity that it was absolutely, positively, totally…adequate. I could not help but think a character with such a sense of legacy, not to mention importance, to the upcoming Avenger’s film franchise deserved a weightier, deeper treatment. Luckily, the cure for exposure to the kryptonite of a lackluster superhero flick was near at hand.
Superheroes (HBO, Monday 8/8, 9pm) Michael Barnett’s documentary look at the real-life superhero movement saves the day. The film focuses on a cross-section of the movement’s more interesting advocates, with origins as diverse as an EMT student, a married couple, and even reformed drug addicts and criminals. Through the eyes of such dedicated individuals as Master Legend of Orlando, Mr. Extreme, securing the streets of San Diego, and the hyper-organized New York Initiative, we see a world in the grip of real evils. While at first it seems ludicrous to even consider dressing up in bright colors and body armor to become a symbol of justice, the subjects of Superheroes are far from kidding. Let us not forget that in the real world, Bruce Wayne would be considered a bit of an eccentric nut.

The look and approach of real-life superheroes is certainly extreme; it is easy to ignore their message in favor of ridiculing their appearance. Beneath the masks, costumes, and somewhat awkward tendency to speak in dramatic phrase, are considerate, compassionate people, who help wherever they can, from pitching in at hit-and-run scenes to bringing life-saving basics to the homeless and helpless of their community. Some are even willing to put their lives and safety on the line, confronting drug dealers and conducting coordinated anti-street crime stings. 

I was impressed and inspired by these people and their cause. I found myself reminded of why I had run around the backyard as a child, with a towel tied around my neck and my arms outstretched before me. The heart of this film is spoken in earnest by Mr. Extreme, “It doesn’t take super powers to be a superhero,” he says, protective goggles in place, Wanted flyers in hand. “It takes being super motivated and doing super deeds.”

Leaping into action Monday night @ 9pm on HBO, Superheroes is a hopeful delight, a positive, real-life crusade for justice that is not to be missed!

Written by by Joseph James Bellamy
Editor: Deb Bellamy

1 comment:

  1. This one is a blast! I was so fired up by the people in this Doc. Checkout the review, and then see the film tonight on HBO! It's uplifting,insightful fun for all!