Tag master legend

Real Life Superheroes

Originally posted: http://www.actoslitigation.net/real-life-superheroes/
Donning capes and masks these grown adults appeared as if they were getting ready to go trick or treating. Calling themselves “real life superheroes”, they seemed a little dorky at first.  The individuals featured in this documentary (written and directed by Michael Barnett) believe it is their duty to patrol the streets, fighting crime and picking up the slack that the police and other government institutions leave behind. As we follow the lives of several “real life superheroes” however, it becomes apparent that the work they are doing is not only beneficial to society, but vital to their communities.
The tone at the begging of the film seems to mock these cape and spandex wearing crime fighters. In the first few minutes of the film we take a tour of one man’s extensive action figure collection and watch as he sings along to  the Power Ranger opening sequence on his small television. He is known on the streets as the helmet and amor wearing Mr. Xtreme,  and he is the founder and  sole member of Xtreme Justice League, a citizen’s crime fighting organization in San Diego. His apartment is shabby and his social life is inactive to put it nicely. With a pot belly and no girlfriend, Mr. Xtreme  spends the free time he has between multiple day  jobs patrolling the streets hoping to prevent violent crime. We join him on a nightly escapade to patrol a part of campus where a sexual assault had been reported earlier. Although Mr. Xtreme runs into more hostility than appreciation from the community, (a guy threatens to call the police on Mr.Xtreme if he doesn’t leave his lawn), he is confident his presence, costume and all, is a deterrent to prospective offenders.
Next we meet Master Legend. He’s a long haired, middle-aged vigilante  who likes his beer and makes his own weapons out of cardboard and other household items. After cracking open a cold one he opens up about how his father was a member of the Klu Klux Klan and used to beat him. It was his loving and supportive grandmother, he says, who taught him that he had the potential to be a great force of good.  Turning past traumatic experiences into positive outreach turns out to be a reoccurring theme in many of hero’s lives we meet along the way. The commitment these ordinary citizens have to altruistic service is inspiring.  Every night  you’ll find Master Legend like many superheroes around the world (yes, it’s a global online community) handing out food and blankets to his cities homeless. A hero husband and wife duo hands out care packages every week to those living on the streets-the cost of which all comes out of their own pocket. Many of these heros have limited means themselves and it is astonishing the sacrifices they make in order to do what they do in their communities. When finances get tight Mr. Xtreme moves into his van rather than cease operation of Xtreme Justice League. You’ll come to really admire these quirky yet concerned citizens, as even director Michael Barnett admits he did in the midst of shooting this movie. What begins as a mockumentary becomes something very heartfelt as one grows  immense respect for these selfless individuals. Overall, this movie kills apathy and kicks evil villain butt!

Master Legend

Nerdy Real Life Superheroes to Keep City Safe from Bullies, Jocks

Originally posted: http://tv.gawker.com/reallifesuperheroes/
By Frank Cozzarelli
They walk among us—average citizens who don capes and masks at night to battle evil-doers. They call themselves Real Life Superheroes, and they are, of course, deeply nerdy.
A visit to the World Superhero Registry – the apparent home of this movement on the web – reveals images of adult men and women in full-on superhero garb with invented monikers like “Death’s Head Moth”, “Master Legend” and “Dark Guardian”. Their mission? To rid the city of crime and help those in need. Honorable goals, but they seem to be most successful at taking themselves waayyy too seriously and confusing the hell out of the criminals they encounter.
Dark Guardian, for example – whose only superpower seems to be his heavy Staten Island accent – records an encounter where he attempts to chase a hulking drug dealer out of Washington Square Park. When it is revealed that Dark Guardian isn’t actually a cop nor does he possess any sort of legal authority to tell the guy to move, things get kinddaaaa awkward. It’s like he’s just come to the stunned realization that he can’t shoot laser beams out of his eyes, and the drug dealer, towering over Dark Guardian, feels too bad for him to even bother roughing him up.
Then there’s Shadow Hare, a 21-year-old whose intimidating Venom-style getup is belied by some B-roll footage of our hero flouncing down a fire escape. Such is the problem for real life superheroes: life is just a little too real sometimes to pull off wearing tights.
“Citizen Prime” spent $4,000 on his custom body armor suit – and spends most of the time wearing it doing common household chores like watering the lawn and vacuuming. He lives in a pretty quiet neighborhood, which reveals itself to be another obstacle for our real life superheroes.
But life isn’t always so cushy for our real life superheroes. “Master Legend” demonstrates his Iron Fist, for use when drastic measures need to be taken (against defenseless load-bearing walls):
Local news anchors, of course, love these sort of stories because they get to do the reports in that bemused, sing-songy tone that lets us know that this is a story about “colorful local oddballs” who shouldn’t be “taken too seriously”:
It’s sad and hilarious and kind of touching. I suppose they’re heroes, in a way. They’re not exactly rescuing people from burning buildings… but they are wearing capes. And that’s gotta count for something, right?

HOT DOCS-Superheroes

Originally posted: http://www.pressplus1.com/cdnfilm-festival-reviews/hot-docs-superheroes.html
superheroes_press_still_1.470x264Hot Docs Review
World Showcase
82 minutes | USA | Language: English | International Premiere | Rating: PG
The conceit of the graphic novel and film Kick Ass is the idea that no one before in real life has had the thought of putting on a costume and fight crime as a superhero, and if they did, and they took it seriously, then they would have to be insane. There’s a fine line between genius and inspiration, and the people profiled in Michael Barnett’s documentary Superheroes definitely mark that line as their own.
To anyone that’s ever read a comic or seen a superhero movie, the language and the iconography used by the so-called superheroes featured in Barnett’s doc are all too familiar. From the streets of Orlando, to the borough of Brooklyn, a nationwide fraternity of costumed avengers are striving to make a difference in their towns in the flamboyant and chivalrous traditions of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Joe Shuster and Bob Kane. Real life superheroes are alive and well and patrolling down sidewalks and back alleys in a town near you.
Barnett maintains a difficult tone with his movie. On the one hand, many of these “superheroes” describe terrible, painful and downright abusive backgrounds that spurn them to make the leap to costumed crime fighting. On the other hand, one has to admire these people. In their communities, despite the jeers and despite the looks, they are delivering a kind of hope to people in precious need of some. It’s not all about beating up bank robbers or rescuing orphans from fires. It’s also about giving a helping hand, assisting a drunk man home, giving a man whose foot is run over medical assistance, and handing out needed essentials to homeless people.
But despite their good intentions, it’s hard to deny that some of these people suffer from some kind of mental malady. Mr. Extreme, a California-based hero, gives up his apartment and lives in his van in order to free up more money for the cause, plus this way he can remain mobile lest unscrupulous characters find out where he lives. In Orlando, Master Legend happily takes a break from patrolling to either grab a pint from the bar, or out of the back of his van. It doesn’t do much to brace the confidence in these heroes, but hearing them talk about their personal abuse stories, you’re glad that their emotional turbulence found a rather benign outlet like playing superhero.
The final scene of the documentary takes us to San Diego in July, the setting for the biggest annual gathering of all things geeky and superheroish, the San Diego Comic Con. But a few blocks away from the convention centre where fans dress up as comic book strong men and Hollywood studios preview superhero films, a gathering of so-called real life superheroes are helping San Diego’s homeless. These two things juxtaposed, it becomes really hard trying to figure out just who the crazy people are in this scenario. Who are the real pretenders here, and do these people truly understand the idea of superheroes better than the thousands than honour them as fans? That’s for the audience to decide.
Mon, May 2 9:00 PM Bloor Cinema
Wed, May 4 4:00 PM TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
Sun, May 8 7:00 PM The Royal Cinema

Superheroes Directed by Michael Barnett

Originally posted: http://exclaim.ca/Reviews/HotDocs/superheroes-directed_by_michael_barnett
vigilantespiderBy Will Sloan
Mr. Xtreme lives in a small apartment, with his costume and weaponry buried under stacks of papers and magazines, where he watches Power Rangers on a 12-inch TV during his off-hours. He calls it his “Xtreme Cave,” and he doesn’t seem to be joking. He’s a working slug by day, but by night he roams/”protects” the streets of San Diego, CA, where the police regard him with a mix of bemusement and gentle concern.
He’s a little too overweight to be terribly intimidating in his costume, but lest you think he doesn’t take his responsibilities seriously, remember that he’s the president of the Xtreme Justice League, a community for like-minded crime fighters. He’s also the only member, but he does sometimes work with another San Diego superhero, “The Vigilante Spider.” Not to be confused with a certain other arachnid-themed superhero.
How does Michael Barnett, the director of Superheroes, expect us to regard this man? Mr. Xtreme is one of many real-life superheroes profiled in this very odd documentary, and he comes across as the saddest in a very sad group. Barnett seems to agree: why else would he show Mr. Xtreme losing a grappling tournament and interviews with his comically unsympathetic parents?
Barnett regards most of the other superheroes with similar ironic detachment: when the Vigilante Spider describes a hypothetical situation in which he kisses his girlfriend goodbye in the morning to go to work, Barnett pointedly asks if the Vigilante has a girlfriend (the answer may not surprise you); and Barnett’s camera stares blankly at “Master Legend” as he clumsily attempts to pick up a girl at a bar. The idea of a documentary about real-life superheroes is pretty irresistible, but what are we supposed to take away from this one except that sad, lonely people are sad and lonely?
Some of the superheroes are more like charity workers, distributing food and necessities to the homeless while wearing their costumes. Others, like a group that incite and then arrest attackers by having one of the members dress as flamboyantly gay, regard themselves in the Batman/Superman tradition (a police staffer interviewed points out that this group’s method borders dangerously close to entrapment).
When Barnett attempts to shift gears in the second half to a more sentimental tone, rhapsodizing the heroes as naïve but good-hearted folks who want to make the world a better place, it feels even more hollow and condescending than before. Superheroes is a one sad movie, and not often in a good way.
(Theodore James Productions)

Move over, Batman: real-life superheroes are here

Originally posted: http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/article/983219–move-over-batman-real-life-superheroes-are-here

One of many subjects wearing homemade costumes, combating crime in Superheroes.

One of many subjects wearing homemade costumes, combating crime in Superheroes.

By Raju Mudhar
While the big-budget superhero films have to try to balance the fantastic with the real, director Michael Barnett had no such problem with Superheroes.
Screening at Hot Docs on May 2, 4 and 8, the documentary looks at real-life superheroes, who don masks, capes, duct tape and other equipment to patrol the streets and make this world a better place. The film is equal parts hilarious and hopeful — and sometimes sad — and despite the costumes, it takes its subjects very seriously.
“Every single one of them is doing more to make the world a better place than certainly I, and most everyone I know, are,” he says. “I have a deep respect for what they’re doing. Are some of them ineffective? Sure. Are some effective? Absolutely. Are some misguided? Yes. Are some of their lives seemingly tragic? Yes. So it’s hard to generalize for all of them, but I love what they’re doing.”
Whether it’s helping the homeless, raising awareness about crime or even dressing up as “bait” to lure criminals, the likes of Mister Extreme, Master Legend, or the four roommates in Brooklyn who form The New York Initiative are part of the more than 700 documented masked vigilantes around the world who describe themselves as part of the real life superhero movement.
“We shot in pretty much every major city. At the very least, it’s a subculture,” he says. “But I would say it’s a movement because it has this unorganized manifesto behind it.”
Barnett knows that what many of these people are doing is dangerous, and they know it too.
“It is only a matter of time before one of their activities leads to someone getting hurt or possibly worse,” he says. “Some have told me that they’ve received death threats. But the thing is they know that going in. They know the villains are out there, and that’s why they’re doing what they’re doing.”

"Superhéroes" de barrio

Originally posted: http://atalanta77.blogspot.com/2011/04/superheroes-de-barrio.html
nyi01Me gusta leer periódicos antiguos. Cuando hojeas un artículo de hace tres, cuatro, cinco años, eres consciente de que estás leyendo mejor libro de historia. Es sumamente sorprendente en qué derivaron ciertos personajes o acontecimientos. Por no hablar de las noticias de índole económica anteriores a la crisis. La perspectiva del tiempo hace que ciertos artículos hoy asusten.
Dedicándome a este menester, encontré un reportaje que daba cuenta de un fenómeno para mí por completo sorprendente, el de los “superhéroes de la vida real”. Ya os imagináis el percal. Siguiendo la tradición más ortodoxa de los cánones de tebeo, repartidos por el mundo viven unos tipos “normales” que, a tiempo parcial, se han creado otra identidad a la que acompaña el pertinente disfraz y tras la cual, se dedican a combatir el mal en las calles de su ciudad.

Los tipos tienen su propia página con el registro correspondiente en el que aparecen más de doscientos fenómenos con nombres como Master Legend, Green Scorpion, Superhero, Geist, Citizen Prime, Captain Jackson, Captain Prospect o Thanatos.

Sus funciones son las siguientes:
  • Patrullas de lucha contra el crimen.
  • Notificar delitos a los agente del orden
  • Colocar carteles pidiendo ayuda para solucionar casos no resueltos.
  • Buscar personas desaparecidas.
  • Promover la concienciación medioambiental.
  • Ayudar a la gente sin hogar proporcionándoles agua, alimentos y mantas.
  • Donar sangre.
Hombre, estas cosas se pueden hacer sin disfrazarse pero hay que reconocer que es mucho más molón afrontarlas cada jornada oculto tras un antifaz. Además, para ellos su traje es como una declaración de principios de lucha contra el mal.
Ahora que estamos al borde de los cinco millones de parados, es otra opción. Más gente con tiempo libre, más gente con problemas, más gente empujada a la delincuencia. Más malos y más buenos a los que proteger. ¿Por qué no? Lo que está claro es que hay “gente pa tó”.
Claro, de música iba a poner “Superhéroes de barrio” de Kiko Veneno pero me decido por una canción de Veneno, el mítico disco formado por Kiko además de por Raimundo y Rafael Amador. Ese disco que siempre está a la cabeza de cualquier lista de lo mejor del pop o rock español pero que realmente pocos han escuchado.

English Translation
I like reading old newspapers. When you scan an item for three, four, five years, you know you’re reading the best book of history. It is very surprising as it derives certain characters or events. Not to mention the news of an economic nature prior to the crisis. The time perspective makes certain items today scared.
Dedicated to this need, I found an article giving an account of a phenomenon to me entirely surprising, that of “real life superhero.” And you imagine the calico. Following the orthodox tradition of the canons of comics, spread across the world live rates “normal” part-time, have created another identity that accompanies the appropriate costume and after which, dedicated to fighting evil on the streets of their city.
The guys have their own page with the corresponding record in the displayed more than two hundred events with names like Master Legend, Green Scorpion, Superhero, Geist, Citizen Prime, Captain Jackson, Captain Prospect and Thanatos.
Its functions are:
* Patrols to fight crime.
* Report crimes to law enforcement
* Put up posters asking for help to solve unsolved cases.
* Searching for missing persons.
* Promote environmental awareness.
* Helping homeless people by providing water, food and blankets.
* Donate blood.
Man, these things can be done without disguise but recognize that it is much more groovy address them each day hidden behind a mask. Moreover, to suit them is like a declaration of principles to combat evil.
Now we’re on the edge of the five million unemployed, is another option. More people with free time, more people with problems, more people pushed into crime. More bad and more good to be protected. What is clear is that there are “people for everything.”
Sure, the music was going to put “Superheroes neighborhood” of Kiko Veneno but I decided for a song by Poison, the legendary album well composed by Kiko and Rafael Raimundo Amador l. That record is always at the top of any list of the best Spanish pop or rock but few have actually heard.

Real Life Superheroes… really?

Originally posted: http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_weekend/20110401/ts_yblog_weekend/real-life-superheroes-really
By Jim Brasher
What are you doing this weekend? Going to brunch? Mowing the lawn? Fighting crime? Hmm…which one of these things is not like the other?
Welcome to the confusing, often contradictory world of self-described Real Life Superheroes. (That’s R.L.S.H for short). It’s a loosely affiliated community of people who develop their own superhero persona, put on costume and try to prevent crime in their neighborhood. And all without super speed, invisibility or wings.
So are they vigilantes or volunteers? Commendable or ridiculous? Is what they’re doing even legal? I decided to find out. Check out the video above for my night on patrol with “Motor Mouth.” But first, a little more about the cast of characters, starting with…
I’ll admit, I had a few misgivings about meeting a masked stranger decked out in Kevlar and leather in a dark garage. But as you can see in the video, those fears dissipated the moment Motor Mouth started talking. (Turns out, he never really stops talking.) He’s intense, driven, but also has a great sense of humor about the path he’s chosen.
“You have to be a little eccentric,” he said, “there’s no question about it. You gotta be eccentric and you gotta have a little bravado about yourself.”
We went on patrol in downtown San Jose, California with Motor Mouth, Anthem and Mutinous Angel. A typical night on patrol involves lots of walking and plenty of curious stares. But for Motor, his costume is a symbol, a visual reminder that someone in the night is paying attention.
“We’re just like that average man in his mid-forties or fifties going ahead and patrolling his neighborhood in a neighborhood watch group, except we do it with a little bit more flair,” he says. And, he insists, they’re out there as a deterrent only.
“We don’t want to get in the way of the police,” he says, “we try to work with them to the best of our abilities, because we do not see ourselves as vigilantes, not in the slightest.”
(A vigilante is someone who effects justice according to their own understand of right and wrong; someone who punishes an alleged criminal suspect outside the legal system. And that, as you may have guessed, is illegal.)
So Motor Mouth espouses a ‘deterrence-only’ philosphy. But the first rule of the R.L.S.H community is that there are no rules in the R.L.S.H community. (No formal ones anyway.) And not everyone subscribes to the same theories about what it means to prevent crime. So to get a wider view, we spoke to…
Director Michael Barnett and producer Theodore James spent a year on the road, following close to forty Real Life Superheroes all over the country for an upcoming documentary called… Superheroes. They were kind enough to share some of their footage with us, and we met Barnett at Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood for an in-depth conversation about his experience.
“There’s not one thing the RLSH community focuses on,” he says, “they really do focus on everything, every aspect of the community, and how to make it better. And the thing that drives all of them, is people who do not care; that’s their mission, change the people who do not care to caring people.”
You can watch more of our interview with Barnett here. And stay tuned to this page for breaking news about when and where you can see the film.
We also spoke to Cindy Brandon, executive director of San Francisco SAFE (Safety Awareness For Everyone). SF SAFE is unique, a non-profit organization that works in partnership with with the police to provide neighborhood watch program to the residents and businesses of San Francisco.
She stressed the importance of alerting the police to any suspicious activity. “If you see a crime in progress,” she says, “your first reaction should be to call 911.” Getting involved in trying to stop a crime is a risky proposition.
“If they do intervene they’re putting their own life in jeopardy. While I think each person can make that determination themselves when they witness something happening, we tell people not to get involved, but to go into a safe place and call the police right away.”
Actual law enforcement officials stress the same message. According to Lieutenant Andra Brown of the San Diego Police Department, real life superheroes, “don’t have the backup that we have, and trying to take a situation into their own hands could perhaps get out of hand for them, and it could actually create more work for the police officers.”
“Now we perhaps have another victim we have to deal with, we have someone who maybe has been represented to be part of law enforcement, or an authority if you will, and that can confuse other people out on the street. So yeah, there’s a lot of situations where they could impede what’s going on, or what a police officer needs to take care of.”
Like many members of the real life superhero community, Motor Mouth got his inspiration from the pages of a comic book. So we commissioned artist and performer Kevin McShane to create two original comic book panels for our piece, based on footage from our piece.

Illustration by Kevin McShane

Illustration by Kevin McShane

Motor Mouth, Mr. Extreme, Mutinous Angel, Thanatos, Dark Guardian, Master Legend, Life, Crimson Fist, Zimmer, Saph, Ghost, Asylum, Red Voltage, Zetaman. Their reasons for putting on a costume are as colorful and varied as their names. While I learned pretty quickly that it’s next to impossible to generalize about the Real Life Superhero Community, many share a common nemesis: apathy.
According to Motor Mouth, fighting apathy means “trying to awaken the minds of the public to the little bit of more they can do in society, to make the world a better place.”
They certainly had an impact of director Michael Barnett. “In the end, I found something pretty profound. I found people with often times very little resources doing really, sort of small but beautiful things to make their communities better.”
What do you think? Watch the video and let me know.
Video: http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_weekend/20110401/ts_yblog_weekend/real-life-superheroes-really
Video featuring Michael Barnett: http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_weekend/20110401/ts_yblog_weekend/we-interview-michael-barnett