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Case Number 24174

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Somebody's Hero

Backlit Pictures // 2011 // 81 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Dawn Hunt // July 21st, 2012

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All Rise...

Judge Dawn Hunt is somebody's hero. She just can't remember whose.

The Charge

"Everybody is somebody's hero."

Opening Statement

With a runtime of less than 90 minutes, Somebody's Hero offers few surprises in dealing with a well-known concept of an everyman turned hero. But a sweetness and likable cast help ground the movie and keep it entertaining.

Facts of the Case

Dennis Sullivan (Christopher Gorham, Covert Affairs) is an accountant who has just been handed his first high-profile client in the form of Katie Wells (Susan Misner, Person of Interest), a widow whose husband was his firm's biggest client. He meets and is charmed by her, housekeeper Maureen (Novella Nelson), and young son Jake (Ben Hyland, Marley and Me.) But his newfound happiness is threatened by his secret identity as Man America, the city's newest vigilante.

The Evidence

When Dennis Sullivan is called into boss Miss Malechek's (Pamela Shaw, The Family Tree) office, he never dreams he's going to be given the chance to prove his mettle. When he meets Katie, he's taken with her and Jake, who idolizes comic book hero turned big-screen star Man America. On a whim, Dennis goes to purchase a Man America suit, and the store is robbed while he's trying it on. He makes the choice to intervene and saves the life of the store owner as well as Donald Delansky (Arthur J. Nascarella), a wealthy businessman. Delansky subsequently tracks Sullivan down and gives him the suit, saying the city has been inspired and he owes it to them to follow through as Man America.

From this point forward, you know the plot points to be hit. Katie and Jake have to find out Dennis is really Man America. Dennis has to decide if he will continue to don the suit once his secret is out. Katie has to decide whether to give Dennis a second chance, after learning of his deception. But just because we know certain crossroads are coming, doesn't mean we cannot enjoy the ride.

Gorham is eminently charming as Sullivan, and it's easy to believe in the relationships he forms, even the one with young Jake; a notably impressive task, considering the film's short runtime. But Gorham plays the part well and we can easily root for him. Susan Misner provides just enough depth to her grief. While we can see her falling for Gorham's Sullivan, we are also reminded she recently suffered a terrible tragedy. The rest of the cast fill their roles nicely, though no one is on screen long enough to find any complaints with their performances.

Indeed, I adored Somebody's Hero, and was caught surprisingly off guard by a couple of its choices. It's a sweet, tightly woven tale that delivers on the promise of its premise and I highly recommend it.

Though we were provided a not-retail product copy for review, I did not find any problems with its standard definition 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer or Dolby 2.0 Stereo audio track. The visuals were surprisingly clean, looking like any indie film shot over the last few years. The audio in the action scenes never suffered any distortion or low volume levels, a common issue. The only bonus feature is the film's trailer.

Closing Statement

It takes me longer to run a load of laundry than it will for you to enjoy Somebody's Hero; a sweet film with a charming cast and a story grounded in enough reality to thoroughly entertain.

The Verdict

Not Guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 80
Audio: 80
Extras: 50
Acting: 89
Story: 82
Judgment: 82

Perp Profile

Studio: Backlit Pictures
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 81 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Comedy
• Drama
• Family
• Superheroes

Distinguishing Marks

• Trailer


• IMDb
• Official Site

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