L.A. Superheroes: Film Review

L.A. Superheroes Poster Art - P 2013

L.A. Superheroes Poster Art - P 2013

This misbegotten vanity project serves up a compendium of cliches.

An L.A. actress struggles to overcome her undocumented immigrant status in this tale based on real-life stories.

According to its press notes, L.A. Superheroes purports to be "a collection of real-life stories, witnessed firsthand, by the struggling artists who would go on to put this project together."

Well ... OK. But it might be more accurate to describe this rambling comedy drama -- about an aging actress-model struggling to survive in L.A. because of her status as an illegal immigrant -- as an ineffectual vanity project.

Starring Yelena Popovic, who also co-scripted and co-directed and whose credits as an actress are sparse -- she appeared as “Beautiful Russian Woman” in 2000’s Cast Away -- the film depicts the travails of Helena, whose show business career has hit a dead end. In a misguided attempt to qualify for employment, she buys a counterfeit birth certificate from the shady Joey (Vince Palmieri), only to be promptly arrested by the FBI. She agrees to cooperate by exposing her source, only to spend the rest of the film running in fear that she’ll be murdered by the mob.

Her sole comfort is her friend Auto (co-screenwriter Alexander Zisiades, playing a character who he should be embarrassed to admit is based on himself), a pizza delivery guy/musician who traipses around the city with her offering nastily profane observations about its inhabitants, especially of the female variety.

Cliche-ridden, technically amateurish and poorly acted by everyone involved, the film barely manages to sustain its paper-thin narrative over its brief 81-minute running time that includes outtakes during the end credits. That tired device, more usually relegated to goofs by big-name actors, only serves to underscore the project’s self-indulgence.

(Simeon Entertainment)

Directors: Yelena Popovic, Alexandros Potter

Screenwriters: Yelena Popovic, Alexander Zisiades

Producers: Alexandros Potter, Yelena Popovic, Brian Foyster

Executive producer/director of photography: Alexandros Potter

Editors: Tyler Kirk, Geoff Mastro

Composer: Alexander Zisiades

Not rated, 81 minutes