Hercules Blu-Ray Review

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The Movie: 7/10
I can’t help it, I liked this movie! This wouldn’t be the best way for a review to start, it kind of gives away the big ending, but it is what it is. Hercules is not a life changing, authentic cinematic triumph, or even that good in the company of its peers. However, as I said in my opening statement, I liked it….a lot. My husband, the esteemed Mr. Ascully.com does not see the movie the same way. He likes it less the more he thinks about it. I like it more. That’s not just movie lovers being at odds, that’s marriage people!! We can watch a movie together sometimes and are in perfect sync with our reactions. It is as if our brain has been merged when we signed that marriage license. The beauty of movies like Hercules frees us from those shackles of bondage and let’s us have our own thoughts. I think this Hercules was fun and had great action. He thinks this Hercules was kind of boring and cheap with its one liners and inability to commit to being either gritty and real like 300, or cheesy and funny, like Hercules and Xena the TV shows, the successfully comedy side of this equation.

I still like it. The more I think about it I do find the flaws. I don’t like a couple of characters, nor how they are portrayed. Particularly John Hurt’s king character, or Ian McShane’s…um..whatever he was character. If anything brought the movie down for me it was those two and the time they were on the screen. Apologies fellas, but this time around you remind me of a very nasty word in Hollywood “overrated”. This is me though, I’m not speaking as if this is definitive. Someone else might watch and be completely brainwashed into thinking they are awesome:)

As for the rest of the cast, I enjoyed them all. Dwayne Johnson continues to make me smile and dig deep into my skeptical brain, which I appreciate. “How can an ex-wrestler idiot become someone I WANT to see in movies?” is the question, and he offers up just enough good bits and pieces in the movies I have seen him in to keep me interested.

My favorite character and actor of the whole thing is Tydeus played by Askel Hennie. he spoke few words, but his story and the way they tell us about him along with how committed he was to every scene, absolutely the best part of the movie.

The story is a fun take on what Hercules’ story usually offers. We know of him as a legend of great feats, and yet what if those feats were exaggerated, tales to put fear in those who might oppose him? Yes, that’s the twisty turn this particular telling of the son of Zeus takes. Guess what, I liked it.

The special effects are about 75% solid, with that other percentage just on the edge of “did they run out of money?” cliff. The fight sequences were actually interesting and held my gaze. Usually I’m bored after about 30 seconds of swords and fists, but they do some less predictable stunts and styles.

Ultimately you will either see this movie or you will not. I cannot push a button to make you watch it. If you like the 90’s Hercules and Xena from TV, AND you like 300 and it’s sequel, think of what makes them good to you, add in a little too  much hippy dippy shit from McShane and too much “I’m a Shakespearean actor” shit from John Hurt, a few lower quality directorial choices, but a few more innovative action set pieces…voila, you might just dig this demigod and his rag-tag group of criminals.

Features: 7/10

  • 15 Deleted Scenes (10 Minutes) – A bunch of deleted scenes and an alternate ending, none of them add anything to the movie.
  • Hercules & His Mercenaries (11.07 Minutes) – A close look at each of the characters in the movie, also a look at costuming and makeup.
  • The Bessi Battle (11.54 Minutes) – The best flight sequence in the movie is broken down and analysed, you have to admire Ratner’s enthusiasm here.
  • The Effects Of Hercules (12.28 Minutes) – A look at the practical and digital effects used in the movie. If you like looking at men and women sitting at computers this is for you.
  • Commentary By Brett Ratner & Beau Flynn – Director and Producer sit down and talk you through the origin of the movie and how it came to be. Ratner is quite engaging here and it’s obvious this is a passion project for him. This commentary is only available on the Theatrical version.
  • Weapons (5.24 Minutes) – A close look at the weapons in the movie, hammers, mace’s and spears are all showcased.
  • DVD & UV Digital Copy

Cover Art and Menus: 3/10
We get terribly boring and uninspired cover art. There is no poster of this in my future. A boring menu is a suitable accompaniment.

Audio & Video: 8/10
No matter what I thought of the movie Hercules does look gorgeous on Blu-Ray. The movie has a lot of green screen work and sometimes the HD presentation reveals flaws in the special effects that would ordinarily be hidden. The 1080P AVC encoded image is free from artifacts, Macro blocking and dark scenes show no sign of black crush. This is a superb looking film fans will not be disappointed.

DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 is the codec of choice for this large summer movie. And that choice was a wise one as the soundstage is wide, epic and quite satisfying. Dialog is clean and central as it should be and the film’s epic score only gets in the way when the director intends it to. There is a lot of LFE action in the film during the movie especially during the battle sequences fans of epic sword and sandle movies will feel right at home.

Overall Score 7/10