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Hercules
BLU-RAY disk
11.17.2014 By: Mathew Plale
Hercules order download
Director:
Brett Ratner

Actors:
Dwayne Johnson
Rufus Sewell
Ian McShane

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Greek hero Hercules (Johnson) is recruited to lead the Thracian army against a warlord and his forces.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Greek muscle man Hercules has always been a popular figure to feature in movies and television, especially in the last twenty years, where he’s been portrayed by Kevin Sorbo and voiced by Tate Donovan. 2014 has seen two movies alone: THE LEGEND OF HERCULES and, simply, HERCULES.

HERCULES makes the attempt to stand out by opening with the line, “You think you know the truth about him? You know nothing.” And yet there he is, slaying Hydra, a giant boar and a thick-hided lion, and flashing that smile of his and flexing those pecs of his that make all of the women swoon. And soon enough, opportunity will knock (in the form of a war in Thrace), and Hercules (Dwayne Johnson, in a case of uninspired yet sensible casting) will get to whoop anyone in his way.

Screenwriters Ryan J. Condal and Evan Spiliotopoulos, adapting Steve Moore’s graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars, give it a go at tweaking what audiences already know about Hercules and adding some depth to him, but it’s mostly a waste since the audience came solely to see a meathead spout inspirational speeches at his army and engage in battle, and not wake up from tormented sleeps.

These additions also turn out to be misguided, as director Brett Ratner quickly unveils what the show will really be about: elaborate set pieces and countless over-the-top finishing moves (Ian McShane’s handling of ancient weaponry is only the beginning).

HERCULES has some passable moments, but it’s mostly a failure that betrays much of what it set out to be, evidently so Ratner can play war and not-so-slyly suggest that he should have been given a shot at directing 300.

THE EXTRAS
Theatrical Version (98 minutes)

Extended Cut (101 minutes)

Commentary by Brett Ratner & Beau Flynn: Director Ratner and producer Flynn discuss various aspects of the production, including the cast, locations, effects and more. A listenable but unremarkable track.

Brett Ratner and Dwayne Johnson: An Introduction (5:32): Ratner and Johnson briefly touch on their interest in and passion for the story.

Hercules and His Mercenaries (11:07): This featurette looks at the supporting cast, their roles in the movie and what the costumes and makeup contributed. Interviewees include Aksel Hennie, Ian McShane, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Reece Ritchie, Rufus Sewell and more.

Weapons! (5:23) looks at the various weaponry used by the characters, from clubs to “the Hercules death stare.”

The Bessi Battle (11:54): The action sequence is highlighted, with focus on the locations, design, effects and more.

The Effects of HERCULES (12:28) focuses solely on the practical and visual effects and what they add to the movie.

Deleted/Extended Scenes (14:38): There are 15 here, which can be viewed separately or as a whole. They are: “Zeus & Alcmene,” “Gryza Left Hanging,” “Extended Training – Ext,” “Sitacles and Atalanta,” “Words for Arius – Ext,” “Bessi Aftermath,” “Phineas Saved,” “Hercules Banished,” “Blood Rage – Ext,” “Phineas Revealed – Ext,” “Hercules’ Longer Speech – Ext,” “Atalanta Shoots Phineas – Ext,” “Phineas Runs,” “Tydeus’ Funeral” and “Alternate Ending.”

DVD

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
HERCULES begins by informing the audience it will show the Greek hero in a new way, but ends up betraying this for the most part so director Brett Ratner can lift from similar movies such as 300. Special features include a commentary with Ratner and producer Beau Flynn as well as looks at the special effects, weapons and more.
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