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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A B-film, but okay for the genre
It must be a Herculean labour to put together a miniseries dealing with this subject, and like so many of the recent attempts to make major classical figures into larger-than-life Hollywood icons, this one also falls short of the mark. Films such as 'Alexander' and 'Troy' for cinematic release, or the recent made-for-television series such as 'Caesar', 'Spartacus', and...
Published on 26 Oct 2005 by Kurt Messick

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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but very enjoyable.
As someone interested in the classical world I've watched quite a few of these mini-series based on Greek and Roman history or mythology and after every viewing I'm reminded of the old Punch magazine cartoon about the curate's egg (a visiting curate assures the bishop that parts of his suspect breakfast egg are very good.) Usually production values in these miniseries are...
Published on 10 April 2007 by Guy Mannering


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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but very enjoyable., 10 April 2007
By 
Guy Mannering (Maidenhead, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hercules [DVD] (DVD)
As someone interested in the classical world I've watched quite a few of these mini-series based on Greek and Roman history or mythology and after every viewing I'm reminded of the old Punch magazine cartoon about the curate's egg (a visiting curate assures the bishop that parts of his suspect breakfast egg are very good.) Usually production values in these miniseries are good, the historical or mythological sources are generally respected and after 3 hours of viewing you switch off having enjoyed yourself but without any sense of having watched a classic. My major dissatisfactions often have to do with the casting which always follows a set formula of having a couple of well-known stalwarts (in Hercules we get Timothy Dalton) who often provide the best acting, or a well-known face from a hit TV series, backed up by a mass of little-known or unknown actors of varying abilities who often seem poorly cast and who often struggle with the clunking dialogue. Hercules is no exception to this rule and we get English, American, Scottish, Irish and Aussie accents jostling with each other and not a single face that looks vaguely mediterranean or classical. Nor does the wonderful New Zealand scenery really evoke the Greek world. And then there's the costumes. The Greeks didn't exactly overdress but in Hercules everyone wears what appears to be heavy late Roman and mediaeval clobber. But like the proverbial curate's egg parts of this miniseries are good. You're unlikely to have any complaints about Hercules himself who's played by Paul Telfer, an athletic Scottish hunk who knows how to act (I realised I'd seen him recently in the BBC's Hotel Babylon in which he played the handsome, scheming bellboy, Luke, and I remember thinking then that he somewhat resembles a very young Sean Connery and would have made a better James Bond than the present incumbent.) You also get some pretty good special effects and plenty of action of the sword-and-sandal variety. Yes, I confess I enjoyed it all and I think you will too, but as usual I switched off feeling that the film-makers had missed a few opportunities. To my mind only one production captures on celluloid the true flavour of the greek myths and that's Ray Harryhausen's 1960s Jason and the Argonauts which you've probably seen a dozen times (but if not then snap it up) and which correctly portrays Hercules as a bearded older man and Hylas as his "special mate".
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A B-film, but okay for the genre, 26 Oct 2005
By 
Kurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (London, SW1) - See all my reviews
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It must be a Herculean labour to put together a miniseries dealing with this subject, and like so many of the recent attempts to make major classical figures into larger-than-life Hollywood icons, this one also falls short of the mark. Films such as 'Alexander' and 'Troy' for cinematic release, or the recent made-for-television series such as 'Caesar', 'Spartacus', and 'Helen of Troy' all set out with lofty, almost Olympian ambitions, but fail to deliver divine visions. The same is true here - relative newcomer Paul Telfer (also appearing in the above-mentioned 'Spartacus') certainly has the physique of a Herculean figure, and is a reasonable actor, but the dialogue is a bit stilted - I can't be sure if they wanted 'Greek Epic' or colloquial familiarity, and I'm not sure the writers and director ever quite decided, either.
The crew of actors is not bad here, so the acting is usually reasonably well done for a b-film (and so long as one keeps in mind that one is watching a b-film, expectations are held in check). Sean Astin plays much the same kind of role in this film that he plays in 'Lord of the Rings' - the ever-faithful sidekick, but without Tolkien's great character. Leeanna Walsman plays Megara, Hercules' first wife, reasonably well, without too much melodrama, despite the tragedy of her situation. Kristian Schmid as King Eurystheus is a bit flat, but again that may be the dialogue as much as the acting. Leelee Sobieski also does a good job with the role of Deianeira, the mystical figure who falls in love with Hercules and helps him in subtle ways on his labours.
The one great disappointment of this film is that the the CGI special effects seem to be rather ill-constructed and stand out as obvious insertions; it reminded me of the kinds of obviously phony inserted special effects from similar Greek epic and science fiction films of the 1980s. Surely the technology has been upgraded since then in the studios where this film was finished.
The labours are a bit shortened and modified somewhat from the legends, but for those unfamiliar with them, this is an introduction that will hopefully lead them to want to learn more. This is certainly far closer to the real Hercules legends than the Kevin Sorbo series of years past.
There is violence, but it is fairly muted, and some sexual content, but very mild even by soap-opera standards. Telfer never misses an opportunity to take his shirt off, Sobieski hints at being unclothed in a scene or two, but rarely does it get more erotic than that.
I'd give this three-and-a-half stars, given the option, but I'll grade on a Herculean curve, and give it four here. The DVD contains more footage than the original teleplay, which was cut dramatically. The science fiction channel is replaying a fuller version.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still entertaining, 6 May 2006
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This review is from: Hercules [DVD] (DVD)
I usually prefer to watch films that are true to the original story and this was definately not. But there was nothing else on tele so I watched it anyway and it was very good and I enjoyed it a lot, so much I watched the next installment the next day with my popcorn and bottle of cider. And now I am just about to buy it on DVD to join my others in the archive of Greek mythology films.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Umm, what was that?, 11 Feb 2007
By 
CH Beyer "Caitlin" (Uk via US) - See all my reviews
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All in all, this wasn't a terrible miniseries. In general, the acting was quite good, though there were times it was obvious the lead actor was chosen because of his physique rather than for his acting skills. Also, if you're expecting any great feats with the graphics, you will be sorely disappointed. While Sean Astin was obviously attempting to cling to his sidekick status from Lord of the Rings, one must question why it is that he never once aged. I don't recall it ever being said that he was any sort of immortal being, so, why, over the course of roughly 30 years, did he never get any older?
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3.0 out of 5 stars easy watch, 1 April 2014
This review is from: Hercules (DVD)
bit long winded .........but easy watch...... could have cut half an hour out. script got a bit repetative in the 2nd part
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the blurb!, 24 Mar 2014
This review is from: Hercules (DVD)
Total c%^&p. Dialog excruciating, story line all over the place. Why do extinguished actors like Timothy Dalton and Sean Austin sign on for films like this?
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13 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Crass inaccurate Hollywood adaption of Greek myths, 15 Jan 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Hercules [DVD] (DVD)
Utter tripe! Why make a version of the Hercules story if you're going to change everything, this is just as poor a version as that awful "Earthsea" was of Ursula Leguin's novels. I may be pedantic for objecting to them calling him the Roman Hercules instead of Greek Heracles while using Greek names otherwise but this was the least of the problems. The gods were barely in it, but the landscape was crawling with nymphs, centaurs etc., and much was made of the rivalry between worshippers of different gods for some reason. Deianeira was a nymph in this although I'm sure she wasn't supposed to be, Alcmene and Megara were made out to be evil, conniving enemies of Heracles and I don't think Heracles murdured Megara in this version although he did in the myths. And what was the purpose of resurrecting that Linus person? Perhaps Hollywood has rules about heroes needing sidekicks. I didn't bother watching the second half, so it may have improved during the twelve tasks. I feel Robert Graves wouldn't have approved, and if you like your mythical adventures reasonably accurate, give this the body swerve.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 6 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Hercules [DVD] (DVD)
not as good as expected
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Running Time, 3 Mar 2014
By 
Paul Wainman (Burnley, lancs, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hercules [DVD] (DVD)
Have not yet seen this but bought it off Amazon and the actual running time is 161 minutes so do not think you will get a 240 minute version when ordering, still its better than the 127 minute version from Amazon.com
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I HATED IT!, 31 May 2011
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G. Stephenson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hercules [DVD] (DVD)
This film really dissapointed me! The acting is terrible and the plot started out bad, but steadily got really, really, really bad! The setting is unappealing and the film is way, way too long! The ending made no sense whatsoever and parents will be heartbroken by it. Best avoided!
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Hercules [DVD]
Hercules [DVD] by Roger Young (DVD - 2014)
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