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'Hercules' proves converted 3D movies can look good

Hercules movie poster
Paramount Pictures



At the beginning of 2010, shortly after the release and success of "Avatar", moviegoers saw more and more advertisements for movies that were in 3D. These commercials and trailers really emphasized 3D as if it were a real big deal. What those ads failed to mention was that most of those movies were not shot using 3D cameras. They were shot using regular 2D cameras and converted into 3D during Post-Production which led to a lot of bad looking 3D effects and audiences with lighter wallets. This practice sadly continues today, four years later. However, not every one of these conversions is a nightmare to view. Some, like the new movie "Hercules" does a pretty good job.

"Hercules" opens with a narrator stating, "You think you know the truth about him." Then we are told how Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) is the supposed son of Zeus and we are quickly treated to a montage of him fighting such creatures as a giant boar and the Hydra. Then we learn that he has a crew of people fighting along side him and they are actually a band of mercenaries. They take on a new mission to help a king end a civil war in his kingdom; but is it a task too big for the mighty Hercules?

Right from the start of "Hercules" you notice the stark contrast between the background and foreground 3D effect. As the movie progresses there are increasingly more impressive 3D shots in the movie. At one point someone is holding a spear and you feel like you can reach out and cut your finger on it. There is no question in your mind that the movie must have utilized 3D cameras to make it, because a conversion cannot look this good. However, if you decide to sit through the end credits you discover that it actually was a converted job. It has become more rare these days to fork over the extra money it costs to see a movie in 3D, but this is one of those cases for sure!

Brett Ratner is the director of "Hercules" and, while it not being his best work; he does what he can with the screenplay that was provided to him. He could have chosen a better musical score for the movie, but the special effects are good. Dwayne Johnson plays a good Hercules. He tries to bring an emotional core to the character, which he does manage to convey. The movie made almost $30 million at the box office opening weekend, and may find a holdover audience for those who are unable to see "Guardians of the Galaxy" this weekend.

Earlier this year, "The Legend of Hercules" came out and it was also in 3D. It was so bad that it will undoubtedly appear on the top 10 worst 3D movies of 2014 list. "Hercules" is likely to end up some where on the top 10 best 3D movies of the year list. It is Rated PG-13 for epic battle sequences, violence, suggestive comments, brief strong language and partial nudity.