Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hercules In New York (1970) Review:

As a child, I have seen movies that really grab the viewer's attention and have lovable characters that make a lasting impression. Children's movies like Gumby: The Movie (1995), Thomas and the Magic Railroad (2000), and Space Jam (1996) all have the things a child could ask for. As for Hercules in New York, the film definitely made a lasting impression but on the weird side of things. Sponsored by the Tooniversal Company, this piece of cinema is fun to watch for nostalgia purposes only.

This is Arnold Schwarzenegger's first film debut as the man who is part god, and part human. The story starts off when he is up in Olympus where he wants to be sent down to Earth because he is tired of hanging around with the Gods. So he argues with his father Zeus, who gets so livid that he sends him down to New York. Wait a minute, Zeus didn't want Hercules mingling with humans, so why was he sent down to New York in the first place? Why was there even an argument? Whatever.

Yup,...that's a lot of nostalgia (especially for himself!)
Along with Schwarzenegger is Arnold Stang, who plays a character called Pretzie, a wimpy man who carries a basket of pretzels in the first part of the film that he's seen. From there, he no longer holds a bag of pretzels, what a surprise. I will say, the actors picked for the roles of each character were picked accurately, but I'm not saying their acting is good. Stang plays as good wimpy character, and is funny to see his eyes bulge. Even Schwarzenegger is good as Hercules, but that's because of his physique and I assume that's really all he needed. That is one of the nostalgic points in this movie; Schwarzenegger's muscles. It's amazing to see how big he really was in the 70s. The other part that is nostalgic about this film is to see what SOME of New York looked like back then, but that's about all the viewer will get.

What makes this movie so awkward are how the scenes are done. There are moments where Hercules is supposed to be doing something extraordinary. Instead what he does looks cheaply done and the sound effects don't help. Hercules knocks (more like love-taps) a man into a bay, and the splashing water makes it sound like a pebble was tossed. What? Who would have thought these brutes were made of confetti? There's even a scene where Hercules fights a bear. Yes a bear, and it doesn't even look like a bear. The viewer will be able to tell that this is not a bear, but a person inside a bear suit. To make matters worse, Hercules attacks the bear by slapping it; yes slapping it. Schwarzenegger slapping? It's really ridiculous to see The Terminator (1984) beat up a bear so poorly.

Yes, this is a real scene....& it gets weirder
As for the damsel in distress, Deborah Loomis, I have never heard so much screaming, almost as much as Kirsten Dunst in Spiderman (2002), if not more. My ears were ringing after hearing her. She even faints in once scene, and it didn't even look real. As for the music, which was composed by John Balamos, is not a whole lot better. I can't even tell what kind of instrument is used but it's not an orchestra I'll say that much. A lot of the music is the same and it sounds really corny. I'm really surprised Schwarzenegger has become such a box office hit by starting from this movie. This film obviously did not get him famous but if he had not auditioned for the role, we may not have any of the Terminator movies or Total Recall (1990), whatever. When the film finished, I was barely entertained and shocked to how bad the film was compared to its trailer. What shocks me even more is that the director of this film is still making movies today!

Hercules in New York is a very silly kid's movie that may not even entertain the smallest of ages. Much of the scenes in this film are stupid and the only thing that may catch the viewer's attention is Arnold Schwarzenegger's bulging biceps.

Points Earned --> 5:10

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