Alan Dee’s movie preview: Macho movies flex their muscles as Hercules squares up to Captain America

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Grab the baby oil and strike out the spandex – this week’s big screen heroes come lean and mean.

In the red, white and blue corner we have period superhero Captain America back for another battle against the beastly Nazis, while blockbuster fans who want to head deeper into history can sign on with legendary he-man Hercules.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

In the Cap’s crew we have Chris Evans back centre stage while other familiar faces including Hugo Weaving, Stanley Tucci, Dominic Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones, not to mention Robert Redford, flesh out the cast.

The first outing for the comic book captain back in 2011 was considered a big hit, with just the right combination of special effects and period charm.

And there’s no intention of varying that formula as he goes into action again in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Watch out for Dominic Cooper as engineer Howard Stark – yes, Iron Man Tony’s dad.

Hercules is helmed by action expert Renny Harlin, who has hits like Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger in his back catalogue, while the title role is handed to a relative unknown – Kellan Lutz will be known to fans of the Twilight series but this is a step up for him.

He’s obviously spent a fair bit of time in the Ancient Greek gym to buff up for the role, and if you like your myths big and brainless and can follow all the complicated names and shifting loyalties you should go home reasonably happy.

Also out this week, and perhaps screened at a multiplex near you, is Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, about the largely anonymous backing singers who played bit parts in some of the biggest pop hits of all time.