Season Of The Witch (Full Version)

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Empire Admin -> Season Of The Witch (5/1/2011 6:45:25 PM)

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nhassell -> RE: A lazy review Team Empire (6/1/2011 10:14:30 PM)

Well, this was clearly going to be rubbish when the release date got put back almost a year, 5 weeks before it was scheduled to go on release. 




DanTDavies -> RE: A lazy review Team Empire (8/1/2011 2:53:55 PM)

maybe that's because it was a cut and paste performance by Cage in the first place :D




Dr Lenera -> RE: (10/1/2011 10:16:34 PM)

I hadn't even heard of Season Of The Witch until a couple of weeks ago, but I found the idea of another medieval horror-orientated film pretty exciting, especially after the fine Black Death.  The Middle Ages seems like a perfect setting for horror and it hasn't really been used much.  However, upon reading up on this movie, it turns out it's had a troubled production history.  It was originally conceived of as an 'R' rated movie, really dark and brutal, and was actually made in 2008, but Lionsgate sold the movie to Rogue/Universal.   After many delays it was due to come out in March last year, then was pulled and changed into a softer 'PG 13' rated movie, with lots of footage removed and new scenes shot.  One would expect Season Of The Witch to be a total mess after all this and it is a bit of a mess but is not as bad as all that.  It's a passable action/adventure movie with mild horror elements that does just about entertain if you switch your brain off.

  Matters begin in pretty strong  fashion, with supposed 'witches' confessing and then being tossed over a castle balcony on ropes to their deaths.  There's a strong sense of authenticity to this scene, but then a couple of minutes later one of the dead witches comes back to life as a Deadite kind of creature in a mild jolt, setting off an inconsistent tone which remains throughout the film.  Then we cut to our heroes as Crusaders about to partake in a battle, talking amusing stuff about whoever kills more buys drinks, and the like.  A series of battles are briefly shown, and we are adroitly shown Behmen and Felsen's increasing tiring of all this stuff, in the process.  Then after deserting and much wandering they are arrested and after what has seemed like forever the main plot of the film finally decides to get underway.  The ensuring journey is handled at a rather slow pace, but enough happens to keep the interest, from wolves to a rickety rope bridge which even Indiana Jones might have second thoughts about going on to.  We are kept guessing as to whether 'the Girl' [as she is called] is a witch or not, and several scenes are kept rather ambiguous.  Then we arrive at the monastery and we are treated to a ridiculous but fun action climax with zombie ninja monks [honestly!] and a rather effective looking demon.

  Plenty of elements for a fun fantasy then, but unfortunately Season Of The Witch is handled, for the most part, in a plodding and overly serious manner.  I say for the most part, because there are also some out of place goofy bits such as 80s action movie oneliner quips from Ron Perlman's Felsen, and a demon who sounds like a bizarre cross between Rupert Everett and Jar Jar Binks.  Obviously this inconsistency is partially due to the alterations made, but so much else about this movie is inconsistent too, you have really good scenes alternating with pretty awful ones, and that's frustrating, because there is some good stuff here.  The depiction of the Middle Ages is really convincing, obviously a great deal of work has been done to make it seem really realistic, with more mud and grime than even Terry Gilliam might want to put in.  However, set against this you have some atrocious CGI, including the worst cloud effect I've probably ever seen in a film.  Most of the action is handled in the manner that most action is handled now, with whirling cameras and close ups making proceedings little more than an eye-hurting blur at times, though sometimes, such as during the afore mentioned wolf attack, it was probably done to help hide the crap effects.  However, then you have the absolutely brilliant rope bridge scene, which is extremely suspenseful and really had me on the edge of my seat.  

Bragi Schutt's script seems to have quite a bit to say about religious hypocrisy and intolerance, and suggests the interesting notion that maybe the Crusades were motivated not by Christianity but something darker.  However, all this gets forgotten after a while. The dialogue is wierd, it tries to be an approximation of the way people think that olden say folk talked, but every now and again throws in a modern word or phrase.  Nicolas Cage gives one of his lazier performances but him and Perlman do make a good team and the interplay between the two does bring a little bit of warmth to the film. The standout performance is Claire Foy as 'the Girl', she has an unnerving knack of looking sweet and nasty at exactly the same time, and of course there's a brief appearance by Christopher Lee.  Atli Orvarsson's score serves its purpose but is as generic and unoriginal as you could imagine, sounding like a cross between Hans Zimmer and Harry Gregson-Williams.  Overall I did quite enjoy Season Of The Witch despite its many flaws, and I'm willing to bet money on the original cut being very good indeed.  As it stands, there just seems to be just bits and bobs of that movie scattered throughout this one. 5.5/10




lukejt02 -> (24/3/2011 7:57:08 PM)

Bashed by all the critics and I see why, poor script, terrible acting, bad effects, but somehow strangely watchable.
Nicolas Cage is definitely cashing a pay-check in this one, and the only one that seems to be trying to give a performance is Robert Sheehan.
But in the end it's another movie that despite it's lack of greatness is watchable. 




lewisb548 -> Half decent medieval action type film. (17/12/2011 12:31:14 PM)

I was disappointed. I was really looking forward to this and then after watching this online in bad quality it was not what I expected.
I expected a medieval, buddy road movie/action/ fantasy film with plenty of gore and violence. While Ron Perlman and Cage are a likeable double act their relationship as buds never develops and to top it off theres no gore at all and aside from a few mucusy boils thanks to the black plague very little happens here in terms of character development or action sequences.
The story is pretty awful, two knights desert from their post because they are sick of killing innocent people, the two then meet up with a priest type guy played by Christopher Lee on top form in an understated cameo, but before he dies he entasks them with helping some other guys deliver a supposed witch to a monk monastery/palace place where the audience can find out if she's really evil or not.
Robert Sheehan appears as a young altarboy who dreams of becoming a knight, the writers were obviously un-aware of his comedic past in Misfits so instead of making his character funny and likeable we are treated to a boring dull altar boy who adds little to the film in his miscast role, Stephen Graham appears very briefly with a funny accent before being killed off by a pack of hungry fucking wolfs which is a pain in the ass.
Ulrich Thomson from the thing remake and the international appears but his character is the first to die.
The problem I had with this film is that the special effects are shit as is the acting and theres barely anybody looking after the witch, so we only have about six main cast members who do very little so we dont have the joy of watching extras being brutally killed and thrown off cliffs, instead we have to put up with a bunch of annoying bastards.
Excluding Perlman, Graham and Cage.
And finally Nicholas Cage who was obviously dragged into this film as some sort of favour for an old friend, hes been in a lot of bad films most recently 'Tresspass' with Nicole Kidman but for gods sake Nic, Season of the witch!!!??? The name put me off from the start! You've stooped so low since Kick Ass, Bad Liuetennant and leaving las vegas, what happened to the time when you appeared in good films.
Season of the witch is far from bad and good, it is a barely enjoyable half decent ok-ish medieval action flick which is devoid of gore, action and decent special effects.
Killing off Perlman in the final act is just as bad as doing the same to Nic Cage, and he dies aswell!! Why kill off all the likeable characters and leave Robert Sheehan and some bitch to walk off into the sunset!!
A final twist towards the end involving a demon rather than a witch just wrewned the film for me.
Its ok but I don't recommend it, but its good for killing 90 minutes.
I recommend renting it for fans of Nic Cage and the genre but if you want a brutal medieval action flick check out either the lord of the rings, Black death or Ironclad but if you prefer swords and sandals, Troy and spartacus blood and sand are always an option.
8/10 a crushing disappointment.




the film man -> Season of the Witch Review (14/2/2012 2:08:06 PM)

Slow, cheap-looking, and dull, Season of the Witch fails even as unintentional comedy.




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