Season Of The Witch (BLU-RAY)

Season of the Witch

On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Running Time: 
95 minutes

Though Claire Foy's character is revealed to be named Anna at the end of the film. She is listed simply as "The Girl" in the credits. ~ IMDB

Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman play deserter knights in the Bragi F. Schut (Threshold) penned Season of the Witch. After having deserted their positions as knights for the church the two men return to a plague diseased world and must transport a woman accused of being a witch to a distant monastery to be cleansed so that the plague will relinquish its hold on the world. The journey is long and dangerous and their cargo may be more then it appears. Directed by Dominic Sena.

Season of the Witch is one of two films I happened to catch that both deal with the same subject matter. Black Death starring Sean Bean (Game of Thrones) as a knight crusader who must find a witch to help lift the plague that is ravishing his world was the more serious of the two. Season of the Witch for all its worth is simply the more Hollywood version of the same story. Dominic Sena (Gone In Sixty Seconds), another music video director turned movie director,  simply seems to kick back in his directors chair and watch as the film goes to pot. Nicholas Cage, who has been building a reputation as one of the world’s most head scratching casting choices, drops in and out of an old world English accent, Perlman as well. It’s hard to take a film seriously when none of the actors are taking themselves seriously in their roles. I think Perlman, at one point during a massive battle, refers to Cage as Babe. The CGI was also another aspect of this film that made me appreciate Black Death more, even though it was so slow and boring. So in short if you want mindless Hollywood entertainment you may enjoy Season of the Witch, but be prepared to toss disbelief to the wind.

Season of the Witch, despite being a mostly horrible film has going for it its beautiful, almost perfect, Blu-Ray transfer. Opening scenes for the film will put almost any argument to bed as three women are convicted of being witches and hung from a bridge. The clarity of this scene is immaculately beautiful, the definition is razor sharp.  The only thing stopping this film from being a grand slam is Sena’s pallid use of color. For example this wonderfully impressive opening scene is dawn red throwing off the color of the entire picture. Later down the line everything from forest backdrops to impressive looking town and castle sets are mostly gray and sickly looking. I understand these are supposed to be dark times but maybe Sena goes to far zapping color from almost every aspect of the film. Some very low lit scenes also have trouble with black levels being unable to sustain a solid look and offering up a white hue of grain. Grain is also present in some wide out forest shots. Still, the majority of the film keeps that really defined, really clear look about it which is some small saving grace. Audio, a 5.1 DTS-HD MA is a bit lacking. Normal perfect audio for films on my surround sound system is between 20-25 tics but Season of the Witch required a much higher volume but failed to deliver a truly cinematic immersion making the film pretty much forgettable once its run its course.

~Deleted Scenes (HD): You get 7 deleted scenes, some of which are good and help expand what story there is to be had in the film itself, and some seemed like scenes cut form the film with no change in them at all.
~Alternate Ending (HD): This is what the movie finale would have looked like had Sena not gone crazy with CGI. I personally liked this version better then the other which I’m sure was slotted into the film by the studio’s to give it more of an action edge.
~Becoming The Demon (HD): A behind the scenes look at the transformation in the film. Its hard to watch something you had no real investment in and thought was kind of lame and hear someone say it was really difficult but well executed.
~On A Crusade (HD): This bonus feature talks about how the massive battles at the front end of the film were choreographed and filmed.
~Theatrical Trailer (HD)
~Digital Copy

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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