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Season of the Witch [2011] [Blu-ray] [US Import]

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Studio: Twentieth Century-Fox
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004XFZ41S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 204,236 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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By Albatross TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 30 Aug. 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
‘Season of the Witch’ – put simply – Lord of the Rings, it is not. It is a (modern) Nicholas Cage film. And, as any die-hard fan (and I’m including myself in that bracket) will know, his modern films don’t really rate as highly as those he made in his heyday.

Nicholas Cage plays... well, Nicholas Cage in a suit of armour. His natural charm and screen presence do their best to shine through as this time out he and Ron Perlman are knights returning from hacking a few dozen hordes of computer-generated barbarians to death in the Crusades. However, life in yesteryear was never destined to run smoothly and the Black Death only goes and kicks off, leaving thousands dead in whichever ‘England-like’ land this film is supposed to be set in.

Now, you may be forgiven for thinking that a plague of epic proportions has nothing to do with a couple of battle-hardened knights. That’s until the king tells them that they’re charged with the task of escorting a witch across the land to be burned. Apparently, it’s all her fault or something and she totally needs to be roasted in order to save the universe. Or something.

Anyway, so begins the quest – the not-at-all-like-Lord-of-the-Rings quest. Nic, Ron and a few meaningless codpiece-wearing extras all trudge wearily across one grassy hill after the next, all the while defending against one computer-generated threat after the next. Um, and that’s about it. It’s hardly ‘epic’ – it’s pretty much by the numbers. In the scale of things it’s not that bad, but then it’s not that good either. You can dip in and out of this film at your leisure and you won’t really miss a thing.

‘Season of the Witch’ is one of those films which has only one fault: its total and utter ‘averageness.
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By Mr Baz #1 REVIEWER#1 HALL OF FAME on 11 April 2016
Format: DVD
I gave this a viewing on Netflix recently, the film has had fairly dire reviews from the press, but isn't nearly as bad as I feared though it doesn't break any new ground either; managing to come out of it as a respectable way to kill 95 minutes of time in the evening, but no more than that.

Cage stars as Behmen von Bleibruck a knight on the crusades joined by his sidekick knight friend Felson (Ron Perlman). Disillusioned by some of the barbaric acts during the battles (where civilians are killed), the men desert and decide to go it alone. The Black Death has struck causing panic and many questioning the church, the two men are captured and given the chance to "redeem themselves" by the Cardinal, but only if they bring a "Witch" (Claire Foy) to a monastery in a remote region, the witch is suspected of causing the plague.

Not the most original story ever but sets the pace for the journey and adventure along the way. Some critics have remarked the film is "unintentionally funny" and in a few places despite a serious looking Cage, it does almost slip into a "National Treasure" spoof...in just a few places that is. Cage and Perlman work quite well in the roles this is the sort of film that suits Cage, Ron provides the gritty look that fits in with the era. A few problems for me, whilst the directing is quite competent and the backdrops/scenes looked quite good to me there were a couple of "rather obvious" moments that most directors would cringe at including.
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By bernie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 July 2011
Format: Blu-ray
that old black magic that you weave so well.

The film starts out with an encounter with a real witch just to let us know that it's not pussyfooting around. Now we flash forward to the 14th century. Brave crusader knights Behmen (Nicolas Cage) and Felson (Ron Perlman) get fed up with their slaughtering ways and desert.

Soon they are pressed into a new mission. With a motley rabble they must deliver a supposed witch (Claire Foy) to a monastery to break the back of the plague that could take over the world.

We spend most of our time in this film wondering if she or isn't she. We may find that this mission is a part of something much greater than a simple fricassee of witch. As we watch Behmen and Felson's struggling with their own differences between God and the church we to have some food for thought.

Keep in mind this film is really a simple who is the bad guy and will they get their film. There actually isn't any excess gore but a few spooky scenes with fiery eyes.

Yes some things could have been done better and yes there are loose ends but this is way too much fun to worry about that at this point.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Great service and good quality
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8f264cfc) out of 5 stars 416 reviews
90 of 100 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f26f9cc) out of 5 stars An Excellent B Movie 16 May 2011
By David A. Wend - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The best reason for seeing Season of the Witch is partnership between Behmen (Nicholas Cage) and Felson (Ron Perlman). Spoilers follow. Both are crusaders and the film opens with a snapshot of their various battles with a running bet they have that the one who kills the least of the ungodly enemy will buy drinks. This good humored slaughter goes on until one day while laying siege to a town Behmen kills a woman and wants nothing further to do with fighting. Behmen and Felson are outcasts because they have broken their vows to server the church. As they journey home they find that a plague has decimated the country and at the first city they come to the reason for the plague is a girl (Claire Foy) who is said to be a witch. Behmen and Felson are recognized and asked to accompany the witch to a distant monastery for trail, which they do after spending a night in a dungeon. Christopher Lee has a small part as Cardinal D'Ambroise although he is unrecognizable (being a victim of the plague) except for his voice. The journey to see justice occupies the rest of the film as the travelers, led by a merchant who traffics in fake relics (Stephen Graham).

The production is very good with the filth and squalor of the 14th century well represented. The costumes were thoughtfully designed and the special effects are very effective and the makeup used for plague victims was very effective. Nicolas Cage turns in a good but not overly convincing performance; Ron Perlman is easier to see in the role of a crusader. Stephen Campbell Moore (from the Bank Job) does a convincing job playing the priest Debelzag who is determined to see the witch gets her trial. The film has some suspenseful movements, such as when the witch calls up wolves to attack her escort. However, much of the film, such as when the wagon with the imprisoned witch has to cross a crumbling wooden bridge, is predictable. The film is worth seeing if you like B movies and are in the mood.
83 of 99 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f26fa20) out of 5 stars WE'RE GOING TO NEED MORE HOLY WATER 21 May 2011
By The Movie Guy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The movie starts out in 1235 AD as 3 women accused of witchcraft are hung and drowned. The priest wants the bodies pulled up from the water so he can perform a ritual on them so they can't return from the dead. As always, resurrected witches have more power than when they were alive. This was all done to show you the ritual book. We jump ahead to 1332 AD with the savoy Nickolas Cage and Ron Perlman fighting in the crusades. After 7 years of rape, killing, pillage and plunder in the name of God's only son, Cage decides this is wrong and calls it quits. Cage and Perlman leave the crusades. Through a series of events, they agree to escort a girl accused of witchcraft, to a group of monks 6 days travel away, so they can judge her. They believe she caused the plague. They get as a guide a man who sold fake church artifacts.

Weird things happen along the way as we suspect the girl really is a witch. The Cardinal had a very distinguished voice, which can be no one other than Christopher Lee, whose career has gone down hill since he was locked away in a Tower. The special effects were good, but the plot lacked. The ending of the story was all wrong and should have related more to the initial 1235 A.D. scene. The guide, who was a colorful character was severely under utilized. They could of had a few stories about how he forged artifacts, or how many of the same church relic he sold. They did not. Kid friendly film in that there is no nudity, sex, or f-bombs.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f26fe58) out of 5 stars Overall a fun movie 16 Jan. 2011
By DEL - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Just got back from seeing this movie in the movie theater. The critical reviews for the movie were bad, however I like true `B' movies, so I went in with an open mind.

The Story

I felt the story was very good, and it had a few twists and turns, nothing huge but if you allowed yourself to buy in to the world of the movie, they present some good ethical dilemmas that the characters have to deal with. Unlike many sword and sandal movies here you are never completely comfortable with who you are supposed to root for or what the correct moral viewpoint is. In the end, they explain things with a nice little twist that sets you up for a second viewing of the film.

Production Values

Honestly, the look of the film and the locations are top shelf. The much maligned CGI works serviceably throughout the film until the end, where it does fall short in presenting the malice and impact of the final villain. I enjoyed the look of the beginning of the film and the crusades, and the dark muddy look of Europe upon the characters return. The locations in the middle of the movie are magnificent and epic, sweepingly filmed with very good cinematography.

Music

The music it terrific and raises the entire level of the production. The music is epic, exciting, and some of the better I have heard.

Acting

The acting is good, there are a few awkward exchanged here and there but overall everyone does a fine job. The standout performance is that of the actress playing the imprisoned witch, her performance is layered, complex, malevolent, innocent, evil, honest, creepy, blameless, and any other acronym you want.

The Good

The opening is serviceable but I especially liked the battle montage that introduces the main characters. The movie moves along at a good pace. The bridge scene is as good as anything you will see in any adventure movie, it is the highlight action set piece in my opinion, and the setup before it and chase after it are great. This is the highlight of the film.

The Bad

As I mentioned there are a few awkward acting moments, and even though the end of the movie really goes for it, the CGI and voice acting for the final Villain show-down don't deliver as well as a $40M production should.
160 of 199 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f26ffb4) out of 5 stars It's Witch Season! 30 April 2011
By Russ Nickel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray
As anyone who knows me is well aware, I'm a self-professed masochist; if there's an opportunity for me to experience something excruciating, I jump at it (keep that in mind, ladies). Obviously, when I saw that Season of the Witch had an abysmal 4% on Rotten Tomatoes, I simply couldn't resist. I quickly found out, however, that I was sort of in the minority on this one (who knew?!)--after petitioning all of my friends, only one was intrepid enough to brave the theaters with me. We planned the trip for early Friday morning, our mounting excitement making Thursday's sleep an ephemeral affair. I awoke that day to an act of God. In his infinite wisdom, he had bestowed upon me a migraine most malicious in an effort to prevent one of his flock from the even greater pain of watching Nicolas Cage play a disillusioned Knight in a fantasy movie.

But I am not a God-fearing man, and so, despite the advice of my friends, despite the admonitions of the critics, despite the wind and the cold and the rain, despite even the divine hand of God himself, I rose from the beanbag chair that was my bed and journeyed forth toward almost certain disappointment. After all, if The Last Airbender, a memory better left forgotten, had received a 7%, what hope did Season of the Witch have? I met Dphil, the intrepid friend, at the gates and handed my ticket to the clerk, who, with his snarling remarks, unkempt hair, and bared teeth, could have (save for the two missing heads) passed for the guardian Cerberus. My companion and I took our seats and surveyed the scene. I have to be honest with you here. It's a little disconcerting when the only other people in the theater are an old man by himself, a huge lady in a squeaky wheelchair being led by a group of friends, and someone who probably rides the short bus and kept babbling and mumbling incoherently. I mean no offense. It was simply an odd crowd.

Season of the Witch is set in England during the Crusadin' times. After a quick intro that proves witches to be all too real, we get a montage of battles in which the knights Behmen (Nicolas Cage) and Felson (Ron Perlman) kill many non-innocents, then finally, after ten years, kill some innocents. Ten years before the first undeserved death? Very impressive. Disillusioned, Behmen and Felson desert the army only to end up in a town ravaged by the plague, which is apparently caused by a hot young vixen who's got this sexy witch vibe goin' on. Setup complete, our two warrior heroes join forces with an elderly knight and the priest Debelzaq (Stephen Campbell Moore), ready to transport the sorceress. At this point, my buddy turns to me and says, "I can't believe they don't have a rogue in their party!" Seconds later, Nicolas Cage goes, "We need a guide!" and of course the only person who can guide them is the lock-picking ne'er-do-well swindler, Hagamar (Stephen Graham). Dungeons and Dragons team assembled, they set out for an ancient monastery, for only there can the monks cast out the witch and end the plague.

One of the better aspects of Season of the Witch is the way it keeps you guessing. It utilizes the tried-and-true "Is she a witch or isn't she" method to keep the audience interested, though I don't understand why the characters never thought to simply compare the girl's weight to that of a duck. Anyway, partway through, it simply tells you the answer. I've tried to craft this review in a similar style. Is Season of the Witch good, or is it not? I guess I've probably been leaning a little too obviously toward the "not" side, but the movie has a surprisingly good twist, and so do I. Season of the Witch was actually good! Maybe it was just because anything was better than the pain of a migraine, maybe it was because I was delirious from lack of sleep, or maybe it's because I just can't resist Nicolas Cage's entertainingly unemotional acting, but I enjoyed the hell out of this movie (like how those monks exorcised the hell out of that girl! Get it?).

Sure, it was a little bit predictable in parts, but that just made it more surprising when it caught me off guard. Yes, there was the obligatory bridge-crossing scene, with boards cracking and plummeting below the characters' feet as ropes twisted and frayed, but it was reasonably well done, and, more importantly, it wasn't there just for the sake of unnecessary suspense--the girl saves one of the characters from falling to his death, casting further doubt on her motivations. Yes, witch girl ostensibly summons a bunch of wolves to kill our heroes, but you find out later that there was more at play than you'd ever imagined. The fight scenes were pretty entertaining, I was constantly creeped out by how I was both creeped out by and attracted to the main girl, and unlike stupid The Last Airbender, the movie was surprisingly well paced. Plus, the final battle was pretty awesome. I mean seriously, what's cooler than fighting a horde of cloaked, plague-ridden, undead monks who have boils all over their faces and battle with fearsome hooks in a room that's on fire and filled with shelves of scrolls that go flying whenever someone's thrown into them? All this while a priest epically incants an unnerving Latin ritual in the background, hoping to slay the giant winged demon that seeks to end all human life.

I honestly don't see how this movie got so many negative reviews. The dialogue was a little campy, especially the lines delivered by Hagamar, like "This damn fog is like a veil before my eyes," or directly after, "I can't see my hand in front of my face." As cliché as some of it might have been, Season of the Witch had enough new ideas that, when coupled with a hot girl, some twists and scares, and a general sense of fun, it ended up being well worth the price of a matinee ticket.

Don't just take my word for it, though. I have proof that this was a "great" film. You see, I was so totally engaged that I didn't even notice that, by the end of the film, everyone else had walked out! If that's not hard evidence, I don't know what is. The credits rolled and I looked around, extremely pleased that I'd decided to see such a fine film, only to find that there was literally no one in the theater. Had they ever even been there? How could I not hear someone get creakily wheeled out of the room? How could I not notice the babbling babbler leave the theater? Where did the old man go?! I was sure a witch had cursed me. Like I said, it must have been a damn good movie! I'd been looking forward to being able to tear this film apart, but I walked out of the theater perplexed: How was I supposed to write an entertaining review now? Just then, Dphil turned to me, and, as if he could see into my soul, said, "Russ, you're just going to have to use nuance." And, as you, the reader, are my witness, this is a review so nuanced that it knows no equal. I braved the wrath of God and more to bring it to you and returned from my quest unharmed (which, for a masochist, is rather disappointing). Someday, I hope to craft a movie of my own with as much nuance and subtlety as Season of the Witch, but until then, I must simply award it:

3.5/5 Stars

Honestly, the worst thing about this movie was the way the sound kept cutting in and out. Perhaps it was another attempt by God to intervene, but I brazenly ignored him, sitting through what seemed like the worst dubbing ever because, darn it, I paid good money for this!

Check out more reviews at thenickelscreen on wordpress!
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f4e1324) out of 5 stars An Epic Supernatural Adventure 2 Dec. 2010
By G. Max Gooding - Published on Amazon.com
Rating: PG

Overview:

This is a movie of epic proportions, think - Lord of Rings, and you will begin to grasp the magnitude of this film in terms of its wide panoramic shots with rugged snow covered mountains with sheer cliffs. The music score is exceptional as well and there are a lot of tense moments as two heroic crusaders take a witch to a distant destination to have her demons expelled.

Background:

The story is derived from the the period of the dark ages, with particular focus on the Black Plague. This would set the film to be in the 1300s. A prelude is given in the year 1235 AD at the City of Villach, here three women convicted of witchcraft are put to death.

Story:

It starts off where 2 crusaders (Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman) return to their home in Europe after long years of religious wars. These wars started at the Gulf of Edremit 1332, different scenes of battle are shown in 1334, 1337, 1339, and ending in 1344 at Smyrna. Knight Behmen (Cage) is now battle weary and questions his faith because of the harsh battles that he had to endure, as well as the fact that he is now reduced to slaughtering women and children.

However, upon their return, their country is reeling under the hands of another enemy, a deadly plague. Fingers are pointed to a young woman that is believed to be the black witch. However, instead of immediately burning her at the stake, as was common in medieval times, she must be taken to a distant monastery on the edge of nowhere. Knight Beham is now commanded by the moribund Cardinal to deliver a suspected witch to the abbey at this distant location. Here it is believed that monks will have the capability of delivering the young woman of her demons and then in effect releasing the land from the curse of the plague that has gripped it.

This is a suspenceful movie that has a lot of action and tension. Throughout the film you will find yourself wondering if this girl is truly a witch or just a scapegoat to blame. In the end the knights will have to face an evil beyond human comprehension. The final action sequences are quite intense, and reminded me of the old computer game called Heretic.
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