Top positive review
SEASON OF THE WITCH [2010 / 2011] [Blu-ray]
16 January 2018
SEASON OF THE WITCH [2010 / 2011] [Blu-ray] All Hell Will Break Loose! Not All Souls Can Be Saved!
A heroic crusader Behmen [Nicolas Cage] and his close ally Felson [Ron Perlman] return home after decades of fierce fighting to find their world destroyed by the Plague. Believing a witch to be responsible for the devastation, they are commanded by the church Cardinal D'Ambroise [Christopher Lee] to transport the girl to a remote monastery where monks will perform an ancient ritual to rid the land of her curse. But they soon discover the girl’s dark secret and find themselves battling a powerful and destructive force that will determine the fate of the world forever.
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Stephen Campbell Moore, Stephen Graham, Ulrich Thomsen, Claire Foy, Robert Sheehan, Christopher Lee, Kevin Rees, Andrew Hefler, Fernanda Dorogi, Rebekah Kennedy, Matt Devere, Róbert Bánlaki, Barna Illyés, Kevin Killebrew, Simone Kirby, Elen Rhys, Nicholas Sidi, Rory McCann, Nicola Sloane, Ada Michelle Loridans, Lisa Marie Dupree, Gergö Horpácsi, László Imre, Norbert Kovács, Zsolt Viktor Magyari, Kirk Jordan (uncredited) and Brían F. O'Byrne (uncredited)
Director: Dominic Sena
Producers: Alex Gartner, Alan Glazer, Charles Roven, Gloria Fan, Ryan Kavanaugh, Steve Alexander, Tom Karnowski and Tucker Tooley
Screenplay: Bragi F. Schut
Composer: Atli Örvarsson
Cinematography: Amir Mokri (Director of Photography)
Image Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and English: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH
Region: Region B/2
Running Time: 90 minutes
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Momentum Pictures / Relativity Media
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: ‘SEASON OF THE WITCH’  stars Nicolas Cage as the worn out and disillusioned crusader Behmen, who is a Knight of the Realm who fights in the Crusades in the so called name of God and the Church, who eventually quits the Christian Crusade wars, but after a dozen battles Behman realises he has been murdering innocent people all along, and figures that it is probably not God's way and goes on the run with his buddy Felson [Ron Perlman], only to end up in a land ravaged by the Black Death. Behmen and Felson are soon cajoled into a job that offers them a chance of salvation; by transporting the “witch” accused of starting the sickness that is killing hundreds and thousands of the population.
The pair stumbles across a small village, where the Black Death has descended upon the residents. Spotted by the local men are escorted to the dying Cardinal D'Ambroise [Christopher Lee], Behman and Felson are given a choice; face desertion charges, or help the local priest's efforts to take a girl deemed to be a witch [Claire Foy] to a remote monastery, where she can be dealt with, and they hope, the plague will be ended.
Eventually agreeing to the task, Behman and Felson leads a rag-tag group across dodgy bridges, through foggy forests and toward the monastery that holds a biblical book which contains the incantations required to deal with the plague-spreading witch. But with Felson you get to hear delivered such wonderful gems as "did you see that priest's face, it's like someone pi**ed in his holy water!" and "I saved your behind a hundred times," you know you're not watching a film inspired by ‘The Witchfinder General.’
The largely American cast make no efforts to hide their accents despite dialogue written in Ye Olde English, albeit from the pen of a scriptwriter who most probably didn't bother researching a word, which leads to exchanges such as: "Who controls your insolent tongue?" asks a posh priest of Behman and Felson. "Let's get the hell outta here," replies Nicholas Cage in a thick American accent.
There seems to be a strong moral message trying to reveal itself in ‘SEASON OF THE WITCH.’ Time and again, the morality of the Crusades, and of witch-burning, comes into very serious question. One gets the sense that the screenwriter’s primary influences are scary video games and a vague resentment of being raised in the Catholic Church. This fantasy CGI filled-horror-adventure helps to make the film a good old jolly rollercoaster romp. Most of film ‘SEASON OF THE WITCH’ best moments take place while the group is in the midst of their journey. The series of obstacles that Nicholas Cage and company encounter are relatively creative, even somewhat suspenseful and some really scary parts in the film, especially in the forest and especially when attacked by the wolves, thus keeping the audience engaged right to the very end of the film and again the film is nowhere as bad as the negative critics have commented about the film.
Blu-ray Image Quality – Momentum Pictures brings us this Blu-ray release in a stunning 1080p image presentation, and what is very noticeable about this transfer is its sharpness and is helped along the way with the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The film looks quite spectacular, especially when it comes to its darker and moody visuals that hold up very nicely, with some fine grain and amazing detail, and please check out the pores on Nicholas Cage’s face. The contrast is really excellent and the black levels are suitably inky in the frequent dark scenes and make the film look extremely very stylized look to it and the colours are not sacrificed and there is a great deal of detail present despite the dreary surroundings. Both the Director of Photography Amir Mokri and Production Designer Uli Hanisch should be applauded for adding to the film’s impressive visual style. Please Note: Playback Region B/2: This will not play on most Blu-ray players sold in North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Learn more about Blu-ray region specifications.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – Momentum Pictures presents us with a very good and excellent 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio experience, with robust and aggressive surround soundscapes, especially with the very good bass and especially with the lively action scenes. Dialogue is never drowned out; especially with no distortions I can report. Surround sounds are organically mixed with plenty of atmospherics to go around all the speakers. Overall, this is a very impressive sound mix and will not disappoint you, and there are many good uses of atmospheric ambient sounds used throughout the film. Whether it is battle sequences, or a trek through the wolf-infested woods, the surround sound was excellent. Dialogue is front and centre but very clear and intelligible throughout. There’s a lot of good effects work in this mix that is well utilized across all of the channels along with some nice cross-panning for certain scenes. The various battle sequences sounded great, especially the final one with the demon and I was very happy with this mix.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Special Feature: The Making of ‘SEASON OF THE WITCH’  [1080p] [1.78:11] [9:32] Here have a sort in-depth look at the scenario of the premise of the film ‘SEASON OF THE WITCH’ and what they wanted achieve with the storyline. Also some of the cast talk about their characters and what they wanted to project their goal in the film, as well as some of the crew voice their opinions on what they wanted to achieve with the film. We also get some brilliant rare behind-the-scene filming and how they achieved some of the dramatic specially effects. Despite being a very short special feature, they certainly pack in a lot of interesting information and well worth a look. Contributors include: Nicholas Cage [Behman], Alex Gartner [Producer], Charles Roven [Producer], Dominic Sena [Director], Clair Foy [The Girl/Witch] and Ron Perlman [Felson].
Theatrical Trailer  [1080p] [1.78:1] [2:19] This is the original and very dramatic Original Theatrical trailer for the film ‘SEASON OF THE WITCH.’
Sneak Previews: ‘THE FIGHTER’  [1080p] [2.35:1] [2:28]; ‘THE MECHANIC’  [1080P] [2.35:1] and ‘MONSTERS’  [1080p] [2.35:1] [00:22].
Finally, ‘SEASON OF THE WITCH’  has had some very severe negative reviews and I feel that is totally unfair and this film does not come anyway near as bad as it has been reviewed, those critics must have had experienced a very bad day or got out of the bed the wrong side. The scenery is breath-taking. The special effects, which kick in the film around the second half, are totally brilliant. With the short cameo appearance by Christopher Lee, who has some really brilliant awesome grotesque make-up, as well as the monks you see near the end of the film. ‘SEASON OF THE WITCH’ is a decent gothic horror film thrown in for good measure. The film is nowhere near as bad as everyone makes it out to be and people should get a life and I say if you can do any better, then you direct a film. If you have low expectations like I did, you will probably get a lot more enjoyment out of it. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Aficionado
Le Cinema Paradiso