Friday, July 8, 2011
Review: Season of the Witch [Blu-Ray]
(Image taken from cinemablend.com)
Oh, Nic Cage, Nic Cage, Nic Cage. I don’t even know where to begin with you. As a fan of you and not your general body of work, what can I say to a movie like Season of the Witch, where I barely even remember that you’re even in it, even though you’re the star of the film? I don’t know, man, I don’t know. But if you make another clunker like this and don’t totally wig out in it, I may have to take you off the “I’ll see him in anything,” list. Season of the Witch is seriously THAT bad.
The Movie: One star out of five
Not too long ago, I reviewed another ridiculous Nic Cage movie called Drive Angry. And while that was a piece of shit, at least Nic Cage pulled off one of his classic, bizarre (though not bizarre enough for my tastes) performances in it, so it made up for the movie’s overall awfulness. But in Season of the Witch -- and I’m not even sure what genre to categorize this movie in...thriller? Actioner? Period piece? Garbage? -- I barely even remember that Cage was in it. And that’s bad, because without the manic Nic Cage that his fans have come to expect when he does these money-grabbing trash flicks, what else is he good for? Not much, apparently, as Season of the Witch is beyond forgettable. I mean, for God’s sake, Hellboy (Ron Perlman) can’t even save it! And when you have both Ghost Rider AND Hellboy in a film together, and neither of them makes it worth watching, then you have a problem on your hands. And yes, Season of the Witch IS that problem. It’s a mess of a movie that’s offensive in how boring it is. In fact, I fell asleep while watching it three times. Three! I even had to drink coffee to finish the whole thing. For a Nic Cage picture, that’s inexcusable.
The main problem with Season of the Witch is that it crawls at an 800 lb. man’s pace. The story is about two Crusaders (Cage and Perlman) who have deserted their troop for moral reasons and go home to their motherland, only to discover it’s been affected by a plague. The reason for the plague? Well, a moribund Cardinal suspects that the Black Death has been the work of a witch. And…that’s the first time that I fell asleep. When I woke up, I rewound and found Cage and Perlman going on a quest to take this supposed witch (Claire Foy) to a monastery to prove her innocence or something of that nature, and then…I dozed off again. This is beside the fact that there was some action in between that was supposed to be exciting, but instead, wound up being lackluster and slow. When I woke up again, the movie was over. So I rewound again, and watched some more until I got to the end, where it REALLY got ridiculous with some clunky CGI fight. And guess what? Even while watching this final confrontation, I fell asleep. As I’ve said before, and I’ll say many times over again, action scenes are boring if you have no connection with the characters. And with Season of the Witch, I couldn’t care less about any of them. I couldn’t even stay awake for them for God’s sake, let alone feel worried about any of them dying. And that’s just sad. That’s some Michael Bay type filming there.
Again, though, if there’s any real disappointment with this film, it’s in Nic Cage, who doesn’t even put on any bee helmets or eat cockroaches. Instead, he dons some knight armor and doesn’t even try to fake some weird accent or ad lib any nonsense like he might have done in the past. Really, it might be sad to say, but maybe, that Nic Cage doesn’t even exist anymore. Maybe, he’s playing nice with all of his directors now just to make sure that he can keep landing roles and amassing enough money to pay off his bills. What I’m trying to say is this: I think he’s afraid to take as many risks now and let his freak flag fly. At least for clunkers like Season of the Witch, and that’s a shame, as this would be one of the best places for him to do something like that. It would have made this totally awful movie at the very least subpar. In fact, Season of the Witch could have actually been kind of fun if it wasn’t so damn serious, and Nic Cage was just the guy to take the edge off of it. But he didn’t, and that’s why it sucks. I’ll give him one more crappy movie, and then I’m done with his cash-grab flicks. A critic can only take so much.
The Disc: One star out of five
Thank God there’s no commentary on here, because I don’t think I could sit through this stinker more than once. Instead, on this Blu-ray disc, you get pointless “deleted scenes” that all deserved to get cut from the film (even though, LOTS of scenes that DID make the movie should have been cut as well). You also get a “Becoming the Demon,” featurette, which talks about that horrendous CGI at the end of the movie that I was talking about before. In the “On a Crusade” feature, it talks about all the yawn-inducing battle sequences at the beginning of the movie. And the “Alternate Ending” is just that, an alternate ending. Is it a better ending? No, no it is not. In fact, it’s equivalent to if The Sixth Sense had an alternate ending where Haley Joel Osment’s mother was also a ghost. So yeah, it sucks like that. There’s also a digital copy in the box so that you can watch it on the go, but mercy, why would you ever want to do that? It’s a bad movie with equally bad special features. Pass this one up like the plague.
Season of the Witch [Blu-Ray] Details
Length: 95 min
Distributor: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: 2011-06-28
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Stephen Campbell Moore, Ron Perlman, Claire Foy
Directed by: Dominic Sena
Produced by: Alex Gartner, Charles Roven
Written by: Bragi Schut