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January 7th, 2011

Movie Review - Season of the Witch

Season of the Witch

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Stephen Campbell Moore, Ulrich Thomsen, Claire Foy, Robert Sheehan, Christopher Lee and more...

Directed by: Dominic Sena Written by: Bragi F Schut

Premise: A veteran crusader and his fellow knight desert their duty after their latest skirmish sanctioned by the Church involves the massacre of women and children. They're found out during their travels and are given a choice: serve the Church one last time or be killed for desertion. Though at first Behmen refuses, despite the fact he will be killed, as he learns more about the mission and those involved, he changes his mind.

Review: I'd been looking forward to this film for a while. It didn't look like your typical fare. But what we ended up with didn't go far enough.

Most of the characters are minimally constructed. No real depth. (Which could have been resolved with a little more movie time - the film is short at only 95 min) Only the good acting skills of the cast actually drive it along despite the lack of character development. Cage and Perlman have a good rapport, even switching buddy roles as true buddies are bound to do. (One acts out while the other is calm, then vice versa.) Claire Foy looked to have fun in her multifaceted role, which came across well most of the time. Did disturb me though that the farther the movie went along the cleaner she got though it should have been the other way around.

Despite the fact we're in 1344 the language was very anachronistic. "Hello. Is anyone home?" just rang of glaring 20th Century. Overall it's not too noticeable, yet for the one scene with the above it glared and glared hard. :P

Beautiful scenery with some CGI enhancements. The sand dunes for the Crusades looked pretty fake though. The far off monastery (I believe it is a real place) was gorgeous! (Filming locations were Hungary and Austria).

The film is creepy in places. The special effects and makeup people did some outstanding work. The plot tries to keep you guessing about the girl, but not too hard. The opening sequence with the women accused of being witches was good. There's even a hint here of what will turn out to be the film's main mystery/shocker bit. That actually worked pretty well, until they had to do the physical flashbacks to show the audience (who'd be too stupid to put it together or remember, right...) the bits the characters are talking about as they reach the important conclusion.

The fight scenes were mediocre. They used a filming style for them which I think is sad, where they shimmy the action so you can't quite see what's going on. I'm sure they feel it ratchets up the tension, but to me it just comes across as lame. If you do a good fight, the action will ratchet its own tension up just fine! Heh.

Overall it was entertaining. The costumes and locations really added to the overall medieval feel.

Rating: 3.75

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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