Watch: Season of the Witch 2011 123movies, Full Movie Online – A 14th-century Crusader returns to a homeland devastated by the Black Plague. A beleaguered church, deeming sorcery the culprit of the plague, commands the two knights to transport an accused witch to a remote abbey, where monks will perform a ritual in hopes of ending the pestilence. A priest, a grieving knight, a disgraced itinerant and a headstrong youth who can only dream of becoming a knight join a mission troubled by mythically hostile wilderness and fierce contention over the fate of the girl. When the embattled party arrives at the abbey, a horrific discovery jeopardises the knight’s pledge to ensure the girl fair treatment, and pits them against an inexplicably powerful and destructive force..
Plot: A 14th century Crusader returns with his comrade to a homeland devastated by the Black Plague. The Church commands the two knights to transport a witch to a remote abbey, where monks will perform a ritual in hopes of ending the pestilence.
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|5.4/10 Votes: 94,902
|11% | RottenTomatoes
|28/100 | MetaCritic
|N/A Votes: 2116 Popularity: 33.675 | TMDB
***Knights, crusades, black plague, witches, castles, foreboding forests and demons***
RELEASED IN EARLY 2011 and directed by Dominic Sena, “Season of the Witch” chronicles events when two ex-Teutonic Knight crusaders (Nicolas Cage & Ron Pearlman) traveling through Styria in modern-day Austria are enlisted to escort an alleged witch suspected of causing the black death (Claire Foy) to a remote monastery in the mountains for trial and to hopefully stop the devastating plague. Stephen Campbell Moore (Debelzaq), Stephen Graham (Hagamar) and Robert Sheehan (Kay) accompany the Knights.
This is basically the American version of “Black Death,” a European film released around the same time. Both movies are dark, gritty and brutal in their depictions of Medieval Europe, but “Season of the Witch” is more of a stereotypical blockbuster with modish protagonists, amusing one-liners and CGI-laden climax. “Black Death” is deeper, more thought-provoking and realistic, which is why I give it the edge in overall value (see my review).
“Season” is the more conventionally entertaining movie and anyone who appreciates Dark Ages-based flicks are highly encouraged to check it out. Films which come to mind include “In the Name of the Rose” (1986), “Kingdom of Heaven” (2005), “Robin Hood” (2010), “Ironclad” (2011), “King Arthur” (2004), “Dragonslayer” (1981), “Red Riding Hood” (2011), “Tristan + Isolde” (2006) and “Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves” (1991). It’s as good, or better, than any of these.
The colorful Medieval cinematography (castles, dungeons, villages, dark forests and breathtaking mountains) is mind-blowing and the two protagonists are great with their amusing rapport. Furthermore, Foy is easy-on-the-eyes. Look out for a thrilling rope-bridge crossing à la “Sorcerer” (1977). Although the climax is over-the-top cartoony, the tone up to that point is quasi-realistic, similar to “Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves.”
THE MOVIE RUNS 1 hour 35 minutes and was shot in Austria, Hungary and Croatia with reshoots done in Louisiana. WRITERS: Bragi F. Schut. ADDITIONAL CAST: Christopher Lee is almost unrecognizable as the plague-ridden Cardinal D’Ambroise.
**A perfect example of how disrespect for the past and history can totally annihilate a film, even if it is fiction.**
I really enjoy watching period films. However, my work as a historian gives me some antibodies to these films, for reasons linked to the lack of ability to harmonize creative freedom and strict respect for the historical facts and period customs. So, it was with some curiosity that I decided to see this film. After seeing it, I just wanted to slap director Dominic Sena and screenwriter Bragi Schut. None deserve any respect for what has been done here. The film is an insult to historians… even if it is not deliberate!
The script is the film’s biggest problem, with a writing that seems to glue together fragments of several different stories: we start with the Crusades, we follow two knights in several military episodes and then, somewhat brusquely, they turn their backs on the Church (supposedly) and leave, probably for their homeland. It turns out that, on the way, they come across the Plague, and there is a woman, supposedly a witch, who was arrested, accused of causing the disease. Now, it’s up to them the task of escorting the so-called witch to a monastery where some friars will judge her, in the light of a book that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.
When you make a film with a historical background, at the very least, you should ask for the support of a consultant, someone who really knows History. No one should have the presumptuous arrogance to think they know everything, much less to take the public for an idiot, thinking that they will swallow everything that is shown to them! This film is an authentic case study in cinematic anachronism! How can the production admit the placement of clearly baroque decorative pieces in the midst of a medieval setting? How the hell can characters to disinfect their hands with alcohol if that was something totally unknown to medieval man? Since when is there a sea in Styria, if that ancient region is an inland part of present-day Austria and Slovenia? How can characters defect if this military concept simply didn’t exist at the time?
And if these small questions seem serious, there is something much worse: the Crusades were an entire religious, political and military effort that involved Christianity for about 300 years, but that effort had practically ended decades before the Black Death, and much before the dates that the film uses for the fights where the characters take part. There were, in fact, no serious crusades in the 14th century. The Battle of Artah, which is shown in the film, took place two hundred years earlier, in 1105. Therefore, the film deliberately delayed the Crusades two hundred years, in order to almost coincide with the Black Death, and the characters could participate in both situations! It’s absurd! Another thing that simply didn’t exist in the Middle Ages was the notion of a witch hunt! Of course, for medieval man, the Devil was a threat, and of course there was a relationship between diabolical art and the works and studies of many scholars, alchemists or sages who contradicted the religious knowledge. But the so-called witch persecutions only began to be more notable in the 16th century, framed in a clerical response to the Reformation and to ideas (all of them) that endangered the dominion that the Church had over knowledge!
I pity Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman. They are actors I respect, and seeing them participate in such a poorly made film is quite unfortunate, given that they have talent and are, as far as I’ve seen, almost the only positive things to highlight. Even if everything had been done in a way that respects history, the end of the film is so unbelievably stupid that it would spoil any previous effort. The rest of the cast, except for the two names mentioned, do not stand out in any way.
Cage, Perlman and Foy work their magic.
“Season of the Witch” was a hotly anticipated release for me, even though the mid-January release date and the heap of poor reviews were suggesting I should give it a miss. I’m very aware that some Hollywood attempts at historical movies can be appalling, but there is always hope that you will witness something rather special.
So I stuck to my guns and went to see it at the cinema in all its big screen glory. I’m glad to say that I was not disappointed and would have happily sat through an extra half an hour (the film only runs for 95 minutes).
Although it is far from being a classic, “Season of the Witch” fares better than most with good performances from three of the lead actors, Nic Cage, Ron Perlman and Claire Foy. Furthermore, the action is paced nicely throughout the story, keeping the tension levels and the viewer’s interest high from start to finish.
The scenery is also used to excellent effect, helping to evoke the danger and despair of the period. The scenes set amongst the squalor of the villages helps to convey the desperate conditions that many people were living in. This helps give “Season of the Witch” a sense of realism that it occasionally lacks elsewhere.
The film makes a small attempt at ridiculing the religious ideals of the time but it’s neither here nor there. It’s simply an excuse to take the viewer to the dark depths that pervaded 14th century Europe.
On the downside, the special effects aren’t very special, if you’ll excuse the pun, and the dialogue occasionally borders on the cheesy but all in all, the film manages to succeed at delivering what the viewer wants – the fantasy of swords and sorcery, and ultimately the battle between good and evil.
For fans of the genre, this is a must see. For others, “Season of the Witch” won’t give you a breathtaking viewing experience but it won’t hurt either. I’d recommend that it is certainly worth a rental.
Daft but bearable action fantasy nonsense
Plopping out in early January, time honoured dumping ground of inferior product and draped in mediocre to poor reviews, Season of the Witch had quite a lot stacked against it. But for all this it ended up being one of the better films I’ve taken in on a whim, albeit far from any kind of classic or even especially good. Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman play disillusioned crusaders against witchcraft who get caught trying to escape their service and are recruited for a particularly tricky witch escorting mission. So we get an arduous mission through harsh medieval lands, trekking interspersed with action and capped with a nice blazing finale, and it should be a blast, should be a lot more entertaining than it is, but owing to lack of budget or balls (or some combination of both), it ends up being rather forgettable. The first noticeable problem is studied downplaying from Cage and Perlman, they have some measure of chemistry and a small smattering of good lines, but there’s no fire. Both have potential for greatness, and both have a facility for the fantastical but for some reason neither of them chew too much scenery or puff with much in the way of rage so the film constantly feels like its missing its opportunities as well. The ethereal Claire Foy suffers similarly as the witch, she has a sweetly otherworldly way to her and lights up the screen, so its a shame she doesn’t have more to do. As for Christopher Lee, well he’s barely in it and just about anybody else would have been a worthy substitute. These problems aside Season of the Witch manages to be quite good fun for enough of the time that I overall enjoyed the experience. Its well enough shot to conjure an effectively macabre and misty mood at times, while Dominic Sena handles his directing duties with fair adeptitude, making for some exciting and sporadically stylish action. The pacing is a bit off but never truly dull and one or two low key spooks (the highlight being a rather neat opening) keep things interesting in between the few action set pieces, while the ending is very daft and rather good fun. If only it gelled together better, if only it realised whether it wanted to be a rousing medieval fantasy or a creepy horror and got a better handle on its tone, heck if only it wasn’t aimed at a younger audience with its PG13 certificate so it could get away with a few actual shocks. Bah, it could have been a lot worse, 5/10 from me.
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 35 min (95 min)
Genre Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Director Dominic Sena
Writer Bragi F. Schut
Actors Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Claire Foy
Country United States
Awards 2 nominations
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Dolby Digital, DTS, SDDS
Aspect Ratio 1.85 : 1
Camera Arricam LT, Arricam ST, Arriflex 235, Arriflex 435 Advanced
Laboratory Cineworks, New Orleans (LA), USA (dailies telecine transfer), Company 3, Los Angeles (CA), USA (digital intermediate), Kodak Cinelabs, Budapest, Hungary (dailies), Technicolor, Hollywood (CA), USA (prints)
Film Length 2.6 m (Portugal)
Negative Format 35 mm (Fuji Eterna 500T 8573)
Cinematographic Process Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format), Super 35 (source format)
Printed Film Format 35 mm (spherical) (Fuji Eterna-CP 3514DI), D-Cinema