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Season of the Witch [Blu-ray]

Season of the Witch [Blu-ray]
Studio: 20th Century Fox
List Price: $39.99
Street Price: $22.99
Amazon.com: $16.12
Release Date: Jun 28, 2011
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
Running Time: 95 minutes

4.1 Stars (out of 5)

Synopsis

In 14th-century Europe, a courageous knight (Nicolas Cage) leads a group of weary warriors across impossibly treacherous terrain in order to transport a suspected witch (Claire Foy) believed to be responsible for spreading the devastating Black Plague.

Starring:

Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Claire Foy, Stephen Campbell Moore, Stephen Graham, Ulrich Thomsen, Robert Sheehan, Christopher Lee

Director:

Dominic Sena

Blu-ray Release Date:

June 28, 2011

Subtitles:

English, French, Spanish

Rating

Overall rating weighted as follows:

Audio 40%, Video 40%, Special Features 20%, Movie - its just our opinion so take it with a grain of salt

Audio 4.3 Stars (out of 5)

Dolby and DTS Demo Discs used as basis for comparison

● Subwoofer - 4.0 Stars

● Dialog - 5.0 Stars

● Surround Effects - 4.0 Stars

● Dynamic Range - 4.0 Stars

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1

Season of the Witch features a crisp DTS-HD Master Audio presentation that helps bring the action alive. What stands out the most (of course) are the battle scenes. Swords clang with decent range and punches land with heavy thuds. Rear channels very active until the third act of the film. When they do, the room seams to expand with evil sounds and fearful men. This movie does seam to lack some sounds of ambiance, I don't remember hearing many animal sounds, rustling leaves, or weather when they were outside in the woods, and they were outside a lot. However, this is considered to be a budget movie, so maybe sound design wasn't high of the list of priorities.

Video 4.6 Stars (out of 5)

Spears & Munsil Benchmark Blu-ray Edition used as basis for comparison

● Color Accuracy - 4.5 Stars

● Shadow detail - 4.0 Stars

● Clarity - 5.0 Stars

● Skin tones - 4.5 Stars

● Compression - 5.0 Stars

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC, Resolution: 1080p, Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1, Original Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

The video performance of this film is much better than the movie is. This film has pristine clarity that features burlap sack style stitch work on clothing and grey beard stubble on the aging actors wrinkled faces. The colors and skin tones were accurate and appropriately changed to natural light. Dark colors were sometimes too dark and lost detail, however it did assist in setting the mood for the movie.

Bonus Features 3.0 Stars (out of 5)

● Deleted Scenes (HD; 9:56) Some of them would have actually made the movie better.

● Becoming the Demon (HD; 8:29) A short about creating the special affects in the film's climax.

● On a Crusade (HD; 6:07) Shows how much work the put into make the Crusades come alive.

● Alternate Ending (HD; 9:20) I actually liked this version better.

● Theatrical Trailer (HD; 2:26)

Movie - 2.0 Stars (out of 5)

It's no coincidence that Season of the Witch was a flop at the box office the movie is a mess. It has horrible writing and is directed like it was made for TV SciFi movie. Nicolas Cage has been in financial trouble and seams to be taking any role offered to him. It's been hit or miss on finding a good Cage movie. For instance, I loved Kick Ass, but Drive Angry and Knowing I can live without. This movie can be added to the bad list. I feel like he was in this movie for a payday, and it shows. Every supporting actor gives a better performance than "the star".

The plot of this film is too simple. It basically ends up being a medieval road trip movie. There are so many plot holes in the story, I would myself asking, "Why did that just happen?" several times. It also lacks any exposition, so when weird things start happening there is never any type of explanation. The movie never makes its mind up on what it really wants to say. For instance, it spends lots of time bashing the Crusades and witch trails and almost proves them right in the end. Speaking of which, I find it extremely annoying when a film's setting is 700 years ago, and they throw in modern day sensibilities to prove a point. Did Lord of the Rings need discussions about how women weren't permitted to go to battle? Did the passion of the Christ need to have a scene about how wrong child molestation is? No they didn't, and this movie didn't need it either. But it did have it, and it added to the smell of failure.

Posted by The HT Guys, July 22, 2011 7:26 AM

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About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.