The doldrums of January can often be tricky to handle. So what better way to pass the time than running down to your local theater and watching the latest inadvertently goofy action pic to star Nicolas Cage wearing a floppy wig - a.k.a., Season of the Witch?
Relativity Media has released several clips from the supernatural thriller/14th century swords & shields adventure pic, which marks the (ahem) long-anticipated reunion between Cage and his Gone in Sixty Seconds director, Dominic Sena.
Season of the Witch stars Cage as Behmen, a Crusader who has grown weary of bloodshed and is no longer a loyal servant of the Church. Unlike Max von Sydow's Antonius Block in The Seventh Seal, Behmen has little opportunity to reflect on his broken faith as he and his pal Felson (Ron Pearlman) are recruited by Church elders to transport an accused witch (Claire Foy) to a remote monastery where she will have her dangerous powers forcibly removed.
Just because the Crusaders have tired of the mindless violence doesn't mean they aren't able to crack one-liners and engage in occasional slow-motion combat with their desert-dwelling enemies, as they do in this clip from one of the Season of the Witch's battle sequences:
Once the battle is over, Behman and Felson want nothing more than to enjoy a quiet retirement, but are forced against their will to undertake the previously-mentioned mission by a Plague-stricken Cardinal D'Ambroise (Christopher Lee), who blames the supposed witch (burn her!) for the spread of the disease.
Watch the meeting between these three gentlemen in the clip below (warning - depending on your position, you will find Lee's makeup to look either gruesomely realistic or unintentionally silly)
While Behman strongly doubts that the young woman in question is actually a sorceress, it soon becomes clear that there is more to her than meets the eye - or, at least, that she doesn't appreciate being chained up and drugged by unbathed men, as demonstrated in the scene below:
The world-weary knights are accompanied on their mission by the likes of Hagamar (Stephen Graham), a local who knows the territory; Kay (Robert Sheehan), a wannabe knight; Eckhart (Ulrich Thomsen), a knight whose family died of the Plague; and Debelzaq (Stephen Campbell Moore), a priest inexperienced in real-world matters.
But the journey is far from an easy one as Behman and his men must overcome many a dangerous obstacle, including that of sheer-walled gorges, rickety bridges, and dangerously fake-looking CGI wolves that haunt dimly-lit forests in which pounding rock music can be heard.
See what we mean by watching the Season of the Witch clips below:
Snide comments aside, if we were to judge Season of the Witch from this footage and the recent trailer alone, it mostly looks like an unmemorable but overall so-so period action flick with some cheesy F/X and a standard plot, to boot. The film was shot on location in Austria and the wild landscape looks unique in its own right, so maybe that'll help convince moviegoers on the fence about whether or not they actually want to pay money to see this flick.
Season of the Witch will hit U.S. theaters on January 7th, 2011. Those who can never have enough Nicolas Cage in their lives will be able to see him on the big screen again less than two months later in Drive Angry 3D, which arrives on February 25th.