Season Of the Witch Dominic Sena

Season Of the Witch Dominic Sena
To what extent is Nicolas Cage putting us on? Does his extremely questionable list of recent film choices suggest he's a lunatic or is he operating on some other level that we mere mortals are not yet able to comprehend? Let's consider the facts of the case. We know that he's eccentric enough to name is son "Kal-El," buy himself a nine-foot Egyptian pyramid tomb to be buried in and be spotted yelling at people in a Romanian nightclub that he "would die in the name of honour!" We also know that he owes millions in back taxes to the IRS and thus is not exactly in a position to turn down roles. However, we know that in a 2010 interview with Ain't It Cool News, he sounded downright reasonable explaining the craft behind his strange performances: "It's much easier to be abstract in a different art form than in film acting, because if you think about going outside the box, which is my term for what people like to call 'over the top,' it's going to be met with incredible confusion and opposition simply by virtue of the fact that it's film acting." And he persuasively argued that he knew exactly what he was doing with his notorious performance in The Wicker Man ("You don't karate chop Leelee Sobieski in the throat and not know how absurd that is"). Sure, that makes him seem self-aware, but then look at what he had to say in an interview on Collider.com about Season of the Witch, the type of formulaic garbage any reasonable person would have steered clear of: "I wanted to go back into the supernatural… I find that these invisible forces are really fascinating and interesting for me to work with, in terms of the characters I play. It gives me a little bit more range to get abstract." Is there anything "abstract" to Cage's stilted, zombified performance as a battle-scarred knight from the Crusades? Did he really find anything very deep about the spiritual elements of the story (a quest to find a book of witches' curses, the retrieval of which can bring an end to the plague)? Surely Cage, who once played Charlie Kaufman in a film about how most Hollywood movies are formulaic, has been around long enough to know that this plot is extremely familiar, with the well-known characters (the young aspiring warrior, the weary best friend, et al.) and set pieces (including our old friend, the rickety rope-bridge) firmly in place. And surely Cage, a veteran of Jerry Bruckheimer super-productions, must have known what a chintzy film this is — note how the cheesy blue and gold cameras filters are used so copiously, perhaps to hide the Uwe Boll-level sets and effects. He's frustratingly absent from Season of the Witch's perfunctory DVD extras, so let's construct an explanation. Maybe this is all an elaborate ruse and Cage, the Oscar-winning thespian, is deliberately self-destructing before our eyes in a decades-long piece of performance art that would put Joaquin Phoenix to shame. Even though Season of the Witch is terrible even by late period Cage standards, and even though he seems well on his way to direct-to-video purgatory, you have to admit that Cage is unpredictable. You just never know what that man is going to do next. (Alliance)