Legendary Themes and Classic Tales Brought to Screen!

January 8, 2011 at 3:08 AM (Uncategorized)


We are getting back into the swing of things, with our regular weekend movie two-fer special.  This evening, two films were viewed which did provide for pleasing cinema time.  We got to watch a tale regarding the Middle Ages setting of witchcraft, demonic possession, and religious crusaders.  As well, we followed it with an actually humorous film that followed a character whom found himself in a bigger life setting than he expected, and how he adapted to it!

Season of the Witch was the first film!  It starts in the year 1235, with women being executed after being accused and convicted of witchcraft.  They were drowned, but a priest removed their bodies from the water.  He read an incantation, reviving the women.  A moment later, one cast a spell, and she killed the priest!

The tale progresses into the year 1332, during The Crusades, with holy warriors preparing for battle.  Two knights named Behmen (Nicholas Cage) and Felson (Ron Perlman) fought in battles that took them to places that included Tripoli, Imbres, Artah, and Smyrna.  It is Behman who begins to realize the despair in all that is occurring, as men, women, and children were being slaughtered in the alleged name of God.  He and Felson return to England, not having the will to endure more of the torment.

Upon reaching their homeland, the find that many of the people are suffering and dying from The Black Death.  When they get to their home village, both of them are called out as deserters.  Behman and Felson are lead to Cardinal D’Ambroise (Christopher Lee), who also is infected with the plague.  This cardinal charges them to take a woman accused of witchcraft to a set of monks who will decide her fate.  A young and eager fighter named Kay (Robert Sheehan), a knight named Eckhardt (Ulrich Thomsen), a priest named Debelzaq (Stephen Campbell Moore), and a thief named Hagamar (Stephen Graham) accompany them on this journey.

As they travel toward a monastery, the woman is revealed to be a girl named Anna (Claire Foy).  She grows close to Behman, and she shows increasing ire toward Debelzaq.  It is when they stop at night to rest that Anna attacks Debelzaq, and she escapes.  The travelers search after Anna, and Eckhardt begins to have visions of his dead daughter.  An accident occurs, where Kay kills Eckhardt, leading the others to believe that Anna was the cause of it. 

They travel further, reaching a ragged-rope bridge.  The group attempts to cross it, and Kay nearly falls off.  Anna saves him, and some of the others begin to trust her.  Yet, they travel further, into a thick forest, and Hagamar tries to kill Anna.  Yet, she calls upon wolves, which chase Hagamar, biting, then killing him!

The group travels on, with Anna in a cage, reaching the monestary.  The monks there all were dead from The Black Death, so they seek a book called The Key of Solomon.  It is supposed to contain incantations to destroy witches, and they planned to read from the book to defeat Anna.  Yet, as Debelzaq reads the book, Anna escapes from the cage, and she transforms into a demon! 

The demon tries to destroy The Key of Solomon.  The travelling fighters proceed into the monestary, getting to a room filled with dead, yet animated, monks!  These monks are writing copies of The Key of Solomon, which is filled with incantations and rituals to destroy demons.  The demon Anna destroys the copies, and it possesses the monks.  A battle begins, as Anna kills Debelzaq, then sets Felson on fire!

The others continue to battle Anna.  It is Felson that finally reads the incantation which destroys her, yet he is burned alive.  The battle continues, and Kay finishes reading the rites to destroy the demon.  His reading does release her from the demon’s control, yet he is gravely wounded in the process.  Kay dies, but he asks Felson to guard the freed Anna beforehand.  Afterward, Felson and Kay make graves for the fallen warriors, and they proceed into a new crusade!

Poster for Season of the Witch

http://www.empireonline.com/empireblogs/empire-states/post/p981

The silly, yet amusing Gulliver’s Travels was the second film!  Loosely-based on the classic tale, it starts in an office-job setting, where Lemuel Gulliver (Jack Black) works as an office aide.  He gets a promotion, and a new employee named Dan (T.J. Miller) starts in Gulliver’s old position.  As time passes, Dan gets promoted, and he becomes Gulliver’s boss!

Upset by this, Gulliver has a talk with Darcy Silverman (Amanda Peet), whom he convinces that he can write a fantastic story based on his travels around the world.  This is all a lie, yet Darcy does not know this.  So, she takes Gulliver up on his offer to write the fantastic story. 

Gulliver goes home, not knowing how he will get any kind of story together to present to Darcy.  He explores the web, eventually compiling clips from several online stories.  Gulliver returns to work, and Anna is impressed by what she believes is fantastic work that Gulliver wrote.  She presents him with a new assignment:  travel to The Bermuda Triangle, and write a story to confirm that the tales of ships being taken away by extraterrestrials is all a fantasy!

Gulliver plans to travel to Bermuda, where he gets a boat to sail into The Bermuda Triangle.  While sailing in The Atlantic Ocean, a storm appears.  A waterspout is created, which sucks Gulliver’s boat into it.  He is tossed about in the storm, and e finds himself washed onto the shore of a strange island.  There, miniature people appear, and they label Gulliver as a beast.  The tiny people tie up and trap Gulliver!

Now imprisoned, Gulliver learns that he is on Lilliput.  He meets several of the tiny people, including Horatio (Jason Segel).  Horatio was imprisoned by General Edward (Chris O’Dowd), who wants to have the Princess Mary (Emily Blunt).  Horatio likes Mary, and Edward knows this.  So, he had Horatio jailed in order to eliminate any competition!

Lilliput finds itself under attack by the tiny enemies of a nearby island called Mofucia.  Gulliver, “The Beast”, is called upon to protect the Lilliputians.  As the attackers bomb the isand, Edward turns against his people, siding with the Mofucians.  Then, a fire breaks out in the castle.  Gulliver puts out the fire by pissing on it, and he drives away the invaders.  He is declared to be the savior of Lilliput, and he proceeds to lie to the tiny people about the truth of his origins.

Meanwhile, Darcy gets hold of Gulliver’s writings in the real world, finding that they all were plagerized.  As she now is mad with Gulliver, he finds himself called upon by The Lilliputians to protect them from invaders of a nearby island.  Edward became a traitor, siding with the invaders as an act of revenge because Mary does not  want to mary him.

Darcy has gone to search for Gulliver, and she too gets lost in The Bermumda Triangle.  She is standed on Lilliputia, trapped by the tiny people, also.  Horatio learns that Darcy has been captured, so he and Gulliver proceed to battle the enemies. Gulliver also is challenged to sword fight against Edward.  He defeats Edward, with Horatio’s help, yet Horatio proceeds to court the Lilliputian princess.  He tries to take hold of her, threatening to kill her.  Yet, the princess punches Edward, slapping him, and releasing herself from his grasp!

Peace is declared between the warring mini-kingdoms.  Gulliver returns to New York City with Darcy.  They eventually bond, becoming a romantic couple.  They find success together, having written a joint story about their “fantasy” trip to an imaginary island of miniature people!

Poster for Gulliver's Travels (2010)

Stay tuned, as more movies are on the way!  The comedic superhero story The Green Hornet starts January 14.  That same day brings other films that include The Dilemma and Burning PalmsThe Company Men and No Strings Attached start the following week.  January rounds out with The Company Men, From Prada to Nada, The Mechanic, and The Rite!             

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