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Hello, everyone, and Happy New Year!

Today is going to be the start of the MovieDruid for 2011.  Now, I know what you’re saying, it’s a day late, MovieDruid is published on Thursday not Friday.

Well, that is changing up a bit this year.

I have decided to change up the format a bit and will be updating the post schedule on the “About” page to reflect the changes.  MovieDruid will be moving to Fridays, obviously.  “Victuals and Hootch” is going to become a bi-weekly feature that will be updated every other Wednesday starting next week.  MovieDruid Reviews are moving to Mondays (again, starting next week), and Mixed Media will continue of Tuesdays on a weekly basis.  If anyone has any comments or complaints about the new format, please, let me know in Comments.

That being said, let’s take a peek at this week’s national releases…

Country Strong


Synopsis: Soon after a rising young singer-songwriter gets involved with a fallen, emotionally unstable country star, the pair embarks on a career resurrection tour helmed by her husband/manager and featuring a beauty-queen-turned-singer. Between concerts, romantic entanglements and old demons threaten to derail them all.

MovieDruid’s Comments: Tales of redemption always make good movie fodder, and country music has seen its share of these tales on the big screen from “Pure Country” to “Crazy Heart.”  Is this one strong enough to stand out from the rest?  Probably not.  That’s not to take anything away from them, but the film doesn’t seem to go very far to break away from the mold.  The director, Shana Feste, only has one other film (“The Greatest”) under her belt so it is hard to get a good read there.  However, Gwyneth Paltrow (“Shakespeare In Love” & “Iron Man”) is a proven quantity and even surprised most when she proved she had the pipes to perform her own single for the film, a song she even performed live at the CMA awards.  And, of course, bringing in Tim McGraw (“Friday Night Lights” & “Flicka”) gives the film a bit more country music cred.  Overall, the film should be entertaining, but don’t expect anything you haven’t seen before.

Season of the Witch (MovieDruid Pick of the Week)


Synopsis: The church elders, convinced that a girl accused of being a witch is responsible for the devastation, command the two to transport the strange girl to a remote monastery where monks will perform an ancient ritual to rid the land of her curse. They embark on a harrowing, action-filled journey that will test their strength and courage as they discover the girl’s dark secret and find themselves battling a terrifyingly powerful force that will determine the fate of the world.

MovieDruid’s Comments: “Season of the Witch” looks to be a stylish and exciting ride.  One would hardly expect less from director Dominic Sena who gave us “Swordfish” and “Whiteout.”  His style is not to everyone’s taste, but, generally speaking, it is all about how you approach his films.  He definitely has a personal style, and that tends to result in very stylized films.  This one looks no different.  I expect that the overall plot in this one will be fairly basic, nothing to complex with a minimal number of surprises.  With Sena it is more about the journey than the destination, and those journeys tend to be wild rides that rarely fail to entertain.  Also, in this one he is working again with Nicolas Cage (“National Treasure” & “Knowing”) whom he worked with on “Gone in 60 Seconds.”  With this one, if you go in expecting a fast-paced, stylized film with enough plot to drive the story then you should get some good bang for your buck.  It should be a fun ride.


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