Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Four Season

(Most of this was my impression as I walked through the exhibit-- forgive any confusing construction. Also, be warned, spoilers ahead.)

I saw this really interesting bit of art in Lincoln. It was two pieces of a four piece story called Autumn and Winter, part of Four Seasons by several local artists. Apparently Spring and Summer are the story of a girl as she is born, grows up, and gets married. Then Autumn comes. Her husband has left and the oak tree which symbolizes their relationship is dead. There is a scene set out and you look at it while radios around set turn on and tell the story. Each corner represents a room in state of disarray with trees growing through them. Leaves are scattered over the ground and cardboard trees grow up through the furniture. A large old car is the center piece. The story told is one of an estranged man and wife and how they have fallen apart. Mr. Penn is a world renown pianist and she is the wife he leaves at home. The card board trees were covered in sheet music.It was the sort of thing to see with someone. I wished you were here.

Winter is next-- a walk trough display with headphones triggered by the first doorway. The first room is a hospital room with eye test charts that tells of an old woman found all at frozen in a park. Fake snow is scattered through the room. Through the doorway, I see a Christmas room, a tree and a table set for two. Also, the instruction say wait but now I'm bored. The head phones just have breathing and winter wind noises.

Next room-- decorated for Christmas with snow everywhere. Fabric chains match that of curtains from the hospital room. Music everywhere. Sheets, fabrics, piano, baby piano. A record player and White Christmas record. A tree decorated with tin foil balls, blue lights, santas, jingle bells, a homemade angel. On the headphones, we here the woman, driven to distraction by a tv news piece about her ex husband. A barometer on the wall is broken. She remembers a Christmas with him, where the day began so perfect and happy but then he abandoned her to write a song. Piano music plays you to the next room as she talks.

The next room represents a park. Benches, astro turf, lightposts. There is picnic on the snowbank and a news stand: man on southbank still playing piano.

The next room is dim, white tulle every where. Four snowshoes with paper cities sit on glowing pedestals.
In each city, a paper penguin plays a piano. Paris. New York. London. Rome. Paper Angels also stand by a christmas tree-- sadly. They are also in the Christmas room. A paper penguin with a paper piano is also on each city-- just like a little penguin decoration from the Christmas room. She tells of finding solace in making and selling snow globes.

Next is a music room. Stands with coffee-stained, marked up music, on pedestals. And in the middle is a small scene-- a piano in a snow bank, broken and filled with snow. Broken instruments litter the ground around. We hear her story, how why she went into the snow in her night gown.

Now a forest made from blue plastic on the walls. Four pedestals hold crafty bits frozen in plastic. Buttons, tape measurers, stamps, and bits. Further in the room is a hospital bed in a stand of pines sparkling with fairy lights. White lilies are on her hospital table and a small radio. A card-- it's the song he began on the Christmas he left. "Finally finished" reads the handwriting. There is a red ball on the bed. And the radio forecasts an early spring.

Spring and summer were good but not at poignant as Autumn and Winter. Sprig is a young girl's garden, embellished with childish fantasies. The bees get together and sing while the mushy peas swap endearments and the stone gnomes argue matrimonially. A pet cemetery is cheerfully dour. Polly's play house has dolls' furniture set up exactly like Autumn and the shed leading to the garden has a tiny version of the hospital room from Winter. Phones and headphones narrate as Polly, the owner, calls radio stations and her neighbors to chat about gardening. One old man, Mr. Penn, apparently plays a sad song in the winter to "remind someone special that she isn't forgotten." it's the song from Winter.

Summer is the most abstract. An iron bedstead is in one corner (like the one from autumn) with a tree of red balls on it. We hear a dream-story: a woman woke up in her iron bed and reached for the little baby at the foot of the bed. She took the baby and began to walk through the woods and before long, the little girl was walking, then running along side her mother. She spotted a red ball and raced after it; as the mother lost site of the little girl, she panicked. She came out of the woods and saw a beach-- a young couple strode along hand and hand in the waves. The lady walks to the edge of the sea and weeps for her lost little girl. Before long, the sun is setting and years have past. The daughter walks to her mother, a vibrant young woman, and the mother realizes she has gray in her own hair. Hand in hand, they walk back through the forest and the daughter helps her mother into the bed and the old woman falls asleep. We heard this same story on the radio in Autumn and Polly chased a red ball through her garden and found a hiding place in her hedges, which is the passage to Summer. The Summer room next has you talk to a fortune teller (via headphones) and hear Pollu (now a young woman) talk about a trip to the beach with her beau where she saw a precious little girl running around an a sad sad old lady on the beach. All he saw were the waves and he heard their song. The next corner is the Christmas scene from Winter-- tree with tinfoil decorations and a large old radio that plays Polly's narration of the Christmas he forgot her for the piano. The piano is in the next corner, surrounded by music stands and scores flying away into the ocean. The last stop of summer is back to the fortune teller, then on to trail lined by tree stumps and littered with leaves...

I wouldn't go into so much detail but this isn't something you can pop down to see in the Dallas Museum of Art. It was crafted for and in Lincoln and already left the Drill Hall. The story is sweet, poignant, and sad. It's all a cycle though and element like the red ball and the Christmas son weave in and out of the separate rooms. It's a bit of a dream, a hint of fairy tale, and wholly mesmerizing.

Friday, October 7, 2011


A waking dream. She is standing in a white room with gold accents. Very pretty, rather French in her home-grown opinion. The mirror in front of her is edged in gold and reflects the white dress back into the white room. Smooth satin white satin encases her-- simply designed and classically cut, the dress is beyond expensive while remaining demure. Pearl buttons run down her back and cap sleeves keep her arms from bare. The shoes are too big, plain white pumps that someone lent her. 

She descends the staircase with difficulty, only just keeping the shoes on. Pause for breath at the door and...enter. The room is small, again in the pretty, delicate, gold-laced style of the dressing room. A back room, more used to meetings than tiny weddings. Four steps take her down the aisle and then she is by him. She doesn't really know why-- she scarcely knows him. But he asked. And she said yes. 

Suddenly the dreamy feeling is gone and she looks around this small room with the plush chairs and sprays of flowers carefully squeezed into the corners. She looks at his two sisters at the front in pink satin tea-dresses and the sober face of the pastor, words droning into the half-awake crowd. Then she runs. 

There is a small white scooter outside-- the getaway car-- and she shakes off the silly shoes while hiking up the simple gown before racing away into the daylight. The scooter takes her away from the posh hotel, straight through the diners on the lawn, and into the streets of the city. Dodging in and out of traffic, riding alongside vendors, then the river, she shakes her hair lose as she goes. No one is coming after her; she races in freedom.

She ponders the day as she goes-- why is she here, marrying this man she barely knows, just because she wants to be married. How ludicrous! How stupid... Colors fly by and people shout but she ignores them all.

Eventually she is stopped by a flight of steps, back at the venue. Tempted to take the bike down the steps and into the perfectly manicured garden, she pauses. She should go in, tell them it's over. He didn't even come after her! for pete's sake... Or she could just go! And be gone. That's what they all think happened anyways. Just go.

The groomsmen are there suddenly, one gripping the bike handles, the other two helping her off. One gives her a bashful grin but there is censure in his face too. 
"He really loves  you, you know. I've never seen him so happy, but now..." She nods, feelings like a dream is overtaking her again. The dress is mussed, she thinks, and my hair is a mess. With the dirty-edged gown trailing on the ground, she descends another staircase, this time the stone cold on her bare feet. He waits there, watching. No smiles-- he isn't really the spontaneous smiler-- but all kinds of angst wait for her in that garden. But he holds out his hand and it's warm and familiar and just right somehow. Neither of them speak but the walk into the garden, hand in hand, as a light breeze pulls away the last of her pin-perfect curls and his shoulders are sloped forward, not a happy man. She leans in, he pulls away and laughs before pulling her close and leading her into a dance in time with the breeze. 

The groomsmen go inside and tell everyone to wait a bit. She is back.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Tip-toeing across this perilous precipice,
Dancing in the farmer's meadow at midnight.
Quick step across the moor and hit every rock right,
Step on the stone just so,
Or sink.
Get caught.
Fall down down down.

Each step one second closer
To the wild wild wind
Whirling and whipping and drawing me in
Each shift a step closer to the dangerous waves that call...

The color of your eyes, those waves;
The dangerous pull you wield, the wind;
The fire that dances and entrances and bites--
Mine own heart,
Bitter betrayer it is.

We two are too too alike--
Longing for the quiet-- and the stars!-- of the deep Texas prairie.
Hopelessly romantic and hopelessly devoted to that one who ne'er turns 'round.
Please turn around.

Temper pulsing, a swift blaze, you flare for the slightest breeze
My father's daughter, I can stand your singe.
Though I may perhaps burn myself.

But your world spins for you,
Only.  King of your universe--
arrogant and proud,
Exclusive and cocky,
Lost and lonely,
Don't really know at all.

But let me dance and draw you out of your world!
Come see the enchantment of this very land.
Rest with me here--
forget those cares that belong to God anyways.
I can remind you of why you matter,
Why you are perfect just as you are
I think so.

Even without those eyes.
Those bright blue eyes,
Mine own tricks turned against me.
Mine own heart turned traitor from sense.
Just because it beats in time with you. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Non-Fiction, First place!

Of Camelot
Caitlin Smith
I fell in love when I was twelve. Not yet sporting the braces and spectacles that mark adolescence, I had every hope in the world of attracting this young Arthur, this boy who seemed the very epitome of Camelot. Growing up, I read fairy tales, watched Disney movies, and convinced myself that life has a happily ever after; my career aspirations moved from being a princess through mere-dreams still softly bubbling and landed in the range of dolphin trainer/glamourous actress/small business owner. And then my prince walked into the classroom. My heart stopped, my eyes fixed on his perfect sixth-grade self, and I felt the universe shift. This was love.
Being the new girl in a school with less than sixty people in the grade means everyone knows your name first. And who you like second. I tried to ask his name discreetly, I tried not to memorize his birthday on the birthday chart, and I tried to not instantly find him in whatever room we both were in. I failed miserably. Still, he was the very essence of a school-girl-worthy crush. Tall and handsome, he towered over the other boys (he even shaved! In sixth grade! He shaved…) He had laughing blue eyes, Matthew-Mcconaughey-curly blonde hair, and an infectious grin. Good at school and better at sports, he was a prince among peers. Alas, Arthur does not love Nimue. Instead he found a Guinevere—willowy, blue-eyed, blonde, and beautiful, as talented an athlete as he and sweet on the side. After three years of sighing, giggling, spying, and convincing my friends to ask him to ask me to dance (ah, the bliss of junior high dances), I picked my weary heart off the ground and turned to other interests.
A squire and a page courted me later, and I learned to ignore the prince and became my own vibrant lady. But one can hardly be distracted by squires and pages when one has loved a prince! And so I set out for college, leaving junior high dreams and high school distractions behind, embarking on a journey to become mistress of my future! To learn, to grow, to forget about boys until I fully reached my potential! (Or if God brought the right one along, of course.) Until I met him.
Merlinus Ambrosius, a towering paragon of perfection in my mental Logres. A scholar and an actor, devoted to the good of mankind with all the wit and cleverness I could ask. Tall, dashing, and brilliant, he began simply as a friend and comrade. Before long, though, I found myself drawn to him—his complete adoration of God, his wisdom, his cleverness, his open laugh, and his dapper air. I languished, living for one more chance to make him laugh, one more day to see the bright green eyes. I was certain this was the epic romance I longed for. No boy-king could add up to the tall, proud figure of my Merlin and what kind of Merlin would he be to not be enamored by his faithful Nimue?
I straightened my hair for him, found cute outfits, and made sure to always bring witty repartee along when I knew he would be about. Dedicated to God, he was the only one to remove his mortar-board hat for the prayer at graduation and my heart completely abondened my chest. He once wore green—just the color of his eyes—specifically because I asked why green was his chosen color. I knew he was the perfect man. And I just knew that deep down he liked me too…
Alas, Merlin learned the last time around. Nimue was not, apparently, the ultimate good for him. Or maybe I am not Nimue. As I reflect upon my two great loves, those that wrenched my heart from me with a mere glance, those whom I dreamt about, languished for, giggled in front of, and generally fell to pieces over when they did not return my passions, I wonder if I was wrong from the beginning. In this grand tale, another woman strides forward, one who is alone and watching, always watching. I think I know how she felt, though perhaps I can find her redemption. What if Morgan were remembered not for her rage and jealousy, not for her utter lonliness, but for another great love? A greater love? Perhaps I can supersede my celestial dreams with a heavenly reality. Then mayhap I can embrace the name I knew to be mine even in the days when I dreamed of being a princess, of wearing floaty dresses and high heels—though I spent more time arranging things behind the scenes.  Can I embrace a destiny entirely of my own? Not tied up to any love other than that Supernatural Force, the Supreme King of the Universe, the most Holy Heavenly being, but submitted to the one highest power? For I am more of Morgan le Fay. Fata Morgana. Morgan, the Fate. And the future awaits.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

First Two Poems...

I am entering this contest... it involves my poetry. But I have to pick and chose from all my wonderful streams of concious... so help me pick please? (More coming, just rate these three-- first, second, third!) Some of these are old, some new, some shared, some making their debut. If you want to know the story behind, ask and I might tell you.


A smooth pond
Fed by quiet fount.
Pretty lilies stand by just so,
As a light breeze sends
Daisy-clouds skittering across
The pale blue sky which
Turns slowly dark as
Swifter swirls of cumulonimbus gather
And urge on the whipping wind which
Pulls and yanks the frail flowers
Standing by the roiling waves of the fount
The pond swift becoming a cauldron of

How to…

Wait ‘till the day is mysty magical
And stars glint in the solstice light
Walk alone in the dark dancing woods
Amble through the open prairie
When you see the ring
Time moves strangely here.

Take a step
Toe carefully into the ring
Take care not to muss the grass
Trip a stone or crush a
They did dance here
Some seconds ago
Turn slowly—windershins of course
Seconds stop and hours race along.

Some one—thing—will take your hand
Step with it, into Their land.

The wind will catch in your hair
And the stars shine brighter here—
This underground world.
A hall will dazzle your senses.
Look—and see all your eyes can taste
Hear the music that haunts and frenzies
Lilting waterfalls, pipes, drums, storms, and spring
Don’t Dance!
Time twists strangely here.

They will dazzle you with
Their brilliant smiles and
The way They move through air,
The beat pulling Them along.
See those like me and like you
Who caught the rhythm, to never be free
Time stops for no mouse.

Do not touch the drink
Sparkling ambrosia that Midas could not scorn.
Do not! taste the fare
Sweet tarts and dainty bits will hold you
Stronger than iron.

But what wonders that hold underground
Shubert and Mozart collaborate in a corner while
Buddy Holly strums with Elvis.
Selena sings the east while
Behind poets declaim and
Star-bound Van Gogh paints
Those take by the Muse.
Remember the world from whence you come
Of love and warmth, war and fire,
Remind yourself of trees and streams and home
Of a mother’s lullaby, sweet and tame
Recall what Time is…
Close your eyes again.
Turn against the windershins.

And step.

When you return to the world, they will have been looking
A day
A month
A year

They thought you lost.
Not gone of your own accord.
You will not correct them
Nor remember all your self.
Time moves differently here.
It will be forgotten
In a year
A month
A day.

No one will understand.
But you.
And me.
And those other in between.
That there is a gleam in the velvet night
And a sparkling darkness within the dew
That there is a place where Time bends to
Another force—a wilder dance.

You know
And I know
And others in between
Of a place of danger, peril, and desire
And a time that moves strangely here.

Poems Set Two

Ratings and how these compare to the poems above please?

Happiness from Monday
The sun pulls warm fingers through my hair and my smile comes quick as the light
You're here too, tangled in my thoughts.


Pulling and spinning and dragging me down
--The Sirens’ call at my back—
Dunking, grasping, hoping to drown;
Only ice will survive.

Every spark extinquished
Every flame spent
The white hot rage smothered
By cold salt water
Leaving only Ice.

A twisting vortex of emotion
Anger, betrayal, rage, infatuation, and pain beyond your kin.
No smile remains tucked in that corner
Not even for you

Pick her.
I can freeze.
Or drown trying.


Tip-toeing across this perilous precipice,

Dancing in the farmer's meadow at midnight.
Quick step across the moor and hit every rock right,
Step on the stone just so,
Or sink.
Get caught.
Fall down down down.

Each step one second closer
To the wild wild wind
Whirling and whipping and drawing me in
Each shift a step closer to the dangerous waves that call...

The color of your eyes, those waves;
The dangerous pull you wield, the wind;
The fire that dances and entrances and bites--
Mine own heart,
Bitter betrayer it is.
We two are too too alike--
Longing for the quiet-- and the stars!-- of the deep Texas prairie.
Hopelessly romantic and hopelessly devoted to that one who ne'er turns 'round.
Please turn around.

Temper pulsing, a swift blaze, you flare for the slightest breeze
My father's daughter, I can stand your singe.
Though I may perhaps burn myself.

But your world spins for you,
Only. King of your universe--
Arrogant and proud,
Exclusive and cocky,
Lost and lonely,
Don't really know at all.

But let me dance and draw you out of your world!
Come see the enchantment of this very land.
Rest with me here--
forget those cares that belong to God anyways.
I can remind you of why you matter,
Why you are perfect just as you are
I think so.

Even without those eyes.
Those bright blue eyes,
Mine own tricks turned against me.
Mine own heart turned traitor from sense.
Just because it beats in time with you. .

Poems Set Three

Thoughts on this last set would be much appreciated and rewarded with actual, amazing cookies.... for real!

I offered you:

The moon and stars
The wide prairie and dancing with the dawn

She held out:
Bright city lights
Dancing and going always on the move
The world through an amber glass

But who can see the moon and stars for the city lights?
I tried to stay visible
To be there where you would want me
I agonized and poetized
And sung outside your window
Certain you were the hero of my fairy story,
Convinced we sing the same song.

We still might.
In different tunes.
But you aren't worth tuning for.

An Ode Upon Imagination
(this one is a link to the poem, previously posted)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Space Trilogy

These books completely changed how I think. Lewis took phenomenal concepts about the Fall of man, redemption, and even higher powers (we call them angels and demons, they are here known as eldila) and wove them in to a fantastic science fiction. 

The writing is a bit hard to stick with, the style found in Narnia a little more grown-up and long explanations. But the story is fantastic. Traveling from Earth (Thulcandra), a linguistic's professor, Ransom, is thrust into the world of Mars (Malacandra) where frightening giant otter-beaver-creatures roam as do classic, skinny and scary aliens. He learns much about their world, civilization, and our world there. 

In the second book, Ransom again finds himself in space, traveling to Perelandra (Venus), a planet new born facing sin for the first time. In the final book, Ransom bands together with other believers to attempt to save our own Earth from an institutionalized threat. 

Lewis deftly weaves together Christianity, Greek mythology, and Logres (Camelot) in this series. Elements of Narnia show up and Lewis' famously well-thought out doctrine colors the tale while his vivid imagination takes it beyond anything in this world.

Life on Thulcandra will never be the same.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Only the Beginning of an Adventure

After reading these and these and watching this, I needed to return home to Narnia. 

Reading the Narnia books again is like coming home. I was overjoyed to again meet Tumnus and Lucy, the Beavers and Centaurs and most of all: Aslan. 

These books are a beautiful addition to the world of Faerie, to that classic Fairy Tale cannon that Lewis so admired. The stories flow along as easy as water and each new character is a delight or nightmare. Or simply silly, but they are necessary too. In Narnia, the world is not always beautiful and the people are never perfect but Aslan redeems all that is allowed.

Narnia is still a delightful world were there are animals and Animals (who talk), creatures of mythology and fantasy, and nothing is the same for long. Still, darkness and evil threaten the world Aslan created and even the beginning of the world is marred by man and witch. The main four we all know and love were different this time for me, and as Aslan says, they are bigger because I am older. There are new facets revealed by these books everything I read them. This time I learned a lot about myself and my willingness to serve God.

While that story is for another post, I encourage you to read these books, especially if you've read them before. Experience a world where magic exists, adventures are journeys, and life is possible with a new imagination. 

But Aslan is not a Tame Lion.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

10 Things I Hate about You

While “Ten Things I Hate about You” veers pretty sharply from Shakespeare’s play “The Taming of the Shrew,” the movie cleverly captures the spirit of the Bard with its quick banter, strong female lead, and unpredictable antics. Heath Ledger gives an excellent performance as Patrick Verona (Petrucio), the dangerous senior with a reputation for eating ducks and selling organs on the black market. Julia Stiles makes the prickly Kat (Katerina) into a likable, relatable character for the audience while retaining Katerina’s trademark contrariness and difficultness in her world. The two clash in a love story both heartwarming and funny and you just can’t help hoping that they will be together in the end.

The premise of the movie is similar to the play: there is the beautiful Bianca (played by Larisa Oleynik) who cannot date or be wooed until her shrewish sister Kat goes on a date (or is married in the play).  A smitten boy Cameron (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) falls hard for Bianca on the first day in his new school. Along with his new friend Michael, Cameron pulls together a plot to pay the scariest guy in school to take out Kat while he befriends Bianca by posing as her French tutor.  A stuck-up model boy, Joey, comes into the story both as the financial backer to pay Patrick and as a rival for Bianca’s love.  While many of Shakespeare’s lesser characters are not visible in any form, several lines from the Bard are clearly distinguishable in the movie. Also, Kat’s best friend, Mandella, is a hopeless Shakespeare fan-girl, which adds some Elizabethan flavor to the movie. 

The quick, funny story skips through the Bard’s plot and through high school. Stereotypes are well-represented and mocked but in the breaking of such stereotypes lies the heart of the tale.  Well-written, well-acted, and well-produced, this movie was a favorite of mine long before I ever heard of “The Taming of the Shrew.” It may not last as long as Shakespeare but “Ten Things I Hate about You” has proven a classic teen movie for all of us who did not find high school the best years ever. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Have you ever longed to fly away to Neverland? To join in adventures against Pirates? Wage war alongside the Indians? Or hear the chiming song of fairies in flight? Peter David takes us away to Anyplace in:
This is a story about The Boy and about Paul. Paul is forced to become the man of the house and he doesn't know how to go about it. The Boy, a mischievous Pan, teaches Paul how to be a child for a bit more while Anyplace teaches him how to grow up-- and it's okay.

The book was strange at first, all the Peter Pan elements had me expecting Peter, Tink, Hook, and the gang rather than the pastiche characters of The Boy, Fiddlefix, Hack, and the Vagabonds. (I didn't know what pastiche was until I read the author's note but it's the word that best fits.) I didn't like how it was so similar to Peter Pan and used the characters without it being PAN who was there. But it worked out. Because this is Paul's story and Peter cannot be in any story that is not his own.

The story was brilliant, beautiful, and fantastical. It broke my heart several times and mended it back together, bigger and better to dream. Almost as drawing as Narnia, David's anyplace is a lush paradise while his characters make you forget about any hesitation to grow up and the fact that people do consider you a grown up. 

A tale about the glories of growing up and never losing yourself, Tigerheart took my heart along with it. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Oxford Chronicles

Yay for legit Christian fiction!

This series was a really interesting imagining of Oxford in the early 60's. C.S. (Jack) Lewis has just passed away and one of his close students is beginning his teaching career as an Oxford don. Introduce Kate, a pretty young American looking for adventure in England for a semester. You know what happens, but it was a fun book anyways.

Melanie Jeschke is a talented author who takes a tired-Christian-romance story form and inflates it with lovely British style. The obstacles to the young lovers are immense and really different from my western's dilemmas. And everything has such a fine flavor-- fine English tea you could say. Her details are spot on and actually made me more interested in Oxford (master's degree?). And of course, you cannot go to Oxford without encountering the Inklings.

The whole series is slathered with Lewis quotes and references, as well as a dash of J.R.R. Tolkien.  I loved it!These books actually inspired me to read more of Lewis. His ideas are so eloquent and his theology very sound. 

The Oxford Chronicles make a great read for winter-y days. They sparkle at you as you read and draw you to this foggy, tea-drinking world where Jack Lewis created Narnia and Tolkien dreamed up Middle Earth. 

Only now I'm more homesick for England than ever!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Season of the Blech

Okay, so "The Season of the Witch" wasn't that bad. But it wasn't that great either. I pretty much only went to spend time with my roommates. The movie itself was fairly predictable-- a knight grows tired of killing innocents in the crusades and ends up being re-conscripted to take an accused witch to be tried by a monastery; a monastery that contains the only remaining text used to destroy witches and demons and the like. He picks up some companions, the girl seems innocent, and the priest seems like the more likely candidate for evil and witch-hood. People die along the way. There is a big confrontation between good and evil in the end. la la la.

I am not a fan of horror movies and when half the previews were for horror movies, I began to get a little suspicious. For the most part, though, it kept the action/adventure/witchcraft formula. Most of the creepy pop-ups were easily anticipated with the Pirate-of-the-Caribbean knock off music. There was a fairly nasty plague that left people looking more like zombies and a fair share of gore during sword fights and confrontations with the witch. A hint of werewolves perked me up half way through the dragging tale but the story line was never pursued than and I went back to guessing who would die next.
The story line was predictable and the writing sub-par (along with some of the acting...). Though a Nicolas Cage is one of my favorite odd-movie actors, this was Not the movie for him. His sidekick, played by Ron Perlman, actually made the show work much better than the script did. Still, the campy humor and anachronistic dialog made the script slow and annoying as the setting tried to remain true to the gritty, pseudo-medieval time period. Cage tried to pull of his dry wit but it didn't really fit the character and the jokes fell flat. Clair Foy did well playing the accused witch-- sufficiently creepy and innocent; I was guessing at her place until the last battle.  Robert Sheehan was a cute, flat knight-in-training who pulled out some mad skills at the end.

It was a passable 98 minutes but not particularly uplifting or inspiring.  My imagination and logic are slightly piqued without being actively engaged but the movie did initiate an interesting debate among me and my roommates. Still, barring any nightmares that creep into my over-active imagination, this is not a movie I will return to.