Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus

4.5 30
Director: Kenny Ortega

Cast: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy

     
 

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Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy romp around like coked-up versions of The Three Stooges in the frantic Disney romp Hocus Pocus. The film begins in 1693 where three witches -- Winifred (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), and Mary (Kathy Najimy) -- are preparing a potion that will grant them immortality and eternal youth. But beforeSee more details below

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Overview

Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy romp around like coked-up versions of The Three Stooges in the frantic Disney romp Hocus Pocus. The film begins in 1693 where three witches -- Winifred (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), and Mary (Kathy Najimy) -- are preparing a potion that will grant them immortality and eternal youth. But before they finish mixing their cocktail, the people of Salem capture them and execute them for practicing witchcraft. Before their deaths, they vow to return to Salem 300 years hence on Halloween to exact their revenge. Three hundred years later, a skeptical, newly transplanted Californian, Max (Omri Katz), explores the ruins of the legendary witches' house and dares the witches to manifest themselves. Disregarding the warnings of his sister Dani (Thora Birch) and girlfriend Allison (Vinessa Shaw), Max lights the Candle of Black Flame. With that, the witches reappear to wreak havoc on the town. The kids take off with the witches' spellbook and a musty tome of hexes and recipes. The sorceresses, who will die by the morning light if they don't recite the incantation for immortality, have to get the books by whatever means they can. So, Winifred, Sarah, and Mary hop on their broomsticks for a chase through Halloween night.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Children (though not young children) who find the humor of the Three Stooges just a wee bit too subtle may enjoy Hocus Pocus, but it's hard to imagine anyone else standing for this annoying piece of hokum. Putting criticism aside for a moment -- which in this case is pretty hard to do -- it's hard to imagine just who the folks at Touchstone/Disney aimed this piece of claptrap at. It's too disturbing for very young children, too obnoxious for adults and too dull for anyone in between. There's plenty of blame to go around, but let's start with the quartet of screenwriters, who took what should have been a workable high concept and destroyed it with a story which is totally unfocused (and makes no sense), dialogue that evokes physical pain in the listener, and characters that are both one dimensional and unlikable. At times, the story telling is so inept that it almost seems as if the screenplay was fashioned by having one writer "create" until he got tired, then having another writer take it from there -- but without letting him read what had come before. Almost as bad as the writing is Kenny Ortega's amazingly poor direction. Ortega seems to think that the way to cover up flaws in the writing is to play a scene as loudly as possible. If volume alone doesn't get the desired result, he adds in as much flailing as possible. As a result, Bette Midler is encouraged to offer a performance so excessive as to become genuinely vulgar -- and boring, to boot. Kathy Najimy is given one note to play and plays it incessantly, and Omri Katz is actively annoying. Sarah Jessica Parker comes off best of the leading players, managing against all odds to inject a few moments of interest and humor into the film. But the only actors to actually score big are Garry and Penny Marshall, whose little cameo is the high point of the film. Some of the special effects are good, some are not. The "I Put a Spell on You" sequence, however, was ill advised. Hocus is a fright, alright, but not the kind it intended to be.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/04/2012
UPC:
0786936826753
Original Release:
1993
Rating:
PG
Source:
Walt Disney Video
Region Code:
1AB
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:36:00
Sales rank:
24,375

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bette Midler Winifred Sanderson
Sarah Jessica Parker Sarah Sanderson
Kathy Najimy Mary Sanderson
Omri Katz Max
Thora Birch Dani
Vinessa Shaw Allison
Sean Murray Thackery Binx
Larry Bagby Ernie "Ice"
Tobias Jelinek Jay
Stephanie Faracy Jenny
Charles Rocket Dave
Mary Gail Artz Actor
Barbara Cohen Actor
Amanda Shepherd Emily
Doug Jones Billy Butcherson
Norbert Weisser Thackery's Father
Kathleen Freeman Miss Olin
Ezra Sutton Fireman #2
Don Yesso Bus Driver
Michael McGrady Cop
Leigh Hamilton Cop's Girlfriend
Joe Malone Singer
Teda Bracci Calamity Jane
Peggy Holmes Dancer
Jason Marsden Thackery Binx
Vanna Bonta Actor

Technical Credits
Kenny Ortega Director,Choreography,Screenwriter
Greg Beeman Screenwriter
Peter E. Berger Editor
Rosemary Brandenberg Set Decoration/Design
Bonnie Bruckheimer Co-producer
Neil Cuthbert Screenwriter
John Debney Score Composer
John M. Elliott Makeup
Terry Frazee Special Effects
Mick Garris Producer,Screenwriter
Whitney Green Production Designer
Steven Haft Producer
Peggy Holmes Choreography
Martha Johnston Set Decoration/Design
David Kirschner Producer,Screenwriter
Don Kirshner Producer
Peter Montgomery Special Effects
Hiro Narita Cinematographer
Nancy Patton Art Director
Brad Ricker Set Decoration/Design
William Sandell Production Designer
Mary Vogt Costumes/Costume Designer
Ralph Winter Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Hocus Pocus
1. Opening Titles/Life Force Spell [8:41]
2. The Legend of Thackery Binx [5:20]
3. New Kid in Town [6:18]
4. Trick or Treat [6:26]
5. Black Flame Candle [5:24]
6. Return of the Sanderson Sisters [4:32]
7. Hallowed Ground [7:15]
8. Bus Ride into Town [4:04]
9. The Master's House [6:14]
10. Town Hall Party [7:03]
11. Witch Burning [4:39]
12. Ugly Chicks Stay Up Late [2:20]
13. Opening the Book [6:15]
14. Come, Little Children [6:50]
15. Winifred's Potion [7:39]
16. The Spell is Broken/End Credits [6:57]

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