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Hocus Pocus
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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Funny and lighthearted!

10/10
Author: joerod488 from Houston, TX
5 January 2004

In this world of serious issues, this movie is a fun escape. It is a movie that definitely can be seen by my whole family. It also gets you into the Halloween spirit! There are really funny scenes and heart warming ones too. My favorite scene is when the Sanderson sisters sing "I Put A Spell On You" at the town halloween party. It's definitely classic material and I will never get tired of it's charm.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

It is great

Author: rinichibiusa from Market Weighton, U.K
2 November 2003

I love Hocus Pocus. It is my favourite movie. Amanda Shepherd was great as Emily Binx. I wish she had a bigger part. Thora Birch was adorable. I never knew who she was until I saw her in this. Then I noticed her in Alaska aswell. I was just 2 when this came out, but when I was 7, it was on t.v and my mum recorded it. Now the tapes old and broken, I get it all the time from the video shop. It is a great movie, there should be another one. My overall all rating is 9/10. The missing point is for not letting Amanda have a bigger part.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

It's Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus

Author: (robocoptng986127@aol.com) from U.S.A
13 October 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

[CONTAINS SPOILERS]

Our story opens in 1693 in Salem, Massachusettes. Three evil witch sisters: Winifred the dominant one and her two dim-witted sisters Sarah the sexy one and Mary the hungry one, brewed a potion to make themselves younger by sucking the life out of children. They first captured a little girl, Emily Binx, but her brother Thackery was right on their trail. The witches sucked her life out then turned Thackery into a cat, as well as giving him immortality. Suddenly, the townspeople arrive and lynch the witches, but not before Winnie reads a passage from her spell book that foretells that a virgin will summon them from beyond the grave on Halloween night.

300 years later, a history teacher tells the story of the Sanderson sisters to her class. Only newcomer Max Dennison was unimpressed. He explained to everybody that Halloween was merely a conspiracy invented by the candy companies. But a classmate, Allison, corrects him by stating it's based on All Hallows Eve, the one night of the year when spirits of the dead can return to earth. Max gave her his phone number just in case Jimi Hendrix showed up. On the ride home he was confronted by the neighborhood bullies Jay and Ernie (a.k.a Ice) or Ice: The Bully Formerly Known as Ernie. They steal Max's shoes. At home, Max finds out he's been roped into taking his little sister, Dani trick-or-treating. On their route they visit Allison's house. She and Dani are in to the Sanderson sisters, so they travel up to their old house. Max discovers the black flame candle that once lit by a virgin on Halloween night, will summon the sisters back to life. So Max got out a lighter and proclaimed, "let's light the sucker and meet the old broads". Bad move. Winnie, Sarah and Mary showed up then. Max, Dani and Allison ran for it. The witches decided to continue what they started 300 years ago: to suck the lives out of the children of Salem to become younger, because unless they did so by the time the candle ran out, they would be reduced to dust.

The witches go after the kids because they took Winnie's spell book. Also accompanying them was Binx the cat (Thackery). Winnie resurrected her old flame, Billy Butcherson, to catch them; nobody believes Max, Dani and Allison when they say the Sanderson sisters have returned from the dead. They try burning the witches in the high school kiln, but it fails. They kidnap Dani, Binx and the book. Max and Allison rescue them and rush off to the graveyard for a showdown. Bullies Jay and Ice were captured by the witches because Jay made the mistake of calling them ugly chicks. Luckily, the sun soon rises and the witches evaporate. Binx's soul is released and is finally reunited with his sister.

A pretty good movie. A cute idea. Got a big name star cast here. Bette Midler is Winifred. Sarah Jessica Parker plays Sarah, who went on to be on Sex in the City. Kathy Najimy is Mary, who later went on to do the voice of self-obsessed Texan Peggy Hill on King of the Hill. Eerie, Indiana's Omri Katz is Max. Also here is Saturday Night Live's Charles Rocket. So in conclusion, if you're looking for a frightfully funny film to watch on Halloween while passing out candy and whatnot, this one's for you!

-

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Good Halloween Fun!

Author: famousgir1 from London, England
4 January 2002

The Sanderson Sisters are three witches who were sentenced to death more then three hundred years ago in Salem, Massachusetts and a young boy was turned into a black cat. Three Hundred years on and it's Halloween. The three witches are back to cause havoc on the mortal world. It's up to the black cat and a couple of teenagers, Max, Dani and Allison to save the day and everyone else.

Hocus Pocus features a great cast, including the brilliant Omri Katz who is so gorgeous and talented, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Thora Birch. They all give really great performances here as usual. The only problem in the movie though is the awful Kathy Najimy. Why does she have to be here. Hocus Pocus is good, but she ruins it. She's such a horrible actress. Let's hope I don't get see anything else with her.

Hocus Pocus is a fun, Halloween movie. The music goes well with the movie too and Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker's rendition of witchy songs are funny and good. Disney always bring out good movies which all ages will like and there's no exception here. This is great. Just FORGET the awful Kathy Najimy!

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Very Entertaining

Author: BHorrorWriter from Ohio, USA
20 September 2001

I love this movie. I tend to watch it several times during the Halloween or Fall season. It is beautifully photographed, the acting is very good...Of course, Bette Midler is the main attraction! Her portrayal of Winifred Sanderson is exquisite. This is the only movie I can stand to see Sarah Jessica Parker act in. And Kathy Najimy...well, she is hilarious! Omri Katz, gives and excellent performance as Max Dennison, but seemed to disappear from the spotlight afte this movie???? Thora Birch is adorable as Danni Denison...She is a talented actress....

The film looks great...the colors and scenes are beautiful. The comedy is here and the special effects are plentiful. Though, the only thing I really didn't like, is the way electrical currents or the lightening effect was used while Winifred was using her magic to throw people around. I have never been a fan of that type of CGI to show magic.

Excellent family or anyone film.

9 out 10

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Nuts to the critics--this one's fun!

7/10
Author: Prexy from Flint, Michigan
13 December 1998

Given the cool reception this film received from the critics, I wasn't expecting much. What a surprise to find that Hocus Pocus is a Halloween delight! Characterizations are strong and distinct; plot is cleverly constructed (great climax in the cemetery!); performances are top notch. Nuts to the critics--this one's too much fun to miss!

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Saw it today for the first time as an adult as I never seen it since I was a kid. Not a bad film

5/10
Author: lisafordeay from Ireland
19 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Hocus Pocus is a Disney movie starring singer turned actress Bette Medler,Sarah Jessica Parker,and Katy Najmy. The film tells the story of three witches long ago who sucked the life of a child in order to stay young and they turn the young girl's brother Zachary into a black cat as punishment. So the three witches got hanged and the film later cuts to the year 1993 where a boy who doesn't believe in ghouls has a crush on this girl in school called Alison. He just moved from California to go to the place where the witches were hanged many years ago and hates the sight of this new state. Of course during a Halloween outing with his sister and Alison he goes into the Sanderson Sister's house and lights the candle with the black flame,causing the three Sanderson sisters to com back to life and finish what they started,many years go.

So what is good about this movie? Well I liked the effects and the backgrounds look nice and Bette Midler sings in this movie too called I've Got A Spell On You and yeah she was great as the witch. As the other two they were good too. As for a horror film(and I hate horror films btw as they scare the crap out of me) but this one wasn't scary at all. If you have younger kids they would be afraid of it. And now for the bad,this film has something against virgins. Now as a kid I didn't notice it but when I was watching it today I was shocked that the writers would thrown in this scenario. Like seriously this is a children's movie NOT for grown ups like me.

Overall it wasn't a bad film not the best film ever made but since its Halloween soon I'd say go ahead and watch it.

Overall its a 5/10.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Hocus Pocus is spellbinding! It's an entertaining kid movie.

6/10
Author: ironhorse_iv from United States
28 October 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This kid movie might not seem very controversial at the time, but if you look at it, today. You might be asking yourself, wait a minute, this movie was made for children? First off, the language is a bit harsh- Many of the characters swear, mostly referring to hell, and condemning people to hell. While, I don't like the reference to the Occult, bad like other critics because the fact that it's set during Halloween. I did had a problem with the movie problem with virginity in teenagers. Honestly, for a kid's movie by Disney, I thought they wouldn't be promoting underage sex, but this movie loves to mention a billion times, that being a virgin will cause witches to come back alive, and try to steal your youth. The film loves to focus on the fact that the main character is embarrassed of being a virgin and that some people have a problem with him still being a virgin. Come on, movie. The kid has just became a teenager. Do you really feel that he should knock up some girl or have multiply partners to the point that he gets STDs or AIDS? I felt that this movie teaches children to lose their virginity quickly which is wrong. There is nothing wrong with being a virgin in your teenager years. This is very unusual for Disney to promote. The movie is selling sex like crazy in this film, from his mother wearing a Madonna pointy bra to his little sister calling attention to his girlfriend's breast. It's like the movie was a pre-teen horn dog. Directed by Kenny Ortega, the movie focus on three witches known as the Sanderson Sisters. The first witch is Sarah Sanderson (Sarah Jessica Parker), the youngest witch sister who has the dumb slutty blonde archetype. It's weird in a way, because this movie is made for children, yet her character is always trying to grind on the laps of men throughout the film and her breasts are always partially exposed. In my opinion, it's one of the few movies where I find Sarah Jessica Parker, kinda attractive. The other sister is Mary Sanderson, who looks and acts like the cannibal Witch Hazel from the Looney Toons cartoon. The last is Winifred 'Winnie' Sanderson (Bette Midler), the buck-toothed leader of the Sanderson sisters who hates being call ugly. The three witches were inadvertently resurrected by a virgin teenager Max (Omri Katz) along with his sister Dani (Thora Birch) and classmate Allison (Vinessa Shaw). Now, they must fix their mistake, by stopping the witches with the help of Thackery Binx (Sean Murray) who been turn into a cat, years ago in 1693. For a kid's movie, it's one of the few movies Disney movies that has a children die on screen. Oh my God, the overacting in this movie is way too much. It was a bit over the top. The movie does have some funny moments that was this pretty laughable even if this movie is a bit dated. Amok! Amok, amok, amok, amok! Still, makes me laugh. Still, it had some sloppy writing. I do like the Penny and Gary Marshall cameo as 'the Master'. "I Put A Spell On You" music number in the middle of the film seems fun, but how on earth, did the Sanderson sisters know the lyrics, if they been dead for 300 years? Come little children was a pretty haunting creepy lullaby and Jessica Sarah Parker did a great song with the song. Like I said before, I don't know how this movie was ever made for children, but it was indeed made. The movie has this weird tone, as its seems to poke out of the box of safe Disney movies, just a small bit, that parents wouldn't question it too much. What other Disney movies can you see a cat get ran over or a zombie name Billy Bitcherson (Doug Jones) get his head kick off. Yes, a lot of gruesome body parts scenes in this movie. The 1990's special effects were pretty OK at the time. I agree that practical effects often look better but this film is far from that proof and holds up very well and seems to gain an even larger following as time progresses. While, never a huge hit in the box office, the film was released to VHS and was rebroadcast annually on television during Halloween, which I happen to find this movie. Overall: it's a good movie that had a lot of dark humor, that you wouldn't see much in the tamer more modern Disney movies. Despite the PG-rating, there are some things parents might want to know before showing this to their children. Still, check it out.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Tweeny Halloween Film Too Lame for Tweenies

2/10
Author: John Lind from United States
27 October 2013

At just two minutes or so into this film I realized it was a Kiddie Movie with a distinct problem: some subject material made it unsuitable for kids under about 8 years old, but the storyline and script were incredibly lame for kids older than about 10. It's a Tweeny Flick but only for the first couple years of the demographic. The storyline is too hokey for older Tweenies with all too predictable and sappy plot elements.

Unlike some other films that have subtle elements to entertain at an adult level such as Beetlejuice, Corpse Bride, Frankenweenie, or Tim Burton's Chocolate Factory or his Alice in Wonderland (the remakes), it has near nothing to maintain the interest of anyone 11 or older. That is not just a problem, it's the films failure. We're fortunate there's never been the thought of inflicting a sequel on mankind.

I'm not opposed to films targeting the young, but to create one that's only suitable for children spanning just a few years in age is a travesty. They should work for a wider age range than the incredibly narrow one this film serves.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Too much hocus, a lot of pocus, not much focus

5/10
Author: Steve Pulaski from United States
2 November 2012

Consider me the one who stands awkwardly in a crowd of people laughing, joking, and having a good time. Hocus Pocus, a film which has gone on to be something of a cult classic, gaining replay countless times around Halloween and constantly coming up in the conversation around this time of year, to me, was a very strange, uncomfortable movie experience, mainly because of all the hocus and the pocus, none of it memorable or quite fun.

This is a film of many strong stars, various special effects, and stylistic trademarks, however, they are put in a black cauldron and are not stirred properly, if at all. There's smoke boiling all over the top of the cauldron, but what goes on inside of it is nothing shy of uneventful. If anything, the film should be memorialized as a Disney film that tried to at least do something different, creating a darker, more tween-oriented story than their previous films. We open in Salem, Massachusetts, around 1693, where we meet the three Sanderson witches, Winifred (Bette Midler), Mary (Kathy Najimy), and Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), who we learn prey on young children. Their goal is to suck the lives purely out of them to be able to practice witchcraft, but their plan is failed when they are killed by an angry mob of townfolk. Before dying, however, the witches enact a spell which will bring them back to life if a virgin were to light a specific candle on All Hallows' Eve.

Fast-forward three hundred years later, on October 31, 1993, and we have our subjects; Max Dennison (Omri Katz), a Los Angeles native who is upset with having to move to Salem, where he lacks any friends and has become the social pariah of the school. Reluctantly agreeing to take his annoying little sister, Dani (Thora Birch) trick-or-treating, he stumbles upon the house of his crush named Allison, played by Vinessa Shaw. Out of pure curiosity, and because they are filled with the inconsequential Halloween feeling, they venture out to an abandoned museum, where Max will light the candle naively and resurrect the Sanderson sisters, effectively establishing that the rumor all these years was true and that witches do in fact haunt the town of Salem.

The remainder of the film is chaotic to say the least; a cockamamie blend of a third-rate farce, a distorted premise, drastically unpleasant characters, lame jokes, and a ton of special effects which, more often than not, consume the screen in a murky fashion. While punctuated with scenes providing some entertainment, there are a whole lot of dry spots that plague Hocus Pocus, many of them being with the humans rather than the witches.

Yet the Sanderson sisters, the characters which the movie is built around, are not given much interesting to do. They are stereotypical witch archetypes, played by character actors clearly sagacious and intelligent enough to choose better roles. Bette Midler, while being the most entertaining, is still buried under a plethora of makeup which can't disguise her character's lack of soul and wit, and Najimy and Parker's characters might as well be low-rent versions of Larry and Curly of The Three Stooges.

There's an audience for a film like this, which has already been established by the mention and existence of a cult. If only I were able to belong to that noble group. Hocus Pocus pleased me with its ambition and versatility, yet bored me with its listless agenda. It favors chaos over pacing, special effects over characters, and shells over identifiable people. And considering that there are many more films aimed at this same market of tween obscurity, that pack stronger morals and more substance, and there are some too that just have the "let's have fun" message, to pick up and rent Hocus Pocus for the twelfth time on Halloween is like being a witch who continuously haunts the same town every year. Don't you want to try and branch out?

Starring: Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Omri Katz, Thora Birch, and Vinessa Shaw. Directed by: Kenny Ortega.

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