Hocus Pocus

Bette Midler  Actor Sarah Jessica Parker  Actor Kathy Najimy  Actor Omri Katz  Actor Thora Birch  Actor

PG

MPAA Rating: PG
Contains:Violence,Adult Situations,Questionable for Children

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Hocus Pocus

Theatrical Release Date: 1993 07 16 (USA)

UPC: 717951003584

Studio: Walt Disney Video

MPAA Rating: PG   Contains:[Violence, Adult Situations, Questionable for Children]

Summary: 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. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Category: Comedy

Features: cc [None specified]

Hocus Pocus

Format: DVD

Release Date: 06/04/2002

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Theatre Wide-Screen

Audio: DD5.1 Dolby Digital 5.1

Runtime: 96 Minutes

Sides: 1

Number of Discs: 1

Region: USA & territories, Canada

Chapters: Side #1 --
1. Opening Titles/Life Force Spell
2. The Legend of Thackery Binx
3. New Kid in Town
4. Trick or Treat
5. Black Flame Candle
6. Return of the Sanderson Sisters
7. Hallowed Ground
8. Bus Ride Into Town
9. The Master's House
10. Town Hall Party
11. Witch Burning
12. Ugly Chicks Stay Up Late
13. Opening the Book
14. Come, Little Children
15. Winifred's Potion
16. The Spell Is Broken/End Credits

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. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

Cast and Crew: Greg Beeman  Screenwriter 
John Debney  Composer (Music Score) 
Mick Garris  Producer 
Mick Garris  Screenwriter 
Steven Haft  Producer 
David Kirschner  Producer 
David Kirschner  Screenwriter 
Don Kirshner  Producer 
Kenny Ortega  Director 
Kenny Ortega  Screenwriter 
Ralph Winter  Executive Producer 
Neil Cuthbert  Screenwriter 
Bette Midler  Actor 
Sarah Jessica Parker  Actor 
Kathy Najimy  Actor 
Omri Katz  Actor 
Thora Birch  Actor 
Vinessa Shaw  Actor 
Sean Murray  Actor 
Larry Bagby III  Actor 
Tobias Jelinek  Actor 
Stephanie Faracy  Actor 
Charles Rocket  Actor 
Mary Gail Artz  Actor 
Barbara Cohen  Actor 
Amanda Shepherd  Actor 
Doug Jones  Actor 
Norbert Weisser  Actor 
Kathleen Freeman  Actor 
Ezra Sutton  Actor 
Don Yesso  Actor 
Michael McGrady  Actor 
Leigh Hamilton  Actor 
Joe Malone  Actor 
Teda Bracci  Actor 
Peggy Holmes  Actor 
Jason Marsden  Actor 
Vanna Bonta  Actor 

Country: USA