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Hocus Pocus [25th Anniversary Edition] [SteelBook] [Digital Copy] [Blu-ray] [Only @ Best Buy] [1993]

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    Overview

    Ratings & Reviews


    Overall Customer Rating:
    99% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (1489 out of 1515)

    Synopsis


    Hocus Pocus
    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

    Cast & Crew


    • Bette Midler
      Bette Midler - Winifred Sanderson
    • Sarah Jessica Parker
      Sarah Jessica Parker - Sarah Sanderson
    • Kathy Najimy
      Kathy Najimy - Mary Sanderson
    • Omri Katz
      Omri Katz - Max
    • Thora Birch
      Thora Birch - Dani



    Customer rating

    Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars with 1515 reviews

    98%
    would recommend to a friend
    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      It's all just a bunch of hocus pocus.....

      Posted
      JakeInLivnColor
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      1993 was an important year, for me at least. I had just turned 5, started kindergarten, Jurassic Park was a huge hit and revolutionized special effects and, of course, was the year Hocus Pocus was released. Renting it on VHS waaaaaay back in the day, my family fell in love with the film, watching it every year around Halloween, making a fall staple for us. I thought for years I was the only one who loved this movie, but lo and behold, it has grown into a quite sizable cult. But like any cult, should it be rightfully cherished 20+ years later, or should it drink the spiked Kool-Aid and fade away? Starting off in 1693, Thachary Binx is a teenager in Pre-Colonial Salem, MA, right around the infamous witch trials. The Sanderson sisters Winifred (Bette Midler, going delightfully over the top), Mary (Kathy Najimy) and Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) are witches, looking to suck the soul out of the local children to stay young and live forever. They lure Emily Binx, Thachary's sister, to their cabin, to make success of their plan, but not with Thachary putting up a valiant fight. Emily perishes and Thachary is turned into a black cat, made immortal to live with the pain of Emily's death. The townsfolk successfully hang the sisters, and the Binx's mourn the loss of their two children. 300 years later in (then) modern day Salem, Max Dennison (Omri Katz) is the new kid in town, having moved from Los Angeles and is not a believer in.... well,... all the hocus pocus involved shaping Salem. Having a rough adjustment period (Being denied the girl, bullies stealing his shoes, his sister invading his space), his night is made worse by having to babysit his sister Dani (A very young Thora Birch) and be embarrassed in front of his fellow school chums. Of course he and his sister make up and hit up the next house, which is the home of his crush, Allison (Vinessa Shaw). They chit chat for a bit, talking about the Sanderson sisters, before learning that their home was turned into a museum, but was shut down over superstitions involved with witchcraft. Max, still being bullheaded about the whole thing with witches, he lights up the Black Flame Candle, unknowingly unleashing the sisters in modern times. Teaming up with Binx, now a talking cat, they now must their wits and modern know-how to defeat the Sandersons before they take every child in Salem and become immortal. Having grown jaded over the past two decades, having to pay bills, having a job, etc, I was weary that I would hate and despise this film, deeming it just a "kid's movie" or "nostalgic feelings that faded long ago", but on the contrary. I actually enjoy this film more than ever! The plot is pretty much by-the-numbers, predictably going through certain story beats to an upbeat ending of triumph over evil, but there are some fun stops amongst the story. Though the kids are pretty much exposition stops, the witches facing the 20th century is a real hoot, discovering paved roads, television and new modes of transport when their rides are stolen by kids. The performances from Midler, Najimy and Parker are enjoyably over-the-top, with their exaggerated facesand actions beefing up the humor and selling it to the nth degree. The kids performances are very well done, as well. Katz is a good lead, Shaw being a believable love interest and Birch being the standout performer. Though she was only 7-8 when filmed, she had a future ahead of her and is still a terrific actress, though very underrated, unfortunately. The direction by Kenny Ortega helps sell the main trio's performances, with him specializing in directing musicals, along with being a choreographer, while balancing the story, performances, comedy and special effects rather well. Speaking of the F/X, this was one of the first times I ever saw CGI enhancements and/or a photo realistic recreation of an animal on screen, and while it has gotten way better in 20 years, the effects still stand up and barely noticeable for the most part. While the camerawork, sets, costumes, music and more are well done, the editing is kind of off in one segment. Late in the film, the kids lure the sisters into the high school, hoping to stop them, but viewing after viewing, I keep asking, "How do they lure them to the school?" or "How did the kids get in?" and several more like it. Overall, the editing is good, but be prepared for this eyesore of a scene transition. Moving on to the BluRay, let's start out with the picture and sound. The PQ is nothing revolutionary, offering a stable image with accurate colors and decent detail, but comes across as fairly soft, though thankfully DNR-free. The AQ is nice as well, with some surround elements used from time to time, but nothing to show off your new Dolby Atmos setup. The extras are non-existant. For such a cult classic that has grown bigger and bigger over the years, I expected to see something along the lines of a commentary, a reunion with cast and crew, possibly the deleted scenes show in the trailer, or even the 1994 making-of. Even the trailer would have been nice, but no. Disney cheaped out and just released the film to perfunctory levels and no extras to justify a $15 price point. A DVD copy is included (I don't know if it's the 2002 non-anamorphic release or not) and also has no extras whatsoever. Overall, this film is fun for the whole family and stands up rather well. This is perfect for those looking for their next cult fix, reliving some 90s nostalgia or just want to be entertained for 90 minutes. The BluRay is worth the purchase for the anamorphic transfer, but with decent PQ/AQ and no extras, catch it on sale for $10 or less.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Good Halloween movie for kids

      Posted
      BayAreaJ
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      It's a good movie for the family especially for the younger audiences. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy star as the Sanderson sisters who are witches that were hanged for practicing witchcraft on children by draining their life force so they could prolong their lives. Before their sentences were carried out Winifred Sanderson (Bette Midler) cast a spell that one day they will be resurrected by a virgin who will light the black flame candle. 300 years later a family has recently moved into town... the eldest son of the family Max reluctantly takes his little sister Dani out for trick or treating. Max, Dani and a girl Max has a crush on Allison eventually end up trespassing into the Sanderson sisters home and ignite the black flame candle bringing the witches back to life.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      A Halloween Treat For Everyone

      Posted
      AandJ091108
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      • My Best Buy® MemberMember
      • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

      This movie is criminally underrated. First of all, the film wasn't the flop people think it is. It did over 45 million at the box office. Okay, that settled, let's dig in. Three witches from the 1800's are hung for taking the souls out of children in Salem, Mass. Present day Salem, a lonely teen resurrects the three hags accidentally while visiting their old cottage that has turned into a mini museum. The witches, well cast and perfectly played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy, set out on Halloween night to take the souls from the children as they trick or treat. The three lead actresses are perfect in their roles. They really bring them to life. This is a fun, light hearted film that the whole family can enjoy. The setting and decoration is perfect and has that great Halloween-y feel. There's also a funny cameo by Penny Marshall and Garry Marshall as husband and wife(but who are real life brother and sister in case you didn't know). This is a real great vehicle for Bette Midler. She fits perfectly. You'll also recognize Thora Birch(American Beauty)as the little sister. The film is a wonderful family treat that will delight and entertain the whole family.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

      1st time seeing it

      Posted
      Mindyflpic
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      My friends and I do a Sunday Night Movie - It has to be something you haven't seen. (Normally it is required to be a nominated/award winning movie) However, for the month of October we each picked a Halloween / Scary movie to watch. This was my pick. First I want to say that I am a big Walt Disney fan - Lion King, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Bedknobs and Broomsticks , Pete's Dragon, The Cat from Outer Space and Pollyanna ... etc. are some of all time favorite movies. When I saw that Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Sean Murray where in this film I thought it would be cute (not necessarily scary)... but I guess maybe my expectations were too high. While this has not been the worst movie I have picked for our Sunday Night Movie it was just average. I don't plan on ever seeing this one again. 1 time was enough.

      No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Nice update of a true classic

      Posted
      Kotor29
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      I am not going to review the plot details because if you are reading this you are probably familiar with this classic movie. If you love this movie this is the best version of this movie that has been released in regards to picture and audio quality. As a added bonus, this version also comes with a code for digital redemption and Disney movie reward points.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Fun, But Strange Halloween Movie

      Posted
      PanamaJack
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      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      In many movies, the kid characters almost always survive (Jurassic Park, Aliens, War of the Worlds, etc). The reason is that most audiences don't consider it fun popcorn fare to watch children get killed off. Well, enter Hocus Pocus: Disney's "fun and rollicking" family Halloween classic that addresses the super fun topics of child murder, teenage virginity, and undead kids. The tone of the movie is clearly meant to be light and comedic, so it's surprising that Disney filled the plot with such adult themes. Still, it's a fun movie, but be warned--if you watch with younger kids, be prepared to answer questions like, "Daddy, what's a virgin?"

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Spooky fun family film.

      Posted
      Suntoucher
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      This is a great movie for the whole family – particularly in the fall. There is something for everyone... musical numbers, comedy bits, some action and spook costumes (for the younger audience). The director spiced the movie up with musical numbers by Sarah Jessica Parker and Bette Midler. There are also bonafide stars like Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, and a young Thora Birch (she was darling in this movie). Although a Halloween classic, this movie delivers the laughs all year long.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Hocus Pocus is magic!

      Posted
      TiberiousST
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      Purchased Hocus Pocus for my wife as she loves all things Disney and most things Halloween. The movie is a bit dated in both humor and quality but it takes nothing away from this combo. I love combo packs because we can entrust the DVD to kids or friends who want to borrow it while keeping the BluRay disk safely in our collection. The movie is still full of fun for the entire family (except for one recurring comment that borders on the creepy, but I digress) with solid sound transfer and really good video when you consider its age.

      I would recommend this to a friend



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