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      <title type="title_review">
        <style type="italics">Hocus Pocus: A Hoax</style>
      <title type="title_movie">
        <style type="italics">Hocus Pocus</style>
      <title type="photo_movie"></title>
            <!--deidentified element--></author>
      <date type="review_date">October 28, 2016</date>
      <date type="movie_premiere">July 16, 1993</date>
        <!--deidentified element--></contact_info>
        <p><opinions type="reaction"><style type="italics"><style type="italics">Hocus Pocus</style></style> is
                        an unduly popular film full of bad acting, inappropriate sexual references,
                        and a plot that would cause R.L Stine to roll over in his (hypothetical)
                        grave. </opinions>There: I said it. Sue me.<synopsis type="plot_points">The film tells the story of the Sanderson 
                    Sisters: a trio of witches that were hung in Salem, Massachusetts for stealing 
                    children and absorbing their souls in order to stay alive. In 1993, 300
                    years after their deaths, an angst filled teen named Max <context type="actor">
                    (Omri Katz)</context> and his family move to Salem from L.A. Because of his 
                    skepticism towards the legend of the Sisters, his crush Allison <context type="actor">
                    (Vinessa Shaw)</context> brings Max and his little sister Dani <context type="actor">
                    (Thora Birch)</context> to the Sister’s old house where if a virgin lights the black
                    flame candle on Halloween night the Sisters will come back to life. Still not
                    believing in the story, Max lights the flame and brings Winifred <context type="actor">
                    (Bette Midler)</context>, Sarah <context type="actor">(Sarah Jessica Parker)</context>, 
                    and Mary <context type="actor">(Kathy Najimy)</context> back from the grave. From
                    there, the rest of the movie consists of Max, Allison, and Dani running away
                    from the witches to stop them from taking the lives of children and becoming
                    immortal. </synopsis></p>
        <p> The entire movie gives off the impression of being “The Bette Midler Show”.
                        <context type="actor">Bette Midler obtained critical acclaim as an actress
                        in the Janis Joplin-based The Rose (1979)</context>. <opinions type="reaction">She spends all her time in <style type="italics">Hocus
                            Pocus</style> acting like a drag queen and seems to have no idea what
                        her character is supposed to be</opinions>. <opinions type="critique">Is she
                        evil? Is she meant to be a seductress? Is the fact that she awakens three
                        centuries after being burned at the stake and wants to live in this new
                        world the entire point of the film? I honestly couldn’t tell you. Her
                        character is meant to be the main villain but her want and motivations are
                        never clearly stated. These are all things she should have considered when
                        being paid to be a witch</opinions>. <opinions type="reaction">Even in her
                        buck-toothed Queen Anne fashion, Midler still completely out-shines Sarah
                        Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, who act as mindlessly as possible in order
                        to bring out a few laughs from the audience. The best acting in the movie
                        (and that is not much of a compliment when taking into account what it is
                        being compared to) comes the less gaudy characters – from Omri Katz who
                        makes a convincing teen and Thora Birch who plays off him with seemingly
                        authentic emotion as his younger sister</opinions>. </p>
        <p><opinions type="reaction">I found this movie to be pretty creepy
                        sexually</opinions>. Max is a typical teenager whose main goal is to impress his crush, Allison.
                        <comparison type="movie">Many movies start off this way,<style type="italics"> My Girl</style> being the first that pops into my mind,
                        but I have never seen one include a cringe-worthy scene where the
                        protagonist pretends a pillow is a girl and spoons it while whispering, "Oh,
                        Allison, you're so soft."</comparison><opinions type="critique"><style type="italics">Hocus Pocus</style> is a Disney
                        movie, whose audience is made up in part by children, and Max is dry-humping
                        his bedding. That is inherently wrong. <style type="italics">Hocus
                            Pocus</style> is obsessed with his virginity. It would have been fine to
                        mention it at the beginning of the movie, because according to legend, only
                        a virgin can light the candle that brings the witches back and that is a
                        major plot point. However, the movie repeatedly reminds us of his virgin
                        status, and shows him acting in irrational and dumb ways because he seems so
                        desperate to lose it. Not only that, but the movie allows also Sarah Jessica
                        Parker to act in a somewhat pedophilic way. Whenever she sees someone of the
                        male species she makes some sort of remark asking Winifred to let her “play
                        with him” and even goes so far as to sit on a bus driver’s lap and flirt in
                        an adult sounding way.</opinions> Doesn’t seem very fitting for a PG movie
                    to me… </p>
          <context type="director">Being only the second film directed by former dance
                        choreographer Kenny Ortega, it is understandable that he would have wanted
                        to go all out, so to speak, with the special effects in this movie in order
                        to give it a “wow” factor.</context>
          <aesthetics>For all of the flashiness of witches flying on broomsticks, a CGI
                        talking cat, a book with a living eye, and the process of turning into a
                        stone gargoyle and exploding into a million pieces it feels like there is no
                        substance to the effects; they never brought me into the film, and it seems
                        they were generated solely for the sake of existing. </aesthetics>
          <opinions type="critique">In addition to this, there is little in the way of a
                        coherent story – it consists mostly of people running around connected only
                        by a series of thin plot devices. The movie changes tone as casually as the
                        actors wear their costumes, and
                        doesn’t hesitate when breaking its own mood altogether (as when the three
                        witches suddenly perform "I Put a Spell on You" directly after a somewhat
                        intense chase scene). </opinions>
        <p><opinions type="reaction">The film also bends itself in irritatingly
                        chronologically incorrect ways for the purpose of laughs </opinions>– so
                    that Bette Midler might get a chance to sing, the film conveniently provides her
                    with a stage and microphone and allows the other two sisters to become a backing
                    chorus; they instantly knew how to use 20th Century technology and were fully up
                    to date with modern musical styles despite having been revived out of the 17th
                    Century for less than a day. Later on as Omri Katz flees Bette Midler in a car
                    while she pursues on a broomstick, she makes jarringly anachronistic references
                    to his lack of driver’s license (<quotes>“Let me see a driver’s
                    permit”</quotes>) and to arresting him for speeding (<quotes>“Resisting
                        arrest?”</quotes>). <opinions type="critique">I understand that most people
                        would not have noticed these mistakes, but they just make the film seem
                        sloppier in my eyes.</opinions></p>
        <p> The Disney name on the movie adds a restrictive layer of “niceness” over
                    everything so that it never gets too scary for children: <opinions type="critique">the witches are played so moronically there is no chance
                        they can actually cause a scare, the zombie turns out to be a good guy, and
                        everything is wrapped up happily at the ending.</opinions><opinions type="reaction"> Though this is the general “Disney formula”, it is
                        not what I would expect out of a live action film targeted not only to
                        children but also to teens and adults. I get that there is a certain balance
                        to maintain when producing a movie for such a wide audience, but if they
                        were able to make incessant references to a teenager’s virginity then they
                        could easily have made the villains in the story somewhat scary. After
                        hearing for years from people around my age about how <style type="italics">Hocus Pocus</style> was so great and that I was missing out by not
                        watching it, I expected the Halloween movie to end all Halloween Movies full
                        of moments that would make me have to pause the film in order to catch my
                        breath. Instead, what I saw was a well contained trainwreck that was really
                        just a waste of an hour and a half of my time.</opinions><context type="director">It seems as though Kenny Ortega did not enjoy directing
                        a “scary” Disney film, because since then he has stuck to directing
                        wholesome shows such as the High School Musical franchise</context>. </p>
        <p><summary type="release date">When Hocus Pocus debuted over 20 years ago, in June
                        of 1993</summary>, <summary type="gross_income">it made $39 million — a
                        dissapointing number compared with the $28 million Disney spent towards its production.</summary> The movie was a
                    financial disappointment, opening at fourth place behind peers like Jurassic
                    Park and Free Willy. <opinions type="reaction">It was also an overall disappointment to me, I had much
                        higher expectations about it because of my friends and through general word
                        of mouth.  I am also
                        not a seven-year-old so that also contributes to my glaringly obvious
                        dislike of this movie. In general, I would never watch this movie again, but
                        that doesn’t mean others shouldn’t. If you’re a parent looking for a not-
                        so- scary if mildly inappropriate Halloween movie to watch with your kids
                        (ideally ages 4-8) I would recommend <style type="italics">Hocus
                            Pocus</style> but I warn you to be prepared for some ridiculous
                        things.</opinions><summary type="rating"> I give this movie a solid 4/10 overall rating.</summary></p>


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