Recommendation: Hocus Pocus (1993)

It’s the 24th anniversary of the theatrical release of Hocus Pocus. I have already watched the film today and it motivated me to write a tribute and recommendation for the film for those who have or have not seen it. Basically everyone. What can I say about this Disney masterpiece that most of you don’t already know. I would be very surprised to find someone who hasn’t seen this movie let alone heard of it before. I remember the movie I saw this trailer on: Super Mario Bros. and I also remember the day I went to see this movie with my friends the day it was released. Hocus Pocus is one of those movies that parents would show their kids when they reach a certain age. Some movies transition into the next generation of movies and are not forgotten and this is one of those titles. For most families and individuals like myself it has become a Halloween tradition to watch the movie each year around the holiday in Oct. I want to pay tribute and recommend this wonderful children’s movie as one of the best Halloween and Disney films of all time.

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Director: Kenny Ortega
Writer: David Kirschner, Mick Garris, and Neil Cuthbert

Starring: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz, Vanessa Shaw, and Thora Birch

Plot: Three Witches known as The Sanderson Sisters need the lifeforce of children to stay young. They are caught and hung for their crimes and now 300 years later they are resurrected to finish what they started and it’s up to 3 children to stop them before the witches suck the life of all the children in Salem.

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Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast Is a Charming and Modern Take on the Disney Classic

I am reviewing this movie as a stand alone movie with little comparison to the Disney animated classic most people are used to. Providing you with info of this movie and how entertaining it is rather than compare the two will give you more insight on what to expect and if this live action movie is worth watching at the movies. 

Any story translated from animation/comic/video game to live action I look for one thing: How close they are on likeness in looks and mannerisms. Anything else regarding the movie is fair game. You can change the story, how it ends and begins, back story, etc. They picked a great cast for this movie. The casting of Le Fou played by Josh Gad and Lumiere played by Ewen McGregor were spot on in my opinion.

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The production sets and costumes on the characters were pretty good. Definitely looked like a Disney film. The CGI effects of the household items looked really good. The beast looked great. There were times I couldn’t tell if it was all CGI or if it was a costume. 

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Movie Review: Alice Through the Looking Glass

The follow-up movie to Alice in Wonderland (2010) continues the story with the return of Alice back to Wonderland to discover that her bestie, The Mad Hatter, has become fairly ill because he believes that his family, who supposedly died during an attack, is actually alive but no one believes him. Alice determined to get The Mad Hatter back to help, she turns to the White Queen and Time himself to go back in time and figure out what happened to his family the day of the accident. Which also causes a chain of events that could wipe Wonderland from existence.

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Movie Review: The Good Dinosaur

“Make your mark”

Pixar’s 16th feature film The Good Dinosaur is visually stunning. Probably some of the best effects I’ve seen. The movie brings the feels but lacks the fun you are use to with Pixar.

If I am not going crazy over the next horror movie ( I can’t wait for Krampus this Friday) I am get giddy when a Disney and/or Pixar movie comes out. So I was very excited to see The Good Dinosaur over last weekend. Knowing little on the plot I knew that it involved the “what if” scenario of what it would look like if Dinosaurs and Man were to coexist. It turns out that Dinosaurs evolve more than humans in this story. They take care of their own and land by farming and growing crops to store for the winters each year.

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Which brings us to the dinosaur of the hour, Arlo, the youngest of three who is a little under developed from his siblings and has a chip on his shoulder to prove to his father and himself that he is fearless, can make his mark in the world, and provide for his family. During this journey he meets his first human, who causes havoc on his land. In an attempt to get rid of them, they are thrown into danger as they journey around the mountains and in the process develop a very close friendship.

See what I mean about the feels. Thats just the tip of this feelings mountain.

This movie provides some great visual effects and some feel good if not cry out loud moments. I am not talking just a tear running down your eyes but its trying to get you to sob. Some are sad tears and some are happy tears. The story was a little bit simple. Nothing really to the plot really. Which I think is okay because it usually saves it with the laughs. That is where the sad tears part comes in. There weren’t many lol moments. Of course I did chuckle once or twice but it wasn’t up to par to some of the hilarious antics and characters from Pixar’s past. Is it just me or was the movie just a little bit stereotyped on the south. Even though this movie takes place 65 million years ago. This movie was really big on the country, farmer, hillbilly sort of vibe that didn’t really sit well with me. Kind of like how everyone was up in arms over the racial profile Lion King was getting over the villains versus the heroes and the voices who played them. An example. You’ll see what I mean when you watch it.

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Good Dinosaur is a sweet movie that creates a dynamic friendship between a dino and a human that makes this movie watchable. Definitely teaches a great lesson in conquering your fears and to never give up in what you believe in, but sadly comes off a little more depressing than fun. The kids in the auditorium seemed to be paying attention to it very well but I could have categorized this as a full fledge drama and gotten away with it. By the end of the movie, there is even a slight possibility this movie will be forgotten about after 2 hours of leaving the movies. Having this follow up after the amazing Inside Out, which by the way had the same touchy feely moments but still managed to be upbeat, laugh out loud hilarious, along with memorable characters. The Good dinosaur fell short for me.

+1 for awake the whole time just for Spot the human.
+1/2 for okay story, emotional, realism, and life lessons.
+1 on voice work and great animation
0 for recommendation. Worth watching at the movies only for the visual effects
0 for replay value. No desire to see the movie a second time for a while. 

2 1/2 points out of 5

Trailers before the movie were: Finding Dory – Definitely can’t wait. The Little Prince – I didn’t read the book but it looks pretty nice.
Norm of the North – WTF enough said. The puns THE PUNS UGH!
Angry Birds – I actually want to see this one. GREAT voice cast.
Zootopia – I am still on the fence with this movie but check out this trailer. 2nd released trailer and its hilarious.