HOCUS POCUS 2 (2022)

Directed By: Anne Fletcher

Written by: Jen D’Angelo

Story by: Jen D’Angelo, David Kirschner and Blake Harris

Based on characters created By: Mick Garris and David Kirschner

Cinematography: Elliot Davis

Editor: Julia Wong

Cast: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Sam Richardson, Doug Jones, Tony Hale, Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo, Lilia Buckingham 

Three young women accidentally bring back the Sanderson Sisters to modern-day Salem and must figure out how to stop the child-hungry witches from wreaking havoc on the world.


Well, what do you expect? It’s a sequel to HOCUS POCUS. It works for nostalgia’s sake 

This is more a family film that somehow manages to have less character than the original film. It is beloved by many and I even enjoyed it as a child, but i always felt it was good in a corny way that tried something within the Disney formula and might have bombed financially but the audience found it eventually.

For a film that feels like a film made more for the fans. It feels so cookie-cutter and less distinct than the original. This feels more childlike and obviously is more of a family film. As this film seems to eliminate anything that might be even a tad racy. 

It would have been nice if the film tried something more experimental. As it has a built-in audience. Like making it more of a musical that it flirts with at times but ultimately never pulls the trigger. 

Though the film Misses some of the misguided elements that made the original so memorable. Like the trends of the times when it came out. Which came off as pandering to a section of the audience. This one just goes with trying to be universal. 

It offers a diverse cast and is mostly female-focused, but if anything it always comes off more as silly that isn’t offensive. It’s nice that the young female leads are minority characters though not really noted. 

If you are a fan of the original you will probably enjoy this film or if you were excited to see the film in the first place you will probably enjoy it. Though this is more a film for kids and families. 

This is more the Disney ideal. then the original film. As at least that film felt more theatrical, original, and daring. 

A little disappointing for other cast members if the original doesn’t come back. Though there is a nice nod to the late Marshall siblings in this film

HOCUS POCUS (1993)

Directed By: Kenny Ortega

Written By: Mick Garris & Neil Cuthbert

Story by: Mick Garris & David Kirschner 

Cinematography: Hiro Narita 

Editor: Peter R. Berger 

Cast: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz, Thora Birch, Vanessa Shaw, Larry Bagby, Doug Jones, Charles Rocket, Sean Murray, Kathleen Freeman 

A curious youngster moves to Salem, where he struggles to fit in before awakening a trio of diabolical witches that were executed in the 17th century.


This film has garnered a cult following over the years. Unfortunately, I am not one of that crowd. Even though when it came out I was really looking forward to seeing it. 

By all means, this is a film one should hate, but I don’t. It’s not good but it is cute. Perfect for kids who should love it as it fits in with what would seem to be their fantasy. Mildly scary but not violent and it also includes all the ghostly elements of monsters. Not to mention that is who the film is made for.

It also is a throwback to when movies came out aimed at them that were goofy and maybe simple but relied on stars and not so many special effects.

Another reason it’s not a total failure is that it’s almost like watching a bunch of adults playing dress-up. The three main antagonists Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as a coven of witches watching them. As the witches from the past getting acquainted with modern times and mindsets are silly.

One can admit to having a weakness for Bette Midler movies. Just as some people have a weakness for Barbara Streisand movies. She is just an amazing performer and even as ridiculous as this is. She puts her all into it and seems to be having fun. Her and the cast are the reasons I even watched the film in the first place.

One of the reasons she did this film supposedly is that she passed in the film SISTER ACT. Which revitalized Whoopi Goldberg’s career so she took this hoping for a smash hit. Unfortunately, it bombed and it’s been rare that she has really been on-screen since. Yet over the years, it has become a cult classic.

The film is dated and gaudy but good for children. As it is simple and colorful. If it was made now it would have been a film that would have been a Disney channel original movie.

definitely, a children’s film that tries to be a bigger feature and modernized but ultimately is more a fairy tale or bedtime stories strictly for kids. There is nothing wrong with that. So that it is perfect for it’s core audience.

Directed by Kenny Ortega the movie has certain rhythms which other than having Bette Midler as the star there is a bunch of scenes that revolve around singing or music or group scenes of dancing or crowds moving together.

This is pretty much a Disney original movie you would normally see on their channel. Only at the time when they still made these features for theaters and got big stars to headline. So much bigger-budgeted and higher expectations. So at least it offers a family Film

It has an innocence yet remains dark to a degree. It’s a fun film that never quite got it’s due but finally seems to gain an audience every year due to it being entertaining. You can’t be cynical or dark. Go into this movie or you will miss It’s appeal and nuances

It has a feckless teenage romance story in it that goes nowhere except to maybe appeal to that demographic. Who wouldn’t be going to see this film anyway unless forced to. In the end, the film is perfectly harmless. 

Wait for it on cable or even television, but even they don’t play it that much. But really it’s a movie where looking at the poster you know what you are getting yourself into.

Grade: C+

BIG BUSINESS (1988)

bigbusiness

 

Directed By: Jim Abrahams
Written By: Dori Pierson & Marc Rubel
Cinematography By: Dean Cundey
Editor: Harry Keramidas 


Cast: Bette Midler, Lily Tomlin, Fred Ward, Edward Herrmann, Barry Primus, Michael Gross, Mary Gross, Seth Green, Deborah Rush, Joe Grifasi, John Vickery, J.C. Quinn, Patricia Gaul 


In the 1940s in the small town of Jupiter Hollow, two sets of identical twins are born in the same hospital on the same night. One set to a poor local family and the other to a rich family just passing through. The dizzy nurse on duty accidentally mixes the twins unbeknown to the parents. Our story flashes forward to the 1980s where the mismatched sets of twins are about to cross paths following a big business deal to close down the Jupiter Hollow factory.

Continue reading “BIG BUSINESS (1988)”

THE STEPFORD WIVES (2004)

stepford_wives

Directed By: Frank Oz
Written By: Paul Rudnick
Based On The Book By: Ira Levin
Cinematography By: Rob Hahn
Editor: Jay Rabinowitz 


Cast: Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler, Roger Bart, Matthew Broderick, Glenn Close, Christopher Walken, Faith Hill, Matt Malloy, David Marshall Grant, Jon Lovitz, Kadee Strickland 


Joanna Eberhart, a wildly successful president of a TV Network, after a series of shocking events, suffers a nervous breakdown and is moved by her milquetoast of a husband, Walter, from Manhattan to the chic, upper-class, and very modern planned community of Stepford, Connecticut. Once there, she makes good friends with the acerbic Bobbie Markowitz, a Jewish writer who’s also a recovering alcoholic. Together they find out, much to their growing stupor and-then horror, that all the housewives in town are strangely blissful and, somehow… doomed. What is going on behind the closed doors of the Stepford Men’s Association and the Stepford Day Spa? Why is everything perfect here? Will it be too late for Joanna and Bobbie when they finally find out?

Continue reading “THE STEPFORD WIVES (2004)”