“You are certain that this time it will work?” Damian asks
without looking at Jason.
His attention is focused entirely on his oldest brother. The
man is seated in the kitchen engrossed in something on his phone, while a bowl,
empty of everything but sugary milk, rests forgotten on the counter in front of
him. Damian had been hesitant to try the plan on Grayson, he prefers to pick on
his other siblings, but Todd had a point. If he could bring Grayson to irritation
then he could successfully get back at Drake for last week’s pasta incident.
“I promise, Tater Tot, it’ll work or I’ll give B a hug.” Jason
“A bear hug.”
“A bear hug.” Jason promises and, without waiting, steps
into the kitchen.
Damian knows what to do. He pulls back away from the wall
and waits. He waits through Grayson’s small talk and Todd’s brief answers. He
taps his toe as he listens to Todd rummage through the refrigerator and take
out a tupperware of food before heating it up and at last sitting down on a
stool. He gives it another sixty seconds, watching the thin hand tick it’s way
across the face of his watch and then he moves.
He walks into the kitchen and he makes a beeline for the
teapot. Grayson looks up from his phone and smiles, one hand leaves the phone
to wave and Damian nods. He then brews
himself a cup of earl grey spoons sugar into the cup and sits down. He is
across from Todd, Grayson sandwiched between them.
Damian starts small. He clinks the silver of his spoon against
the rim of his teacup over and over with every rotation. He continues stirring
long after all the sugar molecules have dissolved.
(GIF source unknown [if this is your GIF please let me know].)
Have I seen it before: Yes
Did I like it then: More or less.
Do I remember it: Yes.
Did I see it in theaters: No.
1) Let’s start off this post with a little blasphemy: I actually don’t have a ton of nostalgia for this movie. I watched it like maybe three times growing up. I’d always catch bits and pieces on Disney Channel or ABC Family Freeform, but I just never got into it like so many other people did. And (prepare to be outright offended now) the last time I watched it all the way through (I couldn’t have been older than 13) I thought it was kinda boring. BUT I was going through a bit of a “too cool for this shit” phase then. Spoiler alert: I enjoyed it A LOT more this time around and do understand the hype now.
2) Fun fact: Human Thackery Binx is played by Sean Murray but is dubbed over by the actor who performs him (Jason Marsden) for consistency.
3) Despite being largely a comedy, there is a wonderful sense of creepiness to this film which I think helps to give it its unique flavor. I mean, this is a Disney movie which starts with a child being killed so witches can drain off its life force. Then these same witches - who explicitly say they’re loyal to satan and have been to hell - get hanged. There’s this sense of edge (or the Disney version of edge) which helps elevate it above a lot of Halloween family fare. I think it’s what makes the film so endearing.
4) Ah, our first encounter with Winifred Sanderson.
5) The Sanderson Sisters
So the way I’m going to structure this note is each sister will be like 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3. That’s how long the note is. The Sanderson Sisters ARE the movie. They’re the reason it holds up so well, they’re the reason people keep coming back to it, is because this trio is so absolutely wonderful. Each sister is written and performed in a way where you get a clear sense of who they are as individuals (instead of just being clones of each other), yet they chemistry between the actresses works so wonderfully that the trio is strong as well. They are the heart and fun of the film, with each actress being brilliantly comedic but also able to turn on a villainous dime when necessary. They’re just incredible.
5.1) Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson.
The leader of the group in both writing and performance, Midler commands the sisters in a natural way. The actress is the most unrecognizable in the part, so much so it took me YEARS to even realize this was Bette Midler. By putting aside any and all ego, Midler gives a performance which embraces its cartoonish fun to totally wrap you in. She pulls focus, commanding every scene she’s in to the point where you can’t/don’t want to take her eyes off of her. She’s just incredible. According to IMDb, this is Midler’s favorite performance of her own. That fun just shows through.
5.2) Kathy Najimy as Mary Sanderson.
Najimy is an absolutely amazing character actress who totally blends into every role she’s given. Mary is no different. Much like Midler, she is able to work with the cartoonish silliness of the part (with a character who is maybe more so that than her sisters) to just make you laugh. There are so many great moments Najimy has, often times while other things are going on, that you have to watch multiple times if you even hope to catch them all. She’s just really great.
5.3) Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah Sanderson.
The youngest (I believe youngest) Sanderson sister proves that there is no weak link in this chain. Much like Middler, this role is so different from anything else Parker is known for doing (“Sexy in the City”) that I have to remind myself it’s here. She is able to be charmingly dimwitted and absent minded in a way which is absolutely gut busting. There is this wonderful physical and almost airy quality she brings to the part which pulls you in, the way she moves and plays with her beloved boys. But Parker - like the other Sandersons - can turn on a dime to an intimidating baddie. She’s - like the others - is incredible.
6) Max Dennison.
This may be blasphemous (I don’t know all the things people love about Hocus Pocus), but does anyone REALLY watch this movie for Max Dennison as a protagonist? I will admit the place where the character ends is something I appreciate a lot (more on that later), but for most of the film? He starts off as kind of a douche bag who acts all macho, thinks he’s too cool for his new town, and is mean to his sister. Almost every other character in the movie is a more interesting potential protagonist than Max to me, which I will say is not the fault of Omri Katz. He actually does the best he can to make Max seem interesting, because I’m aware that he could’ve been a much bigger pain the butt during the movie. But the writing is just not there as we get to know him, even if he does develop nicely by the film’s end.
7) It was at this moment I realized Alison was a much more interesting protagonist than Max.
Max: “But everyone here knows that Halloween was invented by the candy companies it’s a conspiracy!”
Allison: It just so happens that Halloween is based on the ancient feast called All Hallows Eve.”
Allison is actually a bit of a missed opportunity, development wise. She has a good understanding of not only the tradition of Halloween but also the Sanderson Sisters, showing a creepy side to a character who does not appear as a stereotypical goth. She’s rich, doesn’t seem to really care for her parent’s fancy Halloween ball, is kind, brave, but we never really explore her that much. I’d love to get to know a bit more about Allison.
8) The inclusion of buttheads Jay and Ice add a nice bit of humor to the film. Yeah they’re jerks, but their idiocy is definitely funny to watch. Don’t take them seriously as bullies or threats and you’ll enjoy their presence.
8.1) So I was looking up the actors who played Jay and Ice and…AH! ICE IS THE SAME ACTOR AS LARRY FROM “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”!
9) According to IMDb:
Charles Rocket [Max and Dani’s dad] acquired a certain notoriety for swearing on live television during the final moments of the 21 February 1981 episode of Saturday Night Live (1975). There’s an in-joke in connection to this, where he says to Max, “Watch your language!”.
10) Thora Birch as Dani.
Can I just say, Dani is so much more interesting to me than Max. I kinda wish we saw this movie through her eyes. She just brings a smile to my face whenever she’s on screen. Birch plays Dani with such honest enthusiasm and intelligence (not every kid in movies is played as smart, sadly) that it’s intoxicating. She stands up to the bullies and later her first instinct upon the Sanderson Sister’s resurrection is to LIE HER BUTT OFF in an attempt to make them think she’s a witch! HER FIRST INSTINCT! And then later when she finds out this freaky zombie is nice she’s immediately like, “Hi Billy!” so sweetly. I dig that.
11) Ah great, toxic masculinity infecting an eight year old girl.
Dani [after Max says fighting the bullies would’ve gotten him killed]: “At least you would’ve died like a man.”
Sorry, that’s just a personal thing.
12) Um, maybe some fans of the movie know this, but why exactly the Dennison family move to Salem? I don’t remember it ever being mentioned. I’m assuming job opportunity but what job takes you from LA to Salem?
13) Um Max, you’ve know Allison for like a week (maybe a week and a half). Isn’t this a little much?
Max [about Allison]: “Dani, this is the girl of my dreams.”
14) The Sanderson house has this wickedly creepy sense of place to it. You know these guys aren’t supposed to be there, you know that this is a place of evil, so when things start getting weird it’s not much of a stretch to see it happening.
16) So at one point in the movie Allison hits Mary with a frying pan and all I can think of is this:
17) The most fun this movie has is watching the Sanderson Sisters adapt to 1993. Reacting to things like the, “burning rain of death,” (sprinkler system) the, “black river,” (a pavement road) and even the way they run from approaching firetrucks because of the sirens is all a hoot. Like I said, each actress is amazing and they play it so well. It’s a wonderful source of comedy.
18) Thackery Binx.
Jason Marsden is an excellent voice over actor (perhaps best known as Max in A Goofy Movie and Impulse in “Young Justice”) who helps give Thackery a lot of life. This immortal black cat is wonderfully charming, with a compelling wit and sarcastic sense of humor which helps flesh him out as a character. But he also has a lot of tragedy in his life, a real loneliness. Thackery is a unique and fun addition to the film which just works really well.
19) That’s Doug Jones as Billy Butcherson.
Jones is currently one of the most well regarded character/makeup actors in showbiz, with such famous roles under his belt as both Fauno and The Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth, Abe Sapein in the Hellboy films, and the creature in the upcoming The Shape of Water. Just thought I’d share.
20) I gotta say, the Sanderson Sisters are a lot more funny to me in my 20s than my teens. The whole bit with the calming circle specifically had me in stitches.
Also this is great.
Girl Dressed as Angel: “Bless you.”
Sanderson Sisters: [Freak out.]
21) This whole bit with the fake cop is kinda clever, but this bugs me.
Cop [after Dani tells him Max is a virgin] Are you a virgin?
22) Garry Marshall’s devilish cameo.
While largely (if not exclusively) serving as a distraction from the plot, it just continues the fun of the Sanderson Sisters adjusting to the new world. Garry Marshall’s presence in any film is a welcome treat, especially when he brings along sister Penny. There’s just a great sense of fun here born from the audience being in on a joke the witches are clearly unaware of.
23) Okay, this always bugged me: couldn’t the kids get A LOT of people to believe them if the talking cat explained what was going on?
(GIF source unknown [if this is your GIF please let me know].)
24) “I Put A Spell On You”
This may be the most iconic moment from the film, working primarily because it’s just so freaking fun! The tune is infectious, it carries a delightful Halloween sense to it, and Midler’s vocals are top notch. It’s just FUN and that’s what works.
Winnie [upon seeing a high school]: “It is a prison for children.”
Well she’s not wrong.
26) As a fan of old school Universal Monster movies, I dig this line.
Max [over the high school PA]: “I’m your host, Boris Karloff Jr.”
27) Honestly I think this film’s biggest issue is a structural one. Some gags, while fun, don’t add much to the overall plot. Also the moment of quiet/peace after the heroes think the Sanderson Sisters are dead just messes with the overall flow. The tension never got high enough for it to be effective or earned. It just throws off the momentum I think.
28) Winifred’s Book.
It’s not often that I discuss prop pieces in these posts but Winnie’s book is in a lot of ways a character unto itself. The art design on the piece is absolutely wonderful and just really interesting. You understand it’s not a possession but (largely because of that eye) something a little more intelligent than that. A little more alive than that.
29) As soon as Allison opens the book this is all I can think of.
(GIF source unknown [if this is your GIF please let me know]
30) Sarah’s song to lure the children (written by James Horner, not composer John Debny) is wonderfully creepy while also being sweet. It makes sense that it would draw in a bunch of kids but as the audience we can hear the sense of doom it has.
31) So this is a classic case of Villain Stupidity™. Winnie HAS her victory! All she needs to do is give her death potion to one of the countless kids which just appeared on her front lawn but she needs to have her revenge so risks it all (needlessly) to go after Dani.
32) Okay, how does Winnie know enough about modern life to make this joke?
Winnie [pulling up next to Max’s car on her broom]: “Pull over! Let me see your driver’s permit!”
33) The film’s climax actually is pretty well done. There is a nice sense of stakes and tension to it. THIS is earned, unlike the school scene. And Max’s decision to drink the potion so he can save Dani is a great character choice, showing how strong his relationship with his sister is and what he’ll do to ensure her safety.
34) Okay, when the sun rises at the end all I can think of is…
35) It may be a little cheesy, but I do really like that this film ends with Thackery being reunited with his lost sister Emily after 300 years. Also his goodbye to Dani is really nice.
Hocus Pocus has become a cult classic for a reason. With three absolutely phenomenal actresses acting as the heart of the film, it has a wonderfully wicked sense of fun to it that works at Halloween. But either you’ll like it or you won’t. There are some problems with structure, focus, and some character development. But honestly I don’t care about those so much because it’s just so freaking fun. It more than makes up for its flaws with a sense of humor and cartoonish mayhem which carries the 90 minute run time well. It’s just a fun Halloween movie which everyone should watch once just to see if they like.
All intimate letters share a seductive function, with words in place of gestures and images in place of bodies. The struggle for intimacy in these letters is also a struggle with intimacy, with the uncertainty of whether it is better or easier to desire or be desired.
Matias Viegener, in the introduction to I’m Very Into You: Correspondence 1995-1996 between Kathy Acker and McKenzie Wark
i had work this morning and i came home feeling exhausted and drained. i haven’t spent an afternoon in bed in ages, so i figured today would be the perfect day to read some kathy reichs, watch some this is us and eat some popcorn.
Read It and Critique: Twilight Ch. 3 (feat. Kathy Trithardt)
So after WAY too long, we finally got back into this series! And for a good reason - yesterday was our honorary grandson’s, @cinnamontographyismypassion, birthday! This week, we learn just how lethally clumsy Bella Swan is, and that she and Edward are basically the same person. Edward just has some…supernatural advantages.
I read a fanfic where Jet and Droy walked Levy down the Isle at her wedding, I loved the idea and feel in love with that idea, I know they love her but I know they love to see her happy, and that’s my headcanon now. – submitted by vegashredfox
I’ve always read Kathy Kane as more of Bruce Wayne to Kate Kane’s Batman. To clarify, I usually think of Kathy Kane as being the sort of person who the Bruce Wayne persona is meant to be: a rich adventure-seeker who takes life lightly. She fights crime because it’s fun and she just happens to be naturally gifted at it. This is a life she can and does, at times, step away from.
Kate Kane, on the other hand, is driven by duty. She’s very serious about what she does and she worked very hard to be as good at it as she is. There’s a lot of natural talent there too, of course, but she’s had experiences that push her to try to excel in ways that Kathy doesn’t.
Though this is, of course, just my interpretations of the differences between the two.)