Column: The 10 best moments of ‘Hocus Pocus’

8:00 pm EDT, October 31, 2012

In honor of Halloween, I’d like to take a moment to remember a spooky and sexy trio that changed the meaning of “hocus pocus” forever: the Sanderson Sisters. Below are my top 10 moments from the Disney Halloween classic Hocus Pocus, starring Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker.

There are movies from your childhood that you re-watch as an adult and cringe because it’s awful, and therefore a tiny piece of your childhood purity has just died. Then there are films that you watch, and they are just as magical and glorious as the first time you watched them, and it rekindles your hope that maybe, in fact, you do have good taste in entertainment! Hocus Pocus is one of the chosen few that remains just as good with every subsequent viewing.

The Disney classic, in case you are unfamiliar, stars a trio of witches: The Sanderson Sisters. The leader, Winifred – or Winnie (Bette Midler) – works with her sisters, the salacious Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) and the bumbling Mary (Kathy Najimy), to suck the life out of children in order to stay young. They are brought back to life for one night 300 years after their death by new-boy-in-town and Salem skeptic Max Dennison (Omri Katz), who is out trick-or-treating with his sister Dani (Thora Birch) and the girl he wants to impress, Allison (Vinessa Shaw). Along with the vengeful and adorable cat-form of Thackery Binx (Sean Murray), the children must battle the sisters to save the town of Salem!

For those that haven’t seen it (go out and buy it) there are spoilers following. If you have seen it, please let me know what your favorite moment is, because I’m sure there are arguments for many other moments from this childhood classic. Please note: they are in chronological order, not order of importance.

1. Dani’s wiser-than-her-years line: “Then take her to the movies like a normal person.”


Dani, who is devilishly clever, has oodles of incredibly witty moments throughout the film, but the exchange between her and Max at Allison’s mansion is the most impressive. While angst-riddled Max tries to woo Allison by agreeing to go with her to the house of the Sanderson Sisters, Dani steps up with some much-needed advice:

Max: Dani, this is the girl of my dreams.
Dani: So take her to the movies like a normal person.
Max: Dani! Look, just do this one thing for me, and I’ll do anything you say. Please? Please? Please?
Dani: Okay, okay. Next year, we go trick-or-treating as Wendy and Peter Pan… with tights or it’s no deal.

The girl is a master of manipulation. She keeps up her antics as the movie continues, most notably when she pretends to have summoned the Sanderson Sisters herself.

2. Sarah the witch, just in general.


Okay, okay, I’ll admit I cheated. This isn’t a moment, but more an entire character, but still. How can you pick just one moment? Sarah Jessica Parker is magical as Sarah. The fact that she repeats everything that is said countless times as she dances about combined with the fact that she is constantly flirting with men, even at the dance when they are chasing the children… great. And of course the line, “I am BEAUTIFUL! Boys will love me”… irresistible.

3. This exchange between Winnie and the bus driver.

Winnie: We desire… children.
Bus Driver: Hey, it may take me a couple of tries, but I don’t think there will be a problem.

Re-watching this as an adult, I definitely had that double-take moment until it finally dawned on me: Hocus Pocus just made a sexual innuendo. While the entire bus driver scene is hilarious from the moment he flirts with them to Sarah sitting on his lap and driving, this small moment is a treasure that reminds us all: Disney is not just for kids!

4. Mary’s facial expression.


Okay, okay, I cheated again, because this isn’t a moment but a ubiquitous occurrence, but the way she keeps the bottom right side of her lip down like that is incredible. How did she keep that up throughout the whole film even as she spoke? Did make-up help? The lip slip just makes her dowdy character all the more comical.

5. The song and dance number, “I Put a Spell on You.”


It’s the most iconic moment in the film, so how could you not include it on a list such as this? The ladies take the stage, and it is by far Winnie’s shining hour! Winnie is hilarious throughout the film, but she comes to life (pun intended) that evening when she takes the stage.

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Sherlock finally made it to Hall H at Comic-Con and the creative team brought a few surprises. Steven Moffatt, Sue Vertue, Mark Gatiss, Amanda Abbington, and Benedict Cumberbatch were on hand to the thrill of fans.

Benedict Cumberbatch and crew definitely know how to work a crowd. Here are the top highlights of the panel that played to a crowd of thousands.

1. Season 4

They are currently two weeks from finishing Sherlock season 4. Cumberbatch said that “a lot comes home to roost this season… it’s ballsy.”

They have 26 pages to film this Tuesday. Cumberbatch states that the monologues are very challenging and take a lot of work.

As for actors’ favorite lines this season:

Gatiss: “Sherlock.”

Abington: Not a line but a beckoning gesture.

Cumberbatch: Can’t say.

Key names for next season (change from doing key words):

  • Moffat: Smith
  • Gatiss: Thatcher
  • Vertue: Sherinford

2. Keeping the show fresh

By not making as many episodes, the creators feel they actually keep the quality. They joked that under normal standards they’ve actually made about half a season of a standard TV show, or 13 episodes.

There are no plans for any other Victorian Era shows. Moffat feels that it would be less interesting if the mind palace returned there.

3. Learning curves and drugs

Gatiss stated that with 90-minute episodes you “really have to put [Sherlock and Watson] through the ringer.” Moffat added that because of this, Watson has to evolve. Watson can’t keep being amazed by Sherlock. As for Sherlock, “he can’t be the weird scary amoral man we met in the first episode… geniuses learn… he has to learn.”

Sherlock’s drug addiction comes back when he is not working. It’s hinted that the addiction will be a bigger issue this season than in the past.

4. The coat and the hair

There is apparently a big debate every year over changing the iconic coat. Sue Vertue wants to change it, and Steven Moffat wants to keep it. Benedict Cumberbatch dove into the debate stating, “I’m quite hung up on the coat…. but sometimes it has to come off.” The audience reaction was predictable.

Cumberbatch joked that he loved playing Sherlock in the Victorian era because of the slicked back hair. In the modern era it takes forever for his hair to get done. On a serious note, he loved the more straight-laced, clipped version of Sherlock.

5. First ‘Sherlock’ season 4 trailer

The teaser trailer featured this phrase over and over: “Something’s coming. It may be Moriarity, maybe not.” Literally every character we know and love looks like they are scared, angry, or worried on an epic scale.

One of the best moments is Mrs. Hudson saying with supreme venom to Mycroft, “Get out of my house you reptile.” Watch below:

6. Improv and family

There is actually, according to Cumberbatch, very little improvisation on set. It’s about how to do what’s there, and not messing with the script. He firmly believes that what is there is what is needed for the show.

Cumberbatch genuinely loves having his mom and dad play his TV mom and dad. Every now and then he can see his mother struggle to call him “Sherlock” and not “Ben.”

7. Mary in the know

Abbington didn’t know she was an assassin until well into the last season. When she found out, she told partner Martin Freeman, “My God, [the fans] are going to hate me.” Despite this, she loves the flawed characters of the series.

8. When will the series return?

No date was given for either the BBC release date or the PBS release date. We only know that it will premiere in 2017.

9. The dog photo

According to Cumberbatch the dog (depicted above) was a nightmare. “The dog wouldn’t fucking move,” he said. The companion was supposed to drag Sherlock all over London, but the dog didn’t like people, concrete, crowds… really anything about an urban setting.

Moffat and Gatiss resorted to writing a new scene on the spot to account for the lack of the dog’s interest in roaming. According to Gatiss all it did was drool on the concrete.

10. Future seasons?

Touching on the future of the series, Moffat stated, “Why is everybody assuming they survive season 4?” Gatiss joked, “We’re skipping season 5 and doing season 6.”

Moffat clarified that — contrary to recent reports — he never said that this season would be the last one (He’s right: All he said was the schedules of Cumberbatch and Freeman are only getting more difficult to work with). Gatiss added that they want to do more seasons, and they hope that they are able to.

Sherlock will be back in 2017. What do you think of the first season 4 trailer?

Marvel presented at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday evening and offered new looks at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and more.

“We only want to come to Hall H when we have a lot to show you,” teased Marvel’s Kevin Feige at the start of the panel. Indeed, they had a ton to offer — including news of a new Marvel theme park attraction!

Everything we’ve learned at Marvel’s SDCC panel

  1. Marvel kicked off their panel with a new logo and updated fanfare by composer Michael Giacchino.

  2. Black Panther had some casting news to share: Lupita N’yongo will be playing one of the guards at Wakanda named Nakia. Meanwhile, Michael B. Jordan will be playing Erik Killmonger. We also received brand new casting news: Danai Gurira has joined the movie — She’ll play Okoye, head of Dora Milaje! Finally, a new logo for the film was revealed:

    black-panther-logo-sdcc-2016

  3. Thor: Ragnarok unveiled a behind-the-scenes look at the new film which included a look at Cate Blanchett as Hela. They also showed a documentary-style clip (think The Office) explaining where Hulk and Thor were during the events of Captain America: Civil War! In it, Thor had a tiny bed for Mjolnir and a crime board that tried to connect the Infinity Stones and discover their purpose. There is also mugshot of Loki. Like Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok had a new logo to show off with a retro looking subtitle:

    thor-ragnorak-new-logo-sdcc-2016

  4. Doctor Strange’s portion of the panel kicked off with a smoke and laser show to introduce Benedict Cumberbatch.

    Tilda Swinton was also at the panel and spoke about the Ancient One. “The truth is, anyone can be The Ancient One,” she said. A clip from Doctor Strange was also showed in which Steven Strange meets Tilda’s character (It won’t be online).

  5. Thankfully, a brand new and wholly epic Doctor Strange trailer was released. Watch below:

    A new poster was also unveiled:

    doctor-strange-sdcc-poster

  6. Next up was Spider-Man: Homecoming. Director Jon Watts described the film as a high school movie about a 15-year-old Peter Parker who’s in the 10th grade. A new clip was unveiled and had a strong John Hughes vibe — Peter Parker is just your average high schooler trying to get through the day. There was also this great moment:

  7. Next up: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which kicks off a few months after the first movie. The entire cast was there to introduce a new scene in which a very adorable Baby Groot helps Yondu and Rocket break out of prison. Baby Groot even has a little outfit! Adorably, the Ravengers — who captured Yondu and Rocket — refuse to hurt Baby Groot because of how cute he is.

    This movie got a new logo as well.

    guardians-of-the-galaxy-sequel-new-logo

  8. Speaking of Marvel’s space dramedy, the studio also confirmed rumors of a Guardians of the Galaxy theme park attraction. It’s called Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! and debuts Summer 2017 at Disneyland’s California Adventure theme park. Sadly, it’s replacing the classic Tower of Terror ride. Check out a behind the scenes video of the attraction:

  9. Marvel ended their panel by confirming that Brie Larson will play Captain Marvel, as was previously rumored. She took the stage to say hi to the adoring audience, and participated in a giant Marvel selfie:

All in all, Marvel had a ton to share. What do you think of all the developments?

DC kept the trailer train trotting along today with an all new trailer for Suicide Squad!

Though Suicide Squad is just a few weeks away from hitting theaters, DC kept the momentum going today with an all new trailer featuring music from the soundtrack, new footage, and a better look at what exactly we can expect from the upcoming villain-focused super hero movie. Check it out below.

The new (and likely final) Suicide Squad trailer comes after surprise premiere of the Wonder Woman trailer and an even bigger surprise with our first look at the Justice League trailer. As with the other trailers today, this one debuted publicly alongside its Comic-Con Hall H premiere.

In this trailer, we hear a lot from Will Smith who plays Deadshot and arguably the most decorated and respected actor among the cast. “They’re gonna blame us for the whole thing. We’re the patsies, don’t forget. We’re the bad guys.” The trailer is jam-packed with all of the villains and their powers and skills on full display.

We also get a better look at the leader of the pack, Jared Leto’s The Joker. “I can’t wait to show you my toys,” Leto’s Joker says while slapping around a man.

Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn also gets a lot of screen time in this trailer. Though, most of it features close ups of her back side, which stays close to the adult, rugged tone of the other trailers we have seen thus far.

There’s no doubt that fans will be flocking to theaters rooting on the bad guys when Suicide Squad hits theaters on August 5th. Suicide Squad features

What did you think of the thrilling, action-packed trailer for Suicide Squad?