Blu-ray Review “Hocus Pocus”

Director: Kenny Ortega
Starring: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz, Thora Birch, Vinessa Shaw
MPAA Rating: PG
Distributed by: Walt Disney Video
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Running Time: 96 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 0 out of 5 stars

Halloween is right around the corner and as much as I love my horror films, this time of the year always makes me think about “Hocus Pocus”. The film is directed by Kenny Ortega, who also did the cult-classic “Newsies” (and yes, “High School Musical”). This film is a perfect family Halloween movie. It has really truly fantastic cast of Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy. The film is funny, yet spooky and packs some great special effects. If all that isn’t great who doesn’t love the songs in the film like “I Put a Spell On You”. Classic…yet under-appreciated. Fans of this great film, this film has never looked or sounded better. Sit back and get ready get a spell put on you.

If you still own your “Hocus Pocus” DVD, you might be finally able to toss it away. This Blu-ray definitely takes a huge jump in quality. It is not a perfect presentation but still impressive and worth the 10 year wait for an HD upgrade. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is also great, especially with the songs and score. The film is being released as a combo pack with a Blu-ray disc and a DVD disc. In fact, the DVD in this set is the exact one released back in 2002, which means it is still a non-anamorphic widescreen presentation of the film. To me personally though, the real sell for this release is obviously the Blu-ray.

Sadly, there are absolutely no special features included on this release, not even the original theatrical trailer. I would have loved to seen some fun extras like the classic Disney animated short “Trick or Treat” starring Donald Duck or at least the 1994 episode of The Discovery Channel’s “Movie Magic”, which ties-in with the film itself. Oh well, I guess we will we are lucky enough just to have this film on Blu-ray. It just shows how this film is just considered another catalog title to Disney and will probably always remand-so.



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