Starring: Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, Chris Rock, Jahzir Bruno, Kristin Chenoweth, Codie-Lei Eastick
OUR RATING: ★★½
HBO Max fantasy comedy directed and co-written by Robert Zemeckis. In this reimagining of Roald Dahl’s classic story, we follow a young orphaned boy (Jahzir Bruno) who, in late 1967, goes to live with his loving Grandmother (Octavia Spencer) in rural Alabama. As the boy and his grandmother encounter some deceptively glamorous but thoroughly diabolical witches, she takes the boy away to an opulent seaside resort. However, they arrive at precisely the same time that the world’s Grand High Witch (Anne Hathaway) has gathered her fellow witches from around the globe, undercover, to carry out her nefarious plans.
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Our Favorite Quotes:'Sometimes, whatever the good Lord needs to teach us comes in ways we don't see. But it doesn't mean we're not supposed to learn something.' - Grandma (The Witches) Click To Tweet 'It doesn't matter who you are, or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.' - Grandma (The Witches) Click To Tweet 'Never give up what you are inside.' - Grandma (The Witches) Click To Tweet
Older Hero: “A note about witches.” See, here’s the thing about them. They’re real! Witches are as real as a rock in your shoe. That’s the first thing you need to know.
Older Hero: The second thing you need to know, they’re here! And they live amongst us, side by side, with humans. In every big city, in every small town. For all you know, a witch might be living right next door to you right now. They everywhere!
Older Hero: And here’s the most important thing. The most important thing. Witches hate children! A witch spends all her time thinking up ways to destroy children. That’s all she thinks about. “How will I squish this horrible child?”
Older Hero: A witch gets the same pleasure from squishing a child as you get from eating a bowl of ice cream covered in butterscotch syrup, with whipped cream, chopped nuts, and a cherry on top.
Older Hero: My story begins during the last month of 1968. Believe it or not, I was once a young boy.
[after the death of his parents]
Grandma: Grandma’s here. You’re going to be alright.
Older Hero: Grandma was my mama’s mama. A tough lady with a big heart. The kind that wouldn’t hesitate to give a spanking if you deserve it, or a big old hug if you needed it.
Grandma: [to her grandson] What, you think I’m supposed to feel sorry for you? Well, I don’t. Do I feel bad? Yeah. But not sorry. Sometimes, whatever the good Lord needs to teach us comes in ways we don’t see. But it doesn’t mean we’re not supposed to learn something.
Grandma: [referring to the boy’s mother] I’d do anything for her to be here right now. But the Man Above had another plan for her. And whether it seems fair to me or not, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes life isn’t fair. It’s a hard lesson for folks to learn, and most people don’t have to learn it this young. But you do. You hear me?
Grandma: Have you come up with a name for your mouse yet?
Hero Boy: Uh-huh.
Grandma: Well, tell me. Don’t be keeping me in suspense.
Hero Boy: Aisy.
Grandma: Lazy? Well, that mouse is full of nothing but energy. She runs all the time in that wheel
Hero Boy: Not Lazy. Daisy.
Grandma: Daisy. Oh. I like it. That’s a perfect name for her.
Older Hero: [referring to Grandma] And somehow, she did it. Little by little, with a tug here, and a pull there, she brought me out of my sadness.
Grandma: [referring to the lettuce] You call these fresh?
Raymond: But we just got them in.
Grandma: When? Last year?
Older Hero: Grandma knew how to fix all kinds of ailments. She learned from her grandma
how to use herbs, and potions, and strange incantations to make sick people good as new. Here in Alabama, where she grew up, Grandma was known as a healer.
Grandma: [referring to the witch] And when she talked, did her voice sound ugly and scratchy like an outhouse door swinging on a rusty hinge?
Grandma: That lady you saw in the grocery store was no lady. What you saw was a witch.
Hero Boy: A witch?
Grandma: That’s right. A no-good, rotten, low-down, sneaky, sneaky witch.
Grandma: Listen, child. Witches ain’t nothing to joke about. Now, I’ve known children who no longer exist as children on this earth. They were turned, transformed, taken by witches.
[referring to what a witch did to her young friend]
Grandma: Later that night, when I saw Alice alive, I was as happy as a mouse in a bucket of cheese. But the very next morning, all that happiness went away, because it happened. She started turning. Alice was chicken-afied. Chicken-alified.
Grandma: Oh, my, Lord in Heaven. What am I thinking? I just told you we saw a witch today. A witch in the grocery store. And what am I doing? Sitting here like I’m blind in one eye and can’t see out the other, wasting precious time lollygagging.
Older Hero: Now, my mom always said Grandma was sort of a country-type healer. But now I was starting to think she might be a voodoo priestess.
Hero Boy: How do you know we’ll be safe there?
Grandma: Because, child, ain’t nothing but rich white folks at the Grand Orleans Imperial Island Hotel. And witches only prey on the poor, the overlooked, the kids they think nobody’s going to make a fuss about if they go missing.
Hero Boy: Grandma, are there witches in every city?
Grandma: Every city, every state, every country. And there’s a secret society of witches in every country called a coven. That’s just like a Rotary Club but for witches. They all get together in one place and gossip about who they put spells on, or trade potion secrets, and whatnot. But most important, they receive orders from the Grand High Witch.
Grandma: The Grand High Witch. She’s the ruler of them all. All-powerful, pure evil, and without a stitch of mercy. Yeah. Legend has it, she was hatched on the frozen tundra of Norway.
Hero Boy: Grandma, if we’re on the fourth floor, why is it number 7-6-6?
Grandma: Because the man who built this hotel was a numerologist. He believed numbers have meaning. I know a little something about numbers. Seven and six together means a test is coming. Two sixes mean abundance. So it look like a big test might be coming.
Grand High Witch: What would you do if there were mice running all around in this hotel?
Mr. Stringer: Well, I can assure you, madam, there would never be any mice.
Grand High Witch: But if there were? Hypothetically?
Mr. Stringer: Oh, hypothetically. Yes, I suppose, well, I would call the exterminator.
Grand High Witch: Exactly! You see, girls? He would call the exterminator! Just like any normal human with his head screwed on right, he would exterminate those brats!
Mr. Stringer: Uh, rats. We would exterminate the rats.
Grandma: Evil. There’s no other way to describe them. Pure, unvarnished evil. That’s what witches are.
Hero Boy: Grandma, how can you tell a real witch from a normal lady?
Grandma: Well, first of all, witches aren’t really women at all. They’re demons in human shape. That’s why if you look closely at a witch, you’ll notice the corners of her mouth is elongated, stretching almost up to her ears, and that’s usually hidden with pancake makeup. And a real witch always wears gloves. Always. Because a real witch doesn’t have hands. She’s got claws.
Grandma: And they don’t have toes. Ooh. Their ugly feet look like their toes got chopped off with an axe. And all witches are bald. As bald as a boiled egg. So, they wear wigs. And it gives them nasty sores. “Wig rash”, the witches call it. Mmm! And it makes them crazy.
Grandma: Nostrils. Nose-holes. Witches have larger nose-holes than normal people. When they need to sniff out a child, those nose-holes can grow out as big as eight inches in diameter. But, mind you, children smell horrible to witches.
Hero Boy: Even if the kid just had a bath?
Grandma: That makes it worse. A freshly clean kid smells like dog poop to a witch.
Hero Boy: Dog poop?
Grandma: That’s right. And the cleaner the kid, the the poopier he smells to a witch.
Hero Boy: Maybe I should stop taking baths.
Grandma: Child, don’t test me.
Grand High Witch: Okay, you trussed-up succubines, you may remove your gloves. You may remove your shoes. And you may remove your wigs!
[as he’s watching them in hiding]
Hero Boy: They’re all witches.
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