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The Addams Family (2019) (Blu-ray Review)

2019 saw the return of one of the first American families of horror; The Addams Family (The other being The Munsters). It marked their return after a 21 years absence (Canadian TV Show The New Addams Family and direct-to-video sequel Addams Family Reunion both in 1998), and the first feature film in theaters since 1993’s Addams Family Values (The BEST one!). This new take with old flavor on the Addams’ found itself to be somewhat of a decent hit at the box office and almost cleared $100 million domestically alone. Unfortunately, Universal has forgone releasing a 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray of the film, settling on just your standard Blu-ray. They are also restricting the digital copy code to being an iTunes-only exclusive (Blech). The film releases on Tuesday, January 21s, which you can pre-order using our paid Amazon link following the review if you so desire.

Film

Members of the mysterious and spooky Addams family — Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley, Wednesday, Uncle Fester and Grandma — are readily preparing for a visit from their even creepier relatives. But trouble soon arises when shady TV personality Margaux Needler realizes that the Addams’ eerie hilltop mansion is standing in the way of her dream to sell all the houses in the neighborhood.

This new story for The Addams Family manages to be enjoyable enough while also being a bit of an also ran by the time you’ve finished and moved on to something else. I’m not slighting it, I enjoyed watching it, but there’s not a whole lot to it, and in terms of story points or humorous asides, there’s not much that is going to stick on the wall long after. Overall, its a pretty nice snack from the good old vending machine. For me as an adult, that’s where I’ve landed. My kids dug it well enough. They both saw it in the theater, told me they liked it, but then never mentioned much of it again. My son is usually hounding me to see something that he did and I didn’t as well as asking when its coming out on Blu-ray or will be on a streaming service. With The Addams Family, he just kinda forgot but both kids were indeed excited when this came in the mail.

An obvious highlight of the whole ordeal is the voice cast of the whole film. Oscaar Isaac proves to be quite possibly the best Gomez Addams we may ever endure. Its kind of a shame this wasn’t live action as I’d have LOVED to have seen him do this schtick visually. Ditto for Charlize Theron who just pulls off a dynamite performance of Morticia with ease. Finn Wolfhard and Chloe Grace Moretz make for very solid Pugsley and Wednesday Addams. If there’s any weak spot, it may be Uncle Fester. Nick Kroll is doing what they are asking him to do (And good at it), I just think that direction is a little too moronic for my taste. While my musings above are ho-hum, I would welcome a sequel keeping this group intact as I definitely enjoyed them and hopefully they do the whole Addams Family movie thing where the second one outdoes the first in spades.

Animation-wise, they also made a great decision in bringing the original comic strip art into modern times with computer animation technology. It holds form and looks like an incredibly natural evolution. It also does itself favors in world building and the talent at hand here seems to be at one with the “Addams’ lore” as every environment created feels like its right at home with the heart and soul of the original cartoon (extended).

The 2019 iteration of The Addams Family does enough to skate on by as an enjoyable, passable positive movie-going experience for the whole family. It leans more into the side of pleasing the kiddos, but when that happens and it works, I’m a bit more forgiving and a hair more taken with it. The decision to build off the original newspaper comic strip for inspiration is the right one and the casting choices are pretty much perfection. Unfortunately its the script and story (Sometimes little random asides are fun escapes from a bit of yawn-worthy “modern” plot) that don’t fare as well. However, in the end, you’re not going to hate yourself for watching it and you may enjoy it more (As I said I DID enjoy it overall).

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: The Addams Family comes to Blu-ray (Sorry, no 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray at this time) looking pretty top notch. I don’t think its the best of the bunch, but its quite the next best thing. The image is absolutely clear and crisp with a sharpness among its characters and objects. Details run very strong with excellent color saturation and black levels.

Depth: The Addams Family was presented theatrically in 3D, and also since it is computer animated, it lends itself to some good depth of field with nice clean separation of characters and environment. The pushback is natural and decent. No issues with motion distortion during more furious rapid action moments.

Black Levels: Blacks are pretty nice and inky and an important flavor in this image. They are wonderfully woven in with many different shades and tints. Details are kept intact a majority of the time with then seeping in with ease. Blacks also help to define images and increase the sharpness. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are beautifully grim and pop hauntingly with some bold variety on things like wood and polished metal. There are really nicely represented whites here in the mix as well as a nice flavor of well saturated greens. Overall, its a colorful and gruesome affair.

Flesh Tones: N/A

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio

Audio Format(s): English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish 7.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 DTS, English Descriptive Video Service (DVS)

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Dynamics: The Addams Family arrives with a curious and playful 7.1 track that truly utilizes the 360 degree viewing space as you watch this movie. Creaks and cracks and weird things from the house are consistently about. Outside atmospheres do well to display the strength of this mix. Right from the start, it almost provides a really solid demo with whats to be expected as you get plenty of unique sounds, travel and an idea of the elements of the mix (Score, vocals, effects).

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer isn’t a pounder, but it does hit at an effective enough level. Musical beats, crashing, destruction and some other odds and ends give a good bump.

Surround Sound Presentation: As mentioned, this is a playful mix. Things pop in from the sides and rear at random (But within the context of onscreen actions). Sound travels with great accuracy and has good volume for maximum effectiveness.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp, bringing out the personality and vocal inflections of the actors to a top notch degree.

Extras

The Addams Family (2019) comes with the DVD edition and an iTunes-only digital code.

Deleted And Extended Scenes (HD, 6:14) – Presented as pre-vis looking animation or storyboard. One scene is pretty close to complete.

Charades With Thing (HD, 3:32) – The title pretty much explains this one.

Life of a Scene (HD, 3:22) – A step by step tutorial on how an animated film is made. From storyboard to the finished product with example clips.

Welcome To The Family (HD, 6:30) – This is your fluffy, explains the plot and characters, quick brush over “making of” featurette that has interviews with the directors, producer, Charlize Theron, Oscar Isaac, Allison Janney and Chloe Grace Moretz. There are also some clips of the vocal recordings as well as pre-visual animation.

Addams Family Throwback (HD, 1:05) – This one quickly talks about how they went back to the original comic strip art for adaptation as well as trying to keep those thematics and characterizations intact.

“Haunted Heart” Lyric Video (HD, 2:50)

“My Family” Lyric Video (HD, 1:05)

Summary

The Addams Family is a pleasant, enjoyable little family film that keeps the spirit of the series while also taking it back to its roots; an appearance akin to the original comic strip art (Their genesis). While I praise it, understand its kind of nothing special but enjoyable still. Universal delivers a terrific presentation of the film with some junky extras (Though kids may like them). My biggest gripe is the extreme limitation of the digital copy code (I don’t use iTunes). But, at the right low price, the movie is pretty good and the overall package works.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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