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Site created 12/15/97.

review added: 4/11/00

The Addams Family
1991 (1999) - Paramount

review by Brad Pilcher of The Digital Bits

Enhanced for 16x9 TVs

The Addams Family Film Rating: B

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): A-/B/C

Specs and Features

99 mins, PG-13, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced, single-sided, single-layered, Amaray keep case packaging, 2 theatrical trailers, film-themed menu screens, scene access (18 chapters), languages: English (DD 5.1 & 2.0), subtitles: English, Closed Captioned

"We danced the Mamushka for Jack the Ripper, and now, Fester Addams, this Mamushka is for you."

The macabre household that is The Addams Family has arrived on DVD, and the creepy cartoon vision of artist Charles Addams has never looked so good. The plotline of this Addams adaptation sees the return of the long-lost Fester. The only problem? Fester isn't Fester. He's actually Gordon, and part of a scheme to get at the Addams fortune. Or is he? The antics abound as Fester is exposed, covered up again and re-exposed before the climactic ending, which sees all things return to... umm... normal? Follow so far?

Despite the solid plot, the best parts of the film are all stand-alone, like little funny sketches. Mostly, these scenes do little to move the plot along, but they're still fun. For example, there is a scene where Gomez and Fester dance the Mamushka, complete with juggling and swallowing knives. It's hilarious. Add to that a number of little bits of dialogue (which work perfectly to make the whole mood sparkle - or not as the case may be), perfect casting (Raul Julia as Gomez, Angelica Huston as Morticia and Christina Ricci as Wednesday are just genius) and wonderful cinematography, and you've got a nicely entertaining film.

On the video end, the colors exhibited on this DVD are solid, and purposely muted. The effect comes across well with a very good anamorphic transfer. There is some grain, but it isn't so much as to be distracting. Artifacting is non-existent and the black levels are right where they need to be. The 5.1 audio could be more encompassing, but it's solid. No major complaints here, but no major praise either. The extras are non-existent aside from two separate trailers. That's unfortunate, but it in no way detracts from a solid disc on the movie side of things.

In the end, the deadpan delivery of Ricci (in one of her earliest roles) mixes well with the morbid humor of Charles Addams' world. Kudos go to the rest of the cast, who turn in top-notch performances. If you like your humor a little off-kilter, the merriment of Gomez, Fester and company make for a fun flick worth of picking up on DVD. It's creepy, it's kooky, and it's all together spooky.

Brad Pilcher
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