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The Addams Family (Paramount Pictures) UHD Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • The Addams Family (Paramount Pictures) UHD Review



    Released by: Paramount Pictures
    Released on: November 23rd, 2021.
    Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
    Cast: Raíºl Julií¡, Anjelica Houston, Christopher Lloyd, Christina Ricci, Jimmy Workman, Carel Struycken
    Year: 1991
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Addams Family- Movie Review:

    Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld in 1991, the live action theatrical feature The Addams Family begins when Gomez Addams (Raíºl Julií¡) becomes increasingly distraught over the quarter century absence of his brother Fester (Christopher Lloyd), the result of a family squabble. All of this is much to the dismay of Gomez's wife Morticia (Anjelica Huston) and children Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman). Filling out the Addams household are, of course, Lurch (Carel Struycken), Thing (Christopher Hart), Cousin It (John Franklin) and Grandmama (Judith Malina).

    Gomez's lawyer, Tully Alford (Dan Hedaya) is in deep with loan shark Abigail Craven (Elizabeth Wilson) but when he figures out that her son Gordon is a dead ringer for Fester, he sets into a motion a scheme wherein Gordon will pose as Fester, sneak into the Addams' good graces and find in their mansion the secret vault full of family treasure he believes to exist. After Tully and some of his cohorts conduct a séance wherein the Addams' try to contact Fester, Gordon appears. Of course, Gomez is ecstatic that his brother has returned, but after a happy reunion he starts to suspect that this is not the real Fester at all, while Gordon becomes quite enamored with Wednesday and Pugsley. When it comes out that Fester is the older brother and owns the entire Addams' estate, things get complicated… especially when Wednesday overhears Gordan and Abigail discussing their sinister plan.

    This one works really well. Visually speaking, Sonnenfeld and company have done an excellent job bringing Charles Addams' most famous creation to full color life. The set design and costume design are pretty much perfect and the film does a great job of capturing the spirit of both the black and white television series and the New Yorker comics that inspired it. The film is full of quirky, spooky, Gothic gags and more often than not, they work very well.

    The film is also remarkably well cast. Raíºl Julií¡ and Anjelica Huston do fantastic work as the parents in the family with Ricci and Workman stealing quite a few scenes of their own. Ricci in particular really could not be better cast than she is in this role. Christopher Lloyd does a fine job pulling double duty as Fester and Gordon and Carel Struycken is remarkably spot-on as Lurch. The film's sense of macabre humor touches all the right nerves and it's paced well too.

    Note that this release of The Addams Family includes the standard theatrical version, which runs 1:39:37, as well as the unrated version (dubbed the 'More Mamushka!' version) which runs 1:41:09. The unrated cut runs two minutes longer and it appears that the only difference between the two cuts is that this version includes the complete song sequence in place of the clip where Tully leaves the room (which remains exclusive to the theatrical cut of the film).

    The Addams Family- UHD Review:

    This UHD 4k upgrade of The Addams Family, from Paramount Pictures, arrives in an HEVC encoded 2160p high definition transfer with HDR10 and Dolby Vision framed at 1.85.1 widescreen and it looks very nice, definitely better than the Blu-ray, but not at the pinnacle of UHD visual perfection. Detail is solid, just not always reference quality. Colors look really good, flesh tones too, and the picture is free of any compression issues, noise reduction or obvious edge enhancement. The image is also quite clean, showing natural film grain but not really any print damage of note. Depth and texture are quite solid, more impressive in some scenes than others, but overall this looks quite nice.

    The main audio option on the disc is a 24-bit DTS -HD 5.1 Master Audio track, in English, with subtitles offered up in English, English SDH and French. An English Dolby Digital 2.0 track in French is also included as is an English language descriptive audio track. As to the lossless option, the score sounds very nice and is spread around well. Throughout the film you'll pick up on some fun surround sound activity in the front and rear channel speakers. Dialogue stays clean, clear and nicely balanced throughout and there's good range here. No problems with any hiss or distortion in the movie.

    As far as extra features go, we get an introduction to the More Mamushka version by Sonnenfeld that runs thirty-two seconds where he gives some brief info on reincorporating the entire dance number back into the movie.

    The disc also includes a featurette called Filmmaker Focus: Barry Sonnenfeld On The Addams Family that clocks in at just under seventeen minutes. He talks about how he loves the cast and the characters in the film, how it was his first film as a director and some of the challenges that he ran into, his appreciation for Charles Addams' cartoons, how he came to direct after working as a cinematographer, how important it is that the characters in the film never try to be funny but simply play their reality, the effects work and quite a bit more.

    There's also a seven minute archival featurette included here that features some vintage cast and crew interviews as well as some behind the scenes footage. It feels very much like an EPK as it is pretty promotional in nature, but it's interesting enough to check out.

    This UHD release does not come bundled with a Blu-ray disc but it does include an insert containing a code for a digital HD version of the movie as well as a slipcover.

    The Addams Family- The Final Word:

    While it would have been nice to see more extras included here, The Addams Family holds up well as an effective and funny takes on the original TV series and the cartoons that inspired it. Paramount's UHD includes the slightly different cuts and a decent featurette with the director as its main extra and the presentation here is pretty solid, if not quite reference quality.
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