Screen Junkies » Addams Family http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Fri, 15 Aug 2014 17:45:16 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 The Film Cult Presents: Addams Family Values http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/the-film-cult-presents-addams-family-values/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/the-film-cult-presents-addams-family-values/#comments Fri, 02 May 2014 16:52:17 +0000 Philip Harris http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=261396 The sequel to the creepy and spooky sequel that made the Addams clan a symbol for the intelligent outsider.

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Warning! Spoiler Alert!

“Gomez, wonderful news. I’m going to have a baby–right now.”
I like to imagine that on a bleak hill somewhere in Los Angeles, maybe tucked away in a forgotten part of Griffith Park, a crumbling mansion houses a mysterious and kooky family prone to histrionics and macabre glamor. And no, I’m not talking about Grey Gardens. This family is bigger, has far more money, and has come to symbolize the intelligent outsider. I’m talking, of course, of the Addams Family. Cue the theme song:


As far as sequels go, Addams Family Values isn’t that great of a movie. This is no The Godfather II.  In terms of plot, Addams Family Values (along withe the first movie, The Addams Family) suffers from one of the most difficult story-telling conundrums of the modern age. How do you write a believable conflict for a family that thrives on, and truly revels in, conflict with the laws of physics, nature, and danger? The writers came up with two answers. One, create a threat to their money. And the Debbie storyline (murderous gold-digger marries Uncle Fester for the family fortune) shows they hardly tried their best. In fact, that plot is particularly shameful since it was the plot of the first movie. The Fester/Debbie relationship is only saved by the fact that Joan Cusack is hilarious. Her comic timing and over-the-top facial expressions save a majority from the movie being too tedious.

The more intelligent answer to the conflict conundrum of the Addams clan is to put them in direct conflict with the outside world. Perfect, let’s send Wednesday and Pugsley to summer camp to interact with normies. When you first encounter the family you’re sort of repulsed, a little confused, and very often scared. You don’t think you could relate to them, thinking that you’d relate to the folks at the summer camp rather than the dark and twisted Addams crew, but once you’ve spent a few moments in the Addams mansion, you begin to wish you were  part of that family. They have a loyalty to each other and a certain classic aesthetic that they all take very seriously. Who else has a family cemetery adjacent to their dilapidated mansion? When the money-thieving Debbie realizes Wednesday, who is nobody’s fool, is onto her, she convinces Morticia and Gomez to pack them off to camp.

The camp segments of this movie (and boy, I said a mouthful there) are among the greatest moments in the Addams franchise. So much so, that the famous Thanksgiving pageant they put on entitled “A Turkey Named Brotherhood” is venturing into classic territory. With Wednesday (portrayed masterfully by Christina Ricci) leading a tribe of perceived social pariahs and misfits, white supremacy is thwarted by the greater truths and principles of indigenous genocide. This is the movie’s genius. Yuppie white families are the greatest enemies of the Addams philosophy. In the first movie, when a girl scout asks Wednesday if her lemonade is made of real lemons, Wednesday retorts, “Are you girl scout cookies made of real girl scouts?” And when the first Thanksgiving is dissolved into a vigilante riot scene—the pilgrims burning, the camp counselors roasting on a spit—Wednesday, who is finally in her element, strikes a match as the Addams theme swells.

The Addams family isn’t weird because their pet is a dismembered hand. The Addams Family is weird because society has created a stigma against actual taste and intelligence. When Debbie has succeeded in taking Uncle Fester from the family, Morticia (played by a black-clad Angelica Houston at her most Goddess-esque) stands in Debbie’s tacky home and forgives her for everything she’s done (enslavement, a sexual spell) but what she cannot forgive is Debbie’s use of pastels. When in the opening sequence, a pastel-clad little girl tells Wednesday and Pugsley how her “mommy kissed daddy and the angel told the stork, and the stork flew down from heaven and left a diamond under a leaf in the cabbage patch, and the diamond turned into a baby!” Pugsley says, “Our parents are having a baby too,” to which Wednesday dryly adds,

The Addams credo should be “We stand for truth and good taste.” Instead, of course, their credo is actually “We gladly feast on those who would subdue us.” I like to think that their weapons against a world that doesn’t understand them is truth and a level of self-love gurus spend a lifetime looking for. They delight in their own eccentricities because to themselves they aren’t eccentric. It’s perfectly normal to have your family weddings in the cemetery. It’s perfectly normal for children to play with a guillotine and dress up your infant little brother as Marie Antoinette. At first you laugh at them, but soon you want to be them.

And in closing, I’d be remiss to mention the great Raul Julia who truly has only one great scene in the entire movie. As the family patriarch, he gave a life to the Gomez character that easily dethrones John Astin as the consummate Gomez. Raul Julia’s passing robbed the world of a beautiful, talented man who gave believable life to a horny husband obsessed with murder and mayhem. In Addams Family Values, as his brother is taken from him, as his children are carted off to their personal version of hell, Gomez takes matters into his own hands when the police (played, naturally by Nathan Lane) fail to help him. I leave you with his glorious meltdown.

P.S. Keep a lookout for a pre-Sex and the City Cynthia Nixon.

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Halloween Brings Dark News Of Another ‘Addams Family’ Movie http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/halloween-brings-dark-news-of-another-addams-family-movie/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/halloween-brings-dark-news-of-another-addams-family-movie/#comments Fri, 01 Nov 2013 17:11:57 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=257838 *shiver*

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MGM, seizing the mood of All Hallow’s Eve, has haunted us with the chilling revelation that it will reboot The Addams Family for another film. It could have been worse. They could have put it Johnny Depp in it, but, hey, they’re not monsters.

No other details were given, leading Screen Junkies to believe that a marketing exec got drunk at an office costume lunch, then leaked this story to be “festive.”

The recent history of the franchise had Tim Burton doing a stop-motion animation version of the film, but that appears to have fallen through, and the understanding is that this version will be a traditional feature film, meaning Tim Burton will just have to remake something else.

Maybe he could put his wife in his new project?

 

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9 Famous Comic Strips That Were Turned Into Movies http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/9-comic-strips-turned-movies/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/9-comic-strips-turned-movies/#comments Fri, 11 Nov 2011 16:00:51 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=235911 Bill Keanes would have wanted you to read this article, and pass it on to your friends.

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With the news of Family Circus creator Bill Keanes’ passing comes sadness for comic strip fans the world over. Now where will we get our daily dose of condescending children? Jayden Smith can’t be everywhere at once.

Despite a syndication run that began in 1960 and a circulation of over 1,500 newspapers across the United States, Family Circus hasn’t made the jump to the big screen like so many of its contemporaries. For better or worse. No, I really mean that. I wasn’t referencing the comic For Better Or Worse. Just keep reading.

Garfield

Garfield is arguably the most famous comic strip ever created. Jim Davis’s strip took popular culture by storm with several books, toys, suction cup thingies, and cartoons. In 2004, a Garfield movie opened in theaters featuring a mix of live action and CGI. However, quality did not enter the mix. I tried to watch it on a dare. Probably made it eight minutes, and I want those minutes back.

Popeye

Robert Altman poured nightmare sauce on many a childhood when he adapted Popeye for the big screen in 1980. This strange translation stars Robin Williams as the sailorman and Shelly Duvall as his anorexic lady love. Though critics were split in their reviews of the film, it works so much better as a trippy, French art-house picture than it does a comedy.

Flash Gordon

Flash Gordon was a dud at the box office but is still considered a science fiction classic. The lead, Sam J. Jones, is rumored to have had a falling out with the director and producer and walked from the project before the completion of post-production. His voice was later replaced by an unnamed voice actor. Wow. Even the voice actor didn’t want to be associated with it.

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Tim Burton Brings ‘Ed Wood’ Writers Into ‘Addams Family’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/tim-burton-brings-ed-wood-writers-into-addams-family/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/tim-burton-brings-ed-wood-writers-into-addams-family/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Tim Burton will reunite with Ed Wood screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski to bring dark humor and spiral staircases to the 3D stop motion animated The Addams Family. The new adaptation will be more faithful to the original Charles Addams drawings in The New Yorker, and less faithful to Christopher Llyod. The writers want "the tone to be as darkly funny and subversive as the Addams drawings, and we've come up with an approach that nobody has ever done before." This pairing gets a huge thumbs up on my end. Ed Wood might be my favorite Tim Burton movie ever, and Alexander and Karaszewski also wrote The People vs. Larry Flynt, another fantastic biopic. The Addams Family seems to be more in Burton's wheelhouse than in the writers's, but perhaps they can rein Burton in when he decides that EVERYTHING needs to look like a bad LSD trip. (Deadline)

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Tim Burton will reunite with Ed Wood screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski to bring dark humor and spiral staircases to the 3D stop motion animated The Addams Family. The new adaptation will be more faithful to the original Charles Addams drawings in The New Yorker, and less faithful to Christopher Llyod. The writers want "the tone to be as darkly funny and subversive as the Addams drawings, and we’ve come up with an approach that nobody has ever done before."

This pairing gets a huge thumbs up on my end. Ed Wood might be my favorite Tim Burton movie ever, and Alexander and Karaszewski also wrote The People vs. Larry Flynt, another fantastic biopic. The Addams Family seems to be more in Burton’s wheelhouse than in the writers’s, but perhaps they can rein Burton in when he decides that EVERYTHING needs to look like a bad LSD trip. (Deadline)

 

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UPDATED: Tim Burton to Further Tim Burtonify ‘Addams Family’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/updated-tim-burton-to-further-tim-burtonify-addams-family/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/updated-tim-burton-to-further-tim-burtonify-addams-family/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Update: Tim Burton's people (ghouls in suits) told MTV, and I'm paraphrasing, "This rumor is bullsh*t! Oogie boogie!" They then quickly dug a hole in the earth and jumped in. But seriously, he isn't doing this movie.To further prove his dominance over the Curlz MT font, Tim Burton has signed on to adapt The Addams Family into a 3D, stop-motion film as is his way. One has to wonder if he was more attracted to the source material or the big box office raked in by a 3D version of an established franchise. Given his track record these last few years, I'd say he's more attracted to long green than pale flesh.The characters will be based upon the drawings of Charles Addams that frequently appeared in The New Yorker and despite what you may or may not have heard this is in no way an attempt to punk out The Addams Family and Addams Family Values director Barry Sonnenfeld. He took care of that himself by directing Big Trouble. (Deadline)

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Update: Tim Burton’s people (ghouls in suits) told MTV, and I’m paraphrasing, "This rumor is bullsh*t! Oogie boogie!" They then quickly dug a hole in the earth and jumped in.

But seriously, he isn’t doing this movie.

To further prove his dominance over the Curlz MT font, Tim Burton has signed on to adapt The Addams Family into a 3D, stop-motion film as is his way. One has to wonder if he was more attracted to the source material or the big box office raked in by a 3D version of an established franchise. Given his track record these last few years, I’d say he’s more attracted to long green than pale flesh.

The characters will be based upon the drawings of Charles Addams that frequently appeared in The New Yorker and despite what you may or may not have heard this is in no way an attempt to punk out The Addams Family and Addams Family Values director Barry Sonnenfeld. He took care of that himself by directing Big Trouble. (Deadline)

 

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