Friday, October 18, 2019

MLEEP Reviews: The Addams Family | #TheAddamsFamily

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THE ADDAMS FAMILY
Written By Matt Lieberman and Pamela Pettler
Composed By Mychael and Jeff Danna
Produced By Gail Berman, Conrad Vernon, Alex Schwartz and Alison O'Brien
Edited By Kevin Pavlovic and David Ian Salter
Directed By Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan

There aren't many fictional families that have made a great cultural impact influencing many different genres and The Addams Family is not only one of them but they also stand out among the rest-in fact, that's the whole point of them!  Originally developed as one panel cartoons by Charles Addams, the family went on to impact several fields in order to make the creepy and the macabre look charming and fun: they had several television shows both live-action and animated, got a few successful cult movies, had a Broadway show and many many more to become true pop culture icons and let's not forget about that legendary theme song.

But then came the 2010 decade where Hollywood decided to take the long journey in bringing The Addams Family back into the mainstream and return them to their cartoon origins.  It was originally gonna be a stop-motion feature by Illumination Entertainment with Tim Burton...but then when they gave up on those plans, MGM stepped in to take the charge in making the animated Addams Family movie that the world deserves.  So now that they're back for a family reunion, will they deliver a fun-filled fright with a snap or will we need Thing's help to give this movie an additional thumbs down?  Let's find out, this is 'The Addams Family'!

THE ADDAMS FAMILY: 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.

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PROS:
  • The animation-I am aware that there are people out there immediately put off by the movie's looks and its unappealing animation which is not the kind that can make the Addams fun yet I however understand what it's trying to do since they stay true to the original cartoons by Charles Addams in terms of the designs while emphasizing on the macabre look onto both the characters and their environment.  With that said, it's probably the best thing this movie did since it does play a lot with the creepy and dark theming while even turning the entire house itself into a living character to its credit and the visual gags are a bit more effective than the weak comedy to deliver some entertainment.  However, that's where the praise ends since the creepy and kooky novelty does wear off pretty quickly like I said earlier and it ends up running out of materials where the only thing it can do is just rehash the same gags that it did before to progress the plot.  I mean, it can be executed well with the character animation and the effects but yet that sense of wonder with what it's visually presenting to its viewers get weaker as the film continues and again gets quickly repetitive.  Funny enough, while the Addams and their creepy nature are decently executed visually...it's actually what is considered normal that's the most off-putting with the animation: while it does well in adapting the original Charles Addams art, it has trouble expanding outside of the macabre elements since the town itself is just average and dull while the people have this awkward design where they look like they belong in an Illumination film with how ridiculously skinny they look or in something like 'Big Mouth' especially with Parker who looks like she's getting advice from a hormone monster


CONS:
  • The story-you can no longer expect anything ordinary and predictable to happen when the Addams Family comes to your neighborhood and yet it ended up having the opposite effect when they came to theaters with their new animated feature...I might as well start this off with the biggest problem of the movie: it's so boring and the story is the most prominent evidence of that since there are several plot lines happening at the same time while the main one is the Addams and the average town nearby are beginning to notice each other where the town at first mainly resents the newly discovered family but slowly learns to accept them with the exception of the villain.  Yep, this is the typical 'fish out of water' story as you can tell complete with the usual moral of being true to yourself and it's okay to be weird when everything around you wants to be normal.  As the film progresses, the message feels a lot more hammered in and excruciating and I'd also add that part of the issue comes from the fact that subtlety is not one of the movie's strengths especially when they moved into a little town called Assimilation while the side plots are only there to make things worse whether it be Wednesday becoming more curious of the world outside of her gruesome home or Pugsley struggling to prepare himself for his mazurka to become a man worthy of the Addams name resulting in giving the movie a highly generic plot that makes it immediately predictable with nothing new to make itself different ironically turning the family that's all about being out of the norm into an average and easily forgettable family flick.  But speaking of the Addams themselves, you're probably hoping that their signature charm can help brighten the mood and the answer is that it does for only a few minutes and I'll give it that there is some effort to capture that old spirit of what made the family so lovable all these years but yet it quickly wears off after the first ten minutes and the macabre novelty then gets repetitive with the humor not helping either consisting mainly of one-liners and pushing the novelty until it overstays its welcome
  • The characters-the biggest reason to watch 'The Addams Family' is to see the family since their personalities are equally as iconic as their dark theming...and as long as the filmmakers can get this right, then the movie wi-okay, no point getting around this one: yes, even the characters suck in this movie!  I mean, I will say that the actors did well in their respective roles but yet there's nothing they could do to fix what was broken beyond repair with how incredibly weak the script is: with the main 'head over heels' couple Gomez and Morticia, they're just the concerning parents looking after their respective kid and worried if they're going down the wrong path rather it be with Gomez preparing bombing expert Pugsley for his mazurka in order to become a man in the traditional Addams way without much success or Morticia looking after Wednesday's safety from the outside world when she joins the group of cliche characters in seeing what new things are out there for her to discover.  Of course, other family members are there like Uncle Fester and Grandmama to Thing and Lurch but yet they contribute nothing to the plot and are only meant as comic reliefs-yes, Cousin It also makes an appearance but yet he might as well be considered just a cameo along with his obviously censored version of 'Drop It Like It's Hot'.  Outside of the family, the only character that is significant to the plot is the home designing television host Margaux who is determined to take down the Addams Family in order to have everything in her town be in her exact vision along with being a neglectful parent to her daughter Parker who befriends Wednesday and is inspired by her style to rebel against her mother.  Without going into details for spoiler reasons and while Margaux is the generic villain for these types of stories, I will say what happens to her in the end is very confusing-yeah, her secrets get exposed in front of the whole town but yet she doesn't get any consequences for it with her conclusion ending up raising so many questions


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Overall...they're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're all together ooky but not in this movie!  'The Addams Family' is such a beloved franchise over the years that one would have to figure out how to put in actual effort to make them look bad and this movie managed to find a way since this was a painfully bland feature that is against everything that the family stands for.  While it does try to deliver some decent animation and solid voice acting, they're not enough to excuse it for the terrible writing that plays too safe giving out an uninspiring story along with a sense of repetitiveness in weak jokes and taking the iconic characters and turning them into a forgettable cast.  The good news from all of this is that there are plenty of better options than this in case you need your Addams fill whether it be the 1990's movies or any of the television shows and I recommend sticking to those if you want to have an actual good time with the family since this film however managed to make The Addams Family boring and generic and that's a fail so bad that I have to give this one a rating of a 4 out of 10.

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