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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » The Addams Family/Addams Family Values 2 Movie Collection (Blu-ray)
The Addams Family/Addams Family Values 2 Movie Collection (Blu-ray)
Paramount // PG-13 // October 1, 2019 // Region A
List Price: $16.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ian Jane | posted October 11, 2019 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

With a new animated The Addams Family movie hitting theaters soon, it should come as a surprise to no one that the two feature films are getting a Blu-ray double feature release. However, those hoping for a features-laden remaster of either picture will be disappointed. This set simply reissues the original Blu-ray of the first movie and uses a noticeably dated master for the second. And extra features? Nah, forget about it. Still, the two movies are a lot of fun…

The Addams Family:

Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld in 1991, the live action theatrical feature The Addams Family begins when Gomez Addams (Raúl Juliá) 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. Raúl Juliá 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.

Addams Family Values:

Sonnenfeld and the key cast members from the first film returned in 1993's Addams Family Values. The story this time around, Gomez and Morticia are celebrating the arrival of Pubert, a bouncing baby boy. Wednesday and Pugsley are decidedly nonplussed about this and take it upon themselves to get rid of the poor kid. Meanwhile, the arrival of a new nanny, Debbie Jellinsky (Joan Cusack), sets Unlce Fester's heart aflutter. In order to keep Wednesday and Pugsley from doing away with the new addition, they're sent off to summer camp.

Soon enough, there are signs that Debbie is really only into Fester for his money, but soon enough, they're wed, after which there are a few mysterious ‘accidents' that almost wind up planting Fester six feet under. However, Pugsley and Wednesday are more hip to Debbie's game than she realizes and it isn't long before they're doing everything they can to get out of the preppy hell that is Camp Chippewa and back home to save Fester from his murderous new gold digging bride!

A rare sequel that's just as good as the original, Addams Family Values works for basically the same reasons that the first movie worked. Once again we have an excellent cast. Joan Cusack's character isn't quite as interesting or inspired as the Addams' are and some of the subplots involving the kids' trip to summer camp are a bit limp but when the movie is focusing on the core Addams Family characters, it is a lot of fun. Once again, Ricci as Wednesday Addams is the film's crown jewel but Julia and Huston are once again perfect and Lloyd is his typically reliable self as the always eccentric Fester.

The production design and costume work in this second film is just as solid as the first and once again the film is nicely paced and loaded with some very effective humor. Sure, most of the jokes revolve around the Addams' bizarre, gothic tropes and macabre lifestyle but that's what you want out of an Addams Family project, so that's a plus rather than a minus.

The Video:

The transfer for The Addams Family would seem to be identical to the 2014 Blu-ray release. It's an AVC encoded 1080p presentation framed at 1.85.1 widescreen on a 50GB disc and while it never hits reference quality levels it looks decent enough. Would it have looked better if taken from a new 2k or 4k scan? Of course, but it's a perfectly nice HD viewing experience as it stands. Though this isn't the most colorful movie ever made, given the film's intended color scheme, colors are nicely reproduced and detail is quite good throughout. There are no noticeable compression artifacts or edge enhancement problems and detail is good.

Addams Family Values, which makes its Blu-ray debut with this release, also arrives in AVC encoded 1080p high definition, framed at 1.78.1 widescreen, also on a 50GB disc. This picture has issues. Clearly taken from an aged master, there's noticeable, albeit minor, print damage throughout and even some occasional compression artifacts. Colors also occasionally look off. Detail is better than DVD could offer but not even close to how good a properly authored Blu-ray should look. Those hoping for a really nice presentation for the second film are going to be disappointed. This is serviceable but no better than that.

The Audio:

Both films are given English language DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio tracks and both films sound quite good. The scores sound very nice and are spread around well and throughout both films you'll pick up on some fun surround sound activity throughout 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 either film.

Optional subtitles provided in English, French and Spanish for the first movie and English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish for the second movie. French and Spanish language Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo tracks are also provided for the first film while the second movie gets Spanish, Italian, German, French and Japanese language Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo tracks.

The Extras:

Outside of a pair of trailers, there are no other extras here. We do get menus and chapter selection and a slipcover, however.

Overall:

Paramount's Blu-ray release of The Addams Family/Addams Family Values simply reissues the original film's 2014 Blu-ray and throws in the sequel taken from a rough looking, older master. No real effort was put into this release, sadly. Both of the movies are a lot of fun and very entertaining and even the sequel does look better than the DVD, but it's hard to wholeheartedly recommend this given that the transfer on the sequel is as lackluster as it is. At least the price is right.

Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.

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