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Barry Sonnenfeld
Raul Julia, Anjelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd
Writing Credits:
Caroline Thompson, Larry Wilson

Con artists plan to fleece an eccentric family using an accomplice who claims to be their long-lost uncle.

Box Office:
$30 million.
Opening Weekend
$24,203,754 on 2411 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Dolby Vision
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Audio Description
French Dolby 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 99 min. (Theatrical)
101 min. (With More Mamushka! Version)
Price: $25.99
Release Date: 11/23/2021

• Two Cuts of the Film
• “Filmmaker Focus” Featurette
• Archival Featurette


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


The Addams Family [4K UHD] (1991)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 16, 2021)

A big-screen adaptation of the 1960s TV series, 1991’s The Addams Family brought a successful enterprise. Through not a huge hit, it did pretty well and also established cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld as a feature director.

25 years earlier, Gomez Addams (Raul Julia) offended his brother Fester, and the latter disappeared. Every year on this anniversary, Gomez, wife Morticia (Anjelica Huston) and the rest of their morbidly eccentric family stage a séance to attempt to reunite with Fester.

These attempts always fail, but they open the door for a scam artist to make a killing. Their accountant Tully Alford (Dan Hedaya) owes a fortune to loan shark Abigail Craven (Elizabeth Wilson) and he attempts to scrape up the needed funds from Gomez.

Tully comes up with a scheme when he meets Craven’s son Gordon (Christopher Lloyd), a thug who bears a strong resemblance to Fester. Gordon impersonates Fester and tries to wheedle his way toward the Addams fortune.

Most adaptations of TV series don’t work very well, but Family manages to overcome that curse. Darkly comic, it turns into a pretty enjoyable effort.

The producers didn't skimp on cast, and it shows with a crew of terrific actors like Julia, Huston and Lloyd. None of these actors were then or ever became huge names, but they're solid performers whose work adds a lot of credibility to the project, and they're all very good.

I especially like Julia's hilariously manic acting as patriarch Gomez. All at once he makes the character suave and dashing but also often displays an incredible amount of child-like glee and zest. It's a great performance.

Most notable among the actors, however, is then-young Christina Ricci as sullen and morose daughter Wednesday. This wasn't her first movie - actually, it was her third, after turns in both Mermaids and The Hard Way.

However, it was a breakout performance as she stole every since in which she appeared with her morbidly dark but wittily nasty tone. Her success in the role directly affected the sequel, as she receives much screen time in 1993’s Addams Family Values.

Family also is served well by Barry Sonnenfeld’s hyperkinetic direction. Sonnenfeld earned note as a cinematographer, primarily through his efforts alongside the Coen brothers.

Family was Sonnenfeld's initial directorial attempt, and he quickly establishes what would become his signature style of flashy camera movements.

For the most part, Sonnenfeld's spastic methods work well for Family because he brings a new energy to the piece. Not content to simply rehash the TV show, Sonnenfeld's high level of activity makes the movie something different and fairly exciting.

Even after all these years - and similar styles in most of his other films - it still seems pretty fun here. The movie as a whole remains witty and entertaining.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C

The Addams Family appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this 4K UHD disc. Though a product of its era, this Dolby Vision image became a positive presentation.

Sharpness usually satisfied. A few shots looked a bit tentative – usually related to visual effects – but the majority of the film boasted appealing delineation.

I saw no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also failed to appear.

Given the subject matter, the film largely opted with a subdued palette. Within these choices, though, the colors felt appropriate, and the disc’s HDR added vivacity to the bolder hues we did locate.

Blacks appeared dark and dense, and shadows looked smooth. HDR brought range and dimensionality to whites and contrast. This became a pretty nice image.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it worked fine for its vintage as well. Given the movie’s ambitions, it didn’t always sizzle, but it packed a decent punch when necessary.

Music showed good stereo presence, and the various channels contributed solid engagement to the side and rear. Much of the material remained atmospheric, but the movie’s wilder scenes – like one with Gomez’s toy trains – managed to open up the side and rear speakers in a dynamic manner.

Audio quality also seemed fine. Speech was reasonably natural and concise, while music showed acceptable pep and clarity.

Effects brought us accurate enough material, though some mild distortion cropped up at times. The soundtrack held up well over the last 30 years.

How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Both came with the same DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio.

As for the 4K UHD’s Dolby Vision image, it delivered obvious improvements over the Blu-ray. A native 4K film, the image looked better defined and showed bolder hues and stronger blacks. This turned into a clear upgrade over the Blu-ray.

The 4K comes with two versions of the film: the original theatrical cut (1:39:37) as well as a new With More Mamushka! edition (1:41:09).

As implied by the title, the extra 92 seconds of “More” come solely from the movie’s “Mamushka” sequence. In this cut, we get a song sung by Gomez that goes absent in the original release. I can’t claim that the longer scene rocks my world, but it adds a little fun to the affair.

Note that the longer “Mamushka” blends seamlessly with the rest of the flick. I feared it might show degraded visuals, but instead, it fit just fine.

“More Mamushka! can be viewed with or without an introduction from director Barry Sonnenfeld. This lasts 32 seconds and simply lets us know we’ll get a longer Mamushka scene. It’s not informative but it’s painless.

We get two featurettes here, and Filmmaker Focus runs 16 minutes, 32 seconds. New to this release, director Barry Sonnenfeld discusses how he moved from cinematographer to the director’s chair as well as photographic/visual choices, cast and performances, some production complications and other notes.

It remains unfortunate that Sonnenfeld didn’t sit for a commentary. However, he packs a lot of good information into this brisk and engaging chat.

The disc also presents an archival featurette. It goes for seven minutes, 29 seconds and features Sonnenfeld and actors Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Judith Malina, Christina Ricci, Carel Struycken and Jimmy Workman.

The featurette looks at story/characters as well as some production basics. While watchable, it largely remains promotional fare.

Note that the 2019 Blu-ray includes two trailers that fail to reappear here.

A good mix of morbid comedy and slapstick, The Addams Family remains enjoyable. Largely thanks to a strong cast, the movie keeps us entertained. The 4K UHD comes with terrific picture and good audio as well as a couple supplements. Witty and fun, the movie works.

To rate this film visit the prior review of ADDAMS FAMILY

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