New on DVD: 'Addams Family' offers comfort in darkness

Katie Foran-McHale, Tribune News Service on

Published in Entertainment News

"The Addams Family": Sometimes it's nice to know exactly which type of family you're dealing with (i.e. creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky). And like its everlasting theme song, the latest incarnation of "The Addams Family" stays true to the source material of Charles Addams' New Yorker cartoons.

In this computer-animated tale, daughter Wednesday (voiced by Chloe Grace Moretz) rebels against her parents (Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron) by befriending the daughter of a suspicious home and garden TV personality (Allison Janney). The host discovers the family's property and sets her sights on destroying it to gentrify the New Jersey suburban community.

While it doesn't necessarily have anything new to say, the film offers a comforting exploration of our personal dark sides through the macabre and the funny, wrote Tribune News Service Katie Walsh in her review.

"The appeal of this 'The Addams Family,' which doesn't break the mold, is simply to spend some more time in this gently spooky world, which is a gateway for budding creepsters and goths," wrote Walsh. "It's refreshing that it doesn't try to overreach the limitations of its story, but it's so slight, it merely whets the appetite for more Addams fare, rather than providing anything truly satisfying."

"Zombieland: Double Tap": For better and for worse, a lot has changed since 2009. We are safely separated from a world in which "The Walking Dead" doesn't exist, Juicy Couture is in its prime and misogynistic humor in comedies runs rampant (or at least it's not as bad?). Not so in the "Zombieland" franchise.

In the film, Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abagail Breslin) reside peacefully in the White House while the zombie apocalypse is still in full swing until broody nerd Columbus' marriage proposal inspires sardonic Wichita and Little Rock to bail. Little Rock eventually falls for a hippie in Graceland and the gang sets out to find her.


If you liked the first movie and want to soak in snark, this is the unnecessary 10-years-later sequel for you, wrote Chicago Tribune critic Michael Phillips in his review.

"The first 'Zombieland' remains director (Ruben) Fleischer's best movie by a mile; this one acknowledges, brazenly, the familiarity of it all," wrote Phillips. "Call 'Double Tap' an act of fan service, no less than 'Downton Abbey' or, in an entirely different and inferior grade of glibness, 'Joker.'


"Countdown": A nurse (Elizabeth Lail) must beat the clock after opening an app that says she'll die in three days.


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