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Review: The Addams Family

The kooky gothic family is back.

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© Universal

Starring a near perfect cast, The Addams Family tells the story about an unusual family in an unusual (for them) new town.

6.5/10

Trailer for The Addams Family from Universal

“They’re creepy and they’re kooky…” as the theme song goes. After a few years off of television and movie screens, The Addams Family, a gothic family with horror elements within their circle, are back in a new animated feature for a new age. With a cast that could not be more perfect, good animation and some decent jokes, the film is indeed enjoyable, although it has many flaws that pervade this edgy (but not edgy enough) movie

The film concerns the titular family Gomez, played by Oscar Isaac and Morticia (Charlize Theron) having just gotten married, before being chased out of their traditional home by an angry mob for being “weird” according to the locals. To escape from the torches and pitchforks of the “regular people,” they move to the most hideous place they can think of: a converted abandoned insane asylum in New Jersey. From there they live “peacefully” with their hand servant, Thing, and the asylum’s lone living resident turned butler, Lurch, played by co-director Conrad Vernon and later having their 2 children, their solemn and blunt daughter Wednesday (Chloë Grace Moretz) and their explosive loving son Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard).

13 years later however, as the family is planning for a family celebration that would see Pugsly become a man in the eyes of the whole family, they discover a small town called “Assimilation” built by HGTV-esque reality show host Margaux Needler for her next big project right at the foot of the hill their house is. And when the town meets the reclusive “creepy” family, tensions begin to boil, both from within and without both sides.


Impeccably animated, the films style mimics that of the original New Yorker cartoons. Despite being cgi, the animation is given similar rules to 2d, such as the utilizations of squash and stretch for certain comedic moments. Whatever plastic look objects within are deliberate, as the town of Assimilation feels creepy in its own way, with vibes of artificiality and conformity that makes the Addams Family, despite their (sometimes literal) creature comforts, seem natural by comparison.

The cast is probably the best part of the film. It’s good to the point where they could have easily played these characters in live action and be non the worse. This especially goes to Issacs and Theron in their roles, convincingly portraying a couple who very much care for each other (in their own way). Nick Kroll also deserves some spotlight as Uncle Fester, the adorably naive uncle, who has his own lovable but odd quirkiness.

The comedy also works very well, although not 100% of the time. Certain jokes involving Thing were definite causes of laughter, as well as some very funny sight gags throughout. Thankfully the film doesn’t loose all of its edgy morbid humour, though it has noticeably dulled, possibly to accommodate a more family oriented audience that the film appears to be targeting.

The dullness of The Addams Family does come across in its story. The film is rather warm hearted, at times contradicting the tone the family displays across other media. Certain characters will do something wrong or reprehensible, but will receive a proper happy end to it regardless.

The message of the film, while it may be more personal for some than others, is not exactly subtle and can be easily seen coming if you are above the age of a teenager. This also means the story is predictable, following similar beats and motions to some other animated movies, even if the style and timing is different.

Some of the reactions of the characters can be a bit out of touch with who they are, such as the certain times the family will get hurt and they will either act with glee/nonchalance, or react negatively. And in some cases moments where they shouldn’t react negatively.

The Addams Family might not have a complete grasp of the tone that these characters are usually associated with, and may need to polish its script and characters a bit more, but for an animated family film involving slapstick, light morbid humour and colourful designs and animation, you could definitely see a lot worse, especially with a property like The Addams Family.

It just perhaps needs to be more creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky. ■

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Entertainment

The Skywalker saga: End of an era

Star Wars, as we know it, will end.

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© empireonline

Star Wars, Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theatres this Friday, and with it, ushers in the end of a 40 year journey.

“We’ve passed on all we know. A thousand generations live in you now…” is what we hear Jedi master Luke Skywalker say in the trailers for The Rise of Skywalker, the ninth and final chapter in the sprawling Star Wars saga that began in 1977 with A New Hope and focused on the powerful Skywalker family.

As the franchise looks to close the door on one of the most beloved families in pop culture, we can also look ahead to what the galactic series has to offer.

What started in 1977 as a space opera that nobody had heard of, and the stars of the film were unsure of, soon became an unstoppable force. Star Wars debuted and introduced the world to the likes of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo and Darth Vader. In the decades following, characters like Chewbacca, R2-D2, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, Cassian Andor and countless others are beloved in one of the largest and most passionate fanbases.

Dec. 20 will see the final piece of the puzzle release: The Rise of Skywalker. Episode IX concludes not only the sequel trilogy (comprised of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi) but also the entire saga.

In chronological order (including the spinoff films), your viewing order is:
1. The Phantom Menace
2. Attack of the Clones
3. Revenge of the Sith
4. Solo: A Star Wars Story
5. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
6. A New Hope
7. The Empire Strikes Back
8. Return of the Jedi
9. The Force Awakens
10. The Last Jedi
11. The Rise of Skywalker

In recent years, however, fans have produced what’s known as ‘The Machete Cut’ which is an altered viewing order that mixes up the original and prequel trilogies in order to better tell the story of Anakin’s downfall into Darth Vader.

The Machete Cut removes The Phantom Menace entirely from the viewing order as, in the grand scheme of Anakin’s story, it’s not overly relevant. The Machete Cut order would be:
1. A New Hope
2. The Empire Strikes Back
3. Attack of the Clones
4. Revenge of the Sith
5. Return of the Jedi
6. The Force Awakens
7. The Last Jedi
8. The Rise of Skywalker

What this order now provides is the Luke/Vader conflict up until the big info bomb that Vader drops in Ep. V which delves into Anakin/Vader’s backstory immediately after and we get the explanation for everything Obi-Wan tells Luke in original movies.

Now of course, there’s always Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the animated series that fills the (substantially) large gap between Ep. II and III. In this time, Anakin helps lead the Galactic Republic against the Separatists, has a Jedi padawan (Ahsoka) and also just builds the entire galaxy as an actual warzone, one more potent than what we see at the end of Attack of the Clones.

The Clone Wars also sets up the conflict between the Jedi and the Separatist droid leader, General Grievous, as a backstory was hinted at in Ep. III yet nothing was shown.

With The Rise of Skywalker also closing out the story of the sequel trilogy, it will be interesting to see how director JJ Abrams will pick up the reigns from Rian Johnson and The Last Jedi. Ep. VIII was, without a doubt, the most polarizing Star Wars movie. It took a number of daring risks, more so than any previous Star Wars movie, yet, it also seemed to derail the story that Ep. VII was building.

It subverted expectations in a number of ways, like who Rey’s parents really were, who Supreme Leader Snoke was and how important to the story he was, who Luke had become, what the Force can actually do… and not all of these landed for everyone. Disney had to reassess their strategy for Star Wars not long after the release of The Last Jedi in order to not lose the fanbase completely.

The Rise of Skywalker aims to bring back the tone and visual style of The Force Awakens, but also return to the story Abrams was originally telling. A recent TV spot hints at the fact that the story of Rey’s parentage is not yet over, and of course now we’ll have Emperor Palpatine returning as (apparently) the true puppet master behind Snoke and The First Order.

Whether or not The Rise of Skywalker can reel the alienated fans back is yet to be seen.

Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker hits theatres on Dec. 20. ■

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Rainn Wilson coming to Humber College

Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.

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© people.com

Rainn Wilson, the actor who played Dwight Shrute on The Office will come to Humber College’s Lakeshore Campus in January 2020 for an in-depth look at his time on the popular TV series and to provide advice for students, as part of IGNITE’s Real Talks series.

Although The Office has been off the air for a few years at this point, the legacy of Dunder Mifflin Paper Co. still has a strong grip on pop culture and television as a whole. The jokes of Dwight Schrute, Michael Scott, Jim Halpert, Pam Beasley and all of the wild and wacky employees from Scranton, PA can still be heard quoted both in-person and online.

Wilson won the SAG award for Performance in an Ensemble Cast for comedy series for The Office in 2004, 2007 and 2008 which he shared with his costars of the show.

In the time since The Office left TV, Wilson has founded the website and YouTube channel SoulPancake. The channel tackles the human experience and focuses on those who have the ability to change the world.

Wilson has also been part of numerous movements that focus on the betterment of the planet and has recently switched to a vegan lifestyle. He was involved with Justin Wu’s UN Climate Change project in order to bring aware to the crisis that we, as a global community, are facing for the foreseeable future. You can check out SoulPancake’s YouTube channel here.

Tickets for the event go on sale on Jan. 2 and will be $5 for Humber and Guelph-Humber students and $15 for non-Humber students and guests. Only one guest will be allowed per Humber/Guelph-Humber students. ■

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First trailer for 'Wonder Woman 1984' arrives

Gal Gadot returns as the Amazonian warrior.

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© Warner Bros. Pictures

Set in the tubular 1980s, Diana Prince returns in her first appearance since Justice League.

With CCXP underway down in Brazil, Marvel, Star Wars and now DC have all had a presence in showcasing some of their upcoming projects, with Wonder Woman 1984 being one of the biggest pieces of media being shown off.

Set in the year 1984, Diana Prince comes into conflict with the Soviet Union and also finds a powerful adversary by the name of Cheetah (Kristen Wiig).

You check out the first trailer for the film below. ■

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