Opening this week: The Addams Family Ever since the classic John Astin TV series, every new adaptation of The Addams Family that's been announced for stage or screen has carried a sniffing declaration that it'll be more "faithful" to the source cartoons. And then what do we get? Nathan Lane. Yet I'm still holding out hope for this latest animated take, for reasons I'll admit are largely personal. For one thing, the trailers establish that the action takes place in New Jersey – and I myself happen to have grown up just a couple communities over from Westfield, the Garden State town where Charles Addams was born. It's also where he saw the two houses that influenced the design of his Addams Family abode. And if that seems like a silly cause célèbre, you don't know the half of it: I once went off on a Quebec City tour guide when he tried to claim one of their lousy little houses had somehow been Addams' inspiration. Nice try, Marcel! Maybe you people should stick to things you can really take credit for. Like hockey. And blackface. (PG)
Gemini Man Until recently, I was under the mistaken impression this Ang Lee-directed sci-fi picture was just another example of Will Smith perverting a classic genre property (cf., I, Robot, I Am Legend). Then I remembered the original Gemini Man was not a beloved sci-fi film or novel at all, but rather a TV series about invisibility that aired on NBC in 1976 and was yanked after only five episodes. Hardly hallowed ground to worry about anyone treading upon. And anyway, this film has nothing in common with the show beyond the title: It's an "original" concept about a government assassin who's being stalked by his much younger clone. The advance hype centers on the allegedly state-of-the-art SFX director Lee has used to bring the Smith of today into the same frame with one who harkens back to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Which, come to think of it, aired on ... NBC. Yeah, I'm still taking partial credit on this one. (See what our Cameron Meier thought of the flick on orlandoweekly.com.) (PG-13)
Jexi Remember Her? It was one of the movies Joaquin Phoenix made before he became the Joker and started emotionally abusing New York Times reporters. (Don't ask.) Anyway, Her was about a guy who falls in love with his Siri-type virtual assistant. Now, with Jexi, Hollywood shows it's obsessed with balance: The VA here is apparently more on the Alexa side (I mean, just check out that title), and this time, she's a jealous obsessive who tries to stand between her owner and a normal life. Hey, we can't have too much namby-pamby non-misogynist romance in our flicks, can we? In the lead role is Adam DeVine, who may or may not become the Joaquin Phoenix of tomorrow. I know, I know: tall order. Maybe he can warm up by being shitty to the calendar editor from the Cleveland Plain Dealer or something. (R)
– This story appeared in the Oct. 9, 2019, print issue of Orlando Weekly. Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly Headlines newsletter.