Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

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Fortunately, Itís Entertaining - Lemony Snicketís A Series of Unfortunate Events

Jun 2, 2005
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Action Factor:
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  • Suspense:

Pros:very interesting dark set design, great performance by Liam Aiken and Emily Browning

Cons:might depress some people a little bit

The Bottom Line: It's unfortunate that some people absolutely hated this movie.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

When the previews for A Series of Unfortunate Events started trickling into theaters, I must say that I wasn’t interested, at all. Even with Jim Carrey heading the movie, there just wasn’t any interest that pushed me to see it in theaters. Evidently the interest was just sitting stale and building up, because once it came out on DVD, I became kind of interested in seeing it. I haven’t read the book series, but after watching the movie, I’m very interested in picking up the books and reading all of them. Like Harry Potter did to those who hadn’t read any of the books, A Series of Unfortunate Events is sure to increase book sales a little bit by people that have seen the movie and are inclined to read the books that inspired it.

A Series of Unfortunate Events starts and pick-up at a rather quick pace. Similar to when Hagrid leaves Harry Potter on the front porch of the Dursley’s; Violet, Klaus, and little Sunny Baudelaire are left with the sinister Count Olaf (Jim Carrey) by Mr. Poe (Timothy Spall) when their parents are killed in a mysterious fire at the Baudelaire mansion. Quickly, Count Olaf becomes all three of the ugly stepsisters, and puts the children to work Olaf is a starved actor that becomes obsessed with the family fortune. Before long though, Count Olaf tries to kill the children by stopping the car on train tracks while he went inside to be the “ultimate dad” and get two soda’s and a banana for the monkey, err, Sunny. After the children manage to slip death, Mr. Poe pulls up and takes the children out of Count Olaf’s custody because he thought that Olaf was letting them drive.

After Mr. Poe takes the children from Count Olaf, they are taken to different people like Uncle Monty and Aunt Josephine (Meryl Streep), while being pursued by Olaf and his many personalities. Having not read the books, I don’t know how accurate the movie is, but from an entertainment standpoint, the movie is rich in humor. Apparently, the movie covers the first three books in the series, which leaves me to believe one of two things. Either the books are actually so short that they could fit the first three into the movie, or a lot of events in the books were cut from the movies. While Jude Law narrated the story as Mr. Lemony Snicket, there were a few parts in the movie that would have been more understandable if there was more to explain the scene. The narrator makes multiple points throughout the movie, though times like sailing in the boat across the lake later in the movie aren’t really explained, it’s just there. If you’ve seen the movie, the scene I’m referring to is easy to locate.

Apparently, there is a mystery to whether or not the children’s parent’s deaths were was on accident or if they were killed. There are clues at the end of the movie that may either discredit or prove that their parent’s deaths weren’t an accident. Having not read any of the books though, the ending was kind of hard to understand which way it’s going. Hopefully I’ll be able to understand it after reading the books. Whether the books are suppose to be funny or not, I do not know. What I do know, is that Jim Carrey cracks me up as Count Olaf, and while Liam Aiken (whom has a striking resemblance to a guy I know) and Emily Browning do a stand-up job acting, little Shelby and Kara Hoffman cracked me up more than anything. Sunny has a little baby language of her own that is translated with subtitles, and some of the things she says are priceless. The scene that literally had me roll back and out of my chair was when Olaf stopped the car on the train tracks, and looked back and said “Soda for you, soda for you, and banana for you,” which Sunny replied with a cute little baby speak that translated to “Bite me.” Priceless, if I do say so myself.

Other than Jim Carrey and the kids, other actors include Cedric the Entertainer as a sheriff, and Timothy Spall as the kid’s adoptive agent or whatever Mr. Poe, aka Peter Petigrew from Harry Potter. The first time I watched the movie, I had another image of Timothy’s character stuck in my head, and when I finally realized that he was Peter Petrigrew in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the image of him with those big front teeth and whiskers are burned in my mind for the time being.

I was overall pleased with A Series of Unfortunate Events, but not because of Jim Carrey. I don’t think it was one of his best works, but the little Sunny twins absolutely take the cake, and they don’t even have a real script! This movie is full of humor and mystery, and actually a lot of adventure that had me laughing close to tears on more than one occasion. The special effects also weren’t that bad, and without becoming too kiddy, A Series of Unfortunate Events includes enough material to entertain both the young and the old. Thanks to the movie, I’m going to be buying the entire A Series of Unfortunate Events book series, and look forward to another movie.

Recommend this product? Yes

Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day

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