Starring Jim Carrey, Emily Browning, Liam Aiken, Kara Hoffman, Shelby Hoffman, Timothy Spall, Billy Connolly, Meryl Streep, Catherine O’Hara, Jude Law, Cedric the Entertainer, Luis Guzmn
Written By: Daniel Handler, Robert Gordon
Directed By: Brad Silberling
Buy on Amazon.com link
I wanted to go see Lemony Snicket’s in the theater but I never got around to it for some reason. I never read the books but I’ve heard good things about them. I heard mixed reactions towards the movie though. If you don’t like Jim Carrey, you probably won’t like this movie. I liked the movie but the film left me scratching my head. No, I don’t have dandruff!
Lemony Snicket is based on the dark but successful children books written by Daniel Handler. The movie is narrated by the mysterious Lemony Snicket (yet again…Jude Law) who tells the bad tale about the 3 unluckiest children, the Baudelaire orphans. Violet, the smart 14th year old girl (Emily Browning), bookworm Klaus (Liam Aitken) and baby biter Sunny (Kara Hoffman, Shelby Hoffman). The children find out their parents were killed in a house fire. They are awaited by a clueless banker (Timothy Spall) who tells them they have to be in custody with their Uncle, Count Olaf (played by Jim Carrey). They never met Count Olaf before, and they probably wished they never have. Count Olaf lives in a craphole of a home, especially what the Baudelaire’s are used to. Right off the bat, they know what Count Olaf is after, which is their parent’s fortune. Count Olaf tries throughout the course of the movie to kill the kids, have them hit by a train, eaten by killer leeches, and he even tries marrying the 14 year old Violet. Yeah that’s just plain creepy right there, but then again, Count Olaf is a creepy evil guy. Emily Browning is a cute girl but just a little too young to marry I think haha.
I never read any of these books so I was pretty clueless going into this movie. I just knew it was a dark story and that the parents died. After seeing the movie, I liked it but felt stuff was left out. I had a lot of questions to ask after the movie, so I had to ask my Mom since she read the books. Maybe some questions were left open because of potential sequels? The movie wasn’t really a big hit unfortunately and it didn’t do that great at the box office. I’m sure it will do better business on DVD though.
I can tell you, if you don’t Like Jim Carrey and find him annoying, you won’t like this movie. I’m a Jim Carrey fan so I thought he was hysterical. Only he can play an overacted actor who dresses up into other characters with different personalities. The kids did a great job too with the acting. Thankfully they were like Jake Lloyd. There’s also plenty of big name actors & character actors in this movie like Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, Billy Connolly, Catherine O’ Hara, Craig Ferguson, Luiz Guzman and Jude Law. I think Chris Rock was right at the Oscars. Jude Law WAS in everything in 2004. But he still does a good job at narrating the story.
The story isn’t all dark and there are a lot of funny scenes in the movie. It’s unfortunate for the kids to go through all that crap. Just when you thought it was safe for the kids, nope it wasn’t. It was sometimes very frustrating to watch. But you are warned in the beginning from Lemony Snicket that this isn’t some happy little elf movie. I thought that was a good way to start the movie off. The way the narration was often comical because it was so cynical and negative. Another thing in the movie that I thought was funny, was that all the adults in the movie are either stupid or evil and the younger kids are super smart. Plus the adults never listen to the kids but if they did, there wouldn’t have been a story would there? I think the best thing about the film, besides the acting of Jim Carrey was the set design and makeup. The sets were very Tim Burtonish and really creepy looking. I liked it a lot, and the make up was good as well. I’m not sure how the movie compares to the books. I’m actually curious about the story and want to read the books now. I was like that for Harry Potter when I saw the first movie. I’m sure there are fans of the book that aren’t happy with the movie. I’m also sure there are non-fans confused with some parts of the movie because they never read the books…like me.
There’s 2 different version DVDs you can buy. The bare bones DVD or the special collector’s edition 2 disc set, which is the one I’m reviewing. There’s the movie and some extras on one disc, and then there’s another DVD filled with goodies for Snicket fans to enjoy! I watched disc one first and that had some deleted scenes and outtakes on there. There were okay, nothing really explaining the story or added any depth to the characters. There were some funny scenes in there though, same goes with the outtakes. There’s so much stuff on here that I didn’t get to listen to the commentaries or watch all the extras. There’s a Featurette on Thomas Newman’s score and I enjoyed watching that. I’m a big fan of film scores and really like Newman’s scores like Shawshank Redemption, Road to Perdition and this one. There’s a Featurette on the making of and that includes a funny cut scene (I think?) of Count Olaf in the grocery store doing a Cola/Diet Cola test. That should have been included in the movie but it might have been out of place. Every aspect of the movie is explained in depth and put into extras for viewers to watch.
Lemony Snicket’s isn’t a perfect movie and probably could have been edited together better so that the story could flow better. But with that being said, I still liked the movie and it makes me want to read the books now. If Jim Carrey wasn’t in this movie, I’m not sure how I would have felt about the film. If you like the movie, this is the DVD to get!
Commentary with Director Brad Silberling
Brad Silberling and the Real Lemony Snicket Commentary
Bad Beginnings: “Building a Bad Actor,” “Making the Baudelaire Children Miserable,” “Interactive Olaf”
Orphaned Scenes: 11 “Dismal Deletions” and 5 “Obnoxious Outtakes”
Disc 2 A Terrible Tragedy: Alarming Evidence from the Making of the Film:
Volume. Frequency. Decibels
Sinister Special Effects
Includes the first Lemony Snicket Book, The Bad Beginning
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
SPANISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Favorite Scenes: The kids meeting Olaf for the first time, Olaf dressing up like those other characters like Stefano and the sailor dude, the train track scene
Running Time: 116 minutes