Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) review


This entertaining movie remains fairly accurate to the books with great direction and a stellar performance by veteran comedy actor Jim Carrey.

PLOT:After their mansion mysteriously burns down and kills their parents, inventor Violet (Emily Browning), bookworm Klaus (Liam Aiken), and sharp-toothed Sunny Baudelaire are sent to live with their strange "relative", Count Olaf (Jim Carrey), an actor in self-written plays. Olaf is a mean-spirited, greedy person with an eye on the enormous fortune willed to the kids by their parents, and he's willing to do anything to get to it, including killing the kids. The Baudelaire orphans must run from Olaf, whether it involves strange inventions or jumping from distant guardian to distant guardian. It's a great plot executed very well.

ACTING:The performances in this movie are alright. Jim Carrey definitely stole the show as the strange and greedy Count Olaf. Carrey has always been a favorite actor of mine, and this performance is just as comedic, entertaining, and overdone as most of his are usually. I really enjoyed him in here. The orphans were okay. There really wasn't anything special about their acting, as they were still child actors. Liam Aiken wasn't bad as Klaus, and I suppose Emily Browning was okay. The more mature extra performances, such as Meryl Streep as Aunt Josephine and Billy Connolly as Uncle Monty. I really liked the way they played their roles as the paranoid grammar freak and the open-minded snake professor. Jude Law's narration as Lemony Snicket was also very nice as well. The other performances worth mentioning would be Cedric the Entertainer as the Constable and Catherine O'Hara as Justice Strauss. I didn't care too much for Timothy Spall as Mr. Poe.

SCORE:The score in here is very cool and detailed by the great Thomas Newman. Some themes are lighter pieces while others are dark and intense, with a very modern-sounding piece for the end credits.

EFFECTS:The effects in this movie weren't expertly done, but they did what they were supposed to do. I enjoyed the Lachrymose leeches and the destruction of Aunt Josephine's house best. The rest seemed a bit lazily done and almost too fake in appearance.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie is a fun watch. The movie almost stays true to its source material and is directed very nicely by Brad Silberling. The movie strays a good bit from the books by a few plot twists, but its pretty well adapted for the most part. Aside from the few inaccuracies and a couple bland performances, I also found myself upset that they didn't continue the story or explain the backstories of the family and villains clear enough. I was still left asking far too many questions. Its a fun movie, but I believe there could have been more made, or there could have been more information added.

OVERALL,a good movie with a great plot, decent acting aside from Carrey's comedic performance, cool score, lazily done effects, very nice direction, and fair accuracy to its source material, but some important twists are left out, including the backstories of the secret groups.

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