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Lemony Snicket on DVDLemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
Starring: James E. Carrey, Meryl Streep, Billy Connolly, Emily Browning, Liam Aiken, Shelby and Kara Hoffman, and Timothy Spall
Directed by: Brad Silberling

Jim Carrey Interview
Order the DVD Immediately!




Bluntly speaking? Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is a wonderfully wacky and deliciously dark masterpiece. Dripping of Gorey-isms and Addams-esque hues (thanks to Rick Heinrichs and his spectacular art department), the film whips up a realm of devilishly different entertainment. And Jim Carrey, who steals the show as the hammified Count Olaf, is the reigning king of this slice of humorous macabre to be sure.

Story goes… the three Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus and Sunny (Emily Browning, Liam Aiken, Shelby and Kara Hoffman), have been left orphans by a tragic, and unfortunate event.

Their parents had luckily left a Mr. Poe (Timothy Spall) what-to-do instruction, in such an event, and the trio is sallied off in the guardianship of their recently surfacing "uncle", Count Olaf (Jim Carrey).

The Count, a rather self-absorbed ac-tor, wouldn't know a night-time fable from a race-track form, and has one thing percolating in that balding dome of his - the children's immense fortune…

His humble abode is nothing short of a ramshackle den of the absurd and a haven for his colossal self-love. He immediately engulfs the children and sets them to work as his personal assistants/servants. Ms. Cinderella had it easy...

Luckily, Mr. Poe quickly realizes he may have made a judgment error in Olaf and removes the kids - lickedy split.

They end up with their exciting and loving Uncle Monty (Billy Connolly). Monty, who's kind of a nutter himself, has great plans for travel and an adventuresome life for the newly formed foursome. But another unfortunate event cuts his plans short and the children are again shuffled off to another relative.

This time they are put with their starnge, but cordial, Aunt Josephine (Meryl Streep). She has a bit of a fear issue. In fact the poor old gal's afraid of just about everything. And just as the children settle in, a strange sea-faring man, Captain Sham (also Carrey) surfaces to woo dear Aunt Josephine…an unfortunate event occurs and viola…they are back with they are back within the grip of the conniving Count Olaf.

And this time the desperate Count has ruthlessly plotted his way towards that fortune.

If anyone would actually stop and listen to the children, none of these shenanigans would ever be set forth…but adults are adults and they remain oblivious to the trials these kids continue to face. Luckily, each child has a special talent that assists them in these series of unfortunate events, and their search for normalcy. Violet is an inventor. She can look at items and create marvelous machines. Her brother Klaus, loves to read. And he remembers what he reads and is able to assist. Little Sunny has razor sharp teeth, and enjoys biting - anything - and everything. They may just be okay...

As the menacing Count Olaf, complete with a balding head, spattered about with bafoony shoots of gray hair, and a nose Clouseau would be envious of, Jim Carrey leaps about within the frames almost transcending into a cartooned character. He's wonderfully hilarious and oh-so-darkly shifted. And this "Count Olaf" fella fancies himself an extraordinary actor - he's not of course - he's really a nasty schmo; a grand turkey stuffed with mounds of Spam, with a dollop of pure evil creme. Carrey also plays several roles as a "disguised" Count, and reminds us all why he is the highest paid comedian on Earth. Be sure to pack your protective headgear for when you lunge uncontrollably forward from laughter into the theater seat before you! And listen closely to the Count's brilliant haranguing for a smidge of added comedy glee…

The children, Emily Browning, Liam Aiken, Shelby and Kara Hoffman, are precious. Each shines in their role. They manage to transform the Baudelaire children from the written word onto the screen so well, any true enthusiast of the books (on which the film is firmly based) should be giddy.

Meryl Streep as Aunt Josephine is simply wonderful - and perfectly bizarre. Billy Connolly, as Uncle Monty, as a particular bit of good as well.

Jude Law lends his voice as Lemony Snicket and guides us through the children's many perils. The film is dark and the wee-er ones may have issue with some of the stunts the kids are put through. But it's all in good fun, and ultimately nothing more-so than the book series by Danial Handler. Director Brad Silberling has created a world askew even the master of fables foncées, Tim Burton, would be proud of. Enjoy.

Snack recommendation: Pasta Puttanesca with a slab of Canadian bacon, roasted leech pate, and some frosty ale

 


 

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