When I was younger, I was a little obsessed with the Series of Unfortunate Events books. Even now I randomly remember certain parts of the books...it's been years since I reread the series but there are so many quirky details that they've stuck with me. :)
I've been wanting to watch the film adaptation again, because it's one of those movies that I absolutely loved when I was younger.
First of all, I have to admit that this isn't a perfect adaptation, by any means. It covers the first three books in under two hours, so of course there are tons of details that didn't make it into the film. But I think they captured the feeling of the books. The dark humor and absurdity and quirkiness. I'm glad to say that I still love this movie, all these years later. :)
The whole look of the movie is gorgeous. It's dark and old-fashioned and sort of Tim Burton-ish. The sets are gloomy and incredibly detailed. The costumes are wonderful, especially Count Olaf's striped outfit and that ridiculous top hat he wears in the brief court scene. Sunny's dresses are so sweet.
The casting is pretty awesome, too! I'm not really a big Jim Carrey fan, but he is hilarious as Count Olaf (and Stefano...and Captain Sham). His facial expressions and voices are so bizarre. I know that Count Olaf isn't necessarily a comedic character in the book, but I like the lighter tone they took in the film. (And even though he's funnier, he's no less dangerous.) Captain Sham is great, but by far my favorite role of Jim Carrey's in this movie is Mr. Stefano. Oh my goodness...he cracks me up, with his "reconstructed" face and his moustache, which is a tad askew. And apparently Carrey improvised a lot of Stefano and Sham's lines, so I have to give him credit for that.
There are lots of famous faces in smaller parts, which is unusual but done really well. Mr. Poe is played by Timothy Spall (from Harry Potter, Enchanted, and lots of adaptations of Dickens novels). Then there's Jennifer Coolidge in a bit part (lately of Austenland), as well as Catherine O'Hara (known mostly to me as the mom from Penelope :). And of course there's Meryl Streep, though she has a bigger role. I wouldn't consider myself a big fan of hers, but recently I've seen several films of hers and she's been quite good in all of them. She is so funny and pitiful (and slightly mad) as Aunt Josephine. The hurricane scene in her house is a bit extreme, but I always liked how ironic it was that all of the crazy fears she had about her home actually happened. :)
Uncle Monty was always my favorite guardian, at least in the movie (probably in the books, since most of the guardians weren't fit to take care of children). Despite the whole snake thing, he's just so friendly and kind. I love his curly hair, his accent, and his cozy house that reminds me of a hobbit hole.
I like the casting with the children, too. I had a crush on movie Klaus when I was younger...probably because he loved books. :) Violet and Klaus really look like siblings, and Sunny is ridiculously adorable! I wish they had made her a little more similar to the book character, but she's so cute and some of her subtitled exclamations are hilarious.
The soundtrack is awesome...one of my favorites. The music suits the film perfectly. And I have to mention the very beginning of the film and the credits. I can't remember whether I saw this in theaters or not, but it seems like I did. Anyway, the first time I saw it I remember thinking, am I even watching the right movie? The false beginning is so strange, but I love the way they tie it in. :) Also, I'm a bit obsessed with the animation in the credits. It's gorgeous.
The end of the movie is obviously left open for sequels, but unfortunately that never happened. I really wish it had, though. I don't know how easily they could have done it...they switched things around and it would have made the mysterious parts of the books difficult a little later on. And obviously they would have had to keep combining a few books into each film, because I don't think a thirteen part film series would have happened. :)
I really do love this movie. It still makes me laugh, just like it did ten years ago. I wanted to do a review(ish) because I honestly don't hear people talking about this film much. It seems like not many people have seen it, which is sad, so I'm spreading the word. :) Whether you've read the books or not, if you appreciate slightly dark, quirky humor, I think you'll like this movie.
Now I want to reread the series even more. :)
Have you read the book series or seen the film? What did you think?