If you spliced Charles Addams, Dr. Seuss, Charles Dickens, Edward Gorey, and Roald Dahl into a Tim Burtonesque landscape, you'd surely come up with something like Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Many critics (in mostly mixed reviews) wondered why Burton didn't direct this comically morbid adaptation of the first three books in the popular series by Daniel Handler (a.k.a. "Lemony Snicket," played here by Jude Law and seen only in silhouette) instead of TV and Casper veteran Brad Silberling, but there's still plenty to recommend the playfully bleak scenario, in which three resourceful orphans thwart their wicked, maliciously greedy relative Count Olaf (Jim Carrey), who subjects them to... well, a series of unfortunate events. Along the way they encounter a herpetologist uncle (Billy Connolly), an anxious aunt (Meryl Streep) who's afraid of everything, and a variety of fantastical hazards and mysterious clues, some of which remain unresolved. Given endless wonders of art direction, costume design, and cinematography, Silberling's direction is surprisingly uninspired (in other words, the books are better), but when you add a throwaway cameo by Dustin Hoffman, Law's amusing narration, and Carrey's over-the-top antics, the first Lemony movie suggests a promising franchise in the making. --Jeff Shannon
Packed into the two-disc special edition of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is over two hours of serious behind-the-scenes features, deleted scenes, and interviews with the production staff. The most generous of these is A Woeful World, an in-depth overview of the production design with extensive commentary from Oscar-nominated production designer Rick Heinrichs. Kids who've read the books will enjoy seeing how creative minds transform the world of the books into a movie. "Costumes and Other Suspicious Disguises" is one of the most fun extras with footage of Jim Carrey comically ad-libbing as his different characters during the on-screen costume tests. The special features contained on the single-disc editions are also quite good, but most fans will find it worth it to pay the few extra dollars for this edition because of the insights it gives into the production. --Dan Vancini
A Message from Count Olaf
Dear Adoring Fan of Count Olaf,
Perhaps once every thousand years, a talent emerges that completely changes the way movies are made, orphans are orphaned, and heartthrobs throb. Often this talent has only one eyebrow, as is the case with one of the most cherished and admired actors scheming today. Surely you can you guess of whom I think.
No, you fool! I am referring to the One...the Only...the Unbelievably Handsome Count Olaf!
Or, as I like to call him, Me.
If youve already seen my performance in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, you must still be speechless. But if you havent, you are in serious danger. Just teasing. But you could be after I send one of my gifted henchpersons to your home!
So why not get my movie on DVD? This major motion spectacle has everything. Me, acting! Leeches, attacking! Orphans, almost falling off a cliff! Of course, if you are familiar with books by Lemony Snicket, you know that they include all of these things too, but most of what he says is lies, and the rest is completely boring.
There's never been a film that demands repeated viewing in quite the same way, with a diabolical genius writing you a letter that says, "I DEMAND REPEATED VIEWING!!!" Plus with DVD extras, youll get at least 20% more Olaf for your money. And... just for you, for an unlimited time only, Ill throw in Aunt Josephine free with purchase.*
So, noble Amazonians, put down your hunting spears and exotic headdresses, and prepare to bask in True Greatness. Or, as I like to call it, Me.
Of course you may have my autograph!
*Count Olaf will not be held liable or accept blame in any way for any and all liability, loss, damage, or personal injury (including death), without limit and without regard once Aunt Josephine is thrown in, due to the unpredictable behavior of hungry leeches.
Stills from Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (Click to Enlarge)
Violet, Count Olaf, and Klaus
Count Olaf and Aunt Josephine
Directing Jim Carrey
Klaus, Mr. Poe, Sunny, and Violet
The Baudelaire Orphans
All Things Snicket
Original Movie Poster
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Computer & Video Games
- Disc One:
- Commentary by Director Brad Silberling
- Commentary by Lemony Snicket and Brad Silberling
- Bad Beginnings (3 Featurettes)
- Orphaned Scenes (11 Deleted Scenes and 5 Outtakes)
- Disc Two:
- A Terrible Tragedy...(5 Featurettes)
- 3 Featurettes of Sound Design
- 4 Special Effects Featurettes
- 3 Still Photo Galleries
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Does this do that? Yes and no.
The central plot elements of the books are there: the greedy Count Olaf who wants to steal their fortune; the bumbling Mr. Poe who can't seem to understand anything; Uncle Monty, who makes them feel at home for the first time since losing their parents; and their Aunt Josephine, who is afraid of so many things - radiators, ovens, falling refrigerators, and, of course, realtors.
However, the movie moves rather quickly to the second book, skirting swiftly around the first book and inserting a segue that didn't happen in any book to cause the movement. I was puzzled by this. There were other liberties taken, but as I ruminate over them, they seem rather insignificant. The resolution of Uncle Monty's "scene" was nearly identical to the one in the book, as was the resolution to the "scene" featuring Aunt Josephine. As I said, the central plot elements remained the same.
In an interesting and altogether understandable move (as it was the most intriguing filmable climax), the ending of the first book was made the ending of the movie.
All of the sets were well created: Olaf's, Monty's, Josephine's home - and even the ruined Baudelaire mansion. They were believable and well done.
Some of the actors seemed out of place, particularly the ones playing Mr. Poe and Klaus. I don't understand why they were so far removed from their physical descriptions in the book. Surely finding someone taller to play Mr.Read more ›
Each time I watch it, I am even more awestruck by the craftsmanship, creativity, and flawless presentation. I love movies, however, this is one of only four films I own because it actually has replay value. The creative accomplishments of A Series of Unfortunate Events are rare amongst ANY artform. So, despite any shortcomings there may be in the plot, characters, etc., I have to give it five stars.
Many movie-goers, especially those with children, seem to be exclusively interested in moderation. That's why so many people are put-off by the dreary atmosphere, Jim Carrey's indulgent "over-acting," or the apparent simplicity of the story. If you are one of those people, that's not a bad thing, you like what you like...but I hope the day comes when your interest in such moderation is overcome by a startling artwork or life experience. And if you ever do gain more appreciation for less penetrable and more extreme things, I invite you to give this film another chance.
There are three types of expectations that seem to plague viewers' misunderstandings about this film:
1.Many reviewers here mention that the movie isn't funny, but seems to be billed as a comedy. And, hey! There's Jim Carrey! He's a comedian and he's acting all goofy, this movie is supposed to be funny! Wrong. There are some silly parts that are worth a giggle. But just because the movie is odd and tongue-in-cheek, that doesn't mean it is trying to be funny.Read more ›
The movie is based on a seris of books. There are 13 in the seris overall, but only 11 have been written. This movie covers three of the books. "The Bad Beginning," "The Reptile Room," and "The Wide Window." I've read the books, and the movie covers the basic idea, but not word for word, and we jump the first book to the second to the third and back to the first again. We begin with the voice of Lemony Snicket at his typewriter, writing the story of the three Baudelaire children. There is Violet, who loves to invent, and whenever she is getting ready to invent something, she ties a ribbon to get the hair out of her eyes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this movie and it is a bit older so it is hard to find , but not when you go to Amazon instant video!! Read morePublished 16 days ago by Kimberly MacDonald
This is an amazing movie for families.. or people who like funny! I seen it back when I was in school so I ordered it so my kids could see it too... They loved it!Published 17 days ago by Katie Woods