If you read my general update , you’d be aware that I had a different post planned for today but following Sunday Book Club I changed my mind. Rest assured that the Megan McCarthy planned Movie Monday will take place next Monday! Yesterday, after reviewing the book series of A Series of Unfortunate Events, I had to go and watch the movie version ( which follows books 1 – 3 ) and stars Wormtail, I mean Timothy Spall, Jim Carrey and Billy Connolly.
A Series of Unfortunate Events is a 1hr 48min feature film released in 2004 shows only the first 3 books. It follows the sardonic tone created by the author in the books with an added Tim Burton slash Dickensian visual. I do enjoy the movie, I shall admit that, but it is not fabulous but it is good. It sticks to the books for the most part but I will admit it feels cheaply produced. Maybe that is not the correct phrasing for what I mean. When I watch this movie, it appears as something of a trial run. Like a practise attempt at transitioning the story from book to film. It picks the best pieces from the book something like this:Nonetheless it makes a strong attempt at a book to film transition and is an easy movie to watch. I feel like no one talks about this film enough and since the release of the Netflix adaptation ( that I haven’t got around to watching just yet), people talk about this film even less. The casting was a good choice. Jim Carry as Count Olaf brings the humour combined with villainy to fruition and the narration of Jude Law as Lemony Snicket was a perfect choice, in my opinion. Conversely I feel as though there could have been more narration by Jude Law, as in the books, but for the time restraints that movies have I can understand why this may have been pushed to the side. I also enjoyed the way that film included “real time” scenes of Jude Law, as Lemony Snicket, at his type writer narrrating as we watch.
If you have read, and loved, the books you may feel that this feature film skims over parts of the Baudelaire story. The Bad Beginning, is shown attention whilst The Reptile Room is barely touched on, leaving the character of Uncle Monty ( played by Billy Connolly ) to appear one dimensional.
I cannot compare the 2004 film to the Netflix adaption, as I haven’t watched it nor is the adaption a film. I can only compare to the books and I believe that it made a good attempt as any.
But in the words of Lemony Snicket, when breaking the fourth wall, if you are looking for a movie of happy endings and little elves then
“This is an excellent opportunity to walk out of the theater, living room or airplane where this film is being shown”
As this movie is none of those things.
Before I give my final rating, I will add that at the box office, this film bombed in terms of monetary value and profit but receives a rating of 6.7/10 on Rotten Tomatoes.
One word Review: decent