You might already know that "A Series of Unfortunate Events" by Lemony Snicket is the book series aimed at young readers which tells the dismal tale of Violet, Sunny and Klaus Baudelaire; three siblings who became orphans and haven't had scarcely a happy moment since. Wherever they go they are haunted by the evil Count Olaf who seeks to steal the Baudelaire fortune which the children shall inherit upon the eldest child's 18th birthday (Violet is the oldest and the stories begin when she is 14 years old).
Toadily Toads gives this series a solid TWO FLIPPERS UP! Why? Well, for one thing, its a damn good series. Though it might be officially written for young readers (adolecent), the stories are written with a kind of humor that it helps to be an adult to fully appreciate.
On December 17th, Jim Carrey (my favorite actor/comedian on the planet), will play Count Olaf in the movie version whose special effects were done by Industrial Light and Magic. You know where we will be that Friday night! I always see Jim's movies the day they come out, but like the Grinch, I especially look forward to this because I LOVE the books (and I'm generally not a fiction reader).
Toadily Toads is giving it TWO FLIPPERS UP for a second reason. The movie will be based on the first three books. Book the second is titled, "The Reptile Room" and the children's guardian is a herpetologist named Montgomery Montgomery (his parents had a sense of humor), who keeps snakes and .................................take a guess ....................................................................
Here's a nice fat one I wouldn't mind keeping! The Tibetan Three-Eyed Toad!
If you read the book, you will see that only toads are mentioned. No frogs. Of course you and I know that the substrate in this three eyed toad's tank is NO GOOD! Real toads might swallow a pebble and die of impaction, but these are cyber generated toads, so it's probably ok.
The books are a fast and enjoyable read and the movie looks excellent from the teaser and trailer. Check them out at Apple's Quicktime website or the official movie website. We will update this page on or around December 18th with a full movie review.
Movie Review: Overall the movie was excellent! The soundtrack is excellent, the sets, costumes, make-up and lighting were all fantastic. Book fans will undoubtedly scratch their heads trying to figure out why certain things were changed and what all the spy glass business is about. As the author himself said in an interiew, the books are the books and the movie is the movie. If you go in knowing it will be different and be it's own thing, you will have a good time.
The only thing I can figure is that the movie tried to be self-contained so if you never read any of the books, you could see this film and it would be a self-contained story that might or might not have a sequel. Some of the changes were made to that end. Other changes were made in the interest of time. They did combine 3 novels into one movie. It would have been rediculously lengthy to include all the details. Over all, I do see why they changed what they changed and generally agree with it, except for the whole spy glass club thing.
Jim Carrey is a perfect Olaf both physically and acting wise. Count Olaf is the world's worst actor and Jim overacts and over dramatizes him in the way I expected him to be without turning him into Ace Ventura. In fact, the casting of this movie was incredible. Everyone is as I expected them to be. Baby Sunny is adorable and has some of the best lines in the film.
While we only get to see the one toad, pictured above, the Reptile Room is right out of the book. I would have loved to see more of it. I would have loved to see more of the toads mentioned in the story, but one toad is better than none and this one was mentioned in the book, not made up for the movie.
One of the saddest things about the movie, (aside from the Baudelaire's sad plight, of course), is that it was released too close to the end of the year. If it had been released around Thanksgiving weekend it would have had the same chance the Grinch had in 2000 to make it to the top of the boxoffice. No, it wouldn't have beat Shrek 2 or Spiderman 2 or Prisoner of Askaban, but I think it would have done better than to come in at number 18 for the year 2004.
Let's face it, taking your family to the movies isn't cheap. So close to the holidays, people are financially strapped and don't tend to spend on entertainment during that time. Also, people are busy shopping and then entertaining their guests. Though the week of Christmas holiday is a good movie going week, (and it is the week most of the film's gross was made), there were lots of other films out and I think that sadly, not enough people knew about this fabulous series and might have chalked it up to being just another goofy kid's movie. Now we just have to see how it does in DVD sales. If they make another one based on books 4, 5, and 6, they would be wise to stick to the story and take less plot liberties.
In any event, I've seen it three times and am now waiting for the DVD. Even with the changes made by the film makers, I still give the movie TWO FLIPPER UP, as I did the book series.
http://www.unfortunateeventsmovie.com The official movie site
http://www.unfortunateevents.com Series site with cool stuff including Flash games (and its friendly to those of us "hold outs" on Classic Mac OS 9 using Netscape 7x!)
Jim Carrey looks like he just stepped out of the book!
http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2004-10-20-carrey-events_x.htm This is the first interview Jim has done about his character and even compares Olaf to the Grinch.
http://www.lemonysnicket.com The author's website with lots of cool stuff based on the books and references now to the movie.
http://www.apple.com The official website of Toadily Toads' platform of choice (though we prefer Classic) and place to find tons of movie trailers in Quicktime- the best media format!