A Series of Unfortunate Events

The worst is knowing how close it was to something marvellous.

This was actually one of my most highly anticipated movies before its release. Back then if I was really anticipating something, I would find as much stuff I could on it. Today I keep myself away from it, so I can totally be taken by the experience of the first viewing. When the behind the scenes videos first hit, well I was very impressed. It looked exactly how I imagined it would.

Like the title foretells, this movie follows a series of unfortunate events. The story revolves around three siblings, the Bauderlaires, who are orphaned after their parents perish in a terrible fire. They are then under the entrusted care of a family friend, Mr. Poe, to find a suitable relative for them. The closest relative he can find for the children is Count Olaf. Now Count Olaf is evil. Why would he take in the Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus and Sunny? They have a great family fortune of course! One Count Olaf makes a mission to get. After slipping up in an attempt to have them killed, Mr. Poe takes the children from him and sends them to a different relative. From here on Count Olaf, being an actor by trade, follows the children. He is like the opposite of Buggs Bunny. Instead of running.. he is chasing. Like Buggs, we can always see right through his awful disguises, as can the Baudelaires. The Baudelaires are always dismissed of their accusations about the Count however. Narrating the Baudelaires story, is the fictional character Lemony Snicket, impeccably played by Jude Law.

(Center) Count Olaf (JIM CARREY) is a mysterious Uncle who suddenly shows up to care for his niece Violet Baudelaire (Emily Browning) and his nephew, Klaus Baudelaire (Liam Aiken) in DreamWorks Pictures' LEMONY SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS.
(Center) Count Olaf (JIM CARREY) is a mysterious Uncle who suddenly shows up to care for his niece Violet Baudelaire (Emily Browning) and his nephew, Klaus Baudelaire (Liam Aiken) in DreamWorks Pictures’ LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS.

As a film it’s a bit too fast paced, it should be expected, pressing the first three books into a single feature film. Thats not the serious fault. For me it’s the secondary characters who we see very little of when they are each rich characters, but are underused greatly. A large portion of the film seemed to be experimental, it didn’t know if it should be a comedy at times or dramatic. There were also subtle leads to a sequel, which seemed to have fizzled.

Jim Carrey can look the part of anyone, he is a man that can embody a hundred different characters easily, the perfect person to play Count Olaf. He like everyone in this film looked as I imagined they would, except Billy Connely. He is a short man in the book. Even still, everyone looks the part of the film. Jim Carrey as much as I love him, spoils his character, trying at every chance for comedy. Which is how this film differs greatly from the book. The tone is deathly darker. The set design and cinematography is amazing, breathtaking from book to screen. The look and feel of this film is where it shines.

I absolutely loathed this film when I left the cinema, I wished I could have unseen it. My reaction was based on the lack of story they told, from the books to the screen. Which didn’t bother me nearly as much as it did when they stuck the end of the first book after the end of the third. Watching it a second time around these things don’t really bother me anymore. I like the film. I can even understand why they did a lot of things the way they did. I still will never be able to watch it without feeling at least a little underwhelmed, seeing how close they came to the vision within the books.

Netflix is currently producing the books into a series and I hope they reboot the whole thing. This film is decent, but the books are leagues above it and therefore read them.

3/5 – Stars for A Series of Unfortunate Events

Robert Ring


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

In the end memories are all we have, they are the justification of a life lived.

Joel Barish played by Jim Carrey, goes to work and comes home. Thats him, he doesn’t lead an interesting life. Joel decides to skip work one morning, it may seem like any ordinary morning, it’s not. He catches a train and goes for a walk along a snowy beach. Returning to the train station he meets Clementine Kruczynski played by Kate Winslet. She’s eccentric right down to her hair colour, the colour is ‘blue ruin’ if you were wondering. Like magnets, opposites attract. Wait! This isn’t the first time they’ve met. No, we quickly learn they were together for years before this. After endless fighting with Joel, Clementine had Joel’s memories erased from her mind. Joel unbeknownst to him goes to make up with her after seeing her at the bookshop she works at, but she is kissing an apparent new boyfriend. Heartbroken, Joel consults his friends who feel bad and tell him she had him erased. Joel even more devastated undertakes the procedure himself. Things get interesting while Joel lays in his bed, under sedation, as two goofy technicians spend the night erasing his memories. Joel walks through his memories of Clementine as he lets her go. He goes from the most recent to the beginning, very quickly he remembers how the memories made him feel, nothing was ever better. Those memories are special and sacred to him. He doesn’t want this anymore. He can’t even wake himself up to tell the technicians so he tries to hide Clementine in memories she doesn’t belong in. It’s no secret that Joel eventually ends up losing all his memories of Clementine. It’s the start of this review, and the start of the movie we see. The morning Joel woke up was the night after his Clementine erasure. Is it fate that these two people should end up together again? Being at the same place at the same time. Could things work out better for them this time around? The director Michel Gondry, known for making almost 80 music videos, brings a unique style to the film. This is especially seen as Joel’s memories progress. The deeper the erasers get, the more intense we see his memories peel away. He really has the characters play off each other very well. I thought the movie was just okay when I first saw the film a few years ago. Watching it again I see how beautifully woven the story is. I understand why Joel and even Clementine can come to use extreme methods of getting over their relationship with each other. Anybody that has suffered through a breakup can understand the nature of wanting to forget immediately after.

This is a different sort of love story, one that begs to embrace what was once the time of your life and not how bitter it ended. Luckily for these characters, fate dances the two together once again.

4/5 – Stars

Robert Ring