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Article:    Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Movie, Games, and Books

 


News: The release date for Lemony Snicket Book Number Twelve is set: October 18, 2005.

Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events Movie Review

Lemony Snicket narrates this tale of three orphaned children, and reminds viewers that if they are looking for a pleasant movie with a happy ending, they might want to leave the living room, theater, or airplane where they may be viewing the movie.

This tongue-in-cheek story that chronicles "a series of unfortunate events" is based on the first three books in the series of the same name, a wildly popular series aimed at tweeners. 

The eldest of the three children is Violet, a 14-year-old girl who possesses an exceptionally inventive mind. The middle child is a boy named Klaus, a 12 year old who loves to read. Even better, he retains what he reads. The tiniest member of the family is very young: Sunny, a baby, loves to bite, and is quite intelligent in her own right, even if what she has to say seems unintelligible to people other than her brother and sister. (Viewers get to know what her babbling means by way of subtitles!)

The children's individual strengths combine in such a way as to get them out of many a jam, albeit only to find themselves smack-dab in the middle of another "unfortunate" situation.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (International Version)
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (International Version)
Buy this Double-sided poster at AllPosters.com

The Baudelaire children's parents have perished in a fire that also destroyed their home, and their lives would never be the same. The children need to be placed, and their first stop, chaperoned by Mr. Poe, the banker, is at Count Olaf's unusual mansion. Olaf (Jim Carrey), is a sinister actor after the Baudelaire fortune, refers to the children directly as "orphans", giving them long lists of demanding chores in his rat-infested home. 

After a botched attempt to have the children killed, the kids are carted off to another guardian, the eccentric but loving herpetologist, Dr. Montgomery Montgomery (aka Uncle Monty). Olaf returns in disguise to continue his plot to get his hands on their fortune. Although they immediately see through his disguise, the children are never believed. Their next stop, Aunt Josephine's, is another misadventure. Aunt Josephine (Meryl Streep) was once an intrepid adventurer and explorer, but is now plagued by irrational fears, one of which is a fear of realtors! She never cooks anything hot because she is afraid the stove will burst into flames, and she insists Klaus move away from the fridge, because "if it falls, it will crush you flat!" Ironically, Josephine lives in a home that is perilously perched over a stormy lake.

Make sure you sit through the credits. The paper cut-out artwork is very creative. In fact, the entire movie is visually stunning. Because the movie is a black comedy for kids, it's best for children old enough to understand that kind of humor. Not only do the main characters' parents die, so do other guardians in the movie. The kids are in perilous situations at every turn (a collapsing house on the edge of a stormy sea, in a boat on the waters of that same sea with hungry leeches heading their way, and so forth). There is very little focus on the grief, as is to be expected from a black comedy. The basic idea is that, although life isn't perfect, and even when faced with a seemingly relentless "series of unfortunate events", there is strength to gain, and "sanctuaries" to be found. 

It really depends on the audience. Kids old enough to enjoy the black humor will similarly find much to love about the movie. On the plus side, the Baudelaire children themselves use their wits to get themselves out of sticky situations—Violet with her inventive mind and Klaus with his encyclopedic knowledge. However, their lives are depressing in spite of this. The movie includes some scary scenes in which the kids are in perilous situations, and although viewers never see characters die, they know they do. One of our viewers wanted to take a trip to the bookstore to buy the fourth book in the series just to see how the story continues.

Lemony Snicket A Series of Unfortunate Events

Now Available on DVD and Video:

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2-Disc Special Collector's Edition)
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (Widescreen Edition) Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (Full Screen Edition) Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (VHS)

 

 

Lemony Snicket Books

The Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events book series is deliciously anti-"happily ever after", and will appeal to children who don't have the patience for fairy tale endings...or, for that matter, fairy tales, period.

News: Book #12 is set for release on October 18, 2005. Lemony Snicket's "last book before the last book" is available for pre-order here: Series of Unfortunate Events #12 (A Series of Unfortunate Events).

We have a review of a hilarious companion volume to the serial, Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography, here.

 

Lemony Snicket Software & Games

Games based on Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events are available in computer and video game format for CD-ROM, GameCube, GameBoy Advance, XBox, and Playstation 2. 

The games are based on the plot, situations, and settings of the movie, and capture the characters and themes well. The PlayStation2 version, for example, opens with the tempting phrase, "The video game you are about to play is extremely unpleasant..." Players are told right from the start that they won't find the game has a happy ending, happy beginning, nor a happy in-between for that matter. 

Gameplay begins after Count Olaf has placed the three children in their sleeping quarters and demanded that they take care of the rats that infest his creepy mansion. Kids initially play as either Klaus or Violet (later, they get to play as the baby, Sunny, as well), and explore such areas as the Lovely Library and Uncle Monty's garden. 

Players collect items that help them create inventions that will get them out of jams, help solve puzzles, and defeat the villains, including Count Olaf himself. See our review of Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events for PS2 here.

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events (CD-ROM), Lemony Snicket (GameCube), Lemony Snicket (XBox), Lemony Snicket (PS2).

 

 

Find all Lemony Snicket Books

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

December 2004/Updated April 2005/October 2005
 

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