After the breakthrough success of Harry Potter and the Lord of The Rings movie franchises, films based on books that were both critically acclaimed and financially lucrative at the box-office, many studios have been earnestly trying to conjure up that same winning formula with varying degrees of success. While some attempts have faired well (Hunger Games), most have fallen short on both of these aspects (The Golden Compass, John Carter, The Last Airbender,). But, their is one particular movie that failed to thrive despite doing well on the specific traits that I mentioned.
Back in 2004, Brad Silberling directed an adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s widely loved/reviled series, A Series of Unfortunate Events. Upon closer inspection, this film actually did fairly well at the box-office, and it wasn’t critically lambasted. It was able to accumulate $213 million on a $140 million budget. If you ask me, I thought it was a decent movie that’s worth watching at least once, even though it does take a lot of creative liberties from the source material (they spliced the first three books into a two hour film).
Bennett, Tom. The 10 Most Visually Stunning Movies Shot by Emmanuel Lubezki. Digital image. Taste of Cinema. Taste of Cinema, 22 May 2015. Web. 12 Nov. 2016.
A Series of Unfortunate Events chronicles the melancholic, gloomy journey of the three Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny. They’re unwillingly forced to be taken under the care of Count Olaf after their parents died in a mysterious fire. The trio soon come to the realization that they’re lives are in danger as they become more aware of Olaf’s cruel-hearted and ruthless nature.
I’m excited to see how Netflix will pull this off. A Series of Unfortunate Events was one of my favorite book series’ as a child since it sparked my love for books, and is still one that I love to re-read every now and then. Like I mentioned earlier in this post, the movie only covered the first three books, “A Bad Beginning”, “The Reptile Room”, and “The Wide Window”. So it’s cool that we’ll finally get to see a cinematic interpretation of what happens in the following ten books since that’s when things really turned up a notch in terms of dark subject matter, and we’ll finally get to see expanded story arcs and characters that were omitted from the movie due to the limited runtime.
West, Amy. Netflix’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events: Neil Patrick Harris to Play Count Olaf in TV Series. Digital image. International Buisness Times. International Buisness Times, 18 Jan. 2016. Web. 12 Nov. 2016.
One other thing that I’d like to throw my two-cents in is my view on Jim Carrey’s portrayal of Count Olaf in the film. Don’t get me wrong, I think Carrey is an incredibly gifted actor, but I feel like he wasn’t the right choice to play that role. When I think of Olaf as a character (after reading the series countless time), some words that I’d use to describe him are, callous, despicable, and someone that genuinely strikes tantalizing fear in you. But in Jim Carrey’s interpretation, he comes off as zany, slightly aloof, but still approachable. I’m hoping that Neil Patrick Harris will add more depth and nuance in his performance. Judging by the most recent trailer, I’m cautiously optimistic that he’ll do a better job of capturing Olaf’s persona and idiosyncrasies since his voice does carry a more sinister and surly demeanor.
A Series of Unfortunate Events. Dir. Barry Sonnenfeld. Perf. Neil Patrick Harris. Youtube. Netflix US & Canada, 3 Nov. 2016. Web. 12 Nov. 2016.
The Netflix adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events will debut on the 13th of January in 2017. If you’ve read the books or have seen the movie, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Have an (un)fortunate day, fellow squid kid. Stay fresh!