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lemony snicket's a series of unfortunate events
starring jim carrey, meryl streep • directed by brad silberling • comedy/adventure • 2004 • rated pg

plot summary: When Mr. and Mrs. Bauedelaire are killed in a house fire, their three children (Violet, Klaus, and Sunny) are sent to live with a "distant uncle", the conniving Count Olaf (Carrey) who is after their inheritance money.

who should see this movie: fans of Tim Burton, those who enjoy maccabre children's stories a'la Edward Gorey.

who should NOT see this movie: people who hate the mugging of Jim Carrey (a'la The Grinch... or his earlier film career), anyone who cringes at the thought of a baby with sub-titles (can we say Look Who's Talking, people!?).

cool guest appearances: quite a few Christoper Guest alumni here, including Jennifer Coolidge, Catherine O'Hara, and Jane Lynch.

lame guest appearances: Dustin Hoffman, Cedric the Entertainer.

don't leave quite yet: the ending credits feature some absolutely killer artwork.

indiepop tie in: "Daniel Handler, who plays some accorian and keyboards on the Magnetic Fields '69 Love Songs' is the guy also known as Lemony Snicket, and the author of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Apparently, Stephin Merritt also wrote a song for each of the books-on-tape versions of Mr. Handler's books, which Mr. Handler also sometimes sings to kids at book signings, and the two are collaborating together on a musical (unrelated to children's books, I believe)." --- from John-in-the-Morning's mailing list

Yup, gotta be honest: it was the Magnetic Fields tie-in that got my butt in the theater seat for this one, although the Tim Burton-esque trailer definitely peaked my interest, too. And I have to say, the visuals for this were amazing, and the story was very dark for a children's movie, which frankly, made me like it more. My only annoyance was the sub-titles for the baby, yuck. (janice.01.05)


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