We all know the beloved book series written by Lemony Snicket and the movie released in 2004 based on them. But how will a TV series on the same subject compare?
The new Netflix show A Series of Unfortunate Events comes out this Friday, January 13th. With this in mind, here’s a review of the 2004 movie starring Jim Carrey, in comparison to the upcoming TV series.
Let’s jump right into it. In my opinion, Jim Carrey made the PERFECT Count Olaf. He’s kooky, a pro at impressions, and can blend into any surroundings imaginable when necessary. In the Netflix series coming out this week, Count Olaf will be portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris. How will NPH stack up against Carrey? Both are considered comedic geniuses, but Carrey has a slightly longer resume. Will NPH be able to live up to the precedent set by Carrey? Personally, I’ve been a fan of Jim Carrey my entire life, so there’s a bit of a bias there. However, in recent years I’ve come to really enjoy the work of NPH, especially on the hit series How I Met Your Mother. I think it’s going to be a close call on who makes a better Count Olaf, even though Jim Carrey did a fantastic job that will be tough to follow.
The movie only covered the first three books, so we didn’t get the visualization of the entire series. I always had a bone to pick with this, as they made it clear with the neatly tied up ending that they were not going to be making any sequel movies. With this new Netflix series, we will be experiencing the entirety of Lemony Snicket’s world with 8 episodes designed around the 13 books in the series, which each have their own individual plots and introduce new characters into the mix. I’m not sure how they’ll be dividing the stories up, but I am very happy they’ll be covering the whole series, as I always thought this was something the movie lacked.
The set design for every scene was dreary, yet beautiful, setting the gloomy tone throughout the movie. The scenery contributed a lot to the overall feel of the film, showing how unfortunate things really were, or depicting the dread the children felt at different times. It looks like Netflix will also be keeping with this theme, as we’ve seen parts of their very stylistic set in previews.
The actors playing Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire in the Netflix series are pretty much unknown actors, just as the cast of kids was in the 2004 movie. This worked well for the film with actors Emily Browning, Liam Aiken, and Kara Hoffman, and will hopefully play out the same way for the TV series. Not unknown, however, were a number of actors who made cameos in the film. Craig Ferguson, Jude Law, Meryl Streep, Billy Connolly, Dustin Hoffman, Jennifer Coolidge, Timothy Spall…the list goes on and on. This made for an exciting treat every time another well known actor appeared on screen, which made the movie more enjoyable for adults, as well.
Jude Law has the perfect voice to portray Lemony Snicket, doing so exactly the way I always heard him narrating the books in my head. Whether it is because of his soothing tone that often sounded gloomy in the context, or his British accent that makes every word he says sound elegant, Law makes a good narrator. So far in the trailers for the Netflix series, we’ve seen Patrick Warburton’s interpretation of Lemony Snicket, and for me, it’s just not the same. His deep voice and comedic background make it slightly difficult for me to see him as Lemony Snicket, but this may just be nostalgia talking, and I’m sure he will do a splendid job throughout the series.
A Series of Unfortunate Events was one of my favorite movies growing up, especially since it came out around the same time I was immersed in reading the book series. With the movie having hardly any flaws in my opinion, I hope the television series brings a new interpretation to a very cleverly written series.
+ Jim Carrey as Count Olaf was a fantastic casting decision, as he is known to be able to wear many hats and play several types of characters. He is also hilarious, which helps immensely when dealing with playing the ridiculous character of Count Olaf.
+ The large quantity of cameos made this movie enjoyable on an entirely new level. As I got older, this gave me a new appreciation for the film, as I recognized more and more famous actors each time I watched it.
+ Beautiful yet gloomy scenery throughout the movie, which helped set the tone
+ The makeup and costumes were very well done, winning an Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling
– The movie only covered the first three books, and I’ve always wanted to see how the rest of the series would visually play out
Jamie LeRoy is the head Graphic Designer and Photographer at The Geekiverse, a phrase which here means “makes pictures and video thumbnails for a pop culture web site.” She has read Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events the whole way through more times than she can count.