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Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

The Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus and baby-sister Sunny are very bright for their age. Violet always invents new things, Klaus devours tons of books, and Sunny… well, she likes to bite things.

One day, a terrible thing happens. Their house burns down to the ground and their parents don’t survive the fire. From happy children in a fantastic home, they’ve now become orphans. They get sent to their closest relative, Count Olaf, but he treats them as little slaves and before long it becomes clear that he’s out for their fortune and doesn’t even mind killing them if necessary to get their money. They manage to escape from his custody, but each time they move to another relative, he disguises himself and manages to get close to them again.

Meanwhile, Klaus and Violet find out that their parents were investigating a series of fires, much like the one that killed them. Could it be that Count Olaf had something to do with that as well ?

Sound and Vision:
If there’s one thing where this dvd excells, then it’s the image quality. There’s a lot of dark but the amount of detail is tremendous! It’s like you’re looking at painted pictures with moving images and that without any problems what so ever. Incredible! Definitely one of the best transfers of late.

The same can be said about the soundtrack. The 5.1 track is very spatial with lots of subtle use of effects that get perfect support from the subwoofer. Fantastic track.

– 2 audio commentary tracks, one with Brad Silberling and another with the director and Lemony Snicket himself.
– Building a Bad Actor: all about the make-up and improvisation of Jim Carrey
– Making the Beaudelaire Children Miserable: a rather funny pseudo-trailer made from test recordings with Browning and Aiken.
– Interactive Olaf: you can check out the funny make-up tests of Jim Carrey in splitscreen.
– Deleted scenes and outtakes

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events covers the first three books and seeing that the basic plot is the same each time (orphans go to relative, count Olaf comes along, they manage to save themselves) things may tend to look quite repetitive. The acting is very good and seeing that it doesn’t matter that Jim Carrey’s character is a complete weirdo, it doesn’t matter that he’s over-acting like never before (it will probably have kids laughing their pants off while adults will as usual tend to want to kill him if he doesn’t start acting normally). Next to Carrey’s usual “overdoing it”, the comedy is rather dark and that puts the question on whether or not kids will see it. Adults probably will, but I don’t really feel this movie is targeted towards grown-ups as it’s a bit too childish for that.

On the technical part, we most certainly can say “thank you” to Universal and Dreamworks who have delivered an excellent transfer accompanied by some nice extras. This is definitely one of the best transfers this year!

All in all: Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is most surely a piece of art to watch. Whether it’s entertaining depends on your personal opinion so I suggest you first rent it and decide for yourself (or, if you just want a dvd to show off your TV and surround system you can just go out and buy the movie instantly)

Our Score:

posted in: DVD, Reviews, Universal

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