Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events

DVD Rating: ***1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Read Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events
Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events

The extras menu is witty and fun, which means that someone has taken trouble with this Special Edition DVD. The problem, if that is not too strong a word, lies with the content which can only be described as Carreyocious. Those who find Jim the funniest man on celluloid since Bugs Bunny will be in that place where laughter and oxygen mingle. It's like a high and should be criminalised (say the traditionalists, who have never recovered their sense of humour after the talkies killed Buster Keaton).

The two commentaries are a disappointment. Brad Silberling looks like an overgrown college kid, which is better than looking like a jaded civil servant, and he appears in awe of the great comic, which may be why Carrey is allowed to get away with murder in his multi disguises. There is talk of improv, as if JC carved up the script and reinvented it as surreal pantomime. He needed to be reined in and wasn't and Silberling's admiration has no bounds. He is equally complimentary about the young actors who play the Baudelaire children, as well as the Lemony Snicket books and just about everything in the real and virtual world. This man Brad is too good to be true.

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The extras are legion and all worth watching, again because they have been designed imaginatively. Building A Bad Actor is the best because it delves deep into Carrey's methods, which are utterly absorbing. The insinuation in the previous paragraph implies criticism of a tendency to overact. Having watched this featurette, you have nothing but admiration for him and the seriousness with which he approaches the character and the many voices he tries in the experimental stages of creating Count Olaf. You feel, a bit like Silberling expresses in the commentary, that you are in the presence of something dangerously close to genius.

Reviewed on: 05 Jun 2005
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Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events packshot
Stirring adventures of rich orphans on the run from a devious actor who plans their demise.
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Product Code: 8302328

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.85 Anamorphic Wide Screen

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Disc One: Commentary with director Brad Silberling. Commentary with director Brad Silberling and the Real Lemony Snicket. Building a Bad Actor. Interactive Olaf. Making the Baudelaire Children Miserable. Orphaned Scenes. Easter Egg - Count Olaf’s Ghost Story. Disc Two: A Woeful World (production design). Costumes and Other Suspicious Disguises. Violet’s Functional Designs. CAUTION! Incredibly Deadly Vipers. Trains, Leeces and Hurricanes (CGI scenes). The Sad Score. The Unsound Sound Designer. The Terrible Fire. An Alarming Conspiracy Involving Sunny. An Even More Alarming Conspiracy Involving Sunny. Gruesome Galleries. 3 Easter Eggs.

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