Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

I’ve been a Jim Carrey fan since the days of Ace Ventura or is it Mask? Whichever came first.  Not really good at the whole timeline with movies.  I picked this one up at during Boxing Day in the (extra) bargain bin for super cheap, and I had only watched  a little portion a few years ago at a party.  It looked entertaining enough.  Since then this is the second time, I’ve seen it.

lemony snicket posterDirector: Brad Silberling

Cast: Jim Carrey, Emily Browning, Liam Aiken, Jude Law, Kara/Shelby Hoffman, Timothy Spall, Billy Connelly, Meryl Streep, Catherine O’Hara

When a huge unknown fire tears the Baudelaire mansion down and perishing the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Baudelaire, their three children are suddenly turned to orphans.  The eldest is Violet (Emily Browning) who is an impeccable 14 year old inventor. Second is Klaus (Liam Aiken) who has read more books (and remembers every single one) than any adult would read in a lifetime and youngest is Sunny (Kara/Shelby Hoffman) who is merely an infant but has razor sharp teeth and loves to bite absolutely anything. When this unfortunate event happens, their fortune caretaker, Mr. Poe (Timothy Spall) has the responsibility of sending them to their closest relative listed and that person is Count Olaf (Jim Carrey).  Count Olaf is an actor who has his own troupe and misleads Mr. Poe in believing that he is out for the children’s good when all he wants is to get their huge fortune.  For him, the law gets in the way with its rules and formalities.  While the children try to escape his evil plans, he tries everything possible to get the fortune back.

unfortunate events count olaf

Jim Carrey has changed from when I first saw him in The Mask or Ace Ventura.  However, the one thing he hasn’t changes is his ability to freely change his voice around and assume someone else’s identity.  That proves to be the highlight of this adventure flick.  As I watched the special features on how they designed his Count Olaf character, there is so much to his abilities that change this flick to add a bit of dark humor to it.  I say dark because this is A Series of Unfortunate Events and being the cause of the situation, he becomes the Baudelaire orphans’ darkness as they try to seek some light. Or as Violet Baudelaire says, “There is always something”.

unfortunate events violet

On the topic, the kids are played the Baudelaire orphans are pretty decent.  The little baby who played Sunny was just pure cuteness.  They used the cute way of giving her little baby shrieks into dialogues on screen.  That was a lot of time adding a lot of the fun element in.  Emily Browning played Violet Baudelaire and she is quite pretty and quick witted.  Last time I saw her was in Sucker Punch (which was made after this) but I hated that movie…not her maybe but just the movie itself.  Both Emily Browning and Liam Aiken fit their roles really well.  I found it rather enjoyable as the focus was on them, their characters had wit and knowledge (and cuteness).

unfortunate events aunt jo

On top of that, there were lots of popular actors and actresses added to the movie to make it even better. For one, we have the elegant Meryl Streep who plays Aunt Josephine, a woman who is scared of everything and is obsessed with perfecting grammar. Billy Connolly is rather new to me but he played a great role as Uncle Monty, a connoisseur of snakes.  On top of that, there was one of my favorite actors, Jude Law playing the role of Lemony Snicket and he narrates the movie with a little appearance. Catherine O’Hara makes an appearance as Count Olaf’s neighbor Justice Strauss as well and she’s a decent actress.  There was even a cameo for Dustin Hoffman.

unfortunate events 1

This movie is based on a series of books for children of 9-12 (according to Indigo Books).  I’ve never read them but every time I finish this movie, I always want to check it out but have never had the chance to.  Its an attractive movie with beautiful backdrops and intriguing adventures adding in a lot of very good acting from a lot of the supporting cast and Jim Carrey in one of the lead roles.  Its a fun family adventure. I would recommend it for sure! Its enjoyable and entertaining 🙂

Let’s end on sharing one of my favorite quotes in the movie is this and also shows that between all the negative unfortunate events, there is always something positive that comes out of it:

One day, when you’re older, you will learn all about the people we have befriended and the dangers we have faced. At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may, in fact, be the first steps of a journey.

Horton Hears a Who! (2008)

After almost a week break from movie reviews, I’m ready to bring it on again.  I have a few more to write but at least now I’m a bit more charged up. Here we go! 🙂

Based on the children’s Dr. Seuss book Horton Hears a Who!, this animation is one of the first Dr. Seuss to be made in animation again.  I watched it on Saturday since I knew from a few posts floating around saying that it was Dr. Seuss’s birthday.  I had to celebrate it in my own way and seeing that I had already reviewed The Lorax before, this seemed to be a good choice.

horton hears a who posterDirector: Jimmy Hayward, Steve Martino

Cast: Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Carol Burnett, Will Arnett, Seth Rogen, Dan Fogler, Isla Fisher

In the jungle of Nool, Horton the elephant (Jim Carrey) is minding his own business with his own day when he heard a little yelp coming from a speck floating around.  He imagines a man and his family in need on the speck so in case they will be in danger he runs after the speck to save it and ends up catching it on a clover.  When he says this story to the uptight and snobbish Kangaroo (Carol Burnett), she doesn’t hear anything and doesn’t believe him and warns him to not spread the nonsense to others.  He disregards her and then realizes that he needs to yell to allow these little people to hear him and he yells HELLO.  This one Hello travels down to the world on the speck called Whoville.  No one is aware of their tiny existence in the world until his one HELLO reaches the Mayor (Steve Carell).  The Mayor who is a slight goofball but notices that Whoville is incurring weird changes and when Horton confirms him of their tiny presence, Mayor goes to ask the scientist Dr. Mary Lou Larue (Isla Fisher) who predicts disaster if they were actually a small city.  It is then the Mayor asks Horton to help him move the speck and its clover to a safer location to help regain stability in Whoville.  As the Mayor tries to protect his city while convincing the Council about the dangers, Horton is also with his own problems as Kangaroo does everything to remove the speck from him because she believes all this is nonsense.

horton and kangaroo

This animation is wonderfully adapted.  Its funny and awesome entertainment.  To start off, we have really good vocal talents, which is possibly one of the most important contributing aspects to a great animation.  We have Jim Carrey in the lead role as Horton.  I’m a huge fan of Jim Carrey and his voices along with his humor.  It probably all began when I first saw him in either Mask or Ace Ventura.  But then, we’re not to discuss that, but point being, in this one, he’s crazy fun and enthusiastic.  In his opposite lead, we have the Mayor voiced by Steve Carell.  I haven’t seen a lot from him but this man is quite comedic as well.  In this role, he’s just a super good goofball. He has funny reactions and exclamations.

horton speck

I love the way they spiced up the dialogue but kept the book dialogue with a narrator in the back to help coordinate between the two worlds.  Its really funny most of the time and whenever I watch this, it puts a gigantic grin on my face and I start laughing out loud in a lot of parts.  It never hits the too serious area which is awesome because this is aimed towards children.  The colors are also fantastic because they are bright and sharp.  It helps keep the movie in the uplifting mood even if there is some dangers lurking about.

mayor whoville

This is absolutely great family fun! Its great for all ages and guarantees lots of smiles and laughter.  It has amazing actors doing the voices aside from just Jim Carrey and Steve Carell.  Everyone does a fantastic job in their roles.  Its heartwarming, endearing, fun, comedic, enjoyable. I think this trailer captures it perfectly and its also the song I love renditioned a la Horton Hears a Who! Style 🙂

Before I let you go, I’d like to recommend this movie (if you haven’t realized yet) 🙂 And also as every Dr. Seuss story, we always have a little lesson to be learned so I’d have to share it here to end this off:

horton quote

Christmas Marathon: Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)

A-Christmas-Carol-Blu-ray-DVDDISNEY’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL (2009)

Directed: Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future trilogy, Polar Express, Cast Away)

Voices by: Jim Carrey, Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, Robin Wright

Based on the classic A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Robert Zemeckis both write and directs this full-length animation.  The story is about a man called Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) who is very uptight about his money and doesn’t care about the people around him, much less the ones who he sees regularly like his employee, Bob Cratchit (Gary Oldman) or his nephew, Fred (Colin Firth).  On Christmas eve, he goes home and is visited by his former deceased business partner, Jacob Marley (Gary Oldman) burdened with heavy chains.  He tells him that these were from all that he had done while he was alive and that he would be visited by three ghosts: Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present, and Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (all voiced by Jim Carrey).  These ghosts bring him to visit memories and visions that he has chosen to ignore and made him realize all his wants had lead him to his ignorance.

The first thing that pulled me to this movie was the idea that Jim Carrey does 7 different voices.  Four are from different stages in Scrooge’s  life: Young boy, Teenage, Middle Age and finally the one we see, as an elderly stingy man.  He also does the voices of the three ghosts.  Jim Carrey and his voice was what drew me to him originally when I first saw him in The Mask.  He does a decent job in that area for this movie.  I have no problem with it.  The voice work was pretty good actually.  I like Colin Firth a lot and his distinct voice was quite himself as Fred.  Gary Oldman did a great job with this one also.  I’ve never heard him doing voices in an animation.

The second aspect of this movie is that I truly love the story and it looked to be really visually stunning.  It did turn out to be quite detailed.  My boyfriend commented about the detail of the reactions and expressions.  The experience was definitely geared towards being seen in 3D, however, I have a normal Blu-ray so it had to do.  It seem had exciting moments.

However, this flick is probably not primarily geared towards young children.  It had a lot of spooky moments near the end.  Although they do try to balance it out with a lot of funny moments to lighten the mood up.  I’m do enjoy this movie a lot.  Its not my absolutely favorite but whats Christmas without a little bit of Christmas carol, right?

There is a CRAZY amount of Christmas Carol adaptations both in animations, or themed like Disney’s, for example, and in real life. Which ones have you seen? Are there some you enjoy more than the others? I heard Muppet’s Christmas Carol is pretty good also.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Christmas month starts in about 10 days.  I still haven’t had time to figure out what to do exactly yet and I already have two Christmas movie reviews up.  This is the second movie on the flight back that I saw, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I love Dr. Seuss and for many people reading my past blogs, you would’ve probably already figured that one out.  I’ve watched almost all the movies on Dr. Seuss in the recent years.  This year’s The Lorax was simply fantastic.  You can go and check out my review if you’d like.  I loved Horton Hears a Who!.  In 2000, How The Grinch Stole Christmas was released in human version.  I’m sure it was long awaited.

For those who don’t know, this is based on the Dr. Seuss children’s book about The Grinch that lived on top of the hill of Whoville and hated the noise and the presents that Christmas brought.  He lived with his dog and one day, he comes up with the idea that he will steal Christmas so that it would never have to hear all the joyful noise and music and fuss.  He swoops in and strips the houses of all its decorations and gifts and lights, even all the food.  The story is that he learns that Christmas isn’t about all these materialistic things but rather the spirit can’t die because it means more than that.  The animated version that plays on TV every year is very similar and has Boris Karloff that does the narration, pretty much a reading of the storybook and its quite memorable. It doesn’t escape my Christmas movie marathon every year.  Its tradition to watch it.  I’ll talk more about it when we get into Christmas month in December.

So here we have the revamped version with humans.  Jim Carrey plays the Grinch.  Cindy Lou Who is played by Taylor Momsen and a whole bunch of other actors that I can’t recognize.  It doesn’t matter and I don’t even want to look it up because this movie was pretty bad.  The only factor I thought was worth reclaiming a bit was Taylor Momsen as Cindy Lou.  I actually enjoyed her throughout the whole movie.  Well, maybe using “actually” is not a correct term.  Taylor Momsen is a young actress I do enjoy, even when I was watching Gossip Girl and her role as Jenny Humphrey.  As for Jim Carrey,  he did this role way over exaggerated and the dialogue sometimes was too much, the actions were too much, the additional parts was too much.  They tried to give the movie an extra storyline telling us the reason as to why the Grinch lives on the hilltop and hates the Whos and Christmas, and even went to the extent to give it a bit of romantic spark.  I’m not sure if that was extremely necessary but I guess when you do a full length movie, they had to, or else the source material wouldn’t have been enough to hold up without feeling like it was dragging.  Still, I probably wouldn’t watch this movie ever again.  I spent most of the movie rolling my eyes and thinking when it would end, hoping that maybe it’ll get better.  It didn’t happen.

Other than Taylor Momsen, the other part I’d give to this movie as a positive was the soundtrack.  I owned the soundtrack even before I saw the movie and its a nice one.  There are some fun tunes and nice rendition of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”.  Faith Hill’s version and the movie version of Where are you Christmas is definitely nice to listen to.  There are a few other tracks that I love.

With that said, the movie experience was pretty bad but feel free to go ahead and listen to the soundtrack.   It is a nice fun Christmas music sountrack.  Although, it is sad that I have to list one of Jim Carrey’s movies as bad as this because I really do like him as an actor ever since the beginning.

As usual, I’d love to hear what you think? Did you enjoy it? I want to hear what you liked if you did? Maybe I’ll see it in a different light, who knows, right?