Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Movie review: A Series of Unfortunate Events

 Based on the children's novels by Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events follows the adventures and tribulations of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire following their parents' death in a fire.

Malina Weissman (Violet), Louis Hynes (Klaus), Presley Smith (Sunny), Neil Patrick Harris (Count Olaf), Patrick Warburton (Lemony Snicket), K. Todd Freeman (Mr. Poe), Usman Ally (Hook), Will Arnett (Father), Cobie Smulders (Mom).

A Series of Unfortunate Events is an unusual tale told in something of a steam-punk theme as we follow the lives of the Baudelaire orphans following their parents' death in a fire. Placed with family members, their lives become a series of unfortunate events helped by the meddling of Count Olaf who hopes to acquire their fortune. Encountering a strange cast of characters in every episode, the dark humor and intentional overacting delivers an amusing story. The only disappointment was the ending, which I cannot compare to the books having not read them, that left us completely hanging with hints of more to come.

Acting was wonderful with Weissman, Hynes, and even Smith doing very well. Harris was hysterical in a single role, playing multiple characters, and added greatly to the series. Warburton was enjoyable, as was Freeman and the remainder of the familiar cast.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds are well done, if somewhat unusual with the steam-punk theme. Action scenes were mild and quite enjoyable. Dialogue included specific depth, probably due to an aim on younger viewers, that rounded out the series well. Sound and soundtrack were fun and fitting, including Harris singing the series theme music.

While A Series of Unfortunate Events may not appeal to everyone as it was intended for children, this is a great choice for family viewing. The series includes nice variety and moves along at an enjoyable pace.

With some mild action violence and dark humor, this should be fine for preens and above.

Released: 2017
Reviewed: 5.16.17
Star rating: 4 out of 5
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family, Series based on books, Dark Humor

copyright ©2017 Dave Riedel

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