Okay. I will admit that, as much as I loathe Jim Carrey, he did a good job of Olaf. I could've done without the putting-the-troupe-to-sleep scene and other various Hey Look At Me I'm Jim Bloody Carrey moments, but when it came right down to it, he had the spirit of the character down. And he certainly rubbed me the wrong way all throughout.
Poe did not cough once. This bothered me.
The Snicket scenes were excellent, and very reminiscent of the photos in the books. Jude Law's narration is wonderful, independent of the fact that I love his voice. He had a nice lilting, despairing tone, the sort I always imagine Snicket having when I'm reading.
Monty and Josephine were both played exceptionally well. Justice Strauss needed more screen time.
The sets were all excellent, ripped right out of the Helquist drawings. They were probably the best part of the movie, in my opinion, although the music itself was very evocative.
Okay. HOW did Lemony get through an ENTIRE movie without ONCE mentioning Beatrice??? WHERE was Beatrice??? There was NO mention of Beatrice. Maybe she was in that one picture Aunt Josephine half-showed the Baudelaires, but we'll never know. Lemony never once lamented Beatrice, and that bothers me.
I'm not sure how I feel about Olaf predicting Violet's move during The Marvelous Marriage. Being the jerk that I am, I yelled out, 'Hey, who let him read the book?' when he told Violet to make sure she signed with her right hand. I'm also not sure how I feel about Olaf suddenly becoming the voice of morality at the end of the play. Yeah, what he says is a big theme of the books, but where does he get off being right?
The ending seemed a bit fatalistic for the movie itself -- it seems like they're not banking on any more movies, but allowing wiggle-room in case it does happen. I'm not sure how I'd feel about seeing Carrey in drag, so I'll reserve judgment.
Yeah, another thing about not seeming confident about more movies ... they spilled VFD stuff on us like you wouldn't believe. They also 'solved' the fire thing (and why would Olaf have a device that targets only the Baudelaire mansion if the movie acknowledges that there was a series of fires?) and sort of drove off into a dubious sunset. I felt like I was getting drowned in metaplot far too quickly and arbitrarily. Snicket spins it out nicely, and while I understand that movies only have an hour and a half to do things, the whole VFD thing felt very clumsy. If they were going to smack us that hard with metaplot, they could have hinted at Snicket's involvement -- okay, they did with the whole spyglass thing, but I mean his actual involvement, not just his alliances.
Overall -- a well-made movie, a good representation of the characters (with the possible exception of Poe), but definitely grating to purists in some parts. You've really gotta consider this to be separate and independent from the books, as silly as that sounds, because trying to stick this in line with book canon is something akin to the old square-peg-in-the-round-hole problem. If they do continue, I don't know how they're going to account for some metaplot issues, if they'll backtrack and stick stuff in that they skipped (because they'll sort of have to if they're going to address everything), or if they'll just pretend everything's fine.
Oh, but do watch all the end credits. They're rather fun.
I will post pictures of my book-version Violet costume as soon as they're sent to me.