Sunday, January 06, 2008

That Jim Carrey Book

I had read the first three books in the Series of Unfortunate Events series. They're clever and charmingly written, but they are, in many respects, all alike, and there is a frustrating and recurring theme of nobody listening to the kids. So I basically decided to stop reading them. And then, of course, I got access to the books of the middle school library, and suddenly I'm carrying around The Miserable Mill. It's good, like they're all good, but this is book 4 of 11, and I think after this I'm going to skip to the end. Unless this one has something very different going on, which I doubt.

We watched the movie this weekend, though. All three children were marvelous, and I loved how they subtitled Sunny's coos. But...ah, Jim Carrey. There were long moments in the movie where it's clear that they just let him riff, told the kids to look stiff and incredulous, and then looped the background music to cover the right amount of time. Not, not good. Long riffs, repetitive, hammy...everything you expect from Jim Carrey. I think I only ever liked him in two movies: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and, believe it or not, Liar Liar. This is not a movie blog, so I don't feel the need to explain myself there.

Next up, To Say Nothing of the Dog, which is a preposterous title, but the subtitle, How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump At Last, is even worse. The book, though, is by Connie Willis, and is very good, even on page 20 or so. I think it helps to have read her Doomsday Book, because it has the same setting, but I don't think it's necessary.

Final note: they made a movie of Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi. It's animated in her comic style and in French. But the movie is black and white (not grayscale) and the English subtitles are, inexplicably, all in white. Good luck to you there.


Carl said...

It is unfortunate that the other books have the same running theme of everyone ignoring the kids. I have thought about reading the series several times but now I am not sure. The fact that everyone ignored what the kids had to say in the movie was bad enough. I would not want to read 11 books worth of it. So keep us posted and let us know if it gets better.

humanrocketjlb said...

I think we entered with pretty low expectations, but we really liked the movie. Even with the hammy Ace Ventura parts. The kids really compensated for that. We tried reading the books as bedtime reading, but damn it's difficult to sleep after you get depressed. You just end up staring at the ceiling wondering where your life has gone.

And, what about the Truman Show? Don't tell me you didn't like the Truman Show. That may be my favorite movie of all time.

LibraryHungry said...

Yeah, I'll grant you The Truman Show. But I still didn't really like Jim Carey in it--he's such a ham! Even when he "acts" seriously, it's like a parody whatever role he's playing.

I'm thinking I'm going to jump straight to The Penultimate Peril. I figure I'll know pretty quickly if I missed anything important, and if I don't miss anything, I'll get to read the end without the redundant parts in the middle. I'll let you know how that goes!