Review – ASOUE Netflix Series

Last year I was challenged to read The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket the first part in a 13 book series known as A Series Of Unfortunate Events (ASOUE). I had watched the movie starring Jim Carey and was optimistic at the prospect of the book. After reading the first book as part of the challenge I enjoyed it so much that I read the following 3 books in the series and will continue to finish them all.

Lemony Snicket the narrator of the books and also stars in the new series on Netflix is hilariously gloomy and admirably witty. The casting of Patrick Warburton as Lemony was on point, his ability to keep a straight face and his stern voice brought the Narrator in the books to life perfectly. I thought the casting of Jim Carey in the 2004 movie was good, however after reading the books I believe Neil Patrick Harris to be a more resembling fit for the character. He has an ability to pull of being an absolutely horrifying person as well as being incredibly amusing to watch and sometimes, just downright creepy (yeah I am talking about Stefano).

The Netflix Series covers the first 4 books, 2 episodes per book. This made it very good for me to binge as I have only read the first 4 books so far. I was a little confused, as it appears that plots in which you do not learn about until the 5th book run parallel to the story knew and loved. I thoroughly enjoyed the series from the catchy opening theme music which changed per book to the little hint that would come to light in the next series of which I can only assume will cover the next 4 books. I will definitely aim to finish reading all 13 books before series 2.

I can say with absolute certainty that the new series is infinitely better than the 2004 movie. Sorry Jim. The story is portrayed in a lot more detail and the little things that make the book so great do not disappoint. The series is about the Baudelaire Orphans, Violet, Klaus and Sunny. As you can probably guess from the title they do not have the most fortunate upbringing. There will be spoilers from now on so please proceed with caution. It all starts on an overcast deserted beach where the 3 Baudelaire’s are making sand castles but mainly experimenting with Violets newest invention. Meanwhile whilst they are away their parents are perishing in a fire. It is at this stage where Mr Poe enters the equation, my least favourite character. He is full of patronising idiocy that never fails to annoy. He is the Bank Manager in charge of the Baudelaire fortune and the welfare of the now orphaned trio.

As I do not want to give too much away the general gist of the series is about the orphans being put with various so called ‘family members’ namely Count Olaf who is out to steal their fortune, so far from what I have read the Orphans use their intelligence and wit to save themselves from being caught in his clutches. Count Olaf tricks Mr Poe, which is way too easy into giving him rights of guardianship over the Baudelaire’s, the children see Count Olaf for who he is, a terrible actor trying to get his hands on their parents fortune. This again is where it starts, when his initial plan is foiled the children are moved to different family member away from Count Olaf. This issue being that he does not leave them be and follows them to each of their new guardians causing mayhem along the way.

My favourite character in the series is Klaus Baudelaire as he is known for reading himself out of a problem. This appeals to me partly down to be job and also down to my passion for reading.

I can only assume that the series will continue in the same vain in that Count Olaf keeps on pursuing the children using his manipulating charm and charismatic evil-ness (haha) and the children continue to outwit him, what I am more intrigued by is how the series ends. Do the Baudelaire’s finally find peace or is it as unfortunate as the rest?

Anyway one last note, if you have read the books then watch the series. If you are thinking about reading the books then stop thinking and get reading!

 

Danny

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Harry Potter: Years 1-4

Harry Potter. It is difficult to truly explain how these books make me feel. I read them as they were coming out and went to the cinema to watch the latest films when released. I would like to thank J.K. Rowling for everything; her words have been brought to light by Warner Brothers, which have boosted the books popularity more than ever imaginable. Of course being a bibliophile I think that the book is superior to the film in all circumstances except maybe the Philosopher’s Stone. I realise that maybe this is my death sentence. However after re-reading the first 4 books and watching the first 4 films I have come to this conclusion. I love Harry Potter.

I will start with the Philosopher’s Stone (Sorcerer’s Stone) the book that started it all with the boy who lived. The mystery and magical atmosphere that Rowling creates in this novel is sublime. She wants to introduce people to the world she has foreseen however she doesn’t want it to be overwhelming and as a result it is perfect. It took me a matter of 3 days (nights) after work to re-read and it was very enjoyable. I felt a strong urge to then watch the film. Something Sophie had to put up with. We decided to wait until our new tradition of Movie Adaptation Monday and watch them all as I was re-reading them. Our aim being that we would end on watching the final part of The Deathly Hallows on Harry Potter book night (4th February). The film in my opinion is marginally better than the book. Of course the production value for the first film was very low and the effects were not brilliant, but that is part of its charm. The first film is the only one that tries to keep as much content from the book as possible, partly because it is the smallest book.  Regardless of that it is the film that started the worlds obsession with this franchise, which in turn boosted J.K. Rowling and encouraged her to keep writing and gave Warner Brothers a bigger budget for the following films. This is the main reason as to why I think the film is better, however it is only marginally and that is only because of my love for the franchise as a whole.

The Chamber of Secrets is my least favourite of the series, partly because I feel that Rowling was a bit over the top with the creatures she used as if to try and scare more and more. The story idea however is brilliant and the book is much better than the film, but for me there was something that would always put me off this book/film. I am not afraid of spiders or snakes but as J.K Rowling knows many people are, it is evident that she tries a little too hard to scare everybody and tries to use the reader/viewers fear to demonstrate how the character’s feel. I am not a fan of this but I still like watching the film and reading the book, primarily for the story/plot which is the best part of The Chamber of Secrets. I was however more than happy to move onto the Prisoner of Azkaban.

I have not yet gathered enough information (re-read all of the books and re-watched all of the film) to be able to say conclusively which is my favourite book and my favourite film but I definitely enjoyed this. I don’t know whether it is that I am just a bit of a sucker for time travelling stories and the Sci-Fi element or whether it is the fact that I love how Rowling hides so well the true identity of Sirius Black. Sirius Black is one of my favourite characters, he has had a very rough time and it is understandable that he wishes he was back at Hogwarts with James and Remus where he wasn’t in such a state and that is partly why I think he is a bit nasty to Harry (in that he wishes he was James) as he misses his best friend. Of course he has, back at Hogwarts, been very horrible, especially to Severus, which is NOT COOL. I feel that Gary Oldman’s portrayal of the character is perfect (and probably why I like Sirius’ character so much) and the partnership with Remus is exactly how it should be though Remus is the nicer of the two. Sirius did have to spend 12 years of his life in Azkaban with the dementors and in the knowledge that his so called friend was the real culprit who was still running free; anybody would be a bit crazy, wouldn’t they?

Finally onto the Goblet of Fire, the tasks, the Quidditch world cup, the competing schools. This book took the wizarding world to the next level, like Harry I never even thought about how the wizarding world would translate across the seas and Rowling has made it seem so obvious that even I feel a bit stupid for not reading more. Being a bibliophile I wish that we were able to read the massive amounts of books that Hermione goes through and I plead JK Rowling to write Hogwarts – A History. Me and Sophie would also like there to be a spinoff for Mad-Eye Moody, as we feel the exploits of his younger days would be a very interesting read. However back to the actual book that is written, the first task is just truly brilliant. I love the way in which Harry uses the Firebolt to escape the dragon’s clutches and to proceed to the next level. (A broomstick being the most sought after magical item I would wish to possess) . The names of the breeds of dragons and how the characters are interlinked (Charlie the dragon keeper being Ron’s brother) is also a very nice touch. The ending has to be the best of those I have re-read thus far and was definitely portrayed well by Ralph Fiennes, one of the best Actors in the whole Harry Potter series. The suspense that gradually builds in the book/film and sets it up for this huge climactic ending which is far from happy. Granted Harry escapes unharmed but Cedric dies and the return of the Dark Lord is confirmed. This is the perfect ending to set up the next 3 books of which get gradually darker until the end; I cannot wait to continue re-reading.

To all you fellow wizards, I hope you enjoyed reading my musings on how much I love these books/films, and for all those who feel negative toward the series or me for that matter then I hope you enjoy your family reunion with the Dursleys, be careful you don’t get blown up you muggle.

Danny

Movie Adaptation Monday

Hi, 

We are the Tumiltys. In fact one of us is a Tumilty the other is a liar. The truth is we are engaged and as we are both literary obsessed nerds we felt a  play on words was essential when setting up our book blog. This is how Tumiltuousreads came to be. So to answer your question, yes it was a conscious decision to misspell tumultuous, decide for yourself whether or not you can forgive us.

Our first post is about our new tradition, as new roommates we have decided to start participating in Movie-Adaptation Monday (self created.) We have been doing this for two weeks, so far we have watched movie adaptations of two classic novels, first on the list were American classic To Kill A Mockingbird and Webb’s modern classic The Graduate. As we are drawing closer to Harry Potter Book Night I can only assume we will be watching The Philosopher’s Stone after a quick re-read later in the week. With Harry Potter Book Night on the 4th of February we don’t have enough Monday’s left to watch all of the films so we are going to watch one a week until the week of HPBN then we will watch one every night to ensure watching them all finishing on 4 February with a double bill of the Deathly Hallows.

For our first Movie-Adaptation Monday we watched The Graduate starring Dustin Hoffman and directed by Mike Nichols. I (Danny) was a little late in reading Webb’s Modern Classic but thoroughly enjoyed it, I definitely found it hard to put down and read it in 2 nights. Sophie had been desperate to watch the film earlier however held off until I got round to reading it, she too enjoyed the book thoroughly. Of course the anticipation was sure to be met with disappointment as the book was too good to be easily adapted onto screen. As expected the book still reigned supreme but out of 10 for an adaptation I (Dan) would give it a 7, however Dustin Hoffman’s portrayal of Benjamin Braddock was 10 out of 10, in fact regardless of the age difference between Dustin and the character he plays, his acting prowess exceeds that of his experience and of the rest of the cast. My perception of Benjamin Braddock when reading the novel was matched by the portrayal from Dustin and he is who made the film as good as it is. As a stand alone film regardless of the novel I would definitely give it 9 out of 10. 

Our second Monday we watched To Kill a Mockingbird starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, directed by Robert Mulligan. After reading Harper Lee’s All American Classic for my Law and Literature course at University and absolutely loved it, Atticus Finch being my favourite character and the topic of my coursework meant that my expectations were high for the film. I loved Gregory Peck’s portrayal of Atticus however the film as a whole has definitely not aged gracefully. The best scenes in the film replicate the best scenes in the book and for that I was grateful however I believe I (Danny) would only give this Movie-Adaptation a 6 out of 10. I worry for the outcome of Go Set a Watchman and have yet to read, however it is definitely on my TBR this year.

The Graduate was one of my favourite reads of 2015 and being so of course I would then recommend it to Danny. I read this novel as I have wanted to watch the movie for a number of years given my love for Paul Simon and Dustin Hoffman. Time did not lead to disappointment and I found our first official Movie-Adaptation Monday exceeded expectations. However I was less impressed with To Kill A Mockingbird. Although this can once more be traced back to my thoughts on Harper Lee’s classic novel. I definitely enjoyed reading the All American classic however the ending left me underwhelmed, I found the court case to be far more entertaining than the life of Boo Radley. I did however fall in love with Scout, Jem and of course Atticus. This is the reason why our copy of Go Set a Watchman remains unread, we are both wary of the supposed character changes. Considering my thoughts on the novel (which I personally would give a 7 out of 10 at my most generous) I enjoyed the movie more than I expected. The scene in court again being my favourite.

We hope you like our new Idea and even find enjoyment in following our Journey through books, we have both set ourself targets for the amount of books to read this year. Danny has set himself a target of 146 books, he came to this due to that being the number of followers he had on Instagram as the clock struck midnight on New Years Eve. I however have chosen a modest challenge of 100 books for 2016. Though I am competitive and will try my best to beat Danny in all efforts.