From Director Brad Silberling (Moonlight Mile) comes A Series of Unfortunate Events, which, in a nutshell, is really just a series of alternating pros and cons. While it’s visually rich and overflowing with talented actors (most appearing in either small or cameo roles), Lemony Snicket – currently available on DVD in a 2-disc collector’s edition format – is also a film which is short on plot but, at the same time, awfully overbearing in the Jim Carrey department.

The film, based on the popular series of children’s books by Daniel Handler, follows the series of unfortunate events (hence the title) that befall the Baudelaire children – Violet (Emily Browning), Klaus (Liam Aiken) and Sunny (Kara and Shelby Hoffman) – after the untimely death of their wealthy parents. Shortly after this devastating news, the children – all of whom have special talents (Violet is an inventor, Klaus retains all information he reads in books and Sunny has four very sharp teeth for which to bite things) – are whisked away to the dilapidated home of the disturbing Count Olaf (Jim Carrey), a creepy, out-of-work actor who the children are led to believe is their closest living relative. Olaf makes the children plug away at endless lists of chores so that he’ll have more time to figure out how to plot and scheme in order to take away the fortune to which the Baudelaire kids are rightfully entitled. The children manage to escape his clasp, though – at least for a short while – and, in the interim, are taken to live with various relatives.

The roles of the Baudelaires’ temporary guardians are filled by a handful of talented actors – including Billy Connolly and Meryl Streep – all of whom inhabit small roles but make the most out of their comical characters. Catherine O’Hara, Jennifer Coolidge and Dustin Hoffman also appear in the flick, and it’s fun trying to pick them out of the colorful crowd. And while Carrey himself is funny – playing more than one incarnation of Olaf – the film, at times, becomes too much of a showcase for his antics rather than a stage for the Snicket story.

The 2-disc DVD set, though, is packed with a bunch of worthwhile features. The hauntingly fun title menus take the viewer through everything from standards like director commentary, deleted scenes and outtakes to real bonuses like an interactive Count Olaf, a special effects demo and a featurette entitled "A Terrible Tragedy: Alarming Evidence from the Making of the Film."

Grade: B-

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is currently available.