Men in Black trivia

Two of Will Smith‘s most famous, breakout roles almost went to very different actors. In the case of Bad Boys, Jon Lovitz was originally going to play his part opposite of Dana Carvey. After Lovitz and Carvey bailed on the buddy cop movie, the studio had to be convinced Smith was right for the project. On Men in Black, director Barry Sonnenfeld had to do some persuading as well to secure Smith a part producer Steven Spielberg wanted to go to Chris O’Donnell.

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A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 2

The practice of beloved TV or movie properties getting a second life has practically become synonymous with Netflix — the streaming service made its name as an original content service by tapping into the nostalgia of popular properties like Arrested Development and Full House.

But it’s rare that Netflix will take a chance on a moderately successful movie adaptation that was met with mixed reception, and outright disdain from fans of the books. But A Series of Unfortunate Events came to Netflix, where it was spearheaded by Barry Sonnenfeld, the director originally attached to the 2004 movie. And it was a hit. The series met with rave reviews from critics and fans alike, who lauded its unique visuals, fourth-wall-breaking characters. and witty black comedy. A Series of Unfortunate Events was quite a fortunate break for Netflix.

It was too for Sonnenfeld, who was able to finally bring his vision for an adaptation to life alongside the books’ author, Daniel Handler (whose pseudonym, Lemony Snicket, is also an active character in the series). We spoke with Sonnenfeld about the runaway success of the first season of A Series of Unfortunate Events, and what we can expect for the second and now-confirmed third.

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A Series of Unfortunate Events

Netflix’s adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events is pure Lemony Snicket (a.k.a. Daniel Handler). The author wrote much of season one, based on the first four entries in his 13-part series, and he’s remained appropriately faithful to his melancholic stories. The Netflix series doesn’t shy away from the darker themes found in the Baudelaire children’s journey, but it does go for considerably more laughs than the 2004 film adaptation, making it an entertainingly peculiar mix of slapstick and sadness.

Below, read our A Series of Unfortunate Events review (Spoilers follow).

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A Series of Unfortunate Events opening credits

Count Olaf is a terrible actor. Him and his gang of funky villains, his theater troupe, aren’t going to win awards anytime soon. Olaf’s acting is fairly rotten, but thanks to the talents of Neil Patrick Harris, he has a slightly more tolerable singing voice. Harris sings the theme song in Netflix’s adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Below, hear the A Series of Unfortunate Events theme song.

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Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events Promo

Not enough moviegoers embraced Brad Silberling‘s A Series of Unfortunate Events movie to launch a franchise, but perhaps we’ll finally get to see entire 13-part story adapted with Netflix’s upcoming series, which continues to look promising. The marketing materials have focused a little more on the comedic and heightened elements of author Daniel Handler‘s books, not so much the bleakness of the Baudelaire children’s predicament. But this promo, featuring Lemony Snicket (Patrick Warburton), is here to remind you of the hardship and danger they’ll face in the series.

Below, check out the Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events promo and new images from the series.

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a-series-of-unfortunate-events show

Lemony Snicket‘s A Series of Unfortunate Events gets dark. While director Brad Silberling‘s film stayed mostly faithful to the tone of the 13-part series, you can feel his 2004 adaptation sometimes holding back, and earlier cuts of the movie were apparently much darker. Author Daniel Handler‘s books have a sense of humor, but the jokes aren’t always as broad as what we saw in the movie or what we saw in the previews for Netflix’s new series. According to Neil Patrick Harris, who’s playing the villainous Count Olaf, the show gets “shockingly dark.”

Below, learn more about the Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events show.

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Christopher Walken pic

Barry Sonnenfeld has made some fine entertainment over the course of his career. In the 1990s, Sonnenfeld had a terrific run, directing Get ShortyMen in Black, and The Addams Family movies. Before turning towards directing, as a cinematographer, he shot Raising ArizonaMiller’s CrossingBigMisery, and Throw Momma from the Train. Since working on all of those memorable films, he’s directed some pictures–Wild Wild WestMen in Black II, and Big Trouble–that sorely missed the mark. Sonnenfeld’s next film, Nine Lives, about a man (Kevin Spacey) that gets turned into a cat, doesn’t look as appealing as his earlier efforts, but at the very least, it has Christopher Walken playing a cat whisper.

Below, watch a Nine Lives clip.

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Nine Lives Trailer

At a time when movie theaters are dominated by comic book movies, sequels, reboots and more stories with established intellectual property, having an original comedy sounds like the perfect remedy. Unfortunately, one of the original comedies coming out this year is Nine Lives, a movie about a neglectful, workaholic father (Kevin Spacey) who will learn how to reconnect with his family after he ends up being trapped in the body of a cat.

Even after the teaser trailer showed up back in January, I wasn’t sure this movie was real, but the new Nine Lives trailer shows us that this movie is still coming. Is it just some cruel prank? Read More »

‘Nine Lives’ Trailer: Kevin Spacey Plays a Cat

Nine Lives

Will 2016 be the year of feature-length cat videos? Last week we got the first trailer for Keanu, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele’s action comedy about two friends out to save the cutest cat ever, and today we’ve got the first trailer for Nine Lives, starring Kevin Spacey as a cat. Well, technically it stars him as an uncaring billionaire who gets turned into a cat so he can learn about the value of family or the power of love or whatever.

And to answer your next two questions: yes, this is a real movie with a real theatrical release date and everything; and yes, we’re sure. Watch the first Nine Lives trailer after the jump.  Read More »

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Neil Patrick Harris in Gone Girl

Neil Patrick Harris is the new Jim Carrey, at least as far as Netflix is concerned. Harris has just been cast in Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events as the villainous Count Olaf, the role played by Carrey in the not-very-beloved 2004 film. However — as befits a show called A Series of Unfortunate Events — the update comes with a side of bad news as well. The show has just lost its showrunner, Mark Hudis (True Blood).  Read More »