Talk about a missed opportunity. No, not the film itself, but rather the opportunity at a quality franchise. Brad Silberling's adaptation of the first three books in Daniel Handler's wonderfully dark and funny series is one of the best to come along since the explosion of similar book-to-film adaptations, such as the Harry Potter franchise, and is one of the few that could have competed in terms of quality had it only been given the chance. Alas, we are left with merely one film. One wonderful film chronicling the dismal lives of the three Baudelaire children and the events that take place after the tragic death of their parents. They are first placed in the care of the delightfully wicked Count Olaf, played with Jim Carrey's typical gusto but also with a dash of sinister flair. Carrey puts on one of his best performances as the children's evil guardian, and there are other greats along the way who do equally fine work. Actors like Meryl Streep, Billy Connolly, Timothy Spall, and Catherine O'Hara each do fine work. There's even an appearance by the hilarious Craig Ferguson in half-drag! However, as great as these supporting characters are, this show belongs to Carrey and the three fine leads (Emily Browning, Liam Aiken, and Kara and Shelby Hoffan). The chemistry of the three children perfectly mirrors that of the books, and is just another reason why it is such a shame that this franchise didn't take off. Perhaps it is simply the sad world we live in, where lackluster series like Twilight go off at the box office while the less bombastic but far more clever ones fade into obscurity. Or maybe it is simply another in a long line of unfortunate events.