Monday, March 10, 2008

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium













Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

This is one fun movie. I'm surprised how much I enjoyed watching Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium on DVD. When it came out in theaters, it didn't strike my interest at all. For some reason though, I had this urge to watch it upon hearing of it's DVD release. The eccentric toy maker Mr. Magorium, who resembles a cross between Willy Wonka and The Mad Hatter, is portrayed by legendary actor Dustin Hoffman. Mr. Magorium is a 243 year old toy store owner. And inside his magical toy shop, surprises exist around every corner. Dustin Hoffman's performance really highlighted all the quirks of this character. His lines in the film go back and forth between being silly one moment, and profound the next. With a supporting cast that ironically consists of two former childhood actors (Jason Bateman and Natalie Portman), this whimsical film has just the right formula to inspire the child in everyone. Natalie Portman plays Molly Mahoney, who is Mr. Magorium's store manager, and who's also a pianist that's hit a creative roadblock in life. Anyone who has ever chasen after a dream, only to find themselves stuck in a ditch, can relate to her character. The events that occur in the film can serve as an inspiration to anyone who has ever been in her shoes. There are a lot of important themes in the film, if you look hard enough. Themes like facing death (which Mr. Magorium insists on calling a "departure"), and keeping the child alive inside us, regardless of how old we are. During the special features of the DVD, the filmmakers expand on these themes, and how they worked together to make this very playful film.

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