Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Mister Magorium's Wonder Emporium

There was more energy, emotion and excitement in Christopher Walken’s toy store song-and-dance sequence with Michelle Pfeiffer in Hairspray than all the cheeriness and bright colors filling the screen throughout Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. A misguided kid flick that’s exuberant without achieving coherence, Magorium follows the waning days of the titular toy peddler (Dustin Hoffman), a strange wizardly fellow planning to transfer ownership of his magical shop to his cutesy assistant (Natalie Portman). Writer-director Zach Helm fills scenes with the organic trinkets in Magorium’s store, but he doesn’t give it any greater significance beyond the hodgepodge of clever special effects. Hoffman puts on the weirdest performance of his career, playing the crazed Magorium with vigor matched only by his goofy hairstyle, but there’s nothing in the story to match that otherworldly sprightliness. He’s like Willy Wonka without the chocolate.

Read the rest of the review in the New York Press...


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