Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium |
Actors: Natalie Portman, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Bateman, Ted Ludzik, Zach Mills
Director: Zach Helm
Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Mr. Magorium (Dustin Hoffman) owns and runs the most magical store in the universe, where all of the toys for sale are alive. But, when the aging shopkeeper decides to retire and sell the business to his faithful cashier (... more »
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Great for the young 'uns (and not so young 'uns!)
D. Roberts | Battle Creek, Michigan United States | 03/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a terrific family movie that is suitable for children of all ages. There are, to a degree, some parallels with Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory [HD DVD]. However, for the most part it is its own movie. It centers around a man (played by Dustin Hoffman) who wishes to leave the management / ownership of his magical toy store to his favorite employee (portrayed by Natalie Portman) as he can sense that his end is near. Unfortunately, Portman's character is apprehensive about taking over the toy store, mostly stemming from a lack of self-confidence.
To be sure, many will say that this film is predictable, and so it is. However, the people who criticize it on such grounds are, I believe, missing the point. Granted, there are no real "hooks" in the plot or plot-twists that will keep you guessing. So what? In a movie like this, it really doesn't matter. At base, to me the film is not so much about the story itself as it is about how we all used to look upon the world with such a sense of wonder when we were children. People who are only looking for surprises are not prone to "getting it" insofar as this DVD is concerned.
The casting is terrific with Hoffmann and Portman leading the way. Hoffmann gets his chance to play a sort of pseudo-Santa Clause, and it's evident that he enjoyed himself immensely. I've always like Portman, and it's nice to see a young woman who is both a fine actress as well as a great person. She is kind of the antipode to "bad girls" like Lindsay Lohan.
If you are the parent of small children, I'd highly recommend this film. If you're not a parent of small children but enjoy feeling like a kid again, this one is recommended to an equal degree."
"Life is an occassion - Rise to it!"
GoodFolk | Va Beach, USA | 03/24/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A breath of fresh air of a family movie. Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is simple in its storytelling about believing in your self, finding the magic in your life. It is an enchanting movie; entertaining without the typical hper-action, potty/burping humor or street-smart smack talk so overdone in every other "family" movie these days.
Charming. Brilliantly understated acting; not over the top in any way, no sterotypical characterizations. Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman, Jason Bateman and child actor Zach Mills played true to their characters, filled with wonder, believable. I can only imagine that the movie's negative reviews are based on reviewers having preconcieved ideas of what they "thought" the movie would be like. This is a simple Willy Wonka-esque story, 90 minutes of enchanting entertainment without hype or preachiness. Slow down and enjoy it!"
Whimsy and Fantasy
Chris | Centerville, Utah | 01/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"[Mild spoilers in this review:]
This is a unique movie. The plot is relatively simple - Toy Store Owner prepares his assistant to take over the business. There is no villain in the form of a character. I suppose the "villain," or conflict in the plot, is "lack of imagination." This is initially personified in the form of a dry, by-the-books accountant, however this character is by no means the villain in this story. "Lack of imagination" is the force opposing Mr. Magorium and his whimsical store.
I suspect that mainstream America and the critics didn't respond favorably to this movie for two reasons: marketing this movie was difficult; and much of mainstream America and the critics are guilty of exhibiting the same element that served as the conflict in the movie: "lack of imagination."
For example, in one scene, the witless accountant finally gives in to others' use of imagination and tries being imaginative himself by wearing silly hats and pretending to be someone else. He and a young boy act out fairy tale stories and let their imagination run wild. The boy's mother discovers them and is immediately suspicious of the accountant's intentions. It's as if the movie is commenting on some people that perhaps don't "get it." Additionally, as if life were imitating art, there were some people that didn't "get" this movie.
My family (with two kids aged 6 and 3) thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and we could comfortably watch it without fear of "toilet gags" and without anxiety of seeing crude/vulgar moments. And this movie also effectively addressed the potentially disturbing subject of "death." I liked the approach here.
Like the characters in the movie, give Mr. Magorium a chance. And let your imagination flow with the movie.
Favorite line: "Light bulbs die. I am departing.""
The Parable of the toy store
Tim Lasiuta | Red Deer, Alberta | 02/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium: Truly Wonderous!
It is a rare film that holds your attention hours after you see the credits roll. Mr Magorium is that, and more. It is, at its' core, a modern day parable that speaks to the power and magic of faith.
On the surface, Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporioum is a toy store for the ages. The children come into play in brightly lit corners stacked high with toys, games, books, and models. Rockets fly around the ceiling. A magical ball room transforms itself into an upstairs suite with the twist of a knob. The life of the store is reflected in the joy of the children and parents who enter the doors.
Mr Edward Magorium is dying. 243 years old, and his shoes are finally wearing out. As he explains to his assistant, Molly Mahoney, his last pair of shoes is wearing out and he knows that when they do, he will die. To prepare for the event, he hires an accountant, Henry Weston, to evaluate the value of the store and the contents. Magorium, names him Mutant, and throughout the whole film, Henry discovers the oddities that define a 200 year old man. $300,000 for a door knob (I've never paid more than $250,000). An IOU from the Thomas Edison. Century old toys. And a book keeping system that defies logic and belief. It's almost too much for a trained Mutant to bear!
Like a living being, the toy store ebbs and moves. Cracks appear on the walls. The life within the toys wanes and the atmosphere is less magical. A young assistant, Eric Applebaum,
On the passing of Mr Magorium, the store 'dies' as well. But not before he presents a gift to Molly of a large block presumably possessing magical powers. Unable to sustain the life of the store and business flow, Molly closes and prepares to sell much to the disappointment of Eric Applebaum, the young hat collector who works at the store.
When all is darkest, and Molly's dream of finishing her grand masterpiece, she discovers the missing piece to the puzzle. When all is dark, and she is about to sign the store over, she discovers the magic behind the emporium.
"Move" "Move" "Fly...." is all that is required when her journey to joy takes flight as her faith is renewed and the toy store explodes! In one broad stroke, he symphony is complete, and the deadened toy store comes to life once more.
I said before this is a modern day parable, and I believe it is. Beneath the toys lies the truth of the mustard seed. "If I have faith as a mustard seed, I could say to the mountain, move, and it shall MOVE!" And it does.
There are other themes too. Joy in the journey. Youth. Living life to its' fullest. Passing on of our faith. Mourning.
Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman are wonderfully cast in this film. The `mutant', Justin Bateman, plays a perfect straight man.
This is a true family film that is not fluff. Talk about it. Watch it together. Share it. That's what the `parable of the toy store' is all about.