Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (2007) [G] ***

It's hard to know what the purpose of this film is, beyond being a vanity piece for Dustin Hoffman. Over the past forty years Hoffman has given us a number of memorable film performances, including Best Actor Oscar-winning performances in Kramer vs. Kramer and Rain Man, and Best Actor Oscar-nominated performances in The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy, Lenny, Tootsie and Wag the Dog. However, as Mr. Magorium, the 243-year-old proprietor of a century-old children's magic toy store called the Wonder Emporium, Hoffman simply channels Gene Wilder from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, while the toy store is reminiscent of Santa's workshop fromThe Santa Clause.

The film features a poorly-written script with no story arc, no character development and no tension to be resolved, overacted performances from Natalie Portman and Jason Bateman, garishly colored costumes and sets with no inventiveness or subtlety, and boringly unimaginative special effects. The only redeeming part of the film is a charming supporting performance by preteen Zach Mills, for which he was nominated for a Young Artist Award. Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium will be best appreciated by children under the age of eight; most of the older viewers will be bored beyond belief. This film is not The Last Mimzy

Labels: comedy, fantasy, family    

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