Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (Zach Helm, 2007)

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Antoine Doinel
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#1 Post by Antoine Doinel » Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:57 pm

This is probably one of my most anticipated movies this fall. Here's the synopsis from IMDB:
Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman) is the awkward and insecure manager of Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, the strangest, most fantastic, most wonderful toy store in the world. But when Mr. Magorium, the 243 year-old eccentric who owns the store (Dustin Hoffman), bequeaths the store to her, a dark and ominous change begins to take over the once remarkable Emporium.
The film also stars Jason Bateman.

Here are some stills.

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domino harvey
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#2 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jun 26, 2007 6:42 pm

sounds interesting, should I know the name Zach Helm?

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flyonthewall2983
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#3 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:13 pm

He wrote Stranger Than Fiction. He's making his directorial debut with this. I haven't seen Stranger Than Fiction, but I need to post about something else for a change.

patrick
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#4 Post by patrick » Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:17 pm

I really loved Stranger Than Fiction, it was one of the biggest surprises of last year for me. I'm guessing this is going to be aimed at least somewhat towards kids, especially given the title (flashes of "The Contrabulous Fabtraption of Professor Horatio Hufnagel" flashed through my mind).

Jason Bateman has amazing comic timing, hopefully he has a meaty role.

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Jeff
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#5 Post by Jeff » Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:21 pm


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Antoine Doinel
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#6 Post by Antoine Doinel » Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:55 pm

Wow, fun trailer. Given the Thanksgiving release date and Walden Media's involvement, there is no denying this is aimed squarely at families. Thankfully, the trailer seems to be much more toned down than similar styled fantastical films like Night At The Museum, Jumanji or Zathura.

My hopes are still up there even though Jason Bateman seems to be playing to straight man. But what is up with Dustin Hoffman's capped teeth and lisp?

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domino harvey
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#7 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:43 pm

This looks really good. I mean, I would have been sold solely on the lemur on the kid's head but still

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jesus the mexican boi
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#8 Post by jesus the mexican boi » Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:57 pm

I'm sorry. I saw the trailer before Ratatouille tonight and, well, consider me sufficiently underwhelmed. This looks like Willy Wanker and the Big Gas Escalator and everyone, I mean EVERYONE, looks woefully miscast. It's like a bad Harry Potter/Lemony Snicket bandwagon book (go to the kids' section of your local bookstore--these things are breeding like Gremlins) brought to the big screen.

It looks like the kind of thing that could easily go waaaaaaay overbudget.

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Antoine Doinel
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#9 Post by Antoine Doinel » Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:13 am

Saw this tonight and thought it was a charming enough fantasy. It offers nothing new in terms of the story (it's all about "believing in yourself"), but the script itself is pretty good. Hoffman is given plenty of opportunity to chew the scenery with enough puns to make Groucho proud. And while, jesus the mexican boi makes a good point about films of this kind going terribly overbudget and becoming more about the special effects than not, here they are tastefully and conservatively applied. Some of the best sequences don't really involve many special effects at all.

While I think Stranger Than Fiction was a far better film, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium at least shows that Zach Helm is a writer to keep an eye on. He has an uncanny ability to be really tug at the heartstrings without an agonizing amount of syrup. I know a couple of cousins of my gf that will get a kick out of this (and I would definitely watch this again - seeing Zathura once was more than enough for me).

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Fletch F. Fletch
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#10 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:35 am

Antoine Doinel wrote:Saw this tonight and thought it was a charming enough fantasy. It offers nothing new in terms of the story (it's all about "believing in yourself"), but the script itself is pretty good. Hoffman is given plenty of opportunity to chew the scenery with enough puns to make Groucho proud. And while, jesus the mexican boi makes a good point about films of this kind going terribly overbudget and becoming more about the special effects than not, here they are tastefully and conservatively applied. Some of the best sequences don't really involve many special effects at all.
The best sequence, for me, was the one where the kid and Bateman's character communicate via hand-written notes between a pane of glass to Cat Stevens' "Don’t Be Shy." It instantly made me wonder if Helm's a Hal Ashby fan and sure enough later on a company is named "Ashby."

I knew nothing going into this film and so had zero expectations and was pleasantly surprised at how wonderful this film was. It's nice to see a film champion old school toy stores (as opposed to big chains like Toys R Us) and old school toys like Slinky, Lincoln Logs, train sets, puppets, etc.

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Antoine Doinel
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#11 Post by Antoine Doinel » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:03 am

Fletch F. Fletch wrote:
Antoine Doinel wrote:Saw this tonight and thought it was a charming enough fantasy. It offers nothing new in terms of the story (it's all about "believing in yourself"), but the script itself is pretty good. Hoffman is given plenty of opportunity to chew the scenery with enough puns to make Groucho proud. And while, jesus the mexican boi makes a good point about films of this kind going terribly overbudget and becoming more about the special effects than not, here they are tastefully and conservatively applied. Some of the best sequences don't really involve many special effects at all.
The best sequence, for me, was the one where the kid and Bateman's character communicate via hand-written notes between a pane of glass to Cat Stevens' "Don’t Be Shy."
Yeah, I loved that bit too. I enjoyed the film because it had a lot of great moments like that, that never veered into sentimentality or preciousness. The tone of the film, more often than not, was just right.

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#12 Post by toiletduck! » Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:30 pm

After that Kermit cameo, I would have forgiven pretty much anything.

-Toilet Dcuk

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Fletch F. Fletch
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#13 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:33 pm

Antoine Doinel wrote:I enjoyed the film because it had a lot of great moments like that, that never veered into sentimentality or preciousness. The tone of the film, more often than not, was just right.
Exactly. And that's what ruins so many films like this -- they end up being way too cutesy for their own good but this one hit all the right notes.

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