movies: mr magorium's wonder emporium

mr magorium's wonder emporium - you have to believe it to see itThat's the problem with having an overly long and somewhat tongue-twister-like title for your movie... nobody ever quite remembers it or gets it right... I've been calling Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium by the title of this post for days now...

I have to say that this is an incredibly sweet movie... and whoever designed the poster needs a big slap because it makes Natalie Portman look much less attractive than she appears in the film, and the toy store slightly less interesting (or at least less colourful).

What I really love about this is that all the magic in the store isn't hidden... it isn't something that just happens around children or just the store's staff or whatever, it just happens (although given a particular sequence in the film, I do hesitate to use the word "just"). And it's never explained away or covered up or hidden... it's a magic store, and magic happens and people see it and that's okay.

It is very much one of those stores that you look at and think "Man, I'd love to visit that place"... a whole world of groovy really.

The cast is pretty brilliant too... Dustin Hoffman does a nice line in chewing the scenery, but is completely consistent in his portrayal of the 243 year old highly eccentric toy store owner... as I said before Natalie looks gorgeous and, like she did in V for Vendetta adds that certain heart to the story... Jason Bateman does a nice turn as "The Mutant" (and I love that he just never questions the fact that all the characters call him "Mutant" throughout the movie), being impressively stuffy when needed, but also showing glimpses of heart underneath... but the "Oh my god, how good were you" award goes to 12 year old Zach Mills as "Eric Applebaum, the Hat Collector"... he's REALLY, REALLY good... and the scenes he has with Jason are just beautiful and have that "heartstring tuggage" thing going on.

The only thing that I would have actually liked to see between Zach and Jason was "the checkers game"... you'll know what I mean if you see the movie... but it would have been nice to see.

I also loved the way they did the credits... instead of just the names of the characters, they all got little descriptions... so there's "Jessica, Who Got a Cowboy Hat", "Andy, the Boy Who Likes to Color", "Gia, with a Squid on Her Head" and "Milo, Who's Not Bad". And rather than just the regular "cast" and "crew" and whatever, they had labels like "These people made sure we paid people". Very cute... and appropriate to the movie.

As I said though, it's a beautiful, sweet little movie (and although it didn't actually make me cry, it kinda got close a couple of times), and well worth a look.

yani's rating: 4 avid shoe wearers out of 5

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