A: When Mr. Magorium (Dustin Hoffman), the 243-year-old magical owner of a magical toy store decides to move on from this life and leave his store to the young pianist (Natalie Portman) who manages it, the store begins to revolt.
Q: Who’s in the movie?
A: Natalie Portman, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Bateman, Zach Mills.
Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?
A: Proceed with Caution. Don’t go to this film if you don’t have kids. Also consider that kids over ten years old will probably think the movie too “babyish,” and kids under five may not be ready to deal with the mature themes of death that drive the majority of the story line. This leaves a sweet spot of kids between the ages of six and nine, and the parents who love them enough to sit next to them. While the sweet spot for this film is small, I predict that those kids in their pre-tween years will be indelibly affected by memories of this magical store for the rest of their lives. They will want to go there for entire days at a time, so hopefully 20th Century Fox will create an attraction at their theme park… Oh, wait, they don’t have one.
Q: Will this movie make me laugh?
A: There are a couple of chuckles, and interesting turns of a phrase.
Q: Will this movie make me cry?
A: Only if one of your parents has died within the last week. That being the case, you might bring personal baggage to the film, which would generate tears about your own loss, as you watch the main character losing her father-figure, Mr. Magorium.
Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?
A: The Special Effects really are beautiful to watch. And, since it is not an action movie, it may have a good chance of separating itself from the rest of the potential nominees in this arena… Who are we kidding? Transformers is gonna sweep.
Q: How is the Acting?
A: Some people will think that Dustin Hoffman has created yet another genius character, while others will just be annoyed by the character Hoffman has so geniusly created. His performance could become a source of great debate. Then again, what do six-years-old’s know about acting?
Q: How is the Directing?
A: For first time director, Zach Helm, this was a very impressive debut. The visuals are stunning throughout, and the lighting changes perfectly from colorful and vibrant, to dark sepia tones as death becomes imminent.
Q: How is the story/script?
A: The story was fairly straight forward and predictable, but sometimes still felt a little confused as to its message. Apparently the main character is trying to find her inner confidence, but I never really felt like she lacked confidence in the first place. Sure, they told me she did, but I didn’t feel it in my heart. Her actions were those of a confident woman who believed in magic, and believed she could convince Mr. Magorium not to leave this life. She had lots of good ideas as to how to keep him around, and it didn’t seem to take any effort for her to come up with them. She seemed like she knew who she was on a lot of levels, but was having a little bit of writer’s block on a piano concerto she was writing. Because I wasn’t connecting with the thing the main character was trying to achieve (self-confidence), many parts of the movie seemed without purpose, and almost random, including the conclusion.
Q: Is there anything else outstanding about this movie?
A: “Outstanding” may be a slight exaggeration, but the music shouldn’t go without mention. It becomes something of a supporting character in the film, as you hear the catchy symphony playing in the main character’s head throughout.
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