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Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium: A Spectacle to Behold

November 18th, 2007 by Paul Martin

I had been anxiously awaiting the release of Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium for well over a year. It’s writer/director, Zack Helm, is a fascinating script writer. I went to the movie on Friday and actually SAW the movie on the Saturday after the release. If you’d like to read a bit about that, I’ve made it smaller here. You can easily skip to the review.

You see, I had a HORRIBLE experience on Friday. A girl behind me kept coughing loudly and many times in a row all throughout (her mom didn’t seem to care and just told her “try to keep it down”). But that’s not all. That same group had what had to be a four year old boy that kept walking around the aisle, playing with the straw in his drink, and clicking this toy around and around. I might have caught moments, but I was too angry to pay attention, and contemplated walking out, if it did not mean having to walk right in front of that woman with her kids. The problem wasn’t the kids. The problem was bad parenting. She never taught her kids theatre etiquette, and didn’t seem to care that something was wrong with her daughter. The girl’s cough was disconcerting, and sounded like she should see a doctor.

I missed so much of the movie because I was in my own head trying to tune all of that out, and getting really angry, that I don’t count that as a film viewing.

I went home and immediately ordered a ticket to see the movie again the next day, but this time at a GOOD theatre. Celebration Cinema. In DLP (Digital Projection). This time, all I had to put up with was the occasional slurping noises and some popcorn sounds from people around me. The gentleman that had those kids with him actually apologized to me after the film, because I looked back once. I thanked him for that.

If you haven’t considered seeing this film: think again. It is one of the most original movies that I have seen in years. It is full of heart, soul and magic. The score is spot on, the acting is more than adequate and the story is magnificent. Take a chance on it, and I promise that you won’t regret it. I have confidence that the film will surprise you as it did me. When I saw it today, I saw what it is that I missed, and I want to see it again. Once is not enough for this movie.

Movies like this just don’t come around very often, and you have to support them when they do: we need more originality like this.

To answer some things that might be on your mind: It is NOTHING like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Even the trailer makes a five minute scene in the movie seem like it’s the whole film. Do NOT judge this film by the trailer. I’m glad the trailer saved the good stuff for the film, because it made the experience all the more fulfilling.

It’s about a very old man that has been running a toy store for a long portion of his life. However, he’s moving on, and is passing the toy store on. The film is about every characters’ reaction to that and how they deal with it. Molly Mahoney is a musician that is trying to write a concerto, and who works in the toy store.

It’s been amazing, because when I’ve told some friends that I was going to see it, they reacted with: “You’re actually going to see that?” What I will tell them when I see them is: “You must see it, and see it with an open mind. You just might love it.” I did, even though it took two trips to two theatres for me to see it once.

I’m going to go ahead and give this film a 10/10. And I know that this is going to seem ridiculous as this is a Walden Media fan site, and the film is a Walden Media film: but when a film is this good, it is worth every point. To be honest, the score is just arbitrary. All that means is that I loved it and am considering placing it on my list of favorite films of all time. That is a list that, out of the 600+ films that I’ve seen, I’ve only added 30 total films.

I already want the DVD so I can watch it in peace and quiet and really take things in. I’m thinking of going to see it again next week.