Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium
This is an excruciating experience. Dustin Hoffman plays the lisping owner of a supposedly wondrous toy store that doesn’t have a single videogame in it. What it does have are a bunch of dumb toys that come to life in a not-so-exciting fashion, yet film characters are constantly informing us how magical everything is. Director Zach Helm directs the likes of Hoffman, Natalie Portman and Jason Bateman with a flat hand in a movie that never comes to life. Every time Hoffman speaks it’s annoying. Portman’s head cashier character is actually a labor to watch—amazing considering that it’s Natalie Portman we’re looking at. Bateman is the only one in the cast who has a few shining moments, especially a few funny seconds wearing a jester’s hat. I also liked how a monkey sock puppet wanted to be his friend, but he didn’t notice. Otherwise, the picture drags on and on, believing that it is fun solely because it says it is. A dull, pale Willy Wonka wannabe.