Mr. Magorium's Not So Wonderful Emporium

I approached MR. MAGORIUM'S WONDER EMPORIUM with almost equal parts anticipation and dread: anticipation because writer-director Zach Helm scripted STRANGER THAN FICTION, one of last year's best films; dread because the trailer for MAGORIUM looked absolutely insipid. Walking onto the 20th Century Fox lot for a preview screening last night, I had no idea which would win out, anticipation or dread, but I was curious to find out.

Dustin Hoffman as Mr. Magorium, with Natalie Portman

Unfortunately, dread turned out to be the big winner. The film is every bit as bad as it could possibly be. There are two or three good bits scattered throughout, but they are buried in a huge mess of a movie that has no idea where it is going or how to get there, so instead it just throws literally everything at you and hopes you find it all wild and whimsical enough to forgive the overall awfulness.

Read the rest of this article - including comments from writer-director Zach Helm - at Cinefantastique Online.

The screening was arranged by Creative Screenwriter magazine. The complete question-and-answer session is available as a podcast at Apple's iTunes.