Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

Director Marc Foster and Will Ferrell get most of the credit for creating the decidedly satisfying Stranger Than Fiction.? However, has it not been for the superb screenplay by newcomer Zack Helm, there wouldn’t have been any movie.

Helm is slowly developing a reputation as a whimsical Charlie Kaufman.? Off-beat, for sure, but he doesn’t quite create the mind-bending, head-tripping, thought machines that Kaufman does.

Now, Helm has a new movie he wrote and directed starring Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman and Jason Bateman (for whom it seems the cancellation of Arrested Development was the best thing ever).? Dustin Hoffman stars as the magical Mr. Magorium, owner of a magical children’s toy shop.? Natalie Portman, looking as radiant and whimsical as ever, plays his employee, who inherits the toy shop.? Bateman is the straight-laced accountant.

It has a Willy Wanka sheen over the whole thing, but honestly, is there ever a bad thing having whimsy and magic in the world.? Everyone loves a good pixie dusting, right?

Now, if only an MIT scientist could figure out a way to clone Natalie Portman so I can keep her in my shirt pocket, she’s just too damn adorable for her own good.

Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium is scheduled to hit theaters on 11.16.07, a nice little birthday present to me.

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