Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

I woke up and watched the CBS This Morning chef segment.  Some of Charlie Palmer’s signature recipes include Slow roasted chateaubriand for two with whipped potatoes, wild mushroom fricassee, and red wine shallot sauce, American Sturgeon Caviar, Buckwheat Blinis, Sour Cream, Buckwheat Blini, Glazed heirloom baby carrots, Black truffle Agnolotti, Apple tarte tatin, and Charlie’s Negroni.  I also saw Kasey Musgraves sing “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.”  I went out into the cold morning and put in a five-hour shift.  I went out to Target and had a hot dog and Icee.  At Best Buy, I bought a Star Trek Blu-ray box set.  At the record store, I bought an Eric Clapton CD.  At home, I watched “Mr. Magorium’s Magic Emporium.”  It seems that I hardly ever see movies that are rated G.  I wouldn’t say that this film was anything brilliant, but I liked its spirit.  Dustin Hoffman was Edward Magorium, eccentric and supposedly 243 years old.  He says that he’s been owning his toy store for 113 years.  He’s something like the Willy Wonka of toys.  This wasn’t one of Hoffman’s Oscar-winning roles or best performances, but I enjoyed watching him.  Natalie Portman was his employee named Molly Mahoney, looking like her hair was still gone from “V for Vendetta.”  She also won an Oscar for being serious, although I always liked seeing her in comedies like “Everyone Says I Love You” and “Garden State.”  I kept thinking that bubble wrap was no longer so magical because of changes.  Mr. Magorium’s life is coming to an end, and with the toy store being magical, it has a negative emotional reaction to this.  Molly needs to summon some magic within her soul to save the store.  She has an accountant named Henry and a boy named Eric to help her out.  Jason Bateman is Henry, who claims that he never stops working.  In his job interview, he was supposed to give the eleventh through sixteenth numbers in the Fibonacci sequence, but it sounded like he gave only five numbers.  Eric has no friends, but a large hat collection.  You’d like that a store that Kermit the Frog visits couldn’t lose its magic so quickly, but when I think of Tom Hanks in “Big,” I guess that toy stores aren’t permanent.  Molly can play Rachmaninoff and Donovan’s “Jennifer Juniper” on the piano, so there’s a suggestion that she can pull this off.  The movie has too much of a down note with its most colorful character departing the story too soon.  I wonder if Hoffman was thinking about his mortality when he accepted his role.  Mr. Magorium had crossed paths with people like Thomas Edison, but I didn’t see that he was ever or fathered any children in his 243 years.  He could have fathered a child 193 years before.  I wondered how the store kept going because items like his fish mobile were overpriced, and not many people were buying anything.  When was the last time that Natalie Portman looked like a person who rode public transit?  This film was released nearly ten years ago.  I didn’t quite love this movie, but it made me appreciate Natalie Portman a little bit more.  Some of the people who died on December 18 include Mark Goodson (1992), Kirsty MacColl (2000), Joseph Barbera (2006), and Majel Barrett (2008).  Today is a birthday for Brad Pitt (53), Angie Stone (55), Ray Liotta (62), Steven Spielberg (70), Keith Richards (73), and Cicely Tyson (92).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for December 18, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” was released.  In 1971, Sly and the Family Stone’s “There’s a Riot Goin’ On” was Number One on the Billboard album chart.  In 1982, Hall and Oates’ “Maneater was Number One on the singles chart.  In 1997, Chris Farley died at age 33.

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