Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is a toy store like no other, where imagination comes to life and magic is in the air. But after 243 years, it's time for Mr. Magorium (Dustin Hoffman) to hang it up, so he bequeaths the store to its manager, Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman), an insecure young lady who feels she has never lived up her youthful potential. The store recognizes her doubt and begins to undergo a change of its own. Its reluctant new owner will need the help of a loyal patron and a "mutant" accountant to save Mr. Magorium's wonderful store.
I sat down to watch this one with my family, and we all enjoyed it, although my wife and daughter enjoyed it more than my son and I. Portman's portrayal of Molly helped carry the film, but Hoffman's Magorium bordered on annoying with his never-ending lisp. What really hit home was the message that when someone dies, life goes on, and you should remember how they lived, not that they died.
This film has often been compared to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and when you see the color palette, it's not hard to understand why. Colors blast off the screen with vivid saturation bordering on over-the-top, but they never quite make it all the way there. Contrast is pumped up a bit as well, especially on interior shots, which sacrifices some of the finer details. Softness is apparent at times, especially in some of the CGI shots, but overall, this is an outstanding 1080p presentation.
The 5.1-channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is another crowd pleaser from Fox. Dynamics are wide, but never to the point of being overcooked. This is especially true of the bass—while prevalent at times, it's never room-shaking. Dialog is crisp and clear, and the rear soundstage is well-utilized to provide depth, especially in the toy shop.
Amazingly, there are no bonus features on this disc other than three trailers for other Fox Blu-ray releases. This is especially odd since the disc is a dual-layer BD50. The DVD version is loaded with bonus features, so I'm puzzled that they never made it onto Blu-ray.
Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is a fun film for families with an emotive theme. The Blu-ray presentation is very good, but the lack of bonus features was a bit of a disappointment, especially for my daughter. Still, if you are looking for a film to watch with your children or grandchildren, this one is sure to please them.
Film: 7 out of 10
Picture: 9.5 out of 10
Sound: 8.5 out of 10
Sony PlayStation 3
JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)
Onkyo Pro PR-SC885 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 power amplifier
Belkin PF60 power conditioner
M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer
Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector