Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

Wednesday - November 28, 2007
By Kerry Miller
Movies Showtimes Share
Lori Ohtani

Lori Ohtani
Artistic director of Tangentz
a contemporary dance group in Honolulu

As Told To Kerry Miller

Where and with whom did you see the movie?

I went to the Ward Theatres with my husband.

How was the story-line? Was it kind of a “magical holiday movie?” How believable was it?

The story line is about a magical toy shop.The toy shop is there to inspire young children, and anyone,to follow their dreams, and to believe in themselves and that anything is possible. It’s narrated by one of the younger characters in the film, a little boy.He takes you through a series of different chapters. The graphics were really nice, too.

What about the acting (Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman, Jason Bateman)?

I think Dustin Hoffman was probably the most colorful character in the movie.His energy really helped to pull the film through.Natalie Portman may have been a bit miscast. I felt sometimes she was trying a little bit too hard for her character. Jason Bateman, who was on TV shows, plays a straight-laced accounted that helps Mr. Magorium assess the value of his toy store.

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

Overall, what did you think?

I felt it was an enjoyable film with nice moments in it.

This movie is described as a “comedy, sci-fi/fantasy, kids/family.“Where did you see elements of these categories?

It would probably be enjoyed by very young children. Maybe parents can take their children to see this movie.There are some serious parts because Mr. Magorium does finally pass away. There were a lot of great cinematography and camera angles that helped to enhance the overall feeling of the movie. Through the whole toy store the color and everything was nice.

You’re involved in the performance world. Did any part of this movie remind you of important elements related to dance, art?

There was one nice moment in the film when Natalie Portman and Dustin Hoffman, she’s trying to remind him about why he should-n’t go, so they kind of spend the day together.They go to a park and unroll some yardage of bubble wrap and they dance together.As they dance, it makes it a really nice moment.

Favorite scene?

Dustin Hoffman is in the hospital and the little boy is in the room with him,and the doctor questions why the boy is standing on the chair. Dustin Hoffman says, “He’s making sure I have enough space.“Actually, what the little boy was doing was putting all these glow stars all over the room.There are a lot of lines that have a play on words that were nice, too.

Was there an overall theme of the movie, or a message of some kind?

I think basically not to forget - always to be young at heart and to remember that part of yourself.That’s probably the main message, I think.

To whom would you recommend this?

It would appeal probably to younger children. Adults should go without any critical ideas, just to enjoy time off.

On a scale of one to four stars, with four being highest, what would you rate this movie?

I would say maybe ** to **1/2.

Favorite movie snack?

Popcorn.

What’s new?

I have a piece in the show that’s up now at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii. It’s called “Tinkered & Toyed.” The show is going to run until Dec. 21. There are more than 40 artists involved. The theme of the show is to celebrate the different holiday seasons, to bring out the childlike wonder in artists.I have a small company,Tangentz.We do a contemporary Japanese dance form called butoh. We just attended the New York Butoh Festival this past week.It was fun, because I got to see some old friends, colleagues and teachers whom I haven’t seen for a while, too. They actually do it bi-annually.I wasn’t able to go in 2005, so this was the third annual one that they had.

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