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'Mr. Magorium' Director Zach Helm Agrees His "Technicolor Train-Wreck" Would Be Hell For Walter White

Television
by Kevin Jagernauth
September 25, 2013 5:08 PM
4 Comments
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At one point, screenwriter and director Zach Helm was sort of a big deal. With two projects landing big names—"Stranger Than Fiction" starring Will Ferrell and "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" with Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman marking his feature debut—things seeemed to be going pretty well. With a little profile in Vanity Fair, he seemed poised for the next level. And then both those movies came out to rather lackluster response. But leave it to one of pop culture's biggest hits of the moment to spur the memory of one pop culture's forgotten projects.

On last week's episode of "Breaking Bad," in one of the few light moments (spoilers ahead, duh), Walter White is shuttled off into hiding by Saul's fixer into a remote cabin in New Hampshire. With no phone, internet or cable, Walt is told he does have a TV with DVD player...and among his movie choices are two copies of "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium." It's a light joke at the expense of the box office flop, and Helm has no reservations about the quality of his movie.

"Having myself endured the ignominy of watching the Technicolor train-wreck that is 'Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium' multiple times every day for over a year, I can attest to it being the perfect Kafka-esque Hell for a character of such moral ambiguity as Walter White," he told TMZ, adding that Walt has "exactly two more copies than are allowed in my house." Zing.

Whether or not Walt actually watched 'Magorium,' perhaps we'll never know, but even this trailer will make your toes curl. [via FilmDrunk]

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4 Comments

  • Sparky | January 26, 2014 12:11 AMReply

    I'm really miffed at Zach Helm for dissing himself and his work. Zach, go listen to the Featurette "Actors in Search of a Story" again. I knew I wasn't crazy. Emma Thompson: "I read the first three pages actually and rang her up and said 'I'll do it!' because the quality of the writing was so wonderful. It's just a great script. ... It was really one of those scripts where you read a little bit and you say 'Yes, yes, I'll do anything in this. I'd love to serve this writing.'"
    After renting "Stranger than Fiction" so many times, inevitably having to get my own copy, I sought out and ended up buying "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" too. Zach, how can you not see it when it was so obvious to me: these two movies were written by the same person. Dustin Hoffman shows up in both, so it's not just me who admires "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" as well as "Stranger than Fiction." I'm sputtering ~ the quotes from Mr. Magorium that are embedded permanently in my brain are hitting the walls like the balls in your ball room, wanting you to pay attention. The scene between Eric and Mr. Magorium in the hosptial alone is full of charm and wit and ... brilliance. Do me a favor ~ me as representative of your appreciators ~ write more stuff like these. Of how many scenes total in these two movies, I have only one gripe, the way you let Natalie hold her hands so tight in the final conducting scene, but I forgive you that. All else was off the charts, worth watching without end; I sure haven't nearly reached the end of my viewing, nor of my enthusiasm for these two films. Where can we go to find such spiritually uplifting G rated features to give to our grands? (My youngest grandboys got their copy for Christmas this year.) I don't care what critics say, or even what you've convinced yourself of regarding the worth of these movies. I have written myself into a new October in my life because of the first and am lighter and happier and more Sparky me because of the second. Thank you. Not even worrying about editing this hurriedly posted comment. Just wanted to put my Bravo! out there in hopes you'll hear.
    In "Alone and Gutsy, at 58" I finally got my sniggler to f___ off. I highly recommend you have a serious talk with yours.
    Sparks aka E. Sandy Powell, Writer/Speaker/Lover of Life

  • Sparky | January 25, 2014 9:03 AMReply

    I take this as my opportunity to thank Zach Helm, regardless what sniggler you're listening to, Zach, either in your own head or from 'out there.' Zach, the source that flowed through you in the writing of "Stranger than Fiction" and "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" struck its chord in me and continues to reverberate through 'the story I write.' In fact, just last night I took my copies of both movies from their top spot on my shelf. The DVDs sit on my oak table, laid out and ready for viewing this weekend. There is no counting how many times I've watched both. I say bosh on the sorry commentary on these movies. Take joy. You can't possibly have lost that thread. (Duh. ... the quality of the pancakes comes to mind.) Sparky effervescing on!

  • Eric | September 25, 2013 11:41 PMReply

    Good movie - STRANGER THAN FICTION is awesome - Helm is wrong lol

  • thislalife | September 25, 2013 5:30 PMReply

    Movie was a pretty heart-warming kids film. Considering that Breaking Bad is soul-chilling I think comparing them is tough. Also good to know you guys hate magic.

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