On this last Sunday night’s Breaking Bad, Walter White (Bryan Cranston) was ushered into his own purgatory, where he was sent to New Hampshire to live in a secluded cabin with no company, no contact with the outside world, and a stack of DVDs — including two copies of the forgotten 2007 film Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. Someone has called BS on this scenario, and that person is the director of Mr. Magorium.
Zach Helm, who achieved fame with his Stranger Than Fiction screenplay only to almost totally sink his career with Mr. Magorium, was interviewed by TMZ, and said that Breaking Bad might be good but “the plot line of ANYONE having 2 DVDs of that movie is simply unbelievable. That is exactly two more copies than are allowed in my house.” He also said “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.”
Though this is obviously a funny response, it points out that most people in the industry turn their backs on their failures and for good reason. This is the most publicity Helm has gotten in a long time, and it shows that he’s a good sport, even if he didn’t realize how bad a film he was making in 2007 — or perhaps he did and that train couldn’t be stopped. It’s also great when filmmakers are honest about their failings. That noted, it is possible that the film has a small fanbase, and the director may have alienated the few people who like the film. It’s not as sad as watching Steven Spielberg bash Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, but just the same. Breaking Bad will conclude this Sunday, while Helm is supposedly attached to a Jumanji reboot.
Still, wasn’t Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium the perfect choice?