Molly Mahoney is the awkward and insecure manager of Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, the strangest, most fantastic, most wonderful toy store in the world. But when Mr. Magorium, the 243 year-old eccentric who owns the store, bequeaths the store to her, a dark and ominous change begins to take over the once remarkable Emporium.
In the big meeting with D'Enzo, he states (referring to Johnny Whitefeather) "And your great-grandfather was one-half Navaho. So what would that make you? One-thirty-second?" This is factually wrong. If his great-grandfather was half Navaho, then he would be 1/16th Navaho (his grandfather would be 1/4 and his father would be 1/8th). Martin Sheen either read the line wrong and it should have been "great great-grandfather", or it was simply written wrong. See more »
Mr. E, I talked to the lawyer guy upstairs and he confirmed my hunch, uh, about the whole stabbing of Mr. Whitefeather thing. It's a definite no can do from a legal standpoint.
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Eddie Murphy frequently goes as overboard as Jim Carrey or Robin Williams, but Imagine That manages to have just the right amount of silly. It's a family friendly movie that fortunately presents equal doses of immaturity and seriousness, making the event more evenly entertaining than one might expect from seeing the obnoxiously childish trailer. Performances on a whole are sincere (subdued for Murphy) and convincing; unlike similarly plotted stories like Disney's The Game Plan, Imagine That never gets to the point of annoying, which is becoming a more and more difficult feat for formulaic yet effective children's features.
Focused, driven, and always in control, Evan Danielson (Eddie Murphy) is a financial wizard, organizing and leading his many clients in the direction of monetary prosperity. This doesn't leave much time for his seven-year-old daughter Olivia (Yara Shahidi), who is socially detached and dependent on her security blanket (named Goo-Gaa) that transports her to an imaginary world with princesses and dragons. It's all in her mind, but when Evan plays along, Olivia's invisible friends miraculously produce accurate advice on stocks, investments and insider tips. Suddenly he's immersed in his daughter's invented fantasy, forcing himself to redefine his relationship with Olivia and the meaning of true success.
"I imagine it was a lot of fun to watch," Evan remarks after undergoing his inevitable early-movie mental breakdown. That might be a slightly generous statement in regards to the entire film, which maintains a worthwhile level of lighthearted humor and father-daughter relationship-mending drama. It isn't overly preachy even though at times it's sickly sweet; Murphy's likable Evan is a man who wanted kids but probably shouldn't have had one, especially considering his relatable lack of time and subsequent failure to connect with his daughter. Learning to be a better parent through success and defeat with initial manipulation followed by quality bonding, the process is understandably generic - the blueprints for this family flick aren't original but definitely more watchable than similar exploits that can't seem to include any mature bits for older crowds (such as the parental audience assumed to be present with children).
Supporting character actor Ronny Cox plays a role comparable to his famous villain turns in Robocop and Total Recall and Thomas Haden Church steals many scenes as Johnny Whitefeather, a competitive financial executive who exaggeratingly mocks Native American culture with creatively hilarious quotes and unorthodox meditative methods for gaining stock market knowledge ("It's not the paint that makes the warrior," he advises Evan, along with constant references to the "dream sparrow," insulting "little elk" nicknames and other funny Indian riffs). He's quite convincingly phony. There's nothing artificial about the film as a whole, however, which makes Imagine That quality family amusement, even if it doesn't exude total originality.
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