Never before has our “That Was Way Harsh, Tai” tag seemed more appropriate.
As you may remember, last week’s penultimate episode of Breaking Bad found Walt relocated to a remote, spartan New Hampshire cabin. One of his hideout’s few sources of entertainment was a TV set only good for playing DVDs — and the cabin’s film collection left much to be desired.
Its highlight: Two copies of Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, a movie rewarded with a solid F by EW’s Owen Gleiberman upon its 2007 release. (Sample line: “Mr. Magorium, who is 243 years old (so are his jokes), is a cross between Willy Wonka and Geppetto, but [Dustin] Hoffman plays him with little more than a goofy dumb lisp, achieved by tucking his lower lip under his upper teeth, so that he looks just as rabbity-stoopid as he sounds.”)
Here’s the real punchline, though: You know who else hates Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium? Screenwriter Zach Helm — who doubles as the creator and director of Mr. Magorium himself.
“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,” Helm told TMZ earlier this week. What’s more, Helm is amazed by the idea of anybody having two copies of the movie on DVD: “That is exactly two more copies than are allowed in my house.”
Ouch! To be fair, this isn’t the first time Helm has disparaged his directorial debut — but still, it’s rare to see any filmmaker get that blunt about one of his own failures. Maybe other Hollywood figures could stand to take his honesty as an example. (Looking at you, Michael Bay.)