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A movie directed by Jason Winer

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  • Apr 7, 2011
There are those that will cry foul on this movie. That a remake of Arthur during a recession is unseemly and any attempt to try and recreate the brilliance of Dudley Moore would be fool hearty. Sure all of that is true but the original is about a drunk with one liners, that movie has been redone so many times why not try to re-share the story for a new generation.

Both old and new Arthur focus in on a drunken millionaire living up the high life, but he is forced to marry a woman his family believes will finally make him grow up. Right before he pops the question he meets and falls in love with a working class girl and now must choose between a life with money or one with love.

There was little to no chance this iteration was going to be as good as the first one. It was exactly 30 years ago when the original came out and not only was it nominated for four Oscars (winning two) but it is on AFI's top 100 comedy list. In order to enjoy this movie it is best to keep the original out of your head.

Russel Brand does his best to do just that, while both leading men come from across the pond, Brand makes the character in his own image. You imagine he didn't have to dig too far back to gather the necessary inspiration to portray the title character. It was not long ago when Brand himself was a wealthy womanizing alcoholic, that is till he met Katy Perry. I'd probably give up the drink to be hittin that as well. He injects himself into the character and delivers Arthur's famous one liners perfectly. It is tough to tell how much of his humor is written in the script and how much is improvised.

Those behind the scenes decided to do a couple gender role reversals, most likely in an attempt to highlight Arthur's immaturity. I doubt the choices hurt the film any as Brand's female co-stars do admirably in their roles, but certainly don't elevate the movie to any great heights. Both Helen Mirren and Jennifer Garner's characters are written as very strong female foils to the lead. Each character receives their own batch of one liners and jokes to deliver but neither nail the deadpan delivery to get the big laughs. Meanwhile indie star Greta Gerwig plays the love interest which serves to highlight the best points of Arthur's childlike naivety. She plays the role as written but there is zero pop in the performance.

All of the clever zingers get left behind in the second half of the film and are replaced with attempted heartfelt complications. This shift in tone ruins any aspirations the movie may have had of leaving a mark on the movie goers. Any Russel Brand fans out there may just want to wait until this one comes out to DVD, or better yet find the original on Netflix as they have it in their instant viewing section. There is nothing in this movie that can't be seen elsewhere without the cost of a movie ticket. D+

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April 10, 2011
I guess I will be waiting fro the DVD, great review.
April 08, 2011
I agree with @- I think that this role wouldn't be that big of a stretch for Brand who is quickly becoming a one-trick pony. I did catch his Conan show and thought he was quite funny, so I had hope that maybe they would capitalize on his wit. But, I guess not....too bad. Thanks for sharing :)
April 07, 2011
From what I've seen of him so far, Russell Brand is one of those actors who is always playing Russell Brand.
April 07, 2011
He does it again here. But I mean that is kind of perfect for the Arthur character. Dudley Moore just seemed more loveable
April 07, 2011
Yeah. Dudley Moore was able to become Arthur. I doubt that Brand can do it.
April 07, 2011
See now i'm worried you may be arguing that you want Russell Brand to become Dudley Moore's Arthur. And no one wins there. I think in any remake you have to be able to interpret the source material as your own and adapt it to the times. And in that sense he succeeds. He tweaks the character for the times and injects himself into the character. Brand doesn't need to become Arthur, he is Arthur and I imagine thats how Peter Baynham wrote the character.
April 08, 2011
Nothing to worry about, z! The films I most enjoy are those when I can forget the actor's name and think only of the character.
April 07, 2011
Thanks for the review. I've no interest in this one. ARTHUR just didn't seem to me like the type of film that would lend itself to a remake -- certainly not during the present economic state of the world -- and Dudley Moore just put such a personal stamp on the film that Russell Brand (of all people) really couldn't come near, in my book.
April 07, 2011
I really liked the original and I am not fond of remakes unless they seem necessary. So far, I've only seen two or three worthy remakes, not surprised that this wouldn't be one of them. Thanks for the warning!
More Arthur reviews
review by . April 09, 2011
Surprisingly good
   Upfront, I liked this movie, though apparently I was one of the only people who did. Perhaps I’m helped by not having seen the original movie. I grew up in the 1980′s, and I was certainly aware of the movie. God knows I heard That Song everywhere. But I never actually got around to watching the film, even as an adult. This meant that I could view this movie for what it is rather than compare it. And what it is was actually pretty good. Yes, it’s perhaps a bit much …
review by . August 30, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
** out of ****     Just about every Hollywood remake is unnecessary. Good, I've gotten that out of the way; now I can properly review the recent re-make of the classic 80's comedy favorite, "Arthur". The original is a very good film, one that I enjoyed thoroughly, and also one that I never quite wanted to see being remade. But it was bound to happen eventually. The good news about the final product (the remake) is: it's not bad. It is well-cast in some areas, it is moderately …
review by . April 08, 2011
Review: Russell Puts His Brand on ‘Arthur'
    Perhaps like most viewers who have watched and been longtime fans of the original 1981 Arthur film, starring Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli, I went into the new Arthur experience convinced I might not like it. I was surprised to find that it was certainly a pleasant film with many moments of genuine laughter but also not different enough to warrant a remake. Too many scenes were borrowed from the original making it impossible to not reference and compare the two versions.   …
review by . April 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         I won’t dispute the greatness of the original 1981 version of Arthur. I will say that, in its own right, this 2011 remake is funny and often times quite charming. This is thanks in large part to the spot-on casting of Russell Brand, who may not have the same loveable graces of the late Dudley Moore but has just the right eccentricities to make multi-millionaire Arthur Bach an appealing yet piteous drunk. His take is a cross between an alcoholic …
review by . June 11, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
12A - 110mins - Comedy - 22nd April 2011 Now for a guy who takes an immediate disliking to Russell Brand the prospect of watching him for nearly 2 hours did not fill my heart with joy especially when he was to be acting as a rich layabout. But I buckled on down and watched away hoping to be pleasantly surprised and I have to say, it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be (still nothing special mind). Arthur is a remake of the 1981 film of the same name and follows Arthur (Russell …
review by . April 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Upfront, I liked this movie, though apparently I was one of the only people who did. Perhaps I'm helped by not having seen the original movie. I grew up in the 1980's, and I was certainly aware of the movie. God knows I heard That Song everywhere. But I never actually got around to watching the film, even as an adult. This meant that I could view this movie for what it is rather than compare it.    And what it is was actually pretty good. Yes, it's perhaps a bit much to ask American …
Quick Tip by . April 25, 2011
Since the original "Arthur" is one of my all-time favorite films I shuttered when I heard a year or so ago that they were going to be doing a remake. I have not heard very many good things about this film and have no plans to see it.
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As a high-concept Hollywood pitch, remaking the charming Dudley Moore 1981 comic romp about a man-child billionaire playboy with a rather serious drinking problem and installing Russell Brand as the new lead sounded like a pretty good idea. With Brand's reputation as a semi-reformed bad boy and actual recovering alcoholic/addict (not to mention his parlayed success from English standup fame to movies likeForgetting Sarah MarshallandGet Him to the Greek), he was a great casting choice to reprise Moore's devilishly innocent character. In many ways Brand is among the heirs to first-wave loony British comics like Moore, Peter Sellers, and Spike Milligan, along with actors like Steve Coogan, Eddie Izzard, and Ricky Gervais. But something happened in the 30-year translation that has deflated a lot of charm from the 2011Arthur. Brand is probably the best thing about the movie, although he's never quite able to capture the characterization of a genuinely agreeable immature cad that Moore portrayed so adorably. This is Russell Brand playing another version of himself, which isn't such a bad thing, just not quite adorable enough. Brand is a smart, funny, and quick-on-his-feet improviser, and lot of that comes through, but he'd probably be the first to admit that he's no Dudley Moore.The basics of the story remain unchanged. Arthur Bach is a trust fund child who is stuck in childhood, even though his pampered bubble of wealth now brings him toys like prostitutes,...
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