Arthur (2011) Poster

(I) (2011)

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Arthur was a good movie, coming from someone who hasn't seen the original
rob-a-mcclellan10 April 2011
Let me start this off by saying that I have never seen the original Arthur. There is also no sense in me going over the plot or the differences between this and the original because that is covered in so many different reviews and I am guessing this isn't the only review that you will read. I am 29 years old and I wouldn't even consider myself a Russell Brand fan but after seeing this movie that is starting to change.

I went into Arthur with an open mind. I did not have another movie to compare it to, since I didn't see the original, and I throughly enjoyed the movie. Russell Brand was OK in 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' and I really didn't enjoy his movie "Get Him to the Greek" but Arthur was a different type of comedy compared to his typical work. The best thing I can compare this movie to is "The Wedding Singer". Not because of the plot or the actors but because "The Wedding Singer" put Adam Sandler in a slightly toned down more caring/romantic version of things had done before. There was less slap stick and I actually ended up liking Adam Sandler more because of it. The same can be said about Arthur. This isn't OVER THE TOP Russell Brand like most of his other movies. I wouldn't say it's 'down to earth' Russell Brand either, more like some place in between.

Even if you have seen the original try to go to see this movie and not compare it to the original. It's the same as The Dark Knight vs Batman with Michael Keaton. Both were good movies but you couldn't really compare them.

What surprised me at the end of the movie was my brother (32 years old) saying he actually liked this better than the original, which he watched last weekend. He said the one liners were better and Russell Brand made a more convincing drunk. My guess is because Russell is probably always this drunk when he isn't filming movies!

Arthur made me laugh out loud, which is something I typically don't do. The story was decent (typical romantic comedy) and even though the movie slowed down about 3/4 of the way in, it had to because of the story. Do yourself a favor and see this movie at some point. It doesn't have to be in the theater since there aren't any eye popping sound effects or state of the art 3D in it...(though the city of New York was a GORGEOUS back drop)

Go see it. Turn your brain off for a bit and enjoy the movie for what it is. Don't compare it to the original but compare it to the other things Russell has done and you will see that he might actually have a great future at comedy ahead of him.

Final Verdict: 8 out of 10
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Pathetic Warning: Spoilers
I just can't stand this stupid (and also terribly unfunny) movie.

I never saw the original film in which this (supposedly) inspired, but I'm sure that it was much better than this drivel, since at least the original "Arthur" from the eighties didn't the incredibly annoying Russell Brand for the main role.

Russell Brand is just another Rob Schneider: A talentless and unfunny comedian who only appears in bad movies.

This movie was painfully unfunny and incredibly poorly made, being a complete torture to watch from beginning to end. None of the jokes made laugh, and most of them were quite irritating, to say the least.

Honestly, this is one of the worst movies that I've seen in my entire life, and I can't believe that it is rated so high, considering how bad it was.

0/10 (And I would rate with a negative score if I could)
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Take Arthur for 2011 not 1981
jburton39512 April 2011
The original Arthur, was and is a great film. It was funny, well written and well acted. It garnered 4 Oscar nominations and 2 wins. It won 4 out of 5 Golden Globes. John Gielgud so deserved his award so well that year. Dudley Moore, in the title character, had the same lovable charm that Russel Brand has in this remake. But, there are several things missing which make the 2011 version an OK film, and not a part of cinema awards. First, its 2011 and not 1981. The original version would never be made today. Plain and simple. Arthur was a drunk. A hard drinker, who fell down, slurred words,and yes, even was driving drunk in several scenes. No way would that get approved today, or anyone think it was funny. It was this funny drunk that made Dudley's Arthur so much fun, even though today we would rush for interventions or rehab. Second, the director forgot this is a New York film. It is set in New York, but so much changed from one film to the other that the setting was indifferent here. No more neighborhood bars, dinners, landmark shopping sites, or eateries. There is one really good scene involving Grand Central, but it does not make up for the lack in the rest of the film. Linda becomes Naomi in the new film. She is not a New Yorker. Does not look like one, or act like one. She plays the part well, but its just not the same. Again, this remake could be set anywhere. Can you imagine the original anywhere but NY! Third, as good as Helen Mirrim is, she is not the Hobson that John Gielgud presented. She will not get any awards for this presentation. So, if you do not make any comparisons, you will like the film, but most likely not fall in love with it for 30 years. The film is well acted, written in parts, but it steals one lines too much from the original, that just seemed forced here or are not well placed. Whereas we see Arthur drink, he never really seems drunk. The relationship with Hobson is presented as a mother/son, rather than father/son. It was hard to believe in the relationship as much as the previous film. The chemistry between Arthur and Naomi was believable and flow very well throughout the film. Susan Johnson, played by Jennifer Garner had much more of a role here than the original. It needed to be reverted back. It was just not funny. Lastly, Nick Nolte was just plain horrible and nasty. He could have been written out completely. It made no sense for plot development. So, the new Arthur is as an OK remake, but not as good as it could have been.
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How can anyone think this is a movie worth watching?
gbraver28 December 2013
Comedies should be fun. Sometimes they can deviate from reality but the whole premise of this movie is absurd.

Arthur was just a totally unbelievable character. Maybe it was brand, maybe it was the script, maybe it was the director. It doesn't matter. If we don't believe Arthur could ever be a real person then we will never have the connection that is needed for a movie to succeed

Perhaps the people who find torture and sadism entertaining could rate this movie highly but for the majority of the human population they will find this a piece of trash. I am just surprised that this movie with the deridingly unfunny revised script was ever released.
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Haters gonna Hate
SpartanIII10 April 2011
I thought this film was simply brilliant. The acting in it was great, the comedic timing perfect, the script well written, and the setting well shown. Yes, once again it is a movie set in New York, but there's a reason why they can't having them there. It's an amazing city. And this movie showcases that very well. I appreciated the range of humor they had in there as well. Some of it was raunchy, and then at other times it was mild and a relief from some of the over the top jokes. The climax was well done, humorous yet tasteful at the same time, and the conclusion was very appropriate.

I heard some people complaining about how this movie was showcasing how rich people have it made and it wouldn't be received well today because of the economic climate. That was ridiculous. If anything, it shows how money really can't buy happiness, and that the most important thing in this world is that we have each other. Overall, very enjoyable film that one should go into with an open mind and just have a good time.
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Dudley must have turned over in his grave
jordan224017 April 2011
Went to see this because my fiancé thought the previews were funny. Admittedly, the previews I had seen made it look funny as well, but I had read some critical reviews, and wasn't enthusiastic. As it turned out, the critics were right, and I applaud the marketing geniuses who were actually able to make "Arthur" look even remotely entertaining. Brand, who I usually like, was nothing better than annoying, and he might have been the best one in the cast. The dialog was silly in parts and completely corny in others, the premise was poorly executed, and the six people at the showing I attended never let out anything more than a slight giggle from time to time, probably out of embarrassment for the performers more than anything else.

On the plus side, if my fiancé ever criticizes any of my cinematic choices, I can remind her of this tripe. That ought to put an end to that conversation.
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Just didn't see the point to it
TheLittleSongbird1 May 2011
I don't jump on the bandwagon of immediately hating on a remake as there are some great ones out there. I watched the Arthur remake as I do like Helen Mirren a lot and I personally don't mind Russell Brand. But I was hesitant too as to me the trailer didn't wow me over, I didn't laugh once, and by the end of last week I was starting to get annoyed at Offenbach's Can Can(a fun piece especially to dance and sing along to but can get on your nerves sometimes depending on the time and place) being played for the hundredth time.

Arthur wasn't for me quite the abomination that I heard it was, but in all honesty I didn't see much point to it. It is better than the Psycho and Wicker Man remakes both of which almost made me lose the will to live, but for a good remake look towards The Thief of Baghdad, The Magnificent Seven and especially The Thing. If I were to compare this to the 1981 film, the 1981 film is much better being very funny and charming and I actually preferred the much-maligned-but(in my opinion)-better-than-its-reputation sequel over this too.

I will get the good things out of the way. I did like very much how the film looked and the location shooting is very striking and the soundtrack is infectious. But here come the many negatives. While I admire that Arthur tried to stick faithfully to the original film, I think there are times when it tries too hard and it comes off as being too faithful. Except here while there was wit, fun and charm in the original and in its sequel, there is not enough of that here, the severe letdown that is the ending pretty much epitomises this. The script is often unfunny and juvenile, severely lacking in the acidity and drollness that worked so well before, and the gags are really quite weak, predictable and poorly timed.

I don't mind a movie where it has moments of predictability, a lot of movies do, but it does bother me when there are too many moments throughout where it is. That is the case with Arthur, and I can't count the number of times where I was saying to myself "now where have I seen this before". Again, I don't mind when a movie show little or nothing new, but the difference is Arthur in the end didn't make me overlook that because it was lacking in charm.

The direction is rather poor as well, often rushed and smug, and there were times where I felt there should be more time to breathe. And there are some moments where there is little or no humour that are really quite dull. The acting overall fares little better. I have to say though Russell Brand did have very big shoes to fill and he does do an admirable job trying to convey some spontaneous cheeky charm. The problem is not only is his material unfunny and dreadfully weak but his titular character clichéd and unlikeable. Arthur in the original was clichéd in a way but I found as the film progressed you warmed to him, here I grew tired of him.

I cannot deny that Greta Gerwig is talented, but she too is ill-served with her material. She has no snappy lines, no funny joke, no witty gag to write home about, so overall it was the pretty-but-bland acting performance. I'd say the same for Jennifer Garner as well, and also that her frothy acting style didn't entirely work within the tone and style of the film. I was most saddened about Helen Mirren, bless her she tries so hard, but in the John Gielgud role she can't do anything with her lines, she has some decent delivery but there is none of the droll and acidic quality in the one-liners to go the extra mile. Then there are talented actors such as Nick Nolte and Geraldine James who are largely wasted.

All in all, not an abomination but pointless. 2/10 Bethany Cox
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Pointless, unfunny and a huge waste of money
SoutheastUK4 December 2013
I will not bang on about the differences between this and the original because there really is no point.

Brand is the worst possible choice for a lead role in ANY movie, let alone the remake of a classic. I can't think for a moment what possessed them to cast Brand in a role that demands a charismatic, lovable rogue when Brand has all the charisma of a whelk and barely qualifies as a human being.

There was no justification for this remake. They would have had to do at least ONE component better, but in their choice of lead, they ensured that this was always going to fail.
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Tedious, unfunny, long, just a big mess
MovieProductions17 April 2011
* out of (****)

After giving such a rancid review to "The rite", making the claim that it was the worst film so far of 2011, well... 2011 has a new contender. Even going in, I knew this film was going to be atrocious from start to finish. Why see it then? Apparently my friend's fun night out consisted of buying my ticket to a movie I didn't ask to see, then having to reimburse him/her later, and eventually just seeing the damn movie.

Honestly, I kept in open mind in the beginning, but this film just did not do it for me. Even in the most stale comedies, I can laugh here or there. I NEVER laughed or chuckled. Not even a heartfelt smile. I honestly sat there with the same blank expression. What's even worse is that I predicted absolutely every scene, guessed every punchline, and even knew going it what I was going to get.

First of all, let's talk about the performers. Russell Brand is seriously the most irritable, pretentious actor, or at least in this film. I swear, I did not care at all about him. He didn't bring any charm or wit, he was just flat. Jennifer Garner was as equally obnoxious, but at least she didn't take up the majority of the film. As for the others? Honestly, I didn't connect to any characters. There was no development, no depth, no purpose. The characters were just there.

Not to mention, this story has been told a thousand times before. Can Hollywood stop beating a dead horse? Remake or not, the script is just very uninspired. Rich, pretentious dude has to marry an equally rich, pretentious dude, but falls for an arrogant, so called "sweatheart" and doesn't care about the "money". Maybe this would be interesting had it not been projected on the screen so many times.

All in all, "Arthur" is just another waste of celluloid. It isn't funny, it's not entertaining, and it's not worth seeing. Plain and simple. Had I not been forced to see this movie, trust me, I wouldn't have. If you MUST see it, please just rent the original. It's probably better than this movie. All I'm glad is that 2011 so far has had only two stinkers, or at least I've seen.
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Do yourself a favor -- rent the original instead
reddpill6 April 2011
Was this remake horrible? No, but it also wasn't that great. In only a couple of scenes did this film lift itself above mediocrity. In comparing this update to the 1981 version, the original is simply better on every point. Russell Brand is probably the best choice they could make for the lead, but he doesn't measure up to Dudley Moore's Arthur. And the wonderful Helen Mirren does her best, but she just can't match John Gielgud's witty portrayal of Hobson. The writing fell particularly short of the mark. The one bright spot for me was Greta Gerwig, whom I had not previously seen. She did a fine job of making a thinly-written character become real. I look forward to seeing her in the future.
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Waste of Your Life
TheDarkKnight218 April 2011
How can a comedy, a movie usually designed to make people laugh, bore me to tears? Throw in a thoroughly unlikable protagonist making unfunny "witty" jokes while acting like a man child and you've got yourself one of the best sleeping pills to ever hit a cinema near you.

Arthur (Russell Brand) is a spoiled, rich 30-something wasting money every 30 minutes to enjoy his life while being watched over by his disapproving nanny/surrogate mother, Hobson (Helen Mirren). When Arthur's mother, the owner of a multi-billion dollar corporation, has had enough of Arthur's immaturity, she threatens to cut him off unless she marries the responsible and completely-out-of-her-mind businesswoman, Susan (Jennifer Gardner). While Arthur begrudgingly plans to go through with the marriage to keep his fortune, he struggles with the prospect when he meets and connects with the part-time con artist Naomi (Greta Gerwig). "Wackiness" ensues. For two boring hours.

I was coming into this film ready to hate Russell Brand, who's very appearance makes we want to take a shower to wash away the filth. For his first lead role, he doesn't really bomb it completely but... he's just not a funny guy. The sad part is, you can see him try to be funny, when he starts acting out and behaving like a child. So he pretty much looked at Will Ferrell and decided to copy what he's been doing in his very, very worst movies. So it doesn't come across as funny, it's just sad. Brand never reaches the level of annoyance he stooped to in "Get Him to the Greek" and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", but he's definitely not a leading man. He has no charm, no attraction, and no likability. And he does this for two unforgivable hours.

While you never care about Arthur, you oddly care more about the supporting cast. You really feel for Helen Mirren's Hobson and her exasperation with putting up with this rich, spoiled little brat. She's dry and sarcastic, and the film's best moments (which are few and far in between) all belong to her. Even Greta Gerwig is more charming than the lead, and you actually feel sorry her when she gets hurt in the movie. Jennifer Gardner has fun as a psycho for all 10 minutes she's in this film. That's right, she can only be here ten minutes of this two hour waste of time.

But a comedy needs funny situations, and this film is sorely lacking in that department. Even though Brand plays with the famous movie cars and rents out Grand Central Station, there's nothing to laugh here. I'll admit I giggled at a snarky remark here and there, but like I said, it never comes from Russell Brand. You see a couple of ridiculous things like the DeLorean or the Batmobile (the bad one), and you feel like you're ready to smile but the movie does nothing with them. While this film didn't anger me, it commits the cardinal sin of being boring. They have two montages of nothing interesting happening, and there came points while dialog was going on and I almost started snoozing. And did I mention this "comedy" is two unholy hours long?

At the end of the day, Arthur is an irritating movie with a thoroughly uncharming and unfunny protagonist. It's a waste of time and money that only has a few funny moments peppered in. Rent it to pass the time, but do not expect to laugh. Expect to catch some Zs.
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Enjoy the movie for what it is rather than comparing to the original
DarthRaen9 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
People go to the movies for a variety of reasons. Watching Arthur for it's contributions to the world of cinema is probably not the reason to spend your $10.If you want a light comedy which entertains you, then I'd say the film definitely succeeds. But, if you take things seriously and attempt to critique the movie,well it might be better if you rent something from the Venice Film Festival instead. Arthur is made with a view to entertaining it's viewers and does a pretty good job of it,IMHO (but hey, a packed theatre of people laughing would not mean anything,right?) What would average movie goers know about the movies?

Russel Brand doesn't attempt to copy Dudley Moore's role- he presents a rather brattish rework to take into today's age and times.Helen Mirren is delightful-every 30 yr old would love to have her as a nanny:) You find yourself rooting for Arthur turning himself around to end up with this girl he loves Naomi(Greta Gerwig)
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Surprisingly likable reworking
amesmonde23 January 2012
A drunken playboy stands to lose a wealthy inheritance unless he marries a woman he doesn't like, meanwhile he falls for tour guide that his family doesn't approve of.

Entertaining comedy in which Russell Brand surprisingly comes across more lovable that Dudley Moores original incarnation. There are some genuine funny scenes notably with a magnetic bed, children's store, the Batmobile getting pulled over (yes, really) and when Arthur goes nail gun happy with future father-in-law Burt Johnson perfectly played by Nick Nolte.

The realistic sets, New York setting including Grand Central Station act as interesting backdrop that director Jason Winer full utilises. Greta Gerwig as the love interest Naomi Quinn is on likable form while Jennifer Garner refreshingly goes against all American girl typecast as socialite Susan Johnson. Evander Holyfield, Luis Guzmán and Geraldine James Geraldine James put in an appearances. Helen Mirren's Hobson is touchingly portrayed and Mirren steals the show with her grounded and humanistic performance.

Overall the story stinks of countless 80's rom-coms but Arthur is entertaining nonetheless due to its nostalgic yet contemporary reworking and Russels' engaging tongue-tied performance.
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Arthur-Gives Remakes Their Bad Name
loufalce8 April 2011
Why, why, why did they remake the Dudley Moore classic. My guess is that Hollywood has finally run out of ideas. Russell Brand attempts to re create the lovable Dudley Moore drunk playboy character-and fails miserably. Helen Mirren-a fine actress gives what is arguably her worst performance in a role she obviously did for a paycheck. About all she does is scowl and have a mean, exasperated expression on her face.Rest of cast is pretty non descript as is the story, screenplay, and direction. Everything in this wet turd of a movie falls flat on its face, and the director didn't even try to redeem it. Guess he knows the score. He was paid to turn in a movie and he does just that. Only thing is that this waste of celluloid is not a movie. It is just another product of contemporary Hollywood , a heartless and soulless Hollywood that has absolutely no clue on how to make a real movie. About the only good thing in this bomb are some of the on-location New York sites where this was filmed, but Grand Central Station looks like a leftovcer set from Superman II. Do yourself a favor. Save your gas and 11 bucks, stay away from the multiplex playing this atrocity and rent the Dudley Moore original. There is absolutely no comparison between the real thing and the remake. The kind of film that should never have been made in the first place. If you are sucker enough to pay good money to see this Dudley-less dud, demand a refund! Any wonder why movie-going in the US is down by 20 percent? Crap films like this are the reason!
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About as funny as a burning orphanage
Dandy_Desmond29 April 2011
Totally utterly mind numbingly awful.

Russell Brand is about as funny as a burning orphanage - quite why this gangly, massive faced idiot is popular is frankly beyond belief. I am led to believe his fans like the way he speaks in that mockney poetic nonsensical kind of way believing he has some kind of intellect.

Well yes I can understand if he speaks fast enough and uses x number of big words he is seemingly intelligent to the average sheep.

The film is a remake of an 80s film and also stars the endless bore that is Helen Mirren. The second 'queen' of england has the ability in any interview to talk a glass eye to sleep. She outright dismisses the original (normally the kiss of death) as 'boring' as alcoholism is not a funny subject. Anything is a funny subject - if its funny. Get it Helen? I seem to recall around the time the original was made Mrs Mirren was busy getting her kit off in every film she made so leave it out love.

Anyway stay well clear unless you are a fan of Brand in which case I am obviously a 'hater'. However the opinion of anyone who would use that word wouldn't really matter to me anyway.
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rogerdob8 April 2011
This movie was unfunny from the very start. All the gags (Arthur's Batmobile crashing into the famous Bull stature on Wall Street)were forced and unrealistic (in the movie when they crashed they only knocked it off its foundation rather than be smashed and killed as would happen in reality when they hit such an heavy object). There's also a scene where somehow he manages to clear Grand Central Station of every single person so he can have a romantic dinner in the middle of the place for an hour.

Helen Mirren is completely wasted. She's a grand actress worthy of good parts. In this movie is doesn't even have to act. She just has to look stodgy, cold, and indifferent to Arthur's shenanigans. This part did not require her to call upon here skills.

Greta Gerwig (who plays Arthur's girlfriend)is annoying in her role...she can't act and she's not particularly good looking. She plays a person who dreams about writing children's books...and the one that we get treated to sounds really lame...but, of course, in this movie, it unrealistically becomes a best seller.

Most of the movie is predictable and trite. I don't recall much of the original Arthur, but I do remember being more entertained with that earlier version.
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Enjoyable, marked with some sterling and poignant performances
kendan-948-9983641 July 2011
I suspect that Russell Brand is a polarising personality in this world. Some find his idiosyncratic ways quite the put off. I, on the other hand, have always had a soft spot for old Rusty. I find him beguiling and very pleasant to watch.

I am not going to pontificate and deconstruct. This is a remake. I can't remember the Dudley Moore version but all I know is that this film was very charming. Fair enough, there are going to be no big surprises - no epiphanic moments. But what this has in bucket loads is a grand sense of heart.

Russell Brand is silly but underneath the silliness there is real, genuine stuff. You can see his heart break in a crescendo scene and if you let yourself you'll find you become very sympathetic to this lost boy. Jennifer Garner is scarily comfortable in the role of a-grade beyatch! Helen Mirren is just perfect as the man boy's nanny. Look, to be honest I am too lazy to get into nitty gritty stuff but this one is a winner if you are open enough to admit it.

Trust me. It's lovely.
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This Remake of "Arthur" Lacks Art!
zardoz-1311 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Everything that made the original "Arthur" (1981) such an appealing but politically-incorrect romantic comedy is conspicuously missing from the lackluster remake co-starring Russell Brand and Helen Mirren. Freshman director Jason Winer's slick, glossy, $40-million rehash of "Arthur" includes several hopeless changes from the original that don't improve the finished product. Moreover, Warner Brothers looks like it was banking heavily on "Arthur" to make millions because they let the producers shoehorn one of the studio's hottest, million-dollar plus properties into the plot: Batman. "Arthur" opens and closes with our irresponsible hero joy-riding through the streets of New York City in a replica of the Batmobile. Winer and "Bruno" scenarist Peter Baynham have updated the story line and sharpened the focus. Unfortunately, this overt realism detracts from what essentially was a hilarious "Cinderella" fairy tale for adults. Mind you, the chief characters--particularly the eponymous zillionaire playboy--emerge as more often obnoxious than sympathetic.

The idea of casting Russell Brand in the role that Dudley Moore immortalized with his considerable wit and subtlety had some modicum of merit. After all, Moore and Brand both hail from England, and Brand is an exotic misfit. He takes himself no more seriously than Moore took himself. Sadly, the comic sensibilities that differentiate them from each other doesn't make Brand's Arthur Bach either more interesting or sympathetic. As his nanny, Helen Mirren succeeds far better than anybody in a biological role change. Meanwhile, Nick Nolte is a perfect fit as the grumpy father of the woman, Jennifer Garner, who our protagonist is fated to wed against his wishes. Baynham fails to replicate the sparkling dialogue of the original and none of the lines are quotable. When everything is said and done, "Arthur" amounts to an inferior remake and none of Brand's antics can compensate for these shortcomings.

Arthur Bach (Russell Brand of "Forgetting Sarah Marshall") doesn't know the meaning of work. Indeed, Arthur has never earned a dime by the sweat of his own brow in his life. Nevertheless, he has more money to blow than most people ever dream about, and he indulges his every whim and desire with his millions. Such is Arthur's notoriety that the police are already familiar with his outrageous shenanigans. Nothing that he does surprises them. When the authorities pull over his devoted but simple-minded chauffeur, Bitterman (Luis Guzman of "Mystery Men"), at the outset of the action, they know that only Arthur has enough money to not only buy his own Batmobile replica but also careen around the streets in it. Furthermore, it comes as no surprise to them that Arthur is sloshed. Arthur rarely does anything without an alcoholic drink in his hand. Mind you, the cops catch up with Arthur not because they are better drivers, but because Bitterman and Arthur cannot handle their Batmobile. The humor here is our tipsy hero crashes into the famous statue of a huge bull on Wall Street. When Arthur tries to extricate himself from the wreckage, he finds himself wedged up against the bull's abundant scrotum.

Eventually, Arthur's long-suffering mother, Vivienne (Geraldine James of "Gandhi"), who manages the family business, tires of her son's excesses and forces him to grow up. Namely, Vivience plans to deprive Arthur of his $950 million inheritance unless he bows to blackmail and marries a wealthy heiress, Susan Johnson (Jennifer Garner of "Catch and Release"), who she holds in high regard for her business acumen. Naturally, Arthur doesn't like his mother's ultimatum. Initially, he tries his hand at working. Predictably, Arthur's attempts at holding done a job at Dylan's, Gotham's most illustrious candy store end in disaster. Arthur's life-long nanny and confidante, Hobson (Helen Mirren of "Red"), believes that a trip to the altar might straighten him up. Hobson has spent most of her life picking up after Arthur and forcing his hookers and one-night stands to cough up his expensive toys and valuables than they tried to steal.

Along the way, rebellious Arthur discovers penniless Naomi Quinn (Greta Gerwig of "No Strings Attached"), the woman that he has spent his entire life looking for. Naomi works as a Manhattan tour guide without a license. Indeed, like Arthur, the authorities know about her and have repeatedly warned her about her illegitimate job. In the original "Arthur," the girl of his dreams, Liza Minnelli's hard-working waitress Linda Marolla, was a shoplifter who liked to steal ties for her unemployed father. Naomi and Arthur hit it off splendidly because our hero knows how to spend big. Arthur makes a major mistake when forgets to inform Naomi about his predicament. When she learns that Arthur is about to marry Susan, Naomi washes her hands of him. It doesn't help matters that Arthur has pulled strings to get a publisher for her children's book.

As remakes go, "Arthur" seems rather pointless, no matter how well Winer and Baynham have updated the protagonist's antics. Sadly, those antics are more tasteless than amusing. Worse, in an effort to differentiate themselves from the original, they have poor Arthur sober up following the Twelve-Step Alcoholics Anonymous program. Brand possesses none of the charm and wit that made the original Dudley Moore character so infectiously funny. Instead, Brand tries to convert the title character into the rock'n roll miscreant that he portrayed not only in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" but also "Get Him to the Greek." "Arthur" fails to generate any chemistry between its leads. Brand and Mirren don't bond, and she doesn't get to deliver the acid-tipped barbs that John Gielgud in the original administered with such relish.
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Charmless unfunny remake
p-stepien16 June 2013
Spoilt heir to a large family conglomerate Arthur (Russell Brand) was largely brought up by his nanny Hobson (Helen Mirren), who even though the rich brat is already deep in his thirties nurtures his every need. Meanwhile his business-oriented mother Vivienne (Geraldine James), detached from her son and holding a very official, emotionless connection, attempts to persuade her only son to take a more responsible role. Threatening him with losing his inheritance and access to money, Arthur is forced into marriage with rigid and ruthless corporate exec Susan Johnson (Jennifer Garner). Unable to envisage a life without his private Batmobile and endless parties, Arthur decides to enter into this prearranged commitment. However the plot thicken, when the aimless playboy inadvertently falls for the lively and independent-minded Naomi Quinn (Greta Gerwig)...

Russell Brand attempts his best to channel the inner-English affability, but all too often he finds himself immersed into the running joke, instead of the character. Lacking depth and waves of charm which made the original Dudley Moore such a memorable success, Brand focuses mostly on being spoilt, unsociable and devoid of a sense of moral fibre. The script isn't of help, basically flattening the emotional side of Arthur, instead playing around with various juvenile pranks and jokes, mostly adding hints of insincerity to the character. Arthur's fling in Naomi has an amiable screen presence, but again lacks a clearly defined role, lingering instead as a Amelia-wannabee with pointless inner-turmoil.

The lack of credible front-line actors even more highlights what is a unchallenged performance by the always infallible Helen Mirren, who serves with aplomb as Arthur's surrogate mother, the sole purpose while the ending delivers emotional punch with the key sub-plot, however lessened by the lost child Russell Brand, who doesn't really now in which direction he should channel he character. "Arthur" isn't entirely unlikeable, mostly thanks to the supporting cast, but somewhat pointless given the eternal power of the original. However something obviously is wrong, if the only thing that partially works in a comedy is the dramatic side - the movie honestly does not even invoke a single half-hearted smile (a stark contrast to the 1981 film).
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A must NOT see.....
daveintn-942-3886388 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
If you had seen the original 1981 "Arthur" you have seen the better of the two movies. Dudley Moore was charming, funny and a pleasure to watch. Russel Brand for all of his effort, fails. This Arthur should have never been made, the only reason to remake a movie is if you can improve upon it, this remake is an EPIC failure. I knew that this re-do was going to be weak, but it is a slap in the face to anyone who had seen the original, you had to know going in that this wasn't a redo of the original when the producers started calling it a re-telling of the Artur story. The last time I was this disappointed with a movie was the latest of the "Focker" movies which I was forced too see.... Russell Brand is funny when in a supporting roles, IMO he doesn't have the acting chops to pull off lead man roles.
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Don't mess with a GREAT movie
Andreapworth27 April 2011
I can only echo what most people have already said. Whoever thought that remaking this movie should have his head examined and his professional credentials seriously reviewed.

Yes, Russell Brant is funny, in his way, but he is NO MATCH for the effortless, charming comedy of the dear, departed Dudley Moore. And though Helen Mirren is a fantastic actress, she in no way can come close to the incomparable John G. Totally different acting styles, and generations. Certainly she never shared the stage with Olivier.

And there's no Lisa Minelli to make us really laugh. Like the scene when she is shoplifting and Arthur 'covers it up', meets her and sets the groundwork for the rest of the movie.

Bottom line: Don't mess with something that cannot be done better. Period, the end.
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Helen Mirren, a smart script and nuanced direction make this a great remake
Rick_Gershman4 April 2011
I can't say I was particularly looking forward to the remake of Arthur. I'd seen the original on HBO at some point as a teen, and it didn't do much for me. I didn't understand the Oscar wins for John Gielgud (Supporting Actor) and Best Original Song win for Christopher Cross' "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)." I never really got Liza Minnelli's appeal, either.

The film fared considerably better when I watched it on Netflix Streaming earlier today. Gielgud's sandpaper dry wit impressed. Liza was more likable than I'd recalled. The song--well, I still hate the song. But the screenplay and direction by Steve Gordon is solid throughout, and Dudley Moore is perfect in the lead role.

Which brings us to the new Arthur and the trepidation I felt even more strongly after watching the original. The commercials and trailers have focused on Russell Brand's Arthur as an even-more cartoony playboy than Moore's version, including over-the-top adventures such as dressing as Batman and driving around in the Batmobile.

I've also never been completely sold on Brand, who at 6-2 stands about a full foot taller than did Moore. I've liked him in small portions, as in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but found him a bit tiring in larger doses. The casting of Jennifer Garner--and her prominent billing on the poster--also seemed strange: This is the role of Susan, the bride in Arthur's arranged marriage, not the female lead. Instead, indie queen Greta Gerwig (who is so "art house" she actually starred in a film entitled "Art House") would be playing the Liza Minnelli role (Linda then, Naomi now) of Arthur's working-class true love.

Only the presence of Helen Mirren, taking over for Gielgud in the gender-switched role of Hobson, left me feeling much hope that the new Arthur wouldn't be a complete wreck.

I was way off. This movie's actually quite good. And if you're factoring in it being a remake (most suck) and a romantic comedy (most suck), the new Arthur is especially impressive. The commercials are doing it a disservice: The new Arthur is very funny throughout its running time, updates the story to modern-day sensibilities in an intelligent fashion, and manages to broaden and expand upon the more dramatic aspects of the original. In some ways, quite honestly, it's a better film.

Hats off in particular to screenwriter Peter Baynham, who handled this tricky assignment with aplomb. His script actually is fairly reverent to the 30-year-old original, selectively using plot lines, scenes and even occasional dialogue where it fits. But he also brings the relationships and sexual/class politics into the 21st century, and finds an intelligent way to address the elephant in the room: in both films, Arthur is an alcoholic.

The original film, for example, has Moore swigging from a bottle of rum in a paper bag while driving on the highway... without any consequences. His alcoholism is treated simply as an aspect of his immaturity. Brand's Arthur never drives drunk--his chauffeur, Bitterman (Luis Guzman in the remake) handles all the driving--but his drinking causes real consequences, and he's forced to address them.

Does that sound too heavy for a romantic comedy? It doesn't play that way, thanks to Baynham's script, savvy performances by the leads, and nuanced direction by Jason Winer (making his feature film debut). It's not surprising that Winer is the co-executive producer (and a regular director) of Modern Family, because Arthur replicates that show's mix of believable character interactions and laugh-out-loud humor.

Anyone who's seen the original will know all the major plot points, because this truly is a remake in that sense. You reach the same destination, you just take a few different roads (including a couple of gender twists).

Arthur, an immature playboy who has never worked a day in his life, will be cut off from the family fortune--close to $1 billion--unless he marries Susan (Garner), whose family ties can be beneficial to the corporation run by Arthur's mother (father in the original). Unfortunately, Arthur has fallen in love with another: Naomi, who runs illegal (albeit popular) tours of Grand Central Station and other NYC landmarks.

The casting is mostly on point. Mirren is pitch-perfect in the plum role of Hobson, giving the relationship with Arthur an intriguing maternal slant absent from the original. Gerwig finds just enough grit in her character to keep Naomi from becoming too pixie-like. And Garner fits perfectly in a role right in her range, providing the toughness and attitude the character of Susan desperately needed in the original.

As for Brand... he's really not too bad. The comic scenes are his forte, of course, and he's a blast throughout those--funny, smart, charismatic, appealing. He's a bit less successful in the dramatic scenes, but still not too bad. We don't quite get a peek into the darkness we know is dwelling deep inside Arthur, but Brand certainly goes a few places he's never gone before and shows promise.

A few small problems hurt the film. It runs a bit long at 110 minutes; an even 100 would have worked better, especially near the end. Those trims would have been welcome in a few scenes around the film's middle where Arthur tries his hand at gainful employment; they felt like studio-mandated bits of broad humor that don't play well with the drier wit and general smarts of the rest. Finally, Nick Nolte appears in a couple of scenes as Susan's tough-guy father, and he's frankly hard to understand.

Despite those issues, the new Arthur really is a lot of fun. Compared to most romantic comedies, it's funnier, smarter, sharper and even occasionally touching, and Mirren's performance is worth at least an Oscar nomination of her own.
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Why you don't use talentless Boyfriends of celebrities
mia-noisia16 April 2011
How this guy keeps getting into movies i don't know.Shockingly bad you can see Brand's mind ticking over trying to do something funny, and failing.Most of the time he's just doing a poor Dudley impression.Its almost an insult to Dudley Moore.Hollywood sure is desperate nowadays.This is why you don't use TV presenters as lead in comic roles.Brand tried his hand at stand up, and it was a lot worse than this film (ponderland). He needs to stick to what he knows best, presenting trashy reality TV gossip shows. Hopefully the last instalment of a desperate attempt at a career in comedy.And on behalf of the United Kingdom may i thank Katy Perry for taking the annoying **** off ours hands.
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Not worth an academy award...But not terrible.
nathanhmcdonald9 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Arthur ''Russell Brand'' is about the title character Arthur Bach. Arthur is a 40ish alcoholic ultra-rich playboy who lives' by no one's rules but his own. Arthur may be a 40 year old man on the exterior, but underneath he's an insolent 13 year old at best. His wealth was not earned but he none the less has access to seemingly unlimited funds via his family's business.

After Arthurs shenanigans get to much publicity for the family business his mother gives him the ultimatum of either marrying a rude woman who only wants a stake in his family's business. Or simply being thrown out on his butt with no more wealth. The choice to be made is a long and hard one...Which is only made even harder when Arthur meets Naomi, a cute lower middle class girl who works as an unlicensed tour guide. Arthur falls head over heels for her and goes about making a relationship with her...Only to later have it ruined.

...Anyway...I don't want to describe the whole movie here for you...But that's the premise. Arthur is a good watch, Its not great and many will argue it doesn't do the original justice...But it is entertaining and worthy of a few good laughs. Don't cut this movie short just because someone on the internet says it's not as good as it should be. Give it a chance. It's an alright comedy.
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worst idea ever
tamiteixeira22 April 2011
Making a remake of a comedy classic is a horrible idea. Than when you consider the horrible acting and casting, makes it an all around bad idea. The original was absolutely fantastic it is funny without being stupid and intelligent, all that can be said about this one is STUPID.

Dudley Moore was absolutely wonderful in the original and this guy is soo bad i don't even care what his name is. the chemistry between the original cast was also better. I would highly recommend everyone avoiding this movie and going for the original. you would have to pay me to go to watch this one. Please do yourself a favour and just watch the original and if you have any taste in movies at all you will understand in an instant that the original Arthur is in a class by itself.
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