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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Russell Brand reinvents the role of lovable billionaire Arthur Bach, an irresponsible charmer who has always relied on two things to get by: his limitless fortune and lifelong nanny Hobson (Academy Award® winner* Helen Mirren) to keep him out of trouble. Now he faces his biggest challenge: choosing between an arranged marriage to ambitious corporate exec Susan (Jennifer Garner) that will ensure his lavish lifestyle, or an uncertain future with the one thing money can’t buy – Naomi (Greta Gerwig), his true love. With Naomi’s inspiration and some unconventional help from Hobson, Arthur will take the most expensive risk of his life and learn what it means to be a man in this re-imagining of the beloved Oscar®-winning* romantic comedy Arthur.

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 like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get 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 2011 Arthur. 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, famous movie prop cars (the Batmobile, the Back to the Future DeLorean, the Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine, and others all make appearances), and all manner of grownup baubles at every fleeting whim. His stuck-in-childhood mode seems to be blamed on the loss of his doting father at a very young age. But now at 30, his prim mother (Geraldine James) wants him to grow up, stop embarrassing the huge corporation that bears their name, and marry a respectable girl (Jennifer Garner) who will tame him and give the company a veneer of respectability. Upon threat of being cut off from the family fortune, Arthur reluctantly agrees, but then immediately falls for the real girl of his dreams, a lowly--and poor--Manhattan tour guide (Greta Gerwig), who falls for him too. She doesn't even care about the money. The issue of drink is handled somewhat differently 30 years after Dudley Moore made such a loveable and unrepentant chronic inebriant. Since it's kind of a more significant societal issue, the filmmakers haven't really been able to make it as much of a fun and funny part of who Arthur is (plus, Dudley Moore did a drunken shtick that was fairly classic, while there doesn't seem to be much difference between Brand's drunken and sober Arthur). Arthur's drinking is treated as a genuine problem in this update, which also provides comedy the dilemma of dealing with seriousness. Fortunately the sense of forward momentum, Brand's general likeability, and the pervading sunny tone cover up a lot. The other big selling point and major change from the original is the character of Hobson, who for Dudley Moore was a dour butler played by John Gielgud, and for Russell Brand is a disapproving nanny in the persona of Helen Mirren. Both Hobsons were best friends to Arthur, and Mirren's statuesque gravitas brings a lot to the authentic lifelong affection that seems real as handled by both actors. Overlooking some slackness in the script, Brand and Mirren give this bright, shiny updated Arthur longer legs than it might otherwise have had in striding cleverly into audiences' hearts. --Ted Fry

Special Features

Deleted Scenes

Product Details

  • Actors: Russell Brand, Greta Gerwig
  • Directors: Jason Winer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • DVD Release Date: July 15, 2011
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004HO6I42
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,145 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Arthur" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 8, 2011
Format: DVD
Short attention span summary:

1. Russell Brand does the best that he can do to fill Dudley Moore's shoes. No longer a loveable slushy drunk, Arthur's now a wild boy child, throwing money around doing his best to ease the recession (and possibly share a few std's along the way).

2. Helen Mirren gets caught between the moon and New York City as she lovingly rolls her eyes at his antics and then makes it all better with a stern look and a snappy comment.

3. Greta Gerwig plays his first real love interest (not counting Helen Mirren's character,Hobson), an aspiring writer of children's books by night and an illegal tour guide by day. Her character, Naomi, turns his heart around, and next thing you know, he's closing down the town (or at least Grand Central Station)

4. His fiancée Susan (Jennifer Garner), her dad (Nick Nolte) and his mom (Geraldine James) compete fiercely for the "most unlikeable" award. I know it's crazy, but it's true.

5. Bottom line is that this is an "okay" movie, barely nodding to its predecessor with one short burst of the melody of the original theme song, but at the end of it, you'll wake up way across town and find it's not still with you.

Amanda Richards, July 8, 2011
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35 of 44 people found the following review helpful By K. Cooper VINE VOICE on April 10, 2011
Format: DVD
Whenever a remake is released, comparisons to the original are inevitable. Most people tend to go for the original and remakes are rarely as well liked. The 2011 "Arthur" is a good movie though.
Brand is a comedic actor with unique talents but they fit this role like a glove. He is onscreen virtually every minute and it is on his shoulders this movie rests. His "Arthur" is a more a fun loving playboy than Dudley Moore's sloppy drunk and that is a good thing. No one could top John Gielgud's Oscar winning peformance as Hobson but Helen Mirren does a good job nonetheless. The rest of the movie is well cast although in the original, the father of Arthur's poor lover got off some of the funniest lines of the movie and here, he is mostly invisible.
I don't know that this is a better or worse movie than the 1981 original but it is an enjoyable film. Brand is funny and believable and his charms are just right for this version of "Arthur".
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Scott T. Rivers VINE VOICE on April 13, 2012
Format: DVD
The world was not clamoring for an update of the Oscar-winning "Arthur" (1981), but Warner Bros. didn't listen. Russell Brand delivers zero laughs in the Dudley Moore role, with Helen Mirren a decidedly bizarre choice to fill the shoes of John Gielgud. Sitcom director Jason Winer gives the 2011 version a predictable made-for-TV veneer. Best that you can do . . . is avoid.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James P. McDonald on January 21, 2013
Format: DVD
Rated "PG-13". Running Time: one hour, 49 mins.
My only reason for seeing this movie is because Luis Guzman is in it. He plays "Bitterman".
Horrible remake to the original "Arthur" movies. The dearly missed Dudley Moore was in the original movie as the short drunk and was very funny, in fact, he also did a second movie.
This remake with Russell Brand was very difficult to get through and only made me miss Dudley Moore even more.
Luis Guzman was cute in the Robin-The Boy Wonder costume.

Also in the cast: Helen Mirren, Jennifer Garner, Greta Gerwig, Nick Nolte, Evander Holyfield, Robert Clohessy.

For a good time and many laughs, please see the two original movies starring Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli.

Arthur (1981).
Arthur 2 - On the Rocks (1988).

Both movies on Blu-ray: Arthur / Arthur 2: On the Rocks (2-Movie Collection) [Blu-ray].
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Rachel on August 15, 2011
Format: DVD
I am, by no means, a film snob. I can enjoy silly and dumb humor as much as the next person. I laugh at the antics of the Three Stooges, the silliness of Brett Reid in Green Hornet, and the humor in most comedy shows and movies. Of course, there necessarily must be some element of the humorous if a film is to be comedy. Alas for Arthur, the makers of this dud ignored that simple golden rule of comedy, instead opting to produce a film heavy on the idiotic and light on the amusing. In fact, this film was so stupid at points that you practically could feel your IQ dropping, and you were affronted -- not at the film makers, but at yourself, for, while this was without question a hideously misguided effort on their parts, the affront to your intellect that came with watching this monstrosity was yours and yours alone. I shall, therefore, not speculate on the implications of the fact that I soldiered on through this quagmire of inanity, banality, and utter stupidity, all the way to its ridiculous conclusion.
I will only say that the film ended in the same vein as it began -- a bloated, repugnant heap of self indulgent, humorless waste. Much like the character it attempted to portray in an amusing light, this film was one that was born to a foolish beginning, squandered any potential it had in bouts of self aggrandizement, and ultimately suffered an inglorious end. At least, that is what I kept hoping would befall the unlovable pseudo-rogue who pranced, simpered, skipped and whimpered his way through the story.
The actual plot -- a rich, spoiled man who, at his mother's dictates, must choose between love and wealth -- was not enough to make or break the film.
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