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Arthur

3.6 out of 5 stars 202 customer reviews

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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.

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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 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
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • 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 (202 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004HO6I42
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,099 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Arthur" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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By Joe Flip on February 15, 2014
Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I'm being kind by giving this bomb of a movie 2 stars, the original is the best with Dudley Moore even the sequel is much better than this remake. Thank God I got it cheap from Amazon, Maybe the kids of today might like it but not yours truly, I like acting too much not script reading even in a comedy.
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Even though this is a remake The plot remains essentially the same. Arthur is a cheery wastrel whose wealthy family (here represented by an icy Geraldine James) wishes him to marry a suitable young lady (the effortlessly warm Jennifer Garner, seriously miscast as a gold-digging, status-seeking, nymphomaniac bitch — a far cry from the boring bride-to-be in the 1981 original).
Arthur goes along with this to keep his fortune, but then meets the love of his life — in the old movie, a tough-talking waitress played by Liza Minnelli, but here a whimsical tour-guide and wannabe children’s author, played ineffectually by Greta Gerwig.
I really love this movie, its mindless fun to watch with friends, not really suitable for children though, so don't plan on this one being a family movie.
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I really enjoyed this movie. Never did see the original, so I had no expectations. But I do think it's rather silly to expect a movie remake to be a carbon copy of the original and not just enjoy what transpires as something of its own standing. They take the basic premiss but make something new of it, happens all the time folks and that's okay. I thought Russell Brand was hilarious and believable as this Arthur. Well played by him, quite well played. Both Helen Mirren and Greta Gerwig were brilliant as well.
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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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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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It took me 5 years to watch this movie. Basically It was Russell Brand sauing "the movie could not match Duddley Moore's "Arthur". But I have always been fascinated by Russel honesty which sometimes takes a derailed look at life in general. The curse of Russell . OUT OF THE PARK IQ.
It is said other actors refuse to work with him because he is THAT good that he can improvise Shakespeare to suit a different flow. And in his "Arthur" he made a different movie 100% Different . As much as I LOVED Dudley Moore there were entire caricatures and flippant reparte:
Arthur: I'm going to take a bath.
Hobson: I'll alert the media.
Wast THAT "really" funny ? No it was not.
Looking back the chemistry was not as intertwined .
Russel's "Arthur" is a lot more polished . Helen Mirren delivery always carries an underlying motherly cushioning.
All around it feels like a less "contrived" comedy because the jokes are not thrusted up your nose. You get it or you do not.
Russell Brand should be a MEGA star by now , but it is obvious his mind is is summarized in Walt Whitman's quote
"Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
And THAT is Brand.. There's no subject he can not discuss with authority and profundity or as a totally innocent 7 year old boy.
One thing about the movie . I will NEVER be able to see Helen Mirren and not remember her role in "Caligula" and I write this with a great deal of affection . The lady made a MAN out of me :)
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