Arthur (Blu-ray)

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Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Russell Brand as Arthur
Helen Mirren as Hobson
Greta Gerwig as Naomi Quinn
Jennifer Garner as Susan Johnson
Geraldine James as Vivienne
Luis Guzmán as Bitterman
Nick Nolte as Burt Johnson
Christina Calph as Tiffany

Directed by Jason Winer

Special Features:
Arthur Unsupervised! – Russell Brand and Director Jason Winer Expose All the Fun Footage, Outrageous Photos and Ad-libs Too Wild for Theaters

Gag Reel

Additional Scenes – Over 10 Minutes of Nonstop Russell

Digital Copy Of Feature Film

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
DTS-HD 5.1 MA Sound
Spanish and French Languages
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 110 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

“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.”

“Arthur” is rated PG-13 for alcohol use throughout, sexual content, language and some drug references.

Mini-Review:
I can’t even remember if I saw the original “Arthur” starring Dudley Moore, so I didn’t compare that version to the Russell Brand version. Despite that, this version stood fairly well on its own.

Your enjoyment in “Arthur” will depend on what you think of Russell Brand. If you don’t like his style of humor, this movie isn’t going to do anything to endear him to you. He’s pretty much the same character he is in every movie, only a little more inebriated this time. He does have a number of good lines that did make me laugh out loud. Brand delivers the jokes in rapid fire succession and maybe 1 out of 10 hit the mark, but it was still enough to keep me on board. And as a comic book fan, I did enjoy the jokes involving the Batmobile and Batman and Robin costumes.

Also surprisingly funny is Helen Mirren as Hobson. She’s moody, darkly sarcastic, and one of the few characters able to keep Arthur in line. I had never seen Mirren in a comedy before, so it was cool to see this new side of her talent. If you had told me I’d one day see Mirren wearing a Darth Vader mask in a movie, I wouldn’t have believed you. Another strong member of the supporting cast is Jennifer Garner as Susan Johnson. She’s driven, cutthroat, and ambitious. She’s a great villainess. And yet again she’s a dramatic actress that shows she has a fun comedic side. Finally, there’s Greta Gerwig as Naomi Quinn. She has great chemistry with Brand and never lets him steal the scenes they have together. This is the first time I’ve seen Gerwig on the screen and I thought she did a great job. I hope to see more of her in the future.

As fun as the movie is and though it has a lot of funny lines, Arthur as a character is a bit hard to relate to. He’s filthy rich, he’s British, he’s constantly drunk, he acts like a spoiled child, and he doesn’t even have the most basic skills to function in society. To top it all off he has Jennifer Garner wanting to marry him. It’s a bit hard to generate any sympathy for the character. Except for the whole alcoholism and dysfunctional relationship with his mother, he has every advantage in life. Most people would be happy to have his problems.

If you’re looking for a light comedy and can stand Russell Brand, then you’ll enjoy “Arthur.” It’s good for a few laughs. Fans of Mirren and Garner will also enjoy seeing these actresses in comedic roles. Just don’t go into this movie expecting anything particularly deep or revolutionary.

The bonus features on the Blu-ray are a tad sparse, but they’re entertaining. Most of them feature Russell Brand, Jennifer Garner, and Helen Mirren improvising scenes. It’s interesting to see him try so many different ways of doing the same scene. He certainly keeps his co-stars on their toes. There are also about 10 minutes worth of additional scenes. One of them is set entirely within the “Back to the Future” DeLorean which is kind of cool.

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