Excerpt: It’s been about 30 years since we were first presented with the film â€œArthur.â€� It starred Dudley Moore as an alcoholic billionaire (or maybe at the time, millionaire) who had everything he’d ever wanted except genuine happiness. The film was critically acclaimed and actor John Gielgud won an Oscar for his portrayal of Arthur’s butler, Hobson.
Excerpt: Finally, the much delayed Why So Blu review of the Arthur Blu-ray is here! One of the best things I can say about Arthur is that a lot of people laughed really hard when I saw it in theaters, and that does not make them wrong. However, the percentage of those people who had seen the original 1981 Arthur was probably very low. That film is superior, but this update has some genuinely funny moments.
Excerpt: Beyond providing an unflinching look at what happens to those caught between the moon and New York City, the 1981 comedy Arthur gave veteran comic actor Dudley Moore one of the best roles of his career as a drunken playboy cackling his way through a search for love. Though the movie—the single directorial effort from veteran television writer Steve Gordon, who died the following year—is uneven, Moore sells the performance with the sadness resting just behind the surface...
Conclusion: There's no way to tell if Arthur will appeal to your particularly comedy tastes. It roped me in, but the majority of critics haven't been kind. Fortunately, Warner's high definition AV presentation isn't quite so problematic. With an above average video transfer and a surefire DTS-HD Master Audio track, the only underwhelming aspect of the film's Blu-ray release is its paltry twenty-minute supplemental package. Suffice it to say, a rental is in order.
Summary: Arthur starts off genuinely funny. Russell Brand has some good lines and his character of a juvenile playboy fits him like a glove (I wonder why?). He also has Helen Mirren slumming it as a straight man to bounce his material off. If the rest of the film consisted of Russell Brand continuing to just be Russell Brand, it would have been a marked improvement.
Excerpt: "Arthur" displays all the symptoms of an unnecessary remake. It suffers from a typically trite screenplay and a bevy of unfunny and uninspired gags. Although there are some definite laugh-out-loud moments and an often entertaining rapport between the leading man and his 'nanny', the problem is that they're interspersed by long stretches of boredom and an excruciatingly clichéd romance. You can't help but feel the comedic talent on display is wasted.