Sunday, May 22, 2011


 Sunday night. My god it has been at least fifteen years since I last ventured out on a Sunday night to the flicks. I recall it was a Leslie Nielsen outing...god knows which one it was. I must have been desperate to get out of the house for some reason. Like tonight!! just had to get out as the walls felt they were closing in.

 At first the theatre I was in was almost empty but by start time it had fleshed out considerably. I was absoltuely surprised at the amount of people in the whole complex. There were more there tonight than ever turn up on a Thursday night when all the new movies are released. I'm surprised because Sunday is the night before everyone has to return their slave duties. Also, generally speaking, by the end of the weekend most people have no money left. Just an observation considering I don't do Sundays at the flicks.

 Well to most of you Arthur needs no introduction. I'm bloody old enough to remember when the original was released!! Funny thing. As I was in the little room this afternoon it came to me that modern movies don't seem to have tittle songs that are thrashed senselessly on the radio anymore. Every James Bond movie for years had a title song that played on the radio in the guise of a bit of advertising. I  liked the Bond movies for the title song as it added that little bit extra. Of course Arthur had Criss Cross and 'The best that you can do'. I remember the song very, very well. As I stood their doing the duties I tried to recall the last movie that had a title song on the radio. It seems to be something else that has gone by the by over the years. Oh my, either I'm getting old or just overlly nostalgic!!

 Well there really isn't a lot to say about this re-make. In a word it just doesn't stack up against the original. At all. But then I really knew that it wouldn't. The trailers hadn't piqued my interest in any way, and iIjust wondered why on earth Hollywood bothered. To me some movies, and especially roles, are one offs, and to attempt re-making them is futile and at times disparaging to the originals. Dudley More is, and always will be, Arthur. Russel Brand cannot even get close to Moore's boozey boyishness. He tries to be too smart whereas Moore was just a kid in a mans body. Moore was so good that no-one upon no-one could ever replicate or better him.

 The idea of using Helen Mirren as his nanny was intriguing. It is like Bond having Judi Dench as 'M'. She is professional as usual, but unfortunately the script is very limited, and her prodgious talents are wasted. She is by far the star of the show, and her somewhat boxed in role hightlights how even more limited the rest of the cast is. Nick Nolte has a small role as...well Nick Nolte. Jennifer Gardner is given the role of a high flyer who will marry Arthur only to get her mitts on his inheritance. She has a good role but again it is stifled by the script. I liked both Guzman as Artur's driver, and Gerwin as his love interest. Gerwin was actually lovely and played her role well, as did Guzman. Their roles were limited but somehow because of this they were better of for it.

 The humour wasn't as good as the original either. I remember the original being hilarious in its day and the theatre literally shook from the laughter. This version is humourous at times but because Brand doesn't capture the booziness Moore did the role is flat, and the humour with it. I mean I had a few chuckles but I didn't approach the tears rolling down face of the original. So much of the humour in the original was provided by Arthur's butler played by John Gielgud. His dry and droll witticisms weren't mirrored in this re-make. Mirren is quite capable of pulling them off but her script just wasn't adequate enough for her do so. She has the dryness but not the drollness. Her witticisms aren't observant or even facetiously cynical enough as were Gielguds. Of course this is not her fault as it is the script writers. A pity because she is hugley wasted in the role.

 It is a pity that Hollywood has tried to re-make this. I believe some movies and roles are inviolable. Dudley Moore is and will always be Arthur. It is a true classic and in many respects Moore's legacy has been somewhat slurred by this. I wish it had been left alone. I can't help but feel this way as would anyone condone an ET re-make? It is certainly a one off and I will always believe Arthur should have been too.

 I see from a brief look at IMDB that so far this has garnered pretty much negative ratings. I think this is a fair out look. It isn't bad but it pales badly against the original. It is a poor re-make and even as a stand alone movie it is well below ordinary. I think if you wait for it on DVD you are doing your self a favour. Better still, wait for it on telly where you don't have to fork out any money!!

 This is a poor re-make and a slap in the face to the original. Don't bother!!! Honestly Dudley Moore must be turning in his grave. Either from disgust, or laughing his head off  saying ' Ha! I knew no one could ever truely be Arthur but me'!! The original was nominated for four Oscars. Gielgud won for best supporting actor. This re-make isn't any where near Oscar contention. This is the crux of it quality wise when compared against the original. Arthur as a movie should never have been attempted to be re-made. Watch this and you'll realise why! Dudley Moore and John Gielgud, eat your heart's out!!

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  1. Not a huge shocker, no big surprises, the original is a excellent and very Dudley Moore, anything else just falls short.

  2. Exactly. It should have been left alone.

  3. Great review Brent, I have not seen this or the original, but from what I know about the part Brand seemed like a good guy to play it. Oh well I suppose.

  4. I have seen none of these films, but all responses, including yours, make want to see the original version only. I guess I'll miss the re-make.

  5. The original is definitely worth seeing! It is a true classic. avoid the re-make!1 It is as poor an attempt as could you ever see.

  6. Matt I think Brand was just being Brand. He just doesn't capture Arthur's boyishness enough as did Moore. This is a classic that Hollywood should have left alone I'm afraid.