Arthur

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By Mark Ramsey | 2011/04/10

When you get caught between the Moon and New York City, let’s hope you’re not watching this regrettable refashioning of Arthur.

I know it’s crazy, but it’s true

“If only theaters still had curtains I could at least hide in shame,” said the projection screen.  “First video on demand, now this!”

I hear Christopher Cross is rolling over in his grave.

And he’s not even dead!

Yet.

What’s that noise? Do you hear it?  It’s the moviegoing public demanding a remake of the classic Dudley Moore Arthur.

What, you don’t hear it?  I don’t either!

Why not leave our classic comedies alone, Hollywood, and stick with remaking Superman every three years.

I’d call this a “re-imagining,” but I don’t want to give anyone’s imagination so little credit.

Hey, who cast Katy Perry’s husband in this movie?  Will Katy get a cameo, because that might be worth waiting for as long as I’m not waiting 110 minutes, one for what feels like every year this movie lasts.

“It” boy Russell “Yahoo Serious” Brand plays the besotted Arthur more like a brat than a drunk, which is surprising since Brand has never known a substance which didn’t end with the word “abuse.”  If you’re going to be stupefied, Russell, at least play it like you’re smashed.

So Russell is forced to marry Jennifer Garner, but he doesn’t love her because she has been turned by Ben Affleck and is now his chief minion.

In frustration, Russell buys Abe Lincoln’s stovepipe hat and wears it for the rest of this movie despite numerous autograph seekers requesting the guitar licks from Welcome to the Jungle.

And don’t get me started on Nick Nolte, who plays Jennifer Garner’s father.  At this stage, Nick can barely bark out the dialogue – he’s got a frog in his throat that a fleet of New York’s finest snow plows couldn’t clear.  Give this man a drink of water – or whatever he’s got in that thermos.

Enter the sweet, simple, pretty girl struggling to make ends meet – the role played in the original by the unlikely Liza Minnelli in an era when no Gay man in New York was safe from her womanly charms.  Today no Gay doctor in New York is safe from her broken hip.

Liza stand-in Greta Gerwig wears a name tag in this movie as she does every time she introduces herself to her agent.

And how does this street urchin make those ends meet?  By hosting unlicensed tours of Grand Central Station, that’s how. To Hell with the Cabaret, old chum, let’s risk a warning by a cop who’s a sucker for the kind of comedy stylings not seen since Mannequin 2.

Greta may be an illegal tour gude but she has big dreams.  She loves cartoons and wants to author a children’s pop up book. Awwww!  Next she’ll be dressing pet bunnies in bow ties and cardigans and training them to pee in toilets and open cages at the zoo. Thanks to the pop-up book at least something in this movie pops.

Listen, drunk used to be for Arthur, not for the audience.

Hey, old-timer in the row behind me – yeah, you – the guy who thinks it’s funny when Russell Brand falls down stairs dressed as a Gummi Bear.  Hand me your flask!

I’m gonna 12-step right out of this theater.

Cut to the boxing scene, where Evander Holyfield makes Mike Tyson look like John Gielgud.

And speaking of the painfully fuddy-duddy Gielgud, Helen Mirren is a fine actor but whenever you have to switch a role’s gender to distance it from one of the most memorable performances in all of screen comedy history, maybe you’re barking up the wrong remake tree.

To paraphrase Gielgud, don’t just steal something casual.  Steal something else.

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16 Responses to “Arthur”

  1. Suhaib says:

    This is superb, aggressive and utterly hilarious. Loved it !!!!

    Brilliant Mark, movie maybe stale but juice you extracted is fresh and tangy :D

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    As I like to say, it’s all about the ride, not the destination. :-)

    Thanks for the note!! And the comment!

    [Reply]

  2. mlondon says:

    “If only theaters still had curtains I could at least hide in shame,” said the projection screen” This is too funny! LMAO!
    Hey, old-timer in the row behind me – yeah, you – the guy who thinks it’s funny when Russell Brand falls down stairs dressed as a Gummi Bear. Hand me your flask! Your humor is so bloody funny I am a HUGE fan. This one had me rolling! LOVE U MARK!

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    Very kind, mom. Er, I mean, ma’am.

    [Reply]

  3. mlondon says:

    In frustration, Russell buys Abe Lincoln’s stovepipe hat and wears it for the rest of this movie despite numerous autograph seekers requesting the guitar licks from Welcome to the Jungle. -This has to be one of your funniest posts ever. It deserves an award!

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    I’d happily welcome an award. But it looks like it’s going to be the “mlondon site of the day” award! What does your trophy look like? :-)

    [Reply]

    John Reply:

    You arse kissing little tit. There was nothing funny about this review. Is this the only thing you’ve ever read in the world? Have you just learnt to read? Do you not know what satire is or seen any good examples of it? You’d better not be from London, or anywhere in the UK, I couldn’t live with the shame of sharing cultural identity with you. Why are you even reading a review of what is obviously a crappy 90 minute ego wank anyway? You should be ashamed of yourself.
    The only award Mark Ramsey deserves is “Most unlikely to ever have sex with a sober person ever” followed closely by you, you useless little monkey.
    PS
    You make me sad to be human.

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    This from the country that gave us Benny Hill.

    [Reply]

    That Guy Reply:

    What’s crappier, the 90 minute ego wank by a film reviewer or the 10 minute ego wank by a high-strung curmudgeon? (10 minutes is the length of time I assume it took you to write that waste of space). John, you make me sad to be sharing the same atmosphere.

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    I wonder if highstrungcurmudgeon.com is available?

    John Reply:

    We don’t share the same atmosphere. You live up Mark Ramsey’s arsehole and breath his waste gas, I however am a human being and prefer the more traditional mix of gases needed to maintain actual human life. You just make me sad full stop.

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    I think you live in a place where “arsehole” is a word.

    That Guy Reply:

    I don’t even think you can name any of the “traditional gases” needed to maintain human life. And what’s all this talk of gases, this is a movie review site. No lie, your reply made me laugh full stop.

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    Are we talking about gasoline?

  4. slash says:

    Mark,
    Come on man, did you have to dis me like that with the Welcome to the Jungle and Stovepipe hat comment….This movies sucks and I did not deserve it………….You and I are better than that……Party with you later………Love Slash…….PS next time you see Axl tell him I said Hello

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    Thanks to the easy anonymity of the Internet I can not confirm that this comment actually came from Slash. I strongly suspect his spelling isn’t that good, but I could be wrong.

    [Reply]

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