Hopefully, years from now when this movie is a distant box office memory, brave film teachers will use it as a teaching tool to show students that it takes more than just a list of ingredients to make a really good cake. The Arthur remake seems to follow the recipe as best it can, but will leave viewers wishing they had just eaten at home.
Staying in the same lane as the 1981 original starring Dudley Moore, Arthur makes a decent attempt to recapture the magic of its predecessor. Russell Brand enthusiastically jumps into Moore’s shoes as the carefree alcoholic billionaire with a sharp tongue and a knack for getting into trouble. Arthur’s booze consumption is borderline science fiction and would make any frat boy’s liver turn away from the screen. Thankfully, he’s got his nanny Hobsen played by Helen Mirren.
When Arthur’s controlling mom Vivienne gets pressured to rein in her would be heir, she gives Arthur the one gift that he can’t stand: an ultimatum. He has to marry her rich, but status seeking assistant Susan (Jennifer Garner) or be left with only his pride and the clothes on his back. Complicating matters is his schoolboy crush on Naomi, a simpleminded cutie who runs illegal tours through Grand Central Station. Will he chose love or money? Will he be sober enough to know which is which?
Check out the rest of our Arthur theatrical review.
Warner Bros. offers up a decent, yet not great Blu-Ray transfer for the film.
Over saturation, crushing and off contrast are definitely apparent but the overall picture doesn’t look too bad. Details is very strong and textures are crisp. Bold colours are vibrant and popping but they’re also over saturated, which leads to the film looking unnatural at times. Skintones are usually lifelike and clarity is often quite good.
Clean and clear dialogue fill the film and it’s always prioritized. Surrounds don’t get much use but when they do kick in they get the job done. Scenes like the one with the Batmobile carry more of a punch than others and directional effects are placed appropriately. Atmospherics turn the city into an immersive soundfield and overall, the audio gets the job done.
Special features are quite disappointing, with nothing here really worth your time.
- Arthur Unsupervised!: A roughly 11 minute EPK feature that is fairly standard and is more of a promotional piece than anything else.
- Additional Footage: A couple deleted/extended scenes that offer nothing of value.
- Gag Reel: A one minute gag reel that is not worth your time.
So, what does it come down to? Is the Blu-Ray of Arthur worth your money? Well, the film hits all the right spots, but comes up short. It has enough one liners to keep the movie moving along, but it lacks the heart and depth that Dudley Moore’s charm brought to the role. And that’s really the main problem. The Blu-Ray itself isn’t too special either. The video lacks, the audio is adequate and the special features are forgettable. Unless you really loved this one in theatres, I see no reason to buy it.
Arthur hits all the right spots, but comes up short. It has enough one liners to keep the movie moving along, but it lacks heart and depth.