Posts Tagged ‘Russell Brand’

Arthur

Posted 17 May 2011 — by Nicole P
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott MartinArthur starring Russell Brand

Arthur, USA, 2011

Directed by Jason Winer

There are moments of genuine comedic genius in this updated remix of 1981’s Arthur, starring Dudley Moore, Liza Minelli, and John Gielgud. Here, Russell Brand portrays our titular loafer in wildly expensive loafers, while Helen Mirren takes Gielgud’s spot as his live-in nanny Hobson. Greta Gerwig, affable and luminous as ever, takes over for Liza Minelli as Arthur’s love interest/savior. He drinks more than anyone should, to a debilitating degree, and every time he steps out of his house, it’s a party. Drinks are on him, of course. Most remakes today have nothing to offer audiences, and do nothing to improve upon or rethink the original films. Admittedly, this version of the popular Moore film (for which he was Oscar-nominated, and Gielgud won) doesn’t do much to rethink the original, but the improvement is there. In the original film, Arthur’s alcoholism isn’t treated with the same touch (it’s merely a plot point, it feels) and Brand’s performance here has more heart than most things Moore did. Both are fine films, and this one certainly won’t see the Oscars, but that doesn’t stop it from being a warm and abstractly hilarious afternoon at the movies.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again with confidence: Russell Brand is an excellent actor. More important than being funny, he’s lovable. There’s a certain heartwarming quality to his humor, even when it’s vile, so that you can’t help but want to hug him when you should want to slap him. That’s an important quality for Arthur Bach, a man with about a billion dollars and a billion fewer brain cells, to have. Matched with Helen Mirren’s gift for dry wit and being so damn lovably herself, it’s easy to find why this movie works. On one hand, the film underuses just about everyone except Brand, almost like it’s a vehicle for his comedic riffing. It isn’t as balanced as last year’s Get Him to the Greek, but everyone gets their fair share of screentime, and no one is forced. That’s probably the best thing about this over-the-top film – nothing feels like it isn’t natural. We live in Arthur’s billion-dollar world, and what we see is a normal day for him. Read More

Hop

Posted 25 Apr 2011 — by contributor
Category Animation, Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

Hop, USA, 2011

Directed by Tim Hill

Hop isn't half-bad, according to Scott Martin. For those who know me, it’s no secret that I usually find movies like this a bit deplorable. There’s just something about the live-action/animation hybrid that I can’t ever get behind. Be it Yogi Bear (2010), or the Scooby-Doo movies, or the Alvin and the Chipmunks films, I’m always reminded of the glory days when Roger Rabbit was king. But a lesson I learned from reading Roger Ebert prevails in these situations: you judge the movie for what it is and if it achieves what it set out to achieve. Hop is a film that does just that – it’s sweeter than candy, it’s a kid’s movie through and through, but it has enough in it for adults to enjoy. And the most enjoyable thing about the movie? The comedy isn’t once forced. Yes, there are pop culture references every now and then, but it’s all derived from the situation. And situational comedy is always the best option.

E.B., voiced by Russell Brand, is the son of the Easter Bunny (voiced by Hugh Laurie), and is about to be named as his replacement. Of course, E.B. doesn’t want this; he wants to be a drummer in a rock and roll band. An evil chicken named Carlos, voiced brilliantly by Hank Azaria, wants Easter for his own. Meanwhile, in the human world, Fred O’Hare (James Marsden) is a disappointment to his father, Henry (Gary Cole); he’s a twenty-something loafer who can’t seem to find the right job and needs to move out of his parents’ house. E.B. and Fred meet at just the right time in both their lives. What follows is a film not only about growing up, but growing into yourself in the process.

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