Arthur [Blu-Ray] Jason Winer

Arthur [Blu-Ray] Jason Winer
Even for viewers who enjoy Russell Brand's filth-witted banter and random buffoonery, Arthur is a chore. Playing a hedonistic billionaire man-child who must choose between marrying for money or love, Brand's toothy skeletal grin and relentless mugging are all the buoyancy this dreadfully clichéd, status-quo-enforcing pap has to keep it afloat during its overlong run-time. After one too many immature, drunken public embarrassments – this one involving Schumacher-era Batman props, nipple suit and all – Arthur's mother threatens to cut him off from the family fortune if he doesn't marry reliable businesswoman and anal retentive banshee Susan Johnson (Jennifer Garner, suitably cast as unlikable, vapid and nearly devoid of personality outside of her business front). Of course, the timely trouble is that Arthur has just met a woman capable of having a genuine connection with him – easygoing, brimming with childlike wonderment and stuffed full of greed-free morals. Greta Gerwig (Greenberg) does a decent job bringing charming sweetness to the underwritten role of Naomi, no thanks to the lacklustre direction of television transplant Jason Winer (Modern Family). With a script this weak, it was a good idea to let the actors go off-book and squeeze out whatever humour could be found in the scenarios. When Brand is playing opposite someone he has good chemistry with, like Gerwig or Helen Mirren, as surrogate maternal figure Hobson, his life-long nanny, Arthur pokes its ignoble head above the morass of mediocrity for brief moments of absurdity. The less sense it tries to make, the better. That's why "Arthur Unsupervised," a collection of improvised outtakes, has more laughs than anything in the film itself. It also has more gags than the disappointing gag reel – there had to be wackier screw-ups than the safe, minor flubbing depicted. "Additional Scenes" is just that: a continuation of the cheap pop-culture gags and bloated scenes of trite sentiment that comprise this annoyingly consequence-free studio swill. (Warner)