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Arthur / Arthur 2: On The Rocks
BLU-RAY disk
May 17, 2011 By: Jacob Riley
Arthur / Arthur 2: On The Rocks order download
Director:
Steve Gordon

Actors:
Dudley Moore
Liza Minelli
John Gielgud

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A lovable, but increasingly unhappy, drunken playboy with no aspirations must choose between his potential family fortune at the price of a loveless marriage or true love.

For the sequel simply refill and stir in some baby drama.

Genuine laughter and heartfelt empathy ensue.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
"Everyone who drinks is not a poet. Some of us drink because we're not poets."

First off, Dudley Moore is absolutely brilliant in ARTHUR, I can't stress that enough. It is easily the performance of his career and a stellar one at that. His portrayal as the titular ARTHUR is so genuine that you will be hurting from laughter at the high points and sympathetically sharing his pain in his low points. I don't really get invested in characters often, but Moore is enthralling to watch both as a comedic and dramatic actor. Dudley Moore is definitely the reason ARTHUR has so much heart, and you're damn right it is a good movie!

While Dudley Moore may have been the heart of ARTHUR he is not sole reason that it is a great film. He had two amazing supporting actors backing him up. Liza Minelli plays the quintessential fast-talking, quirky New Yorker that steals Arthur's affections. It is a role for a confident woman and Minelli has it. The other key role of the film is that of Arthur's manservant and confidant Hobson, played by to dry-wit perfection by John Gielgud. Hobson is the closest thing Arthur has to a father figure and friend and it is between the characters of Hobson and Arthur that some of the heaviest and most memorable scenes occur. These two supporting roles round out a stellar cast that make ARTHUR so enjoyable to watch.

Another aspect of ARTHUR that I have noticed on repeated viewings is the camera work. Some of the shots almost seem voyeuristic from far away with some obstruction in the foreground. I think it is a subtle touch by director Steve Gordon to add some intimacy and reality and it works. It is these small flourishes that make ARTHUR not only an enjoyable movie but a deserving classic.

The included sequel, ARTHUR 2: ON THE ROCKS, that came seven years later in 1988 reunites the cast and is good for some laughs but, frankly, it doesn't hold a candle to the original much like the recent (and completely unnecessary) remake starring Russell Brand. Why it falls so short of the original can be blamed on several things such as inferior writing or a new director (Steve Gordon passed away shortly after the first ARTHUR) but it still has it's moments and that just may be enough for fans of the original.
THE EXTRAS
Besides a horribly bad it's good theatrical trailer for ARTHUR, sadly, nothing.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
ARTHUR is one of the greatest comedy films to come out of the '80's, it balances crass and refined humor in a way that has only recently begun to resurface in modern comedies. It is a classic and deserves to be revisited or discovered for the first time.

The sequel ARTHUR 2: ON THE ROCKS may not live up to it's predecessor but seeing as it is included in this set there is no harm in checking it out either.

Final diagnosis: ARTHUR 5/5 and ARTHUR 2: ON THE ROCKS 2.5/5

The overall score would have been much higher if they had bothered to throw in some special features.
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