Arthur

We can complain all we want, rationalize, or hope for the best, but the easiest way to stop the remake assault that studios have foisted upon audiences is not to pay for it. The studio system still hasn’t found a silver bullet for killing the monster of low attendance, and 2011 might have been the worst wake-up call they could get. Movie attendance fell by 4.4% from 2010, down to the lowest level since 1995. The problematic silver lining is that foreign sales are higher, which could result in even more broadly-appealing (and “appealing” is used generously here) movies that are generic and treat dialogue like a second-class citizen. On the losing side of the field (the one where producers aren’t having Gatorade dumped on them), are the remakes of 2011. Remakes are thought to be attractive because they come with built-in name recognition for audiences, and development has already been partially done for a story that’s already proven itself as a money-maker. For fans, they’re also infuriating because they signal both a lack of creativity coming out of an industry built on it and the potential (likely) bastardization of something we hold dear (and, yes, of course the original is still out there; it’s the principle of the thing). So it may come as pleasant news for some to see that remakes, regardless of their quality of genre, failed spectacularly at the box office this year. It’s the kind of thing that may just deter producers from trying to […]

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Drinking Games

Even though the DVD and Blu-ray of Arthur came out at a weird time (last Friday, to be exact), we couldn’t let it go by without giving it a drinking game. After all, how many movies are released each year that portray alcoholism in such a charming and carefree fashion? (We were also really drunk last week, from all of the other drinking games on the site.) So whether you’re being forced to marry a beautiful woman like Jennifer Garner or if you live in the gutter like the rest of us, you might have some fun watching Arthur when you’re drinking as much as Arthur is.

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This Week in DVD

It’s my birthday this week, and it therefore seems only fitting that the BUY section is overflowing with fantastic and fun titles worth picking up and enjoying with your friends, families, and parole officers. They even represent a pretty good blend of genres with horror (Insidious, [Rec]2), animated kid fare (Rango), and some classics from the silent era (Buster Keaton). Other titles out this week include The Lincoln Lawyer, Arthur, Battle Beyond the Stars and more. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Buster Keaton: The Short Films 1920-1923 Charlie Chaplin may be the most famous name of the silent film era, but equally beloved and far less controversial is the man behind Cole Abaius’s favorite film, The General. Buster Keaton had a long career both before and after that Civil War-themed classic, and this newly remastered set includes all nineteen of his solo shorts along with a roaring freight train full of extras. The shorts are filled with sharp comedy and incredible physical stunts with some of the best being One Week, The Goat, and Cops. The extras include visual essays, deleted scenes, two additional shorts that see Keaton sharing the screen with the likes of Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, and Fatty Arbuckle, and newly recorded audio commentary with Keaton himself. Okay, that last one isn’t true, but this is still a brilliant collection.

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The Reject Report

…for Elephants! But seriously, that’s a lot of possessive apostrophes going on in that title. If I wanted to do a remake of this movie – I could. I have the funds – who would I have to get the rights from? Madea? Tyler Perry? Oprah? There’s a lot of ownage going on in here. Lionsgate is hoping for a lot of ownage at the box office this weekend, too. I know you saw what I did there. That I’m pointing it out is chalked up to arrogance. The elephants, cats, and birds of the world might have something to say about it, but there’s little chance they’ll be able to do anything about it. Let’s see how everything breaks down. That is, if Tyler Perry allows it.

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The Reject Report

It’s a time for celebration in the world of animated film. Maybe not dress-up-in-your-favorite-gold-costume-or-mask celebration. We’re not throwing a lavish parade or anything, but an audible “hip hip hooray” might be in order if you’re a fan of computer animation. Rio, the latest such film from Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox, came out wings blazing this weekend and easily topped the box office with the biggest opening so far in 2011. The $40 million the film brought in isn’t a record for the studio, though. It didn’t even top the $45 million Horton Hears a Who brought the studio in 2008. However, given Rio‘s worldwide box office thus far – $128.2 million in additional revenue outside the US – the film is well on its way to being a huge success. Plenty of money for the company to bring us another Ice Age film, so all you Scrat fans out there can rejoice.

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The Week That Was

What is The Week That Was? Nothing much, just a recap of all that was great and wonderful here on Film School Rejects over the course of the last week. And in a week such as this, when we reviewed controversial and conversation-worthy films from the minds of Ayn Rand, Wes Craven and Robert Redford, it’s important to take a look back at the best of what was written. That, and we interviewed Takashi Miike, so we’ve got that going for us. Also, I have access to the traffic stats. I know that all of you did not read every one of our best articles. What’s the deal with that, beloved readers? Lets right those wrongs on a pantsless Sunday afternoon. Start with the articles listed in this compilation and work your way back. Do it now.

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The Reject Report

Imagine a quiet, two-story house on a dark small-town street. Inside, a group of teens prepare to watch a movie, something scary, something hi-def. They have wealthy parents. As they drink their respective beverages and the FBI warning sits on the screen unobserved, the phone rings. One of the teens answers. On the other end, a high shriek emits, a shriek the other teens hear coming from outside. They go to the window to look, and flying through the air, headed straight for them, is a tropical bird. It has recently been launched from a giant slingshot jutting up out of the front yard. The bird’s target has been set. The teenagers are unsuspecting. Some of them might die this night. They scream, and thus begins this week’s Reject Report, Rio vs. Scream 4.

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This editorial features spoilers for Arthur, so go watch it first or consider yourself warned. Leave it to Drew McWeeny to make me think way deeper about Arthur than I ever really wanted to while sober. His piece on the drunken, bumbling movie called into question the reason why none of the advertising featured Arthur with a drink in hand, and, more interestingly, why the character has to learn a lesson directly related to his alcoholic behavior. The question is whether excess is still funny. The answer is yes, but it can’t be all funny, and that’s a shame. There was once a time when a character could be over the top without the audience having the spoon of morality shoved down their throats. If there are any teenagers out there, I can assure you that metaphorical spoon was never used for cooking symbolic crack cocaine. Only allegorical soup. Promise. The point is that a mainstream film just can’t feature a character knee deep in vice anymore without showing the negatives. McWeeny is absolutely correct, and what it’s led to is a new brand of self-censorship that would make Will Hays proud.

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Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. Today’s trailer features a raging drunk that’s not played by Russell Brand. That doesn’t really narrow it down, I know, but it’s no surprise what movie this is for. The original, the prelude to the worst sequel ever, the height of Dudley Moore‘s work. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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The Reject Report

It was really the battle of the two evils this weekend. Unfunny CG Russell Brand vs. Unfunny Russell Brand in a suit. The kids won out, and Hop was able to pull into the #1 spot for the second weekend in a row. Its drop wasn’t all that insignificant, about what was to be expected with there being no counter-programming for family entertainment. I guess kids just don’t have much interest in Helen Mirren these days. Hop was, however, able to pull ahead of its reported $63-million budget with its second weekend take and shed a glimmer of hope for those wanting more adventures starring the Easter Bunny. We can all pray for the best there.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr spends a long day in the multiplex, checking out a variety of films from alcoholic romantic comedies to nature documentaries with elephants and orangutans. He drinks himself silly and hits on Greta Gerwig in Arthur, narrowly escapes being killed by ass-kicking teen assassin Hanna, narrowly escapes getting his arm bitten off by a tiger shark in Soul Surfer and peeps in on Natalie Portman undressing for a swim in Your Highness. Too bad she’s pregnant now, ‘cause Kevin just ain’t into that scene.

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The Reject Report

Ah, remember Dudley Moore and how funny he was in Arthur with the top hat and the bubbles and slurred speech? What’s that? You know the name, but you’re both under 30 and can’t stand the classics? Warner Brothers is hoping for that, too, as they’ve now remade the film starring Russell Brand. Now they’re hopes rest on it returning an Arthur-sized fortune. That could be very well what happens here, and Brand will probably have his name splashed all over the #1 and #2 movies this weekend. He’ll have some competition from some pothead knights, a pair of adolescents. One is an assassin. The other is a surfer. The surfer might not be much competition, but that pairing would make one hell of a buddy movie.

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Whether you’re trying to avoid the releases this week or augment them with even more movies, Your Alternate Box Office offers some options for movies that would play perfectly alongside of (or instead of) the stuff studios are shoving into the megaplex this weekend. This week features a young girl who could kick your ass, an old boy who could buy and sell your whole family, a pair of pothead fantasy role players, and a young girl who couldn’t kick a shark’s ass.

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Cliches like the headline shouldn’t be taken lightly. They should be avoided at all cost, except when they are so accurate that it would make your nose bleed. In the case of Russell Brand slurping hooch and pitching woo in the remake of Arthur, we may need to recheck the records to see if Dudley Moore died in the same hospital on the same day Brand was born. The strength of Arthur rests solely on its actors. The sequences are more than interwoven sketch comedy, but they aren’t much more, and without the humor and absurdity inherent in the all-too-popular new character of the man child, this thing would have been as flat as if a giant magnet bed fell on it. Russell Brand is Arthur. And what Arthur is, is hilarious and heartfelt.

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We realize that you’re probably sitting at home right now, chewing your own nails off and wondering what movies are coming out this month. Maybe you’re even wondering why no one on the entire internet has said anything about them. Strange, we know. How will you know what to watch this month? Fortunately, Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius spent the entire month of March, taking naps, playing tether-ball, and researching movies at the last minute to keep you informed about what’s coming out in April. You watch movies, so this guide’s for you.

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In the original Arthur, Dudley Moore was toasted near constantly. It was impressive. Now, Russell Brand has taken over the role, and instead of massive alcohol intake, he’s just an idiot. One is funny and sad. The other is just sort of sad. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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The actual line from Arthur is “Perhaps you would like me to come in there and wash your dick for you, you little shit.” It’s funny because it’s spoken to Dudley Moore by Sir John Gielgud. But Helen Mirren saying it to Russell Brand in a remake? That’s just all kinds of wrong and sexy.

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One of the principle directors behind ABC’s break0ut hit Modern Family is moving up in the world quickly, signing on to take the reigns of the upcoming remake of Arthur, the story of a boozed-up rich kid who falls in love with a plebe, putting his inheritance at risk.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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