Some movies are classics and many think those classics should never be touched but that view does nothing but restrict creativity and hold back truly great filmmakers from producing new work even if that work isn't exactly their own. We are all fortunate today that there are still filmmakers with enough vision to know that it's just fine to reuse someone else's vision. Thus, we now have a new version of Arthur.
So, is Arthur any good? Terms like "good" and "bad" may have been relevant in 1981 when Dudley Moore first created the character but this is 2011 so it no longer has to be Be Good. It just has to Be. And man oh man, does it ever Be. It Be's the hell out of itself. There is so much Be in this movie that it would have violated the International Be Limit if such a thing existed and could be in any way accurately measured. If none of this makes sense, don't worry. Neither does Arthur. But again, that's OK. It can still Be.
The incredibly rich Arthur Bach is played this time around by Russell Brand. Brand is the kind of actor whose vibe just screams, "Sure, I'll do this role as long as the check clears." However, that sort of attitude is exactly what this movie needed. If an actor had done this for passion alone, it would have highlighted all the movie's flaws and rendered it unwatchable but, because Brand doesn't care, neither do we. We can just go in and not really watch Arthur but just sort of absorb it. We won't care that it's not funny or entertaining. Instead, we'll remember it like a dream. The details will be fuzzy but we are reasonably sure we had a good time though we can't say why. That is what it's like to see the new Arthur and I, personally, am much better off for it. Again, if none of this makes sense, don't worry. Just Be along with the movie.
Arthur can reverse what so far has been a disappointing year at the box office if we all collectively decide not to demand anything from it. If we do that, we can go see it three or four times and reverse Hollywood's 2011 misfortunes. We can all even decide to just tell each other how much we loved it and then we'll get a sequel that we'll say we loved even more. This can bring our country together in a way that religion, community and music festivals have so far been unable to achieve. We will be bound together forever by our vision of Arthur, a vision first created in 1981 about a good movie and finally realized in 2011 by this "good" movie. When you go see Arthur, remember all of this. Laugh now and then if for no other reason than to help your fellow man and, if things get too tough, just start quietly humming the old Beatles hit Let It Be. Or just load up on Raisinets and pass out. Either way will work.