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Arthur (2011)

My Rating : 3.5/5 STAR
MovieStudio Quote >>
“I have not seen the original Arthur, but I loved the comedy here. Climax was absurd though!”

In this fresh new look at a classic story, Russell Brand reinvents the role of loveable billionaire Arthur Bach, an irresponsible charmer who has always relied on two things to get by: his limitless fortune and the good sense of his lifelong nanny and best friend Hobson (Helen Mirren), to keep him out of trouble. Kind-hearted, fun-loving, and utterly without purpose, Arthur spends every day in the heedless pursuit of amusement.

Arthur

But when his unpredictable public image threatens the staid reputation of the family foundation, Bach Worldwide, he is given an ultimatum: marry the beautiful but decidedly unlovable Susan Johnson (Jennifer Garner), an ambitious corporate exec who can keep him in line, or say goodbye to his billion-dollar inheritance and the only way of life he knows.

Arthur

It’s a deal Arthur would be inclined to take…if he hadn’t just fallen for Naomi (Greta Gerwig), a New York City tour guide who shares his idealism and spontaneity. The independent Naomi sees Arthur not only for who he is, but for who he could be, and finally gives him a reason to take charge of his own life. All he needs to do is stand up for what he wants. But at what cost? With some unconventional help from Hobson–the one person who always believed he could do anything–Arthur will take the most expensive risk of his life and learn what it means to become a man.

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Shadowboxer (2006)

My Rating: 3/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “An average romantic thriller, don’t expect a lot out of it because of Helen!”

Hardboiled and at times incongruous, Lee Daniels’s (PRECIOUS) directorial debut sets out to smash stereotypes with a noirish crime thriller about loyalty, loss, love, and guilt. Cuba Gooding Jr. (MEN OF HONOR) and Helen Mirren (CALENDAR GIRLS) star as Mikey and Rose, a pair of contract killers. Once stepmother and son, they are now lovers as well as partners, and have decided to do one last job together before Rose leaves the business due to her terminal cancer.

Shadowboxer

Brutal criminal Clayton (Stephen Dorff) has hired them to take care of members of his inner circle–including his pregnant wife, Vickie (Vanessa Ferlito, SPIDER MAN 2)–but when the pair goes to carry out the job, Vickie goes into labor and Rose suffers a crisis of conscience. Rose helps Vickie through the birth and adopts both mother and son, going into hiding and telling Clayton the job was done. The four briefly form a strange kind of family before illness, tragedy, and the past inevitably disturb their tenuous peace.

Shadowboxer

The chemistry between Mirren and Gooding is intense and unforced, forming just one aspect of this great cast that also includes Joseph Gordon Levitt (BRICK) as a doctor who ministers to the criminal element, and Mo’nique as his demanding girlfriend. The film’s gorgeous cinematography offsets the high violence quotient, which begins with an early scene involving a pool cue that audiences aren’t likely to forget. SHADOWBOXER is a film that interests by virtue of its unusual casting, fast-paced story, and well-shot look.