Since the first round of the NFL draft was tonight, I thought that would be the topic of my blog. Then as I stumbled around on the Internet, I ventured to Variety.com and came away feeling like I had been hit with a sledgehammer.
For anyone who hasn't figured it out by now, I've had a lifelong love affair with films. I've been a film geek for as long as I can remember and one movie I saw back in the day that left me in stitches was "Arthur" starring Dudley Moore and John Gielgud.
I particularly loved Gielgud as Arthur's butler who served as his moral compass. It was this dynamic that really endeared the movie to me.
And just like everything else of my childhood, Hollywood is reimagining the film with Oscar nominee Helen Mirren starring in Gielgud role. I am good with that; at least she's an actress who can pull off the dignity the role requires and give the film some credibility.
However, it's the casting of the lead that has me really burning up.
Of all the capable actors in the business and Warner Bros. taps Russell Brand for the part of Arthur. Russell is a jack-of-all-trades. He's a comedian, an author and presenter, but the one thing he doesn't do well is funny.
This guy is the personification of over the top. He says semi-provocative statements, then sits back wide-eyed hoping, and sometimes seemingly begging, for a laugh. I think if he wouldn't try so hard, the guy might actually be funny, but until he tones down the flamboyant, shock-and-awe routine, he's only going to be a speck on the Hollywood lens.
I'll admit, I have no reference when it comes to Brand's standup routines and that might be where the man's strengths are. I might zip over to his Web site and see what it has to offer and update this in a few days. I might actually be surprised.
Brand has had to overcome a turbulent past. He a recovering drug addict and alcoholic, and I commend him for that, but thrusting him into the role of Arthur isn't going to do the movie any good I believe.
I hope he proves me wrong and gives me a film that makes me laugh as hard as the original did; however, I'm not going to hold my breath.