Rate-a-Trailer: Russell Brand and Helen Mirren in ‘Arthur’

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We have to admit, of the many, many, many remakes of 1980s movies currently in production, Jason Winer’s new version of Arthur seemed one of the most egregiously unnecessary. If you haven’t seen the original (and really, there’s no excuse for that — it’s streaming on Netflix, for goodness’ sake), it really is a perfect comedy, and we’re not quite sure how these folks presume to improve upon it. But, that said, they’ve made some wise casting decisions: those of us who like Russell Brand (and you either love him or you hate him, it seems) can see him filling the Dudley Moore role well enough, while the decision to switch the gender of John Gielgud’s Hobson to a female, and cast Helen Mirren in it, is rather ingenious. Most exciting of all, mumblecore ingénue Greta Gerwig, so wonderful in last year’s Greenberg , is a perfect choice to play the Liza Minelli role. So it seems strange that she’s barely present in the film’s newly-released trailer, while Jennifer Garner — playing Susan Johnson, the object of Arthur’s arranged marriage, a very secondary character in the original — is all over the damn thing. Maybe they’re just advertising the more recognizable face?

And while we’re at it, does it seem strange that this oh-so-up-to-date-remake is being advertised entirely with songs that pre-date the original? (“All Right Now”? Seriously?) But, those concerns aside, there are some laughs in the trailer, so we remain on the fence about this one — reluctantly optimistic, if you will. Watch the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.