Trailer Wednesday: Arthur and Hop

At last — the return of Trailer Wednesday. We’ve had a really slow beginning to 2011 as far as major movie trailers go. There have been some great ones or some interesting second trailers or TV spots, but nothing totally new. Until now, thanks to the sought-after talents of comedian Russell Brand.

The springtime showers of April might seem far away, but these two films look to give some extra oomph to the month nonetheless. We have the remake of “Arthur” starring Russell Brand as an immature billionaire and a rare Easter-themed movie combining live action and animated animals, “Alvin and the Chipmunks 3.” “Hop,” in which Brand voices the heir to the Easter Bunny legacy.


Russell Brand’s first major Hollywood role that doesn’t involve a drug or sex addict has arrived and judged on the trailer, I like the results. He seems just as slicked-tongue with but with a naiveté that fits him nicely.

The film remakes the 1981 comedy starring Dudley Moore that won two Oscars, one of which was for Best Supporting Actor to John Gielgud, whose role as Arthur’s caretaker Hobson will this time be played by Helen Mirren.

Arthur, sole heir to a billion-dollar fortune, has been told to marry Susan (Jennifer Garner) as part of a business arrangement, but when he refuses, mommy threatens to cut him off and so Arthur must prove that he’s capable of taking care of himself.

In addition to an eclectic cast that includes, Brand, Garner, Mirren, Luis Guzman, Greta Gerwig and Nick Nolte, the film marks the feature debut for director Jason Winer who has won acclaim for directing the pilot and much of the first season of ABC’s hit sitcom “Modern Family.” Peter Baynham, who helped write both “Borat” and “Bruno,” adapted Steve Gordon’s Oscar-nominated original screenplay. The film looks to possibly be a pleasant surprise. Find out if that’s true on Apr. 8.


Animated critters with real human friends have created mixed results. The new “Alvin and the Chipmunks” films have been wild successes, but last Christmas’ “Yogi Bear” saw the opposite. Easter comedy “Hop,” given its release a couple weeks after Disney’s “Mars Needs Moms” and a couple weeks before Fox Animation’s “Rio,” could fall into the chipmunk category. After all, bunnies and chipmunks don’t seem all that different.

The theme is not all that different from “Arthur.” E.B. (Brand) is a slacker bunny who wants to be a rock and roll drummer, not the next Easter Bunny as his father desires. He decides to travel to Hollywood where he nearly gets run over by James Marsden, who takes him in, regrettably. Kelly Cuoco (“The Big Bang Theory”) co-stars.

Kids will scream to see this one after E.B. poops jellybeans in the trailer. That’s the kind of a film you’ve got. Although some of the writing seems funny at times, looks like potty-humor jokes will be played up.


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