August 1, 2010

Russell Building His Brand

Russell Brand's brief film career has not yet required him to really stretch too much in the acting department 'cause he's essentially been playing variations and exaggerations of his own public persona, both past and present.   He's played drug addled filthy rich spoiled rock star Aldous Snow in two films, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and this summer's Get Him To The Greek.   He's been excellent in both films; but as a former drug addled celebrity himself - and someone who has always dressed and possessed the swagger of a rock star, I don't think he had to dig too far in his psyche to come up with the character of Aldous Snow.   His new film, a remake of the 1981 Dudley Moore comedy Arthur, will see him in a familiar role, playing a spoiled fabulously wealthy man with a serious drinking problem.  When I heard he had been cast in Arthur I thought it was a pretty inspired choice and I was cautiously optimistic about it.   The director of the project, Jason Winer, is a television guy, which didn't fill me with hope, but he did do thirteen episodes of 'Modern Family' - which he also executive produces - which bodes well.   The rest of the cast is also pretty solid with Helen Mirren filling the personal butler role that earned Sir John Gielgud an Oscar in the original.  The supporting cast includes Jennifer Garner, Nick Nolte, Luis Guzman and Greta Gerwig, who I loved in the little-seen Ben Stiller flick Greenberg.

While all of this is promising - and the fact that the original film had an a solid comic premise, drunken millionaire playboy stands to lose his inheritance when he falls for a woman his snobby family disapproves of is also encouraging - the movie officially joined by must-see list this week when some set photos leaked out that gave me a nerd-on.  There were shots earlier of Brand driving the Batmobile - apparently one of the toys of his mega-millionaire character - that I thought were funny, especially because the always excellent Luis Guzman was filling the tights of Robin,  but the new batch of photos see Brand with an iconic pop culture vehicle near and dear to my heart: the Back to the Future DeLorean. While I'm certain these scenes are supposed to illustrate what a reckless and out of control character Arthur really is, sadly, this is exactly the kind of shit I would do it I had more money than I knew what to do with.  Speaking of which, in a move that will steal a little thunder from this scene in the film, 'Family Guy' creator Seth MacFarlane, a man who definitely has more money than he knows what to do with, purchased a replica of the Back to the Future DeLorean this week and plans to spend $20,000 to upgrade the car to make it screen-accurate so it perfectly matches the vehicle in the film.   If only I could waste money on such nonsensical things.  Sigh.

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