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Bud Yorkin
Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli, John Gielgud, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Stephen Elliott, Paul Benedict, Cynthia Sikes, Kathy Bates
Writing Credits:
Steve Gordon (characters), Andy Breckman

No Money. Still Funny.

In this sequel to the 1981 hit movie, Arthur manages to lose his entire $750 million fortune. Will the former millionaire playboy be able to survive as a broke, unemployable alcoholic? To add to Arthur's problems, wife Linda's biological clock is ticking louder than ever, and she's pressuring him to start taking responsibility for himself.

Box Office:
Domestic Gross
$14.681 million.

Rated PG

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 2.0
French Dolby Stereo 2.0
German Dolby Stereo 2.0
Spanish Dolby Stereo 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 113 min.
Price: $19.98
Release Date: 4/5/2011

Available Only As Arthur/Arthur 2 Double-Pack

• Trailer

• Trailer


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Arthur 2: On The Rocks [Blu-Ray] (1988)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 3, 2011)

Since I thought 1981’s Arthur provided a pretty weak comedy, why did I decide to check out its 1988 sequel, Arthur 2: On the Rocks? Perverse curiosity, I suppose. I felt so disenchanted that even though Rocks seems viewed as a disaster, I wanted to find out for myself how it compared to the original.

Though now married to Linda (Liza Minnelli), super-rich Arthur Bach (Dudley Moore) continues to live the life of the drunken man-child. He gets a reality check when Linda tells him she can’t reproduce but wants to adopt. Arthur agrees so they set about plans to do so, a matter complicated by the fact that not many adoption agencies take kindly to such an irresponsible prospective father.

In addition, Arthur’s financial status changes. His father (Thomas Barbour) merges his firm with the one controlled by Burt Johnson (Stephen Elliott). In the first film, Arthur was almost forced to marry Johnson’s daughter Susan (Cynthia Sikes) but he left her at the altar to get with Linda.

Susan continues to carry a torch for Arthur, and Burt – who nearly killed Arthur in rage – plots his revenge. The merger leaves Arthur’s fortune in tatters, as Burt arranges to get the family to cut off his funds. If Arthur divorces Linda and marries Susan, he gets back his money. Otherwise he’s on his own – and he needs to find work.

If it takes a long time for a sequel to hit the market, a few different factors can come into play. Sometimes the prospective sequels just get stuck in “development hell”, and other times, those involved can’t muster the finances; when films make megabucks, various parties want a bigger cut of the pie the second time.

Then there’s the reason I think connects to Rocks: desperation. After Arthur turned Moore into a major star, his career almost immediately fizzled. He starred in prominent bombs such as Best Defense - which even a red-hot Eddie Murphy couldn’t save – and Santa Claus.

By 1988, Moore’s career had fallen on hard times, so I suspect that’s why he agreed to make an Arthur sequel. He needed something to revive his fortunes and a second Arthur must’ve felt like a sure thing.

Or maybe not, as Rocks made a poor $14 million in the US. Moore’s career never rebounded.

I won’t say that Rocks was the final nail in that particular coffin, but the film sure didn’t help, as it deserves its miserable reputation. While I won’t say that it made me appreciate the original, but it did make its predecessor look good by comparison.

Remarkably, Rocks takes an grating character and makes him even more annoying. Moore’s “lovable drunk” shtick didn’t work the first time; Arthur was much more self-absorbed buffoon than likable loll-about. Arthur’s gags and cackle don’t become more enchanting the second time around, and he’s even less amusing here.

The other characters vary between utterly forgettable and utterly obnoxious. Normally I’d plop Minnelli – one of my least-favorite performers – in the former category, but Rocks gives her such a bland personality that even Liza can’t register a reaction. In the original, I couldn’t figure out why Arthur loved Linda, but at least Minnelli showed some life. Here Linda exists mostly as a plot device, and Minnelli has little to do other than mope and seem depressed.

On the other hand, the various Johnsons border on evil incarnate. Can anyone explain why Susan maintains such a crush on Arthur? In the first movie, she seemed interested in Arthur mostly for the social/financial ramifications of the family merger. In Rocks, she indicates that she’s madly in love with Arthur – why? She’s attractive, smart and successful – why would she carry a torch for a moronic buffoon like Arthur?

Even though her Satanic father develops the plan to bring Arthur back to her, Susan cooperates fully and turns nasty herself. Really, the sequel’s Susan feels like a totally different character than the uptight society girl of the first movie – and not just because a different actor takes over the part.

Even if the actors made something out of their parts, the film bogs them down in tedium. To a certain degree, Rocks remakes the original with a twist. In the first flick, Arthur had to choose between happiness with Linda and money; here, he essentially has the same choice. His attempts to earn his own living throw sin a curveball, but it all leads back to his choice: marry Linda or be broke.

Bizarrely, Rocks takes that simple plot and makes it last nearly two hours. The flick clocks in at 113 minutes – 113 really long minutes. Arthur ran only 97 minutes and seemed slow; with another 16 minutes at its disposal, Rocks becomes even more of an endurance test.

Contrived and tedious, Rocks flops in virtually all possible ways. I can’t call it a disappointment because its predecessor wasn’t much better, but any hopes that it’d rise above its origins quickly became dashed.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus D-

Arthur 2: On the Rocks appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This was a perfectly positive transfer.

Overall sharpness seemed good. A few shots looked a bit tentative, and the movie rarely exhibited really dynamic delineation, but the movie appeared pretty distinctive overall. No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, and I also didn’t notice any edge haloes or artifacts. Source flaws were minimal; I saw a couple of tiny specks but nothing more intrusive.

Movies from the Eighties aren’t known for their vivid colors, so don’t expect the hues of Rocks to dazzle. Nonetheless, they tended to look pretty solid, as the tones showed generally nice boldness and clarity. Blacks were deep and tight, and I thought shadows appeared smooth and well-developed. This was a more than competent transfer.

Blacks seemed dark and dense, while shadows were clear and smooth. Overall, the movie looked good, but it lacked consistency. The image varied from excellent to blah, so I thought it deserved a “B-“.

As for the DTS-HD MA 2.0 soundtrack of Rocks, it worked fine given the movie’s age and ambitions. While the soundfield didn’t boast a tremendous amount of ambition, it gave us a good environment for this story. A few louder scenes – such as at the skeet shooting segment –opened up the spectrum. Music demonstrated nice stereo delineation, while the effects in the front provided a reasonable sense of place.

Audio quality aged well. Speech was consistently natural and concise, while music seemed lively and warm. Effects came across as accurate and distinctive, and they showed decent dynamic range. At no point did this mix threaten to tax my system, but it was more than satisfactory for its age and scope.

In terms of extras, the set only comes with one: the film’s trailer. However, the disc packages Rocks with its 1981 predecessor, so it’s not truly a barebones release.

Little about the original film entertained me, but Arthur 2: On the Rocks couldn’t even live up to its predecessor’s low standards. Slow, lame and unfunny, the sequel created almost no enjoyment at all. The Blu-ray offers pretty good picture and audio but lacks supplements – not counting the presence of the prior flick on the same disc, that is. Rocks delivers an awful sequel to a weak movie.

Viewer Film Ratings: -- Stars Number of Votes: 0
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