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Hamlet 2

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Celluloid Temptation Facilitator
It looks like quite a stupid, funny, goof of a show and it has singing and dancing! It's irreverent too! I've got to see it!

Should I start praying that it doesn't suck now? LOL.
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Bleacheddecay




"Rock me, rock me, rock me, Sexy Jesus...!"

Yeah, I'm hoping it's a piece of genius, but I do have a nagging fear it'll turn into a good idea gone flat or not dark and weird enough. I'll definitely be checking it out for myself, in any event. Steve Coogan alone makes it a must-see, and damn I loves me some Catherine Keener.

If you haven't caught the trailer yet, Yahoo has it HERE. Or even better, the "red band" trailer is on the movie's official website HERE .
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"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra



Celluloid Temptation Facilitator
LOL

I always thought hell sounded like far more fun than heaven but then I read The Flying Spaghetti Monster and I was disabused of that notion.



A PHD in Whiskey and Stonerology
Looks brilliant... to say the least. One of my most anticipated films at the moment.



Besides, anything from one of the minds behind South Park has to be funny.



A PHD in Whiskey and Stonerology
Well guys, I have a devastating update for those who were looking forward to this. I saw it earlier today with my cousin and quite frankly it's terrible.

Yes, terrible. Imagine Jim Carrey at his most obnoxious and worst and you'll get an idea of this. The sad part is, it had a lot of genuinely funny moments and a very good basic premise that had a lot of comedic potential. But... what an utter botch. We honestly considered leaving the theater about halfway through



I disagree.

Hamlet 2 falls short of any kind of comic masterpiece, to be sure, but it's still quite funny and worth seeing. At least on DVD, anyway. I have to say I laughed more than Tropic Thunder and was less disappointed.



In our present entertainment landscape where claptrap like "High School Musical" is so successful that it has spawned an industry unto itself, the time was right for somebody to come and rip the modern "let's put on a show" formula to shreds. Director Andrew Fleming (Dick, The In-Laws re-make) and writer Pam Brady (Team America: World Police) seemed like a good pair for the assignment. Add the brilliant Steve Coogan to headline the cast, and there was potential for some dark, twisted comic magic. I call Coogan brilliant, but if American audiences only know him from Around the World in 80 Days with Jackie Chan or as the diminutive Octavius from Night at the Museum you might wonder what I'm talking about. Anybody who has seen him in all his glory in his UK series "I'm Alan Partridge", his work with director Michael Winterbottom in 24 Hour Party People and Tristam Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story or his hilarious segment with Alfred Molina in Jarmusch's Coffee & Cigarettes know the man is truly funny.

Unfortunately Hamlet 2 is less than the sum of its parts and it never reaches its full potential. That having been said, it's still pretty damn funny. Coogan plays Dana Marschz, a failed actor turned High School drama teacher in Tuscon. His small productions are terrible "adaptations" of movies, such as Erin Brockovich. But after the funding for the drama program is cut, this loser decides to go out with one big bang, pouring all of his extremely limited creativity and dreams into one original production: Hamlet 2. This also coincides with a large group of Latino kids forced into his program, and through the kind of tough love he learned directly from movies such as Dangerous Minds, he tries to reach them and meld them to his theatrical vision.

The play itself, when we finally get to see it at the end of the movie, is fantastic. Given that Pam Brady was partly responsible for the great Musical numbers in Team America and "South Park", that should be no surprise. Coogan has some great moments throughout with his deadpan style, even with the more outrageous turns the script forces on him. And the happiest surprise for me was Elisabeth Shue, who plays a version of "herself" and has some of the very best moments and lines in the entire movie. Where the script could have used another draft or three is the supporting cast of the kids. Unlike say Christopher Guest's Waiting for Guffman where each character has time to be explored and developed, the castmembers of the play other than Coogan never get to be more than types. There are still some decent moments sprinkled here and there, but they never become terribly interesting or compelling. The obvious subplot with Coogan's wife (Catherine Keener) isn't much either and mostly just pushes the main story where it needs to go. Amy Poehler, who shows up in the final third of the flick as an ACLU pitbull, has the kind of Amy Poehler moments you'd expect but is nothing spectacular.

So lots of flaws, as you can see, but despite all of them, with that funny premise, Coogan, Shue and the great pay-off and the sheer audacity of the stage production kept me laughing...enough to recommend it. I would have loved to see what Christopher Guest's troop might have done with the idea, to flesh it out more consistently and completely, but as is I'll definitely be buying the DVD months from now and enjoying it multiple times.


GRADE: B-



Celluloid Temptation Facilitator
I was so worried this would be terrible but lived up to the promise of the trailer IMO.

My kids and I enjoyed it. We laughed a lot.

The production number bits were my favorite parts. I just wish they'd shown the devil and Bush kissing. Oh well. It was still pretty funny.



Originally Posted by Sawman3
I've been hearing other positive reviews and I feel like I'm missing something...
Different strokes, man. Not much of a mystery, just a taste thing. I mean, you have The Omega Man listed as one of your ten favorite films ever made.



A PHD in Whiskey and Stonerology
From that I'm guessing that you're not the hugest fan of The Omega Man

TBH, though, I threw that list together in about three minutes off the top of my head and I've been meaning to update. Omega will still be on there, though, for several reasons.



Originally Posted by bleacheddecay
The production number bits were my favorite parts. I just wish they'd shown the devil and Bush kissing. Oh well. It was still pretty funny.
Something tells me there is going to be a wealth of deleted scenes on the eventual DVD. There were a couple lines from the trailer that weren't in the movie (such as Elisabeth Shue explaining about Hollywood handjobs), so hopefully it'll all be on the DVD.