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Hamlet 2 [DVD]
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Goofball comedy starring Steve Coogan as Dana Marschz, a failed actor turned high school drama teacher who attempts to salvage the school's under-achieving, under-funded drama programme by staging one of his own works, a musical sequel to Shakespeare's tragedy 'Hamlet'. Hilarity ensues as Marschz does everything he can to impress the school magazine's drama critic, who made no bones about his contempt for Marschz's previous production - a school play adaptation of 'Erin Brokovich'.
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Top Customer Reviews
Shame the directors Andrew Fleming and Pam Brady weren't bold enough to make 'Hamlet 2' more the feature of the film, or the way 'The Arts' is frowned upon, instead of the teacher/student relationships.
The best sections are where Steve Coogan (putting aside his questionable American accent) plays a failed actor in the middle of a nervous breakdown, with endless issues and immature reactions to problems leading to some great farce. It's a comedy about censorship, controversy and freedom of speech, but most importantly in parts it's really funny. If "Team America World Police" and "Jerry Springer The Opera" are things you like, put this on your list.
Then on the other hand it also tries too hard to be a 'feelgood' movie. It panders a little too much to its potential critics (ironic given what the story's supposed to be about) and stops short of causing any real offence the way something like a South Park movie does. It's an angry satire with its nails clipped. There are just a few too many slapstick pratfalls and not quite enough gags.
That said it's worth spending 80 minutes on just for some of the performances. Steve Coogan as always does a great job. Amy Poehler has a star turn as the letigious lawyer constantly looking to sue everyone and Catherine Keener is a great comedy alcoholic.
Not perfect, a little too soft in parts, but pretty funny.
A Li'l weird, but entertaining. Found some parts funny and some where not. I would
recomend this to anyone who is a Coogan fan.
This film totally passed me by - it didn't even register on my radar. But I've just finished watching it, literally about 2 minutes ago, and I enjoyed it so much that I felt compelled to fight its corner in these reviews.
It is a sorely, sorely underrated film. On the strengths of the reviews here I wouldn't normally have bothered watching it - just another straight to DVD also-ran. But seriously, and please take my word for this now, it IS A GOOD FILM. It's a satire; it is spoofing all of those saccharin-soaked inspirational mush-fests that Hollywood holds so dearly to its bosom, and it does it well. Don't expect a slapstick gag-fest, nor a Partridge-esque cringe marathon, nor a contemporary re-working of Shakespeare; Coogan is not the star of the show - the show is.
It IS clever, it IS witty, it IS sharp, but in a very subtle way. Just look at Elisabeth Shue's appearance - an actress who has a reputation for pursuing the role-less-travelled - she is playing herself, parodying herself, and sticking a satirical elbow in the belly of the beast that feeds her.
This is a woefully overlooked film and one that I would recommend whole-heartedly... plus, it's less that a fiver for crying out loud. What've you got to lose!?!
It's not actually THAT bad but as we know Coogan in his more successful and endearing characters, obviously we're going to compare. His accent is uncomfortably thick, if sounding authentic and he just comes across as that worse, embarrassingly nerdy teacher that we all used to love to hate. That was most probably the intention, though but that doesn't really help.
Actually, his scenes with wife/partner Katherine Keener almost work best, with their fertility "problems". The kids in school are often not that believable, reacting differently to what's expected. There's almost a parody on films by the likes of Alan Parker, the ones where a mixed ethnic high school has its drama budget completely removed and then it's 'Let's put on a Musical!!'
There's some funnier comedy when recovering alcoholic Dana Marschz (Coogan) falls off the wagon and goes amok. But his constant pratfalls get wearisome and when that extends to vocal ones, those are painful.
Finally, the play goes ahead and this bit comes across quite well, with Coogan as Christ on a rope and this raises my score from 2 to 2.4, but I'm afraid I cannot extend to three.
Hamlet, whether 2 or 52, it never is. Take it as it actually is and it stands a better chance.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We only watched the first 45 mms and it was so bad that we gave up. A serious last resort on a long hall flight at 2am in the morning….don't bother!Published on 20 May 2014 by D.H.H
It's arrived in good condition and working fine but the only thing that I can find wrong was it took slightly longer than I would have hoped, but apart from that it was good.Published on 16 Aug. 2011 by Product reviewer