In this irreverent comedy, a failed actor-turned-worse-high-school-drama-teacher rallies his Tucson, AZ students as he conceives and stages politically incorrect musical sequel to Shakespeare's Hamlet.
The new season of "American Dreamz," the wildly popular television singing contest, has captured the country's attention, as the competition looks to be between a young Midwestern gal (Moore) and a showtunes-loving young man from Orange County (Golzari). Recently awakened President Staton (Quaid) even wants in on the craze, as he signs up for the potential explosive season finale.
Beca, a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school's all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition.
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Dana Marschz is a failed actor and recovering alcoholic who's moved to Tucson to teach high school drama, where he's plagued by bad reviews, student indifference, budget woes (he and his wife, who is trying to get pregnant, take in a boarder), and his own teaching limitations. Because the other electives are closed, he finds himself with a large class of seeming gang-bangers, and the principal informs him that drama will be cut next trimester. On the advice of a student reviewer, Dana decides to stage his own play, a sequel to "Hamlet" in which the prince and Jesus, with the use of a time machine, try to save Gertrude and Ophelia. Can Dana for once pull something off? Written by
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[to the class, about Elizabeth Shue]
Oh, come on you guys. Could you not even Google her? The Karate Kid, the Crane, Wax on-Wax off, Soapdish, Dreamer with the fucking horse. Any of that shit ring a bell?
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Hamlet 2 despite the title is not a sequel to William Shakespeare's famous play, or the many film versions based on the play. Instead, Hamlet 2 is a comedy about a very unorthodox drama teacher named Dana Marschz, who after never being able to become a successful actor himself, has later had to settle for being a high school drama teacher. With two dedicated returning drama students and a class full of new faces, who do not really care about acting, Dana is inspired to write a sequel to William Shakespeare's Hamlet and get the class motivated and to perform it. Along the way, the somewhat controversial subject matter of the new play gets Dana a lot of publicity, but he insists that the show must go on. Hamlet 2 is a pretty good satire of the inspirational teacher films that have been big for the last twenty years, or so, and it was kind of a refreshing change to have a film with those elements in it, but also lampooning it and getting as satirical and far fetched with it as they can possibly go. The film also gets the actors involved to act really badly to add camp to this film and further emphasize the satirical nature of it. All the actors are playing B movie versions of themselves, but they still do a really good job of it. Hamlet 2 is a smaller scale film and unfortunately will probably not do as well as some of this summer's other comedies, but for those who were lucky enough to have a theatre near them playing it, I would highly recommend it. Like a lot of independent comedies of recent years, Hamlet 2 is very quirky, offbeat and different. I think that is what I liked so much about it. I do admit that there were some pretty good mainstream comedies that have come out this summer, but the originality and the fact that this film was so over the top, but in a purely entertaining and goofy way I think I may have had just as much fun watching this film as some of the other really good films of this year. There are also some catchy and very humorous musical numbers in the film as well plus a cameo which I will not give away, but is actually written quite brilliantly. I realize that there is some material in this film that some people may find offensive, or consider debatable content, but I personally was not offended by it at all. I don't think that the things it poked fun at were ever done in a really nasty, or disrespectful way. I myself thought that yes some things were being parodied, but in almost such an innocent way (it may not seem so, but believe me it's true) that I found it really hard to be offended by this film at all. I really appreciated the offbeat and quirky humour of the film, the overacting that suited the film just fine and the catchy musical numbers which I didn't find offensive for the same reasons as I stated above. This film may be a bit too different for some people's tastes, but like a rare, or exotic food it will find an audience that will appreciate it for what it is and this was certainly the case for me. One of the most entertaining, original and best comedies of the year so far.
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