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"HAMLET 2"
(2008) (Steve Coogan, Catherine Keener) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Minor Heavy Minor Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None Heavy Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Heavy Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A down on his luck high school drama teacher writes and tries to stage a production of his musical sequel to "Hamlet."
PLOT:
Former aspiring but talentless actor Dana Marschz (STEVE COOGAN) now teaches drama at Tucson, Arizona's West Mesa High School. Married to Brie (CATHERINE KEENER) but unable to father a child with her, and having to roller skate everywhere due to having lost his drivers license in the past, he's now been forced to take in a boarder, Gary (DAVID ARQUETTE), to help make ends meet.

Things aren't much better at school. While he has two enthusiastic students in his class, Rand (SKYLAR ASTIN) and Epiphany (PHOEBE STROLE), his musical versions of popular Hollywood films such as "Erin Brockovich" are repeatedly savaged by the ninth grade drama critic, Noah Sapperstein (SHEA PEPE). And it doesn't help that he gets no support from Principal Rocker (MARSHALL BELL) who informs Dana that this year's drama program, now taught in the school cafeteria, will be the last due to budget cutbacks.

To make matters worse, his "classroom" has been taken over by a bunch of apparent troublemakers, including Octavio (JOSEPH JULIAN SORIA), Ivonne (MELONIE DIAZ), Chuy (MICHAEL ESPARZA) and Yolanda (NATALIE AMENULA) among others, who initially show no interest in what he's offering.

Yet, he perseveres, in highly dramatic fashion, and has his spirits lifted when he meets former Hollywood actress turned fertility clinic nurse Elisabeth Shue (ELISABETH SHUE). Inspired by her and Noah's earlier advice to do something original, Dana comes up with the idea to do a musical sequel to Shakespeare's "Hamlet," where a time-traveling device will get around the tricky issue of all the deaths in the original. The fact that it also contains a musical number, "Rock Me, Sexy Jesus" eventually gets the community up in arms and the production kicked off the school property.

With ACLU lawyer Cricket Feldstein (AMY POEHLER) showing up to support his freedom of speech rights, Dana and his unlikely cast forge ahead with their plans on staging their controversial musical.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teens might be interested, as might anyone who's a fan of someone in the cast.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language including sexual references, brief nudity and some drug content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • STEVE COOGAN plays a high school drama teacher who isn't any better at that than he was at acting. A recovering alcoholic and facing problems fathering a child with his wife, he must contend with arts funding cuts as well as a majority of his students being apathetic. He uses strong profanity, drinks to the point of intoxication, and ends up putting on a controversial musical where he plays the part of "sexy Jesus."
  • CATHERINE KEENER plays his wife who's unhappy that he can't get her pregnant and with Gary being their new boarder. She uses strong profanity, drinks, there's a reference that she used to deal drugs, and she ends up having an affair with Gary.
  • JOSEPH JULIAN SORIA plays a student in Dana's class who pretends to be a "gang-banger" and thus acts tough and belligerent in class, but is really a good/smart student. He uses strong profanity.
  • SKYLAR ASTIN plays Dana's star actor who initially doesn't accept his sexuality (being gay) and then gets upset when he gets pushed aside in favor of the new performers. He briefly uses strong profanity.
  • PHOEBE STROLE plays his classmate, the other teacher's pet to Dana who initially has a racist attitude toward Octavio and others, but quickly adopts a stereotypical tough girl act, including the use of strong profanity.
  • MELONIE DIAZ plays his somewhat feisty friend who's less antagonistic toward Dana and ends up being involved in the musical.
  • MICHAEL ESPARZA and NATALIE AMENULA play other unlikely students to get involved with it, with the latter being the recipient of various forms of slapstick violence. She also ends up using some brief, but strong profanity.
  • MARSHALL BELL plays the school's principal who informs Dana of the cuts in his program, and then becomes increasingly hostile toward the teacher's attempts to stage his musical. He uses some profanity.
  • DAVID ARQUETTE plays the laidback boarder who lives with Dana and Brie, and ends up having an affair with the latter.
  • ELISABETH SHUE plays herself, a former Hollywood actress turned fertility clinic nurse who befriends Dana. She uses some strong profanity.
  • AMY POEHLER plays a lawyer with the ACLU who defends Dana's right to put on his play, but could care less about the content. An apparent anti-Semite (despite being married to a Jew), she uses strong profanity and sexually related comments.
  • SHEA PEPE plays the young high school theater critic who delivers scathing reviews on Dana's work, but is the one who encourages him to do something novel.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated comedy. Profanity consists of at least 21 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue is present, as is the sight of a man's bare butt several times (and possibly his bare crotch in a split-second view). There's some kissing, an unseen sexual encounter that leads to a pregnancy, and some characters are noted as being gay.

    Comedy-based violence includes some brief tiffs, as well as slapstick style material, while that and other behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate. Various comedy-based bad attitudes are present, and some viewers might take offense with some of the film's material being played for comedy.

    Characters drink (several to the point of intoxication), one briefly smokes pot, and there are several drug references (including that a character used to be a dealer). There's brief cigarette-related content, while tense family material is also present.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some of that from lightning, while there are brief strobe effects in the musical at the end of the film.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some handheld camera footage in the film, while in one scene the camera stays locked on Dana while the background appears to spin around behind him.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Brie half-jokes to Dana that she's going back to dealing drugs. When he comments on her pushing them, she states that she was a dealer and not a pusher.
  • We see Brie with a huge and now half-empty margarita in front of her, while Gary has a beer. Brie appears to be intoxicated and states, "God, I'm getting hammered." Moments later, she states that if she had to give up alcohol, she'd kill herself.
  • There's fake beer in a rehearsal for the play.
  • Octavio and the other students drink beer, and they want Dana to join them, but the latter says that's a slippery slope that leads to hard liquor, various drugs and then "chicks with d*cks" in jail. He also says he's part of AA and hasn't had a drink in seven years. One guy then secretly spikes Dana's non-alcoholic drink with acid or something similar, and the teacher is then high from that.
  • A student says his friend's meth lab burned down.
  • Dana drinks peach schnapps from the bottle and skates while intoxicated, running into a truck and falling several times. That includes inside a liquor store where he wants strong but cheap booze, and the clerk sells him grain alcohol.
  • We hear that Dana skates everywhere due to a DUI in his past.
  • When a student asks Dana where he got "the balls" to stand up to someone, he says he's still a little drunk.
  • A guy smokes pot while watching the performance.
  • A song in the musical has characters sing that they stopped smoking weed, or at least not as much.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • While being confined in his seat by bouncers, Rocker complains and asks what if he has to use the bathroom. He then says that he'll just "piss" on their shoes.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some viewers might not like Tucson being labeled as the place where dreams go to die, etc.
  • About Noah's critique of his latest work, Dana says that every time "we get fisted by this critic," adding that he feels "like I get raped in the face" (some viewers might not like such references used for comedy).
  • Epiphany states that she gets anxious around "ethnics" (particularly regarding Octavio and his friends).
  • Octavio lies to Dana that his name is Haywood and then jokingly says "Haywood Jublowme?" ("Hey, would you blow me?"). Other students don't pay any attention to Dana as he tries to teach his class. Octavio then adds, "I could be a flaming ass-crack...wait...you're already doing that."
  • About Rand acting like a cat on the stage, one student jokingly states, "He's a p*ssy."
  • Brie doesn't like Gary, thinking he's boring, and doesn't hold in those feelings. Later, she repeats that sentiment, saying they should send him overseas where the terrorists would kill themselves from being bored by him.
  • About marrying Dana, Brie half-jokingly states (while intoxicated), "What the f*ck was I thinking?"
  • A guy tells a girl, "Shut up, you cow."
  • About needing to raise $6,000 for their play, Octavio says they could knock over a convenience store.
  • When Dana asks, "Guess what I got?" Octavio delivers the smart-aleck response, "Your head out of your ass?"
  • Rand and another actor get into a tiff, with the latter pushing Rand back and then down with his padded belly, followed by other such contact. During this, Yolanda is knocked over backwards in her chair to the floor.
  • Epiphany continues to make racist comments about Octavio and the others, saying she can't believe one of them can act. When they choose nachos over some other food option given by Dana, she states, "Figures." Rand, meanwhile, thinks they're all "gang-bangers."
  • Octavio and the other students drink beer, and they want Dana to join them, but the latter says that's a slippery slope that leads to hard liquor, various drugs and then "chicks with d*cks" in jail. He also says he's part of AA and hasn't had a drink in seven years. One guy then secretly spikes Dana's non-alcoholic drink with acid or something similar, and the teacher is then high from that.
  • About Rand's character in the play, Dana says he's not gay, but bi-curious. As a result, Rand tells him, "I hate you, you stupid fat f*cker." That's followed by a slap.
  • About Octavio's parents not wanting him to appear in his play, Dana automatically thinks they're operating from a stereotypically racist standpoint (but then learns his lesson when the student's parents are better educated than he is).
  • Upset about his role being diminished in Dana's play, Rand goes to the principal and points out that Gertrude gives Hamlet a "hand job" (the principal repeats that phrase in shock). He then tells Rocker (about Dana), "Take him down, and then take him from behind."
  • Rocker complains about the part in Dana's play where Satan kisses the President of the United States.
  • A person uses the comment "Christ in a basket."
  • Rocker tells Dana, "I'm gonna have the Tucson police department so far up your ass you're gonna wish you were a girl."
  • Despite being married to a Jew, Cricket's various comments portray her as being something of an anti-Semite. She also says that the Supreme Court can "suck my balls."
  • A person in a truck comes after Dana at night, passing once and then again, the second time hitting and knocking him to the ground with an opened door.
  • Brie informs Dana that she and Gary are now a couple and she's pregnant by him.
  • Epiphany continues with her new "gangsta" lifestyle, including driving up with what she says are stolen TVs.
  • A guy yells to a woman (while being carried out by bouncers), "Eat sh*t and die, you tramp."
  • Some viewers might not like a somber musical number about being "raped in the race" and feeling like a sexual victim, etc.
  • Some viewers may be offended by a doo-wop type musical number titled "Rock Me, Sexy Jesus" where Dana plays Jesus as a long-haired man in jeans and a tank-top who dances around the stage, including doing a "moonwalk" variation of walking on water, while he also cups his clothed crotch. Other performers sing that Jesus has lats "that make me feel gay," while Dana has the character state, "If my dad finds out what I've been up to, He's gonna crucify me."
  • Some viewers might like a joke on the film's part where Rocker admits that he was molested as a child.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • A person in a truck comes after Dana at night, passing once and then again, the second time hitting and knocking him to the ground with an opened door.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Dana acts out shooting himself in the mouth with a gun (his hand/fingers standing in for the latter).
  • Comments are made about "toasters" (guns).
  • There's a faux light saber fight during the musical.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Hey you f*cking bastards," "For f*ck's sake," "What the f*ck was I thinking?" "F*cking celebrity," "What is your f*cking problem?" "Great f*cking art," "I hate you, you stupid fat f*cker," "Tough t*tties you ass turd monkey m*therf*cker" (or something along those lines), "Don't f*ck with me, homey, I'll cut you," "Absa-f*cking-lutely," "You act like a f*cking p*ssy," "Get the f*ck out of my face," "F*ck yeah," "Holy f*ck," "You fire f*cker," "For f*ck's sake," "Sh*t-sack city," "That's some racist sh*t," "Any of that sh*t ring a bell?" "Are you sh*tting me?" "We got sh*t to do," "Oh sh*t," "Steaming piles of sh*t," "Eat sh*t and die you tramp," "We get fisted by this critic," "I feel like I get raped in the face," "He's a p*ssy," "Chicks with d*cks," "Hand job," "I'm gonna have the Tucson police department so far up your ass you're gonna wish you were a girl," "Can suck my balls," "I'm such a d*ck," "You grazed my boob," "A real set of low-hangers" (testicles), "Bitch slapped like a cheap hooker at a gang-bang" (or something close to that), "Can suck a bag of d*cks," "Kick-ass," "Hope I'm not freaking you out," "I could be a flaming ass-crack...wait...you're already doing that," "I'd love to see your Bottom" (about a Shakespearean character with that name), "God, I'm getting hammered," "Shut up, you cow," "God-awful crap," "Where the fark have you been?" "I'm freaking out," "Toaster" (gun), "What if it sucks?" "That's the plan, Stan," "Guess what I got?" (followed by "Your head out of your ass?"), "Bitch" (man), "It was gangster," "G*ddamn macho bastards," "What the hockey puck do you know?" "My ass," "Steaming piles of crap," "Christ in a basket," "Hope is a demon bitch," "I'm pretty F-ing excited" (said just like that), "Racist bitch," "A huge dumb ass," "Get away from me you devil bitches," "Crazy ass," "Your sorry ass," "Kick Satan's ass" and "If my dad finds out what I've been up to, He's gonna crucify me."
  • Some kids might be inspired to put on their own, irreverent play/musical.
  • We see a bare midriff.
  • Octavio lies to Dana that his name is Haywood and then jokingly says "Haywood Jublowme?" Much later, Dana repeats that, but then realizes it sounds like "Hey, would you blow me?"
  • Dana tells Octavio, "I'd like to see your Bottom" (but is referring to a Shakespeare character with that name, while everyone else believes the comment is sexually related).
  • Dana acts out shooting himself in the mouth with a gun (his hand/fingers standing in for the latter).
  • Dana's hand accidentally gets stuck in a gym door, resulting in him later being seen with a splint on his middle finger (the visual joke being that it appears he's giving "the finger").
  • We see miscellaneous graffiti.
  • Chuy picks the lock on a closed gym door.
  • Gary has a tattoo on his arm.
  • Epiphany continues with her new "gangsta" lifestyle, including driving up with what she says are stolen TVs.
  • During a musical number, Dana plays Jesus who cups his own clothed crotch.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • We see Dana and Brie at the fertility clinic where he sings her an impromptu song, asking if he's shooting blanks, that he'd like to splash her with his hot butter spackle (or something like that) and that he wants her to wrap her lips around his "tackle."
  • A musical number has lyrics about being "raped in the race" and feeling like a sexual victim, etc.
  • A musical number has the repeated lyrics "Rock me, sexy Jesus," a line that Jesus has lats "that make me feel gay" and repeated uses of "Kicks Satan's ass."
  • A song in the musical has characters sing that they stopped smoking weed, or at least not as much.
  • A song uses the word "damn" in it.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 21 "f" words (1 used with "mother" and 1 said as "F-ing"), 13 "s" words, 4 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck[s]" and "tackle"), 3 using female ones ("p*ssy"), 2 for breasts ("t*tties" and "boobs"), 15 asses, 1 crap, 1 damn, 1 hell, 7 uses of "Oh my God," 2 each of "God," "G-damn" and "Swear to God" and 1 use each of "Christ," "Jesus Christ," "Oh God" and "Oh Jesus."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see part of a herpes medication commercial starring Dana where he plays a character with a herpes outbreak, but tells the viewer that they wouldn't know it.
  • About Noah's critique of his latest work, Dana says that every trimester "we get fisted by this critic," adding that he feels "like I get raped in the face."
  • We see Dana in a t-shirt and briefs.
  • We see miscellaneous cleavage.
  • Octavio lies to Dana that his name is Haywood and then jokingly says "Haywood Jublowme?" Much later, Dana repeats that, but then realizes it sounds like "Hey, would you blow me?"
  • Dana tells Octavio, "I'd like to see your Bottom" (but is referring to a Shakespeare character with that name, while everyone else believes the comment is sexually related).
  • Brie publically reminds Dana that he has an appointment with the sperm doctor, adding that if he's "shooting blanks," she'll stab him to death in his sleep. She then says he needs to let his "balls" breathe. We later see him wearing a caftan or something similar, and when he does a kick in that, we might see a fleeting image of his crotch area (the students certainly see that).
  • We see Dana and Brie at the fertility clinic where he sings her an impromptu song, asking if he's shooting blanks, that he'd like to splash her with his hot butter spackle (or something like that) and that he wants her to wrap her lips around his "tackle."
  • We see Dana wearing a shirt, but no pants, and thus see most of his bare butt.
  • Brie reads the first part of Dana's Hamlet 2 play where the characters from Hamlet as well as Hilary Clinton all assemble to have group sex.
  • Dana playfully taps Rand on the face with a long balloon (non-sexually), and Rand enjoys it (with the joke being it's a phallic image).
  • Octavio and the other students drink beer, and they want Dana to join them, but the latter says that's a slippery slope that leads to hard liquor, various drugs and then "chicks with d*cks" in jail.
  • After his non-alcoholic drink is spiked with the drug acid (or something similar), the police wake up Dana the next morning, passed out face down on a junked sofa outdoors, wearing a shirt but no pants (we see his bare butt).
  • About Rand's character in the play, Dana says he's not gay, but bi-curious.
  • Upset about his role being diminished in Dana's play, Rand goes to the principal and points out that Gertrude gives Hamlet a "hand job" (the principal repeats that phrase in shock). He then tells Rocker (about Dana), "Take him down, and then take him from behind."
  • Ivonne shows cleavage in several scenes.
  • Elisabeth states that the one thing she misses about acting is kissing the actors.
  • Some of the high school girls shake their clothed chests while doing some dance practicing for the play.
  • There's a comment that part of the musical set is to be used for the porno theater locale, among others.
  • Rocker tells Dana, "I'm gonna have the Tucson police department so far up your ass you're gonna wish you were a girl."
  • Brie informs Dana that she and Gary are now a couple and she's pregnant by him.
  • Rand finally admits that he's comfortable with his sexuality (being gay).
  • During a musical number, Dana plays Jesus who cups his own clothed crotch, while another character states that Jesus has lats "that make me feel gay."
  • Epiphany passionately kisses Octavio and gets on top of him (both are clothed) while performing in the musical.
  • Cricket complains that a fireman grazed her "boob" in passing.
  • Someone comments that Dana must have a "real set of low-hangers" (testicles), and Elisabeth (now apparently his girlfriend or lover) confirms that he does. The two then do some exaggerated, open mouth French kissing (we see their tongues).
  • Cricket makes some comparative comment about being "bitch slapped like a cheap hooker at a gang bang." She also says that someone can "suck a bag of d*cks."
  • SMOKING
  • During the musical, Dana as Jesus takes an unlit cigarette away from another character and makes it disappear.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • About marrying Dana, Brie half-jokingly states (while intoxicated), "What the f*ck was I thinking?" She also isn't happy abut his inability to get her pregnant, and publically reminds Dana that he has an appointment with the sperm doctor, adding that if he's "shooting blanks," she'll stab him to death in his sleep.
  • Dana has unresolved father issues with his dead dad.
  • Brie informs Dana that she and Gary are now a couple, that she's pregnant by him, and that she's moving out.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • High school drama and those who teach such classes.
  • Epiphany states that she gets anxious around "ethnics" (particularly regarding Octavio and his friends).
  • School arts funding.
  • Infertility.
  • Irreverent humor.
  • Dana has unresolved father issues with his dead dad.
  • Dana's belief that everybody (including fictional characters) deserves a second chance.
  • Two musical numbers are sung by the Gay Men's Chorus of Tucson.
  • Epiphany continues with her new "gangsta" lifestyle, including driving up with what she says are stolen TVs.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see footage from Dana's bit part in a warrior princess episode where he's impaled in the bottom by the horn on a wooden unicorn (we don't see the impact).
  • Dana falls while in-line skating, and then does so again.
  • Dana kicks a trashcan that accidentally hits Yolanda on the head, downing her (played for laughs).
  • After Dana urges him to do so, Octavio punches Dana in the gut, doubling him over.
  • Rand and another actor get into a tiff, with the latter pushing Rand back and then down with his padded belly, followed by other such contact. During this, Yolanda is knocked over backwards in her chair to the floor.
  • About Rand's character in the play, Dana says he's not gay, but bi-curious. As a result, Rand tells him, "I hate you, you stupid fat f*cker." That's followed by a slap.
  • A volleyball accidentally hits Dana on the head.
  • Dana's hand accidentally gets stuck in a gym door, resulting in him later being seen with a splint on his middle finger (the visual joke being that it appears he's giving "the finger").
  • A student in some fly rigging accidentally slams into the wall (played for comedy).
  • A person in a truck comes after Dana at night, passing once and then again, the second time hitting and knocking him to the ground with an opened door.
  • Some bouncers physically escort Rocker away and then into a seat to watch the performance.
  • There's a faux light saber fight during the musical.
  • Cricket is accidentally knocked down.



  • Reviewed August 21, 2008 / Posted August 27, 2008

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