Monday, August 25, 2008

Let's Discuss My Weird Mistrust of Hamlet 2


So Hamlet 2 opens this Friday, not that you'd know it from reading this blog. I've been keeping mum on it, which is weird, considering this kind of indie comedy would seem right up my alley. But am I the only one feeling oversold on this? All the TV promos promising that it's the next indie comedy sensation -- the "next Napoleon Dynamite" line was a real eyebrow-raiser -- and the breathlessness with which they're trying to make this "Rock Me Sexy Jesus" thing happen...I don't know. And God help me, Amy Poehler doesn't even look that great.

The overt branding of indie films tends to bug people more than the overt branding of major studio movies. Juno caught a hell of a lot of flack for trying to be the "next Little Miss Sunshine" -- Fox Searchlight as a whole tends to market this way. That stuff usually doesn't bother me. Weird that the Hamlet 2 stuff does. It has to the song, I bet. Marketing a movie is one thing, but it's when you get to pushing a character or a song, telling us how much of a sensation it's going to be, that's when my shields come up.

I mean, I'm still going to see it. Catherine Keener looks like she's having a lot of fun, and I'm curious to see what becomes of this Elisabeth-Shue-as-herself thing. But, I don't know, I'm guarding against disappointment, I guess. And if I DO end up liking it, then god damn the marketing for making the movie seem desperate and overcompensating.

Anyway, am I alone on this?

ETA: And now, with utterly divergent opinions on the movie, I am more confused than ever.

8 comments:

pvt. awesome said...

Thank you, Joe. I've totally been feeling the same way about Hamlet 2. When I first saw the trailer, I thought it might be fun. But just yesterday I was all, "Why do I keep hearing that 'Rock Me Sexy Jesus' song? This movie is trying too hard!"

Linda said...

Dude, I didn't even think of considering my deep mistrust of Hamlet 2 "weird" until you did.

Val said...

I completely agree. I had free tix to an advanced screening and when it turned out the place was packed (as in, front row open only - ick) we bailed.

Apparently mix one part loathing of the front row plus two parts fear of the movie stinking and ruining my happy day and you get a cocktail not better than the one to which we eventually headed.

Allison said...

I feel you on all of it. Just put the movie out, Fox. Don't try to make me EAT it.

Part of it is that "[fill in] Jesus" is played out as a punchline. Wow. Forgive me, Lord -- I'm not saying YOU are played out... Amen.

I just feel like it's a cheap joke. The whole concept of there being a musical sequel to Hamlet is almost funny enough. Plus, as you say, touting yourself as "indie" in a large-scale national marketing campaign is about the most non-indie thing you can do.

OleNelson said...

Agreed. I was VERY excited about this one back when I heard the title and basic details. But everything since then (aside from learning of the Elizabeth Shue thing) has been a steady decline. Now, I probably won't see it until DVD.

Actually, the trajectory is very similar as with Snakes on a Plane back in the day.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Anybody who thinks they will like this needs to get a hand on Summer Heights High, a tv series from which Hamlet 2 shares more than a few similarities. The difference being that Chris Lilley is a comic genius and Steve Coogan is about as funny as a lead boot to the arse.

Linda said...

Yeah, when Allison mentioned the Jesus thing, it reminded me -- what I haven't liked about the trailers is that they seem to be doing divergent jokes. "Hamlet 2" is a funny joke; stick with that. But then they seem to have decided that the "Rock Me Sexy Jesus" (which has nothing obvious to do with anything Hamletty) would be their lead joke, and so it's really hard to get a sense of what the comedy is. It's a good concept, but it makes me think they have no actual good "Hamlet 2" jokes if they have to go to a "pissing off religious people" gag, you know?

Latimer's Domain said...

I actually commented on this one today after I caught it. Trust me, Joe, it's not just you. Check it out...