Posts Tagged ‘review

10
Mar
08

Leonid Rozhetskin: delayed news from Sundance!

Quint dances along with Steve Coogan’s Sexy Jesus in HAMLET 2 at Sundance!

March 5th, 2008 From Ain’t it Cool News

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here finally catching up on my Sundance coverage. In the last month I’ve seen somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-60 films theatrically and another half dozen screeners to add onto that pile.

Of all those movies only about a fifth were damn good and of those only a handful that are what I’d call fuckin’ good or better.

HAMLET 2 made the cut.

Steve Coogan. If that name puts a smile on your face, then get in line now. This is Coogan at his finest. If his name got a “Huh?” response, then that’s okay, too. You’ll be a new fan of his once Hamlet 2 hits and then, I’m sure, you’ll dive into the hilarious world of Alan Partridge.

While Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost broke over here Mr. Coogan was biding his time.

In HAMLET 2, Coogan plays an Arizona drama teacher. In his mind he’s a great actor and in the opening moments of the movie we’re treated to his highlight reel, which consists of bit parts on infomercials and speaking roles in STD treatment commercials.

He gets paid next to nothing, his wife (played by Catherine Keener) is always bitchy to him (she married him and waited for his bit acting career that never came), he’s got a live-in hanger-on (played almost silently by David Arquette) and he’s struggling in a school system that doesn’t value the arts. His classroom has been moved into the cafeteria where his lectures have to compete with the lunch ladies noisily cooking.

In short, his life’s a mess, but he still has a hopeful smile on his face, an almost childlike optimism.

In his new year of teaching he is given a class of delinquents. The irony is not lost on him or the movie as he studies films like DANGEROUS MINDS in order to learn how to make the transition from his pure white-bread theater snob class to a multi-cultural class just trying to get an easy A.

This same year, he finds out that the school has finally cancelled theater and that situation brings the class together to achieve Coogan’s game plan: He’s going to put on a play that is so popular, so good, that the school board will be forced to reinstate the class.

In the past, Coogan’s plays all consisted of stage remakes of popular movies. We’re treated to a glimpse at one of his previous works, a stage version of ERIN BROKOVICH. He has a heated conversation with his biggest critic, the high school newspaper’s entertainment reviewer (a child no older than 12). He asks this kid why he always gets a negative review. The kid simply states that his shows suck. Of course, Coogan breaks down and the kid has to console him and gives him a piece of advice. Do your own thing, don’t just copy everybody else.

With that in mind, Coogan is inspired to create his masterpiece… HAMLET 2. But… everybody dies at the end of Hamlet, right? Aha! Well, that’s where the time machine comes in.

Seriously, the final version that ends up onstage is something they should tour with. You have time travel, historical figures coming in to change the events of the first HAMLET and a dance number involving Christ called SEXY JESUS.

And yes, his main inspiration to sequelize HAMLET is that he thought Shakespeare’s original was too much of a bummer and he wanted a chance to make it happier. He takes the tragedy out of HAMLET, essentially.

I can’t write this up without mentioning a particular actress. One of the secondary stories is the difficulty Keener and Coogan are having conceiving a child. So they go to a sperm bank and while they’re waiting, Coogan bumps into a cute nurse, played by Elisabeth Shue. His mouth hangs open and he says, “Excuse… but you look exactly like my favorite actress Elisabeth Shue.” She smiles and says, “I am Elisabeth Shue.”

And so it goes. She quit acting and became a sperm bank nurse in Arizona… and she’s not a throwaway joke. She is a real character in the movie, playing herself, and boy does she still have it. I’ve had a crush on her since my childhood viewings of ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING and KARATE KID. She’s looking great and is as charming as she’s ever been.

The script was whip-smart, as should be expected from Pam Brady. She works with Trey Parker and Matt Stone a lot on South Park, the South Park movie as well as TEAM AMERICA. She doesn’t disappoint here.

The flick just finished filming in November, so the cut we saw in January I’m sure is still rough. There was a little drag in the middle, but I’m sure they’ll tighten the film a bit before release. Even if they don’t, it’s already hilarious.

It was the biggest pick-up at Sundance, with Focus Features dishing a reported $10 million for it, so you know you’ll see a big release. This’ll be one Sundance movie I”m sure will be at a theater near you no matter where near you is.

Anyway, that’s it for HAMLET 2. Still more Sundance/Santa Barbara flicks to go through before I’m done. Keep an eye peeled, squirts!

Leonid Rozhetskin via Wikipedia 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonid_Rozhetskin 

Leonid Rozhetskin`s Homepage 

http://leonidrozhetskin.net/ 

Continue reading ‘Leonid Rozhetskin: delayed news from Sundance!’

17
Feb
08

Leonid Rozhetskin is doing the “Electris Slide” via NY Times

Leonid Rozhetskin is doing the Electric Slide

and I am not talking about the dance, but the freshly announced Movie.
Check it out
Director: Tristan Patterson
Cast: Romain Duris
Rating: NR

Review Summary

Biopic on charmer, Eddie Dodson, who ran a Melrose art deco store owner as a cover for his exploits as a bankrobber. In 1984, Dodson robbed 64 banks in less than a year. Arrested, Dodson served a 12-year sentence and once released, went on to work as caretaker for Jack Nicholson’s Malibu home. Eventually, though, Dodson was again arrested in 1999 for bank robbery and died at the age of 54 due to a failed liver. ~ Baseline StudioSystems

Movie Details

Title: The Electric Slide
Status: Announced
Country: United States
Genre: Drama, Crime, Biopic

Acting Credits & Production Credits

 
DirectorTristan Patterson
Source MaterialTimothy Ford
ScreenplayTristan Patterson
Executive ProducerJohn Wells
Executive Producer – Timothy Ford
Production Executive – Christine Vachon
Producer – Eric D. Eisner
Producer – Leonid Rozhetskin

 

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13
Feb
08

Leonid Rozhetskin; Hamlet2 via Reuters

“Hamlet 2” sends up suburbia in rowdy fashion

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Hamlet 2

By Duane Byrge

PARK CITY, Utah (Hollywood Reporter) – If art-house theatres still do weekend midnight showings where everyone dresses up as characters from the film, “Hamlet 2” would be a fitting selection. An erratic, freewheeling satire of Middle American mores, it should thrive as a festival curio, appealing to anti-establishment sensibilities.

The film’s marketers will face a challenge inducing the word-snobs of the smart set to slum with slapstick entertainment. Still, there’s enough rowdy and off-the-wall humour in “Hamlet 2” to perform princely at the box-office, particularly in college-city venues.

A slam-bang patchwork of more inspired comedies, such as “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” and “Borat,” “Hamlet 2” centres on Dana Marschz (Steve Coogan), who attempts to teach drama in a Tucson, Arizona, high school. With delusions that he is soaring to great heights like Icarus, this doofus presents high school plays based on his favourite movies, including “Dead Poets Society” and “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” which appeal to his inflated ego but leave his charges flat. His productions are major fiascos, rightfully skewered by a ninth-grade drama critic.

In one of the movie’s many funny lines, Marschz admits that his life is like a parody of tragedy: He’s infertile, his wife is having an affair with their roommate, he has father issues, and he’s a recovering alcoholic. Not to mention, he’s talent-less.

Dramatically, “Hamlet 2” is a twist on the formula of let’s-put-on-a-show, with the twist being that no one wants the show, least of all the administration, which has chopped the school’s art funds. Even arts-funding advocates would notice that Marschz’s grandiose piffles are a major waste. As such, the film unwittingly makes a case for slashing funds for the arts. Lo, and unfortunately we behold, Marschz does smite the school board Philistines (not exactly a difficult target) with a last-ditch rally and a from-the-rafters opus.

Unlike Ace Ventura, Inspector Clouseau or other lovable loonies, Marschz is merely a knucklehead errant. He’s a creep, but he’s nicely endeared to us by Coogan’s funny, fey performance. Among the players, Elisabeth Shue delivers a winning rendition of herself; her appearance as a Tucson nurse who has rejected her show business career is one of the film’s best absurdities. Similarly, Amy Poehler is hilarious as a WASP-y, anti-Semitic ACLU lawyer.

Screenwriters Andrew Fleming and Pam Brady have slapped together a string of gags in a hit-and-miss dither. Some of it is quite brainy. There’s an appealing anarchic tone and anti-authority bent as well. There also are zany surrealistic moments and a devilish eye for incongruity, especially a rousing rendition of Elton John’s “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” as belted out by the Tucson Gay Chorus for the boondocks high school audience.

Director Fleming blasts the production along with keen comic pacing, which performs double duty in masking some of the more dim-witted moments.

Technically, “Hamlet 2” is distinguished by production designer Tony Fanning’s sendup of Southwestern suburbia.

Cast:

Dana Marschz: Steve Coogan

Brie Marschz: Catherine Keener

Herself: Elisabeth Shue

Cricket Feldstein: Amy Poehler

Gary: David Arquette

Principal Rocker: Marshall Bell

Octavio: Joseph Julian Soria

Rand Posin: Skylar Astin

Director: Andrew Fleming; Screenwriters: Andrew Fleming, Pam Brady; Producers: Eric Eisner, Leonid Rozhetskin, Aaron Ryder; Executive producers: Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa, Michael Flynn; Director of photography: Alexander Gruszynski; Editor: Jeff Freeman; Production designer: Tony Fanning; Music: Ralph Sall.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

Leonid Rozhetskin External links

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13
Feb
08

Leonid Rozhetskins Hamlet 2 on Wikipedia

Everything needs a Wiki Entry, here goes Hamlet 2:

Hamlet 2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hamlet 2
Produced by Eric Eisner
Leonid Rozhetskin
Aaron Ryder
Written by Andrew Fleming
Pam Brady
Starring Steve Coogan
Catherine Keener
Amy Poehler
David Arquette
Music by Ralph Sall
Cinematography Alexander Gruszynski
Editing by Jeff Freeman
Distributed by Focus Features
Release date(s) TBA
Country United States
Language English
Budget $9 million
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Hamlet 2 is an upcoming comedy film directed by Andrew Fleming and starring Steve Coogan, Catherine Keener, Amy Poehler, and David Arquette. It was filmed primarily at a high school in New Mexico from September 2007 to October 2007. The film premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and will be distributed by Focus Features. A release date has yet to be announced.

 

Contents

[hide]

//

[edit] Premise

A high school is removing its drama department, but a drama teacher (Coogan) writes a sequel to the Shakespeare play Hamlet to save the department.[1]

[edit] Production

Screenwriters Andrew Fleming and Pam Brady began writing the script in 2003, but they incorporated the Shakespeare play Hamlet into the premise later on. The play shown within the film was written on deadline for production.[2] The film was budgeted at a little over $9 million.[3] Production began in September 2007 in New Mexico.[4] Filming took place mainly at West Mesa High School in Albuquerque, where actual students were permitted to perform as extras in the film.[5] Filming concluded on Halloween, October 31, 2007.[6] The film was executive produced by Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, who also produced Little Miss Sunshine.[3]

[edit] Cast

[edit] Release

A rough edit of Hamlet 2 was prepared for the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, where it was a late addition, three days before its scheduled screening.[3] The film premiered at the festival on January 21, 2008. After the screening, an all-night bidding war took place for rights to distribution, which Focus Features won for $10 million, acquiring worldwide rights to the film.[1] The purchase of Hamlet 2 nearly broke the Sundance Film Festival record set by Little Miss Sunshine, which sold for $10.5 million in 2006.[3]

[edit] Critical reaction

Duane Byrge of The Hollywood Reporter described Hamlet 2 as “a slam-bang patchwork of more inspired comedies, such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Borat“. Byrge described the premise as “a twist on the formula of let’s-put-on-a-show, with the twist being that no one wants the show”. He thought that the screenwriters had put together “a string of gags in a hit-and-miss dither”.[8]

Edward Douglas of ComingSoon.net described Hamlet 2 as “outrageously funny but it does require a certain type of sense of humor and the ability to laugh at very odd behavior and situations”. Douglas thought that Coogan played his character over-the-top, but found that through the film, “you really start to love him”. He described the premise as “ludricous” but said, “Sometimes, you just have to turn off your brain and allow yourself to laugh.”[9]

The New York Times noted of the film, “It made sure to take shots at Christians, gays, Latinos, Jews, the American Civil Liberties Union and Elisabeth Shue, one of its lead actresses.”[2]

[edit] References

 

  1. ^ a b c d e f Anne Thompson. “Focus Features acquires ‘Hamlet 2’“, Variety, 200801-22. Retrieved on 200801-24.
  2. ^ a b David M. Halbfinger. “Done Deals Finally Start To Appear At Sundance”, The New York Times, 200801-23.
  3. ^ a b c d Lauren A.E. Schuker. “Comic ‘Hamlet 2’ Finally Gets Sales Going at Sundance”, Wall Street Journal, 200801-23.
  4. ^ Francesca Martin. “Great Danes go head to head”, The Guardian, 200709-12.
  5. ^ Megan Martin. “Students learn about making movies from an on-the-set perspective”, Albuquerque Journal, 200711-06.
  6. ^ Dan Mayfield. “N.M. movies make Sundance cut”, Albuquerque Journal, 200801-11.
  7. ^ a b Gregg Goldstein. “‘Hamlet 2’ to be among New Frontiers“, The Hollywood Reporter, 200712-20. Retrieved on 200801-24.
  8. ^ Duane Byrge. ““Hamlet 2” sends up suburbia in rowdy fashion“, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters, 200801-23. Retrieved on 200801-24.
  9. ^ Edward Douglas. “Reviews: The Great Buck Howard & Hamlet 2“, ComingSoon.net, 200801-23. Retrieved on 200801-24.

[edit] External links

Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamlet_2

 

30
Jan
08

Leonid Rozhetskin; Party For Sundance Success

Party For Sundance Success

Filed Under , , , ,

 

 

FORMER Disney chief Michael Eisner‘s son, Eric, has done good. Eric and his partner in L+E Productions, Leonid Rozhetskin, just sold their first film, “Hamlet 2,” at Sundance to Focus Features for a whopping $10 million. The duo celebrated over the weekend with the cast, including Steve Coogan, whom Courtney Love notoriously accused of being Owen Wilson‘s drug buddy last year. Coogan arrived with his new girlfriend, China Chow, and the two hung out with another odd couple: author Jonathan Ames and his new lady friend, singer Fiona Apple. Also on hand was Eric’s girlfriend, alice+olivia designer Stacey Bendet, who just bought a house with her pal Moby in the Hollywood Hills, to be closer to her West Coast-based beau. Bendet will now be splitting her time between Los Angeles and New York – where she is unveiling her collection on Feb. 7 at her West 40th Street showroom.

 

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29
Jan
08

Interview with the Cast of Leonid Rozhetskins co-produced Hamlet2

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Via Entertaiment Weekly

 

Sundance Q&A: The Cast of ”Hamlet 2

Steve Coogan, Elisabeth Shue, and David Arquette talk about their high-school-set comedy, likely to remain the fest’s biggest acquisition

 

 

 

STEVE COOGAN (left, with Catherine Keener) on Hamlet 2: ”Ours is a film that makes you laugh. It’s not a film that makes you think. But if you want to think, you can”

By the eighth day of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, director Andrew Fleming’s comedy Hamlet 2 remained the biggest acquisition, selling to Focus Features for $10 million. The comedy revolves around a high-school drama teacher (Steve Coogan) who stages a sequel to Shakespeare’s play in order to save his department from budget cuts.

On the afternoon before the film’s premiere, EW.com chatted with Coogan and his fellow cast members David Arquette and Elisabeth Shue at EW’s photo studio. (Sadly, Hamlet 2 costar Catherine Keener did not make the trip to Sundance this year.)

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Are you excited for tonight’s premiere?
DAVID ARQUETTE: I haven’t seen it yet, so I’m nervous. It seems like people have been enjoying it, though.

And you play…?
ARQUETTE: I play Gary. I’m the guy who lives at [Steve Coogan and Catherine Keener’s] house. They only let me live there because I have a car. They don’t have a car. I drive them everywhere. I think I’m supposed to be a trainer in it. I’m very fitness-oriented, but I don’t have any actual clients. I have a small part. I only have about 10 lines in it. And I think one of my scenes got cut, too. I was sad. I play a dumb guy in it. Which I tend to do well.

Well, you’re playing against type.
ARQUETTE: I hope so. [Laughs] Or maybe I’m just dumb.

[Arquette gets called to get his picture taken. Elisabeth Shue steps up.]

Hello. Are you enjoying Sundance?
ELISABETH SHUE: It’s really fun to be back. The most moving time I’ve had at Sundance was two years ago because Davis [Guggenheim, Shue’s husband] premiered An Inconvenient Truth [which he directed] here. That will go down as the most meaningful trip to Sundance. I remember the first screening of An Inconvenient Truth, they gave it a standing ovation. I was crying so much. It still makes me cry thinking of it.

It’ll be hard to measure up to that ever again.
SHUE: I know, it’ll never measure up to that, but it doesn’t have to. I love this movie, actually. It’s really funny. Unique and different. And I just think Steve is a brilliant comedian. I want to do another comedy — and with him. [She points to Coogan, who’s been sitting nearby, ostensibly minding his own business.] I want him to write me a movie where we can be lovers. [Laughs]

[To Coogan] Would you like to join our conversation?
SHUE: Don’t you think he’s hot?

He’s not bad.
STEVE COOGAN: I’m not too pale for a Brit.
SHUE: With his new haircut! He’s got really funny hair in the movie.
COOGAN: It’s kind of ’80s: long, wavy. I had this long, fair hair. It was dyed and bleached and straightened. And then it got so brittle I just had to get rid of it all.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: [To Shue] How did you like working with the great Steve Coogan?
ELISABETH SHUE: Ah…. It was really incredible. It’s so easy.
STEVE COOGAN: We had great chemistry.
SHUE: We did.
COOGAN: We still have great chemistry.
SHUE: I want him.
COOGAN: I want her.

Well, don’t let me stand in the way. [To Coogan] So, what about working with the wonderful Elisabeth Shue?
COOGAN: It was tremendous and stupendous and chemically…
SHUE: Destabilizing.
COOGAN: Destabilizing!
SHUE: He plays this has-been actor whose most important role was being in the background of a herpes commercial.
COOGAN: I was in the foreground of a herpes commercial! The herpes commercial was all about me. And I’ve had a cold sore in real life. Carry on.
SHUE: And then, I play myself, Elisabeth Shue. I’ve quit the business and I’ve gone to Tucson, Ariz., to become a nurse. He comes into the fertility clinic where I work and he’s so excited to see me, because he’s a great lover of film and he thinks I’m just so wonderful.
COOGAN: I’m obsessed with Elisabeth Shue. I metaphorically and literally kiss her ass. And I invite her to my school to give a talk. It’s very exciting. She says some very explicit things. I won’t tell you what they are. But they’re shocking for fans of Elisabeth Shue.

You play yourself — or a version of yourself?
SHUE: It was definitely a version of myself. The first day, I was really self-conscious and nervous because I didn’t know anybody. There were no rehearsals so I just showed up and started shooting. But Steve made me feel comfortable because he was so excited to see me in the scene that it just made me laugh every single time. [She laughs just talking about it] I felt like I understood the version I was supposed to play once he started to react to me.

[To Coogan] And your character — was he fun to play?
COOGAN: Yeah, it was a lot of fun. I play kind of a heroic fool whose heart’s in the right place, but he’s a bit of a jackass and he tries to save the drama department at his school by writing a sequel to Hamlet.
SHUE: It’s a musical!
COOGAN: It’s a happy version. He figures that the original HamletHamlet 1 — it’s a bit depressing when everyone dies at the end. So he wants he want to do a more uplifting, positive, Hollywood version.
SHUE: Jesus is in it. He comes in a time machine.
COOGAN: Jesus Christ. And Albert Einstein. He travels through time and meets a bunch of people.

Wow, so it’s like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure?
COOGAN: It is like that, except that…it doesn’t star Keanu Reeves.

How does it feel to be at Sundance with a comedy?
COOGAN: Great. [At film festivals, there tends to be a lot of] interesting, quirky, odd, individualistic, kind of esoteric films that make you sad. Ours is a film that makes you laugh. It’s not a film that makes you think. But if you want to think, you can. It’s a kind of optional-thinking movie. You don’t have to think too much.
SHUE: Not at all.
COOGAN: Not at all, actually

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25
Jan
08

Leonid Rozhetskin via BuzzCheck

Sundance BuzzCheck™:

The festival’s top seller, ‘Hamlet 2′

Jan 23, 2008, 07:48 PM | by Pop Watch

Categories: Sundance Film Festival 2008

Cooganhamlet2_l To sell or not to sell? That has been the question dogging every fledgling filmmaker at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where sales have been remarkably slow. But it wasn’t a concern for the producers of Hamlet 2 — the bizarro comic farce about an about an eccentric high school drama teacher (Steve Coogan, pictured) who tries to save his drama program and his marriage to his fed-up wife (Catherine Keener) with his production of a sequel to Shakespeare’s masterwork. Their quandary was more about how much to sell their movie for, and to whom.

The raucous comedy had been the subject of tremendous buzz coming into Sundance…before it was even completed, and without a mere mention in the event’s catalogue. Indeed, the unfinished film was such a late entry into the festival that Park City’s primary premiere location, the Eccles Center, was fully booked. But that didn’t stop Hamlet 2 from knocking Sundance out of its mid-festival doldrums with a rowdy debut screening Monday night at the Library Center theater. The room erupted in hysterics about two minutes into the show, and things stayed that way for nearly two hours.

Afterward, Harvey Weinstein hovered by the door, ready to kick off the deal-making. He was far from alone. Producer Eric Eisner and Leonid Rozhetskin, whose L+E pictures financed the film, fielded offers “from all the usual suspects,” including Fox Searchlight and Lionsgate. But it wasn’t until after he spent the whole night hashing things out at the bargaining table in his condo that he finally settled on a deal to sell the worldwide rights to Focus Features for an astronomical $10 million — one of the highest sums ever fetched by any movie in the history of Sundance. Eisner insists it wasn’t simply Focus’ deep pockets that helped that distributor win the bidding war. “We love their whole overall approach to marketing and filmmaking,” say Eisner and Rozhetskin, who will confess that Hamlet 2 outperformed even his high expectations. “It’s been quite a ride. Now it would be nice to get some sleep.” —Christine Spines (with additional reporting by Missy Schwartz)

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