The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
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Its repellent collection of yokels and its obsession with urine and flatulence make it less a cinematic valentine to the Upper Midwest than a giant clump of feces hurled in its direction.
Escanaba, as directed by Guy Sanville, proceeds at a fast clip, with all acting excellent (as usual at the Purple Rose).
Stamp is so funny as the dim bulb brother Remnar, and Cain's Reuben is hapless in a deer blind but wants a buck so badly you can truly relate to him and his quest.
The performances are zesty and consistently enjoyable, with everyone having a high old time speaking in an accent as thick and heavy as a slab of Mackinac Island fudge.
It might not be necesaary to be familiar with the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where "Escanaba in Da Moonlight" is set to enjoy the movie's offbeat charms but it couldn't hurt. For example, you don't have to have eaten a pasty before, except that you are missing something delicious.(The last one I had was a few years ago, just south of The Bridge.) But you should know at least about the fishing and hunting(plenty of the former when I was a kid but none of the latter thankfully) there.
So, you might understand the plight of Rueben Soady(Jeff Daniels, who also wrote and directed), having never shot a buck in his 43 years much to his personal and familial embarrassment. In fact, his wife, Wolf Moon Dance(Kimberly Guerrero), has always been a much better hunter but is not invited along to the annual hunting lodge. Who are invited are Rueben's dad, Albert(Harve Presnell), and brother, Remnar(Joey Albright), and a lot of whiskey. Jimmer(Wayne David Parker), who reportedly had his brain scrambled by extraterrestrials and not alcohol, makes a sudden appearance.(For some odd reason, I have no problem with the belief that the Upper Peninsula is haunted by UFO's.) In the end, lessons are learned, like if you are a buck, never get too close to an outhouse. And regardless of what species you are, never name your son Remnar.
A 42-year old man must bag a buck during this year's deer season or he'll be the oldest male in the history of his family never to have done so; with the help of a potion and porcupine urine supplied by his Native American wife, he goes on a vision quest and finds God as well as a ten pointer. Set in the upper Michigan peninsula, the movie tries too hard to get laughs out of the local dialect and customs; star/writer/director Jeff Daniels has a ton of ideas, but unfortunately most of them don't work out.
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