Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Escanaba in Da Moonlight|
Actors: Jeff Daniels, Harve Presnell, Joey Albright, Wayne David Parker, Randall Godwin
Director: Jeff Daniels
Genres: Comedy, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Its the day before the 1989 hunting season opens. For generations the men of the soady family have trekked to the same ramshackle deer camp north of escanaba in michigans upper peninsula to drink cause a little bit of trou... more »
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char1077 | Petoskey, MI United States | 08/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Escanaba in da Moonlight is a very weird movie. But then, the UP is pretty weird in itself. I think the closer you live to the bridge, the more you'll get this movie. Being from Northern Michigan, I found myself nodding amusedly with each mention of the pasty, fudgesuckers, the ever-present DNR ("stand by your vehicle, sir!") and the strange venacular. This is a funny movie, especially if you're from Michigan. The acting is the best part. The cast caught the attitude and mannerisms of residents in the UP (I know a couple of guys who are exactly like Remnar) perfectly.
I response to one reviewer's comments that the Native American ritual performed so elegantly (sarcasm, folks) by Daniels was in some way offensive. Perhaps, but I don't think it was intended to mock the Objibwe rituals. The Native American population is a strong force in the communities, at least on this particular peninsula and it, let's not forget that it was through these beliefs that Reuban finally bags his buck. Jimmy Negamanee from Menominee cracked me up and while the farting scene was crude, it was funny. Everybody needs a little toilet humor every once in awhile and deer camp is the best possible place for it.
This is in no way an outstanding film masterpiece. It's a kind of inside joke to those of us who live in Michigan, particularly the UP and maybe even us "trolls" who live under the bridge. It's funny enough and clever, well acted, if a little quriky and weird. Rent it before you buy. UP humor is certainly an aquired taste."
The hunting movie to end all hunting movies!
D. Roberts | Battle Creek, Michigan United States | 05/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a native of Michigan, this movie was a must for my DVD collection. I hadn't seen it, but felt it was my obligation to buy it - even if it ended up being terrible. Boy I'm glad I did!It is a film that pokes some good-hearted fun at the people who live in the upper peninsula (Yoopers!) as well as deer hunters. As a person whose lifestyle is antipodal to the whole "outdoorsman / sportsman" scene, this was quite a comical story. Not one I could really "relate" to, mind you, but jovial nonetheless. In between the Jimmer and the DNR man you're sure to have a smile on your face by the time the closing credits come up.As others have likely mentioned, this feature gets pretty strange (to say the least). In fact, the subtitle could have been "HUNTING TRIP OF THE ABSURD." But just remember - it's all in good fun. This is not the type of film that would even try to win any awards. If Samuel Beckett were a hunter, he would have loved this movie. In fact, if Beckett had been a Michigander, he might have WRITTEN this movie!"
Dimly Light Quest During a Long Northern Night...
cbarth01 | 08/11/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...that is Escanaba in da Moonlight. It is a story about a misfit searching for his place in a narrowly defined world. Set in Michigan's UP, a. k. a. the Superior State by secession minded residents, it is not commentary about the ethics of hunting or vegetarianism or any other political or lifestyle choice. Many pacifists and vegetarians loved the original play on which this film is based.
In a community whose hunting traditions run deep, Rueben Soady is buckless. He's 43 and has yet to make his right of passage; he's shunned by the entire town. Even his own friends and family don't want to hunt anywhere near him. In spite of it all he wants to fit in. This is the film's basis for universal appeal and why the play on which it was based on was so popular.
The driver's license has been called America's right of passage. At best it's a threshold to begin an adolescent quest, not complete it. Adolescence extends to the late 30s or longer for many. We call it finding ourselves-and our place in our community. The whole process is a mystery to Rueben Soady. Where will the flash of insight come from? UFOs? Is success influenced by spirits? He is clueless. He is desperate, so desperate that he's willing to subject himself to the humiliation of eating moose balls, wearing porcupine "urine" (the sensors are brutal), and breathing the foulest flatulence if that is what it takes to make the passage. Let's see if we can get out of the two-seater here. Rueben is desperate and willing, but needs the support of his family and friends. As cruel as it may be to be shunned by the community, the support of family and friends is even more affirming. Rueben must overcome a significant challenge to complete his passage and earn his place in the community. Is he up to it?
This is a story about real people who we may or may not know, to whom we may or may not relate, but we can certainly care about them, and hopefully we will learn from them. Have fun while you watch! You may even want to own it as a cult flick, but there's more to it than potty humor. These are metaphors for the all the bizare stuff we each endure in our individual quests. When we laugh at Rueben, we laugh at ourselves. We know the truth. We have lived it.
Jeff Daniels has chosen to entertain us with a comedy and uses caricatures to tell his story. Caricatures portray distortions and often offend the thin-skinned, but an insightful caricature is an exaggerated truth. This is Jeff Daniels' film. He uses his brand of comedy and it is hilarious.
One last thing, being adapted from a well-honed play, there's not much to offer as additional features for the DVD."
Michiganders will love this...
D. Roberts | 11/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having been the child of a deer hunter and widow growing up and watching my father spend year after year NOT bagging a buck, I found this movie absolutely hilarious. Sadly, if you don't live in Michigan, half the jokes will go right over your head. The friendly rivalry between the upper and lower pennisulas of Michigan is part of the humor involved as well as the importance Michigan men place on bagging that all important buck. I thought this movie was so funny that I saw it twice in the theatre after being convinced by a friend (who used to live in Escanaba, where the film was actually shot) to see it. I highly recommend it for anyone who lives in Michigan and even in the Midwest, though the jokes are almost entirely contextual."