Nacho Libre (2006) - Special Collector's Edition

Genre(s): Comedy / Sports
Paramount || PG - 100 minutes - $29.99 || October 24, 2006
Reviewer: Kushmeer Farakhan || Posted On: 2006-10-22


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Jared Hess
Writer(s): Jared Hess (written by) & Jerusha Hess (written by) & Mike White (written by)
Cast:


Theatrical Release Date: June 16, 2006


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Actor, Co-Writer/Director & Co-Writer Commentary
  • 5 "Behind-the-Scenes" Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Promo Spots
  • Jack Sings
  • Photo Gallery


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Note: Caps not from DVD source.

My Opinion of the film hasnít changed much since I saw it in theatres and wrote my original review. Nacho Libre is still a funny (but not hilarious), family friendly comedy thatís better than most of the other big films of 2006. It does hold up pretty well on repeat viewings.

ORIGINAL REVIEW:
"I was wondering if you would like to join me in my quarters this night...for some toast".

Nacho Libre was one of those summer movies that I was neither dreading nor anticipating. It was just there. When I saw the trailers and posters for it, I thought it looked "kind of funny" but may not be all that special. I knew it had Jack Black in the starring role which was a plus for me because I loved School of Rock and I'm a casual fan of Tenacious D but it was also directed by Jared Hess. Hess is a decent director but I was not all that blown away by his last film, Napolean Dynamite (at least not as much as the rest of the film geek and Hot Topic nation was anyway). As a result, I had little expectations. So... how was it?

The short of it? It's good. Not great, but good enough.

Nacho Libre is the story of an Mexican monk (well, half Mexican and half Scandanavian or some crap) played by Jack Black named Ignacio who secretly dreams of being a Luchadore (aka a Mexican wrestler) and who hopes to use the Luchadore business to bring himself fame, make a little money, and help the orphans get better food at the monastary he works at. In order to accomplish this, he gets a tag team partner, a former street urchin by the name of Esqueleto (Hector Jiminez) and the two become Luchadores. All the while, Ignacio (now calling himself Nacho in the ring) is also trying to win the heart of a new nun named Encarnacion (Ana de la Regueara) who just started working at the monastary... and who also thinks Wrestling is evil and sinful. Uh Oh.

From a performance standpoint, Nacho Libre works pretty well. Jack Black is well... Jack Black with an fake hispanic accent. You probably already know if you're gonna like the movie or outright hate it by how much you like Black. All of the usual "Blackisms" are present here. Black sings odd songs, makes that weird devilish grin, jumps around a lot, etc. and if you love that stuff, you'll at LEAST like him in this. I happen to be one of those people so for me, he was good. The supporting cast does very little except to punctuate and bring home the jokes structured around Jack Black's character. The only one that has any kind of real part to play is Jiminez's Esqueleto and he's pretty funny. De La Regueara's nun is beautiful but is more or less playing a token love interest.

From a directing standpoint, it's also very good. When I saw Napoleon Dynamite, I sometimes felt that hess was just sitting the camera up and just filming random crap happening, and there's still some of that here, but it doesn't feel so random anymore with some shots looking just plain beautifullly staged and set up.

Ultimately none of that matters if it isn't funny right? Well... fortunately it is. It's just not gut busting hilarious. It's more of a movie you just smile and feel pleasantly entertained by than blow a gasket laughing. My audience only laughed hard at 3 key moments: The one from the trailer where Nacho goes "Nachooooooooooooo..", a sight gag involving corn, and one other that I honestly can't remember. But what the film lacks in tons of laughs, it makes up for it in heart and character.

Nacho Libre is a pretty decent comedy. It's fun, it's not too gross(so you can take the kids), and in a year full of misses and underwhelming flicks, it's a bright spot.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

There is a surprising amount of behind the scenes stuff to watch on Nacho Libre and most of it is pretty good quality:

Dinner and a Commentary - This is one of the more entertaining commentaries Iíve heard in a while. Many commentaries Iíve heard recently have become little more than the writers/actors/director describing whatís happening onscreen. That is not the case here. Instead we get a lighthearted and enjoyable romp in which Hess, White, and Black give you very funny stories about what happened on set, the genesis of certain sequences, funny anecdotes about extras, and totally off the wall stuff. Thereís a very funny exchange about Chlymedia for example. Thereís also a lot of discussion about the criticisms many critics have with Jared Hess and his depiction of funny looking people with big teeth, Latinos, etc. Itís very clear that all involved are good friends and itís a really fun listen. Itís not a Kevin Smith movie commentary laugh riot, but itís still entertaining.

5 Featurettes - I chose the Play All choice to watch these but theyíre all a bit different:

Detras De le Camera is about 35 minutes or so long and is the closest thing you get here to an actual making of documentary about the film. Itís pretty good though. Gives you a great idea of how the project came together and how people were cast, etc.

Jack Black Unmasked! is a short 15-20 minute special that originally aired on Nickelodeon and was used to promote the film. Itís got some recycled stuff from the previous special but itís all redone to make it more appealing to kids. They even take the little boy who plays Chauncho in the movie and have him host a few segments. Itís cute if not terribly informative.

Lucha Libre - This is a brief doc that talks a bit about what real life luchadores are like and how they were able to get a few into the actual film.

Hecho in Mexico - is a fluff piece about how much the Mexican cast loved working with Jack Black, the American movie star. Not bad but kind of forgettable.

Moviefone Unscripted - Is an interview where Black and Jaminez (Esqueleto in the film) interview each other using questions submitted by readers of the Moviefone.com website. Itís not bad. Just the two actors goofing on each other and for the camera mostly.

Jack Sings! - This is a 2 part, roughly 6 minute long doc about the two songs Jack Black sings in the movie and how he and the writers came up with them. Pretty cool. I always like seeing people come up with silly songs.

Deleted Scenes - Most of the scenes are short snippets that wouldíve added nothing to the movie, however one of them is a really long sequence that greatly expands Nacho and Esqueletoís quest to get the Eagle powers (or whatever) and Iím glad it was dropped. It was the only aspect of the movie I thought was stupid and Iím glad they chose to leave it alone and not expand it which is what wouldíve happened had this scene been in the finished film.

Promo Spots and Photo Gallery and an El Tigre Promo Spot round out the features. Yawn.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

Itís not amazing but then again, this is a comedy. Itís not supposed to blow your speakers off. Danny Elfmanís theme for Ramses and that ďI am, I amĒ song sounded pretty sweet here though.



.::OVERALL::.

Nacho Libre remains a very entertaining movie for comedy fans, Jack Black Fans, Jared Hess Fans, families, and anyone who just wants some lighthearted fun. For those who want the complete DVD experience, you wonít be disappointed either as this set was full of stuff to watch (way more than I expected. I thought Iíd get maybe a commentary and some trailers. WAY more than that). Good Stuff.