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Friday, June 23, 2006

Nacho Libre - Buena Pelicula

Review

BY MIKE McILVAIN

“Nacho Libre” is one of those fun, friendly and funny movies that you don't mind running into anytime later.

Once seen, this Jack Black-starred comedy - based on a true story, but straying way out there somewhere effectively to keep viewers watching - has enough varying scenes and well-done human nature shots to warrant several looks. It might seem a little different each time, with it's fast-pace and carefully planned close ups of little things like the mishaps with Black as the often failing priest and even worse cook, Ignacio “Nacho,” who falls for beautiful nun Encarnación, played by Ana de la Reguera. But Nacho finds himself when he sees that he must dedicate himself to the orphanage where he grew up and lives.

“Nacho Libre” is for anyone who appreciates a well-done movie, or who even slightly observes Mexican culture. Viewers get plenty of both in this Oaxaca-area adventure, ending appropriately in the ruins of that area's famous Monte Alban as Nacho and Encarnación stare into each others' eyes after his eventual ring triumph buys a bus and field trips for the orphans.

“Nacho Libre” is written and directed by Jared Hess, who gave us “Napoleón Dynamite” a few years ago, but this is better. The long and wide camera shots are similar, but the difference is much like that of a maturing comic who grows to understand the importance of timing when telling jokes - Black and “Nacho Libre” have better timing than “Dynamite.” This one also serves to deliver Black as a good lead funny man, something his fans have said he was good for for several years.

Black adds to the comedy with each line -- sounding very much like Antonio Banderas in his Zorro movies -- playing with the pronounciation, milking it for a little bit more laughter. The packed theater left smiling, probably with Black's pronounciation of terms like “stretchy pants” still ringing in their ears.

The numerous fight scenes went off without a noticeable flaw, which will also help make this a good movie later on DVD, or unexpectedly on some cable channel in a few years.

Black's chip thief and eventual tag team partner - the somewhat, but not entirely effeminate, El Esqueleto, played by Hector Jimenez - keeps the crowd guessing and gains something of a following of his own. He can sew and design clothes yet wrestle against opponents several times his weight.

“Nacho Libre” is a winner, despite all of Nacho and Esqueleto's losses in the ring.
This one rates a healthy nine habaneros out of 10.



Note: A review available in print in Laredo, Texas' LareDOS.

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