Casi casi (2006)
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Too bad Puerto Rico doesn't produce more gems such as these. If it did Puerto Rico would be a world leader in film production for markets in the US, Latin America and Europe. Once this sleeping giant awakens look out!!!
The first half plays like "Clueless" or "The Breakfast Club", as we are introduced to the quirky group of friends and their arch-nemesis School Principal. As the plot unfolds, the tone shifts into more of a caper-comedy, and by the time the second half starts, it's a break-in heist movie in full-out "Mission: Impossible" mode, complete with chase sequences, daring rescues, and many exciting close calls. There's no violence, blood, or guns, but the film somehow creates a level of urgency and excitement not typically found in teen comedies.
The palpable danger is provided in spades by the main villainess of the movie, the deliciously evil Principal Richardson (Marian Pabon). Her penetrating glare alone is chilling enough, and as she progressively loses her temper she is a sight to behold! The acting is great across the board, and is evident in the chemistry between the six kids. They have a very convincing group camaraderie, and behave like real friends. Most of the action takes place in the hallways of the school, which gives the film a tense, claustrophobic feel. The music deserves particular attention, with a great blend of sweeping, epic orchestral score and flavorful Latin salsa tunes. It elevates the emotions and succeeds in transitioning from romance to comedy and adventure without missing a beat.
The DVD includes a very candid and entertaining full length audio commentary by the writers/directors, as well as a fun half-hour "making-of" featurette. It's really amazing to see how a film can be made with such few resources available (it was shot with one video camera and edited on a home computer) and still provide compelling, honest, and exciting family-friendly entertainment. Highly recommended!