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A curious Spanish-language comedy starring Will Ferrell, who learned all of his lines phonetically (I've heard from Spanish speakers that he did a great job with that). This is apparently a parody of cheap Mexican melodramas, and it has an interesting and often absorbing aesthetic (obvious painted backdrops and such). The problem is, the filmmakers seem to think that this is funny in and of itself. It reminds you of something like Black Dynamite, but they kind of forgot they needed to write jokes outside of the goofy cheapness. There are a few - just not enough. The cast is pretty great here, including Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal, Pedro Armendariz Jr. (who died before the film was released), Nick Offerman and the gorgeous Genesis Rodriguez (also quite fine in Man on a Ledge). At 84 minutes, this is hardly a chore, but you always feel like it could be infinitely funnier than it is.
After reading some of these reviews, I had to comment.
I don't understand that some of you, (especially those who write some clever reviews), missed the "greatness" in this movie.
This film is based on clichés and is predictable. THIS FILM IS NOT MEANT TO BE AS A "laugh out loud" - COMEDY!
It is the way Ferrel portraits his character with HIS kind of humor. Mixed with typical buildups and "one-take" shots, seen in Mexican movies and Spanish series... The facial expressions and timing makes this film.
You don't have to like it, but don't say it is bad... it's a matter of taste.
I have read a few reviews about this movie and I think some people have
missed the point about this movie.
1. I don't think this movie was meant for an Anglo American audience, unless you have lived in Latin America and understand the idiosyncrasies of Latino TV and movies. The giveaway was that the movie was in Spanish.
2. It wasn't a fantastic film, but it provided a good entertainment.
3. Someone compared this to a Mel Brooks film, but I think they are not in the same category. Mel Brooks films are silly funny, this movie is taking the mickey out of the way the Latin American TV and film industry release what they think is entertainment. Not much different as how Hollywood produces their franchised entertainment using a formula.
4. I think the movie is taking a big swipe at the Mexican corporations that think they provide entertainment via their products (TV + Films). Using Will Ferrer, an American as the front man is like you getting your cousin to tell your parents that they suck.
My 2 cents
Casa de mi Padre is a film that looks fairly promising but never one that can compete with Will Ferrell's best. The premise is that the Alvarez brothers find themselves embroiled in a war against Mexico's premier drug lord. Acknowledging the fact that it is a comedy running at around 85 minutes it is never going to be definitive for comedy but on the surface could have provided some great laughs. In essence it doesn't, there are times where it does get funny. The majority of the film is just trying to fish for the humour. It seems as if the film sometimes try to have semi-subtle humour but at other times goes for all out gags. The similarity here is that it only brings mild chuckles at the very most. There are aspects similar to for example Anchorman in some of the more violent jokes but never quite feel as funny. Ferrell himself is funny and you always knew he was going to be the star. The film simply struggles to demonstrate hilarity in any way its trying. The film does get better as it progresses, and this is where is more action and the gags are put on the more bizarre level. The film is not bad by any means but it is just something that doesn't blow you away with hilarity. Looking at its themes it is a send up and if you look at it as a send up then it is quite good. There are moments that are a terrific parody but never really get funny enough to become memorable.
Awful. Like all Will Ferrell movies. Really awful. I had hopes, given
that Gael García Bernal is a very talented actor. Indeed the only
reason I watched this was because of Bernal. I honestly hope this
doesn't have a lasting negative impact on his career. It does, however,
make me question his judgement. He's far too talented to have
participate in another juvenile slapstick Will Ferrell waste of time.
In this film, Ferrell manages to reduce the entire cast and crew to his
level--that of a pile of stinking dog crap.
Now let me be honest, the first half of this film was so very very bad that I simply couldn't stomach any more of it and turned it off. Thus it is possible that in the last half, Ferrell suddenly became an actual actor with a touch of talent, and the film magically turns around. But given Ferrell's track record or participating in films that aren't worth the plastic in the DVD, I have serious doubts.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I just watched his movie for the second time and it just keeps getting
There are no spoilers on the plot in this movie (spoiling the plot it pretty hard) but what kind of movie this is, is something I think people should realize for them selves.
For reference, I love Will Ferrell and think that there's something brilliant in the stupidity of the movies he makes (if that makes any sense).
This is a really difficult film to review, but I think it is a very bold film.
This movie very different from what he normally makes and at first I didn't get the point of the movie.
This movie has no jokes at all and is technically a serious telenovela all in Spanish. It takes a while to get, that the joke is in the details. The plot has no surprises and the very dramatic acting fits very well with the telenovela genre.
The subtlety of comedy in this movie is hilarious. Will Ferrell plays his character very seriously with just a tiny amount of overacting. The filming is on par with general telenovelas just with a few more props mistakes, poorly painted back-drops, back-projections, editing inconsistencies, bad FX, than there normally would be.
The film is a deliberate attempt at making a bad telenovela and there is no classic Will Ferrell about his acting. The only thing classic Will Ferrell is a love scene repeatedly showing his but, which is very funny but actually out of character for the movie.
I think it is a very bold movie, and the fact that it is done purely in Spanish is funny but also moving it far away from mainstream. The somewhat subtle way this movie is deliberately bad is also a very gutsy move. It a very likable trait that it is no way made for the sake of profits.
So can a bad movie be great? Apparently so, and I think this is somehow a brilliant piece comedy art, which made laugh out loud.
This movie is probably going to be very hit or miss for a lot of people, and I expect lot disappointment expecting classic Will Ferrell comedy.
I loved it and writing this review made me want to watch it again to catch even more details.
There is something hilarious about a film where Will Ferrell stares
passionately and speaks Spanish.
I'm not always a fan of Ferrell, but here the guy is funny as hell. The best part is that he doesn't even tell jokes. On the contrary, he's almost overdramatical to a point where silliness abounds. And that's probably the thing that either makes the movie for you or turns you away from it. Think of it as fun and care-free satire combining spaghetti westerns, Spanish soap operas and crime movies about drugs.
In "Casa de mi padre", you find lots of shoddy sets, fake animals, dolls, R-rated violence, smoking and songs. I absolutely loved the songs! This is a weird combination of elements and felt so fresh. I could not help but get into a good mood. Add the most ridiculous love-making scene I remember seeing, and we got ourselves something special.
This movie has problems though. As much as I love the fake outlook and silly approach, they kind of messed it up at some parts. Sometimes when they try to actually make a visual "so fake and ridiculous that it's funny"-joke, the joke lingers too long or is shoved in your face, thus losing some potential. When it works it's great and even pretty intelligent, and when it doesn't it seems like the movie is pandering to children in a "here's the joke! get it?"-manner. Also, some characters had the potential to be funny (Nick Offerman) but they ended up being something less.
The whole cast is good and funny enough, and Ferrell gets two thumbs up, but Genesis Rodriguez was outstanding. She wasn't only outrageously beautiful, she had a certain edge to her performance. I really enjoyed it. She might have a great career ahead of her.
When you watch this film, don't expect a typical comedy. Don't expect a "Hangover 11". Don't also expect a Lebowskian masterpiece, but something intentionally shoddy and funny in its own weird way. And Will Ferrell speaking/singing in Spanish, of course.
I will be fair and say that Casa de mi Padre was an inspired idea. Will Ferrel truly took on a daring responsibility to widely release a Spanish speaking movie under his company banner as well as speaking Spanish throughout the film. The result is a mixed bag. I really admired its homage of the Sergio Leone spaghetti western meets Telenovela meets Grindhouse flick. It took advantage of this by using some really clever sight gags. Some of the action scenes were pretty kick-ass. Also, since this is a Spanish speaking movie, the subtitles leave room for some hilarious reading! But the film's efforts can at times feel tiresome. The first half of the movie is almost joke less. Almost as if the film was trying to rely on the fact that Will Ferrel speaking Spanish will be funny enough to carry a movie. Which it doesn't. The scenes without jokes fall totally flat and provides nothing to the audiences interest. To this effect, I turned off the movie half way through watching it the first time, convinced that I had watched a truly awful comedy. But I gave it a second chance, and to my surprise, I liked it. But lets face the facts, this is a forgettable Will Ferrel flick that will go among the ranks of "Semi-Pro" and "Kicking and Screaming" as one of his worst films. Rent it if you want to.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To be honest I only watched this movie because I like Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal, but I hoped it might be modestly amusing. In truth, it's funny for the first few scenes but it's a joke that wears thin very quickly. It had potential, and the stars are all engaging actors, but really, it's not very good and it's not very funny. I've seen worse, but as a spoof of a Spaghetti Western meets Tarantino, which I assume it's trying to be, it's simply too weak. Not quite sure what Luna and Bernal are doing here..? Paying the rent I guess. I think the coyote meets stuffed puma part with overlaid text was one of the weakest movie jokes I've seen in a while. Have the courage of your convictions guys! If you think a stuffed animal mock fight is funny, go for it. Don't pad it with a 6th grade voice over and explanation..! Truly disappointing.
While some may argue that Will Ferrell hasn't had a hit since
'Anchorman', he's not afraid to try new things.
'Casa de mi Padre' (House of my Father), is Ferrell's good-natured parody of Mexican melodramas/soap operas. Ferrell plays Armando, the lowly brother of drug dealer Raul, who falls for his brother's gorgeous fiancée Sonia.
Ferrell speaks Spanish along with the predominately Mexican cast to deliver a story of love betrayal, brotherhood, family, drug dealing and bloodshed. The deliberately clichéd plot runs second to the films' embracing of its low-fi effects, slow-motion fight scenes, coarse language, mannequins, animatronic animals and continuity errors. One scene involving a graceful white lion and a coyote is interrupted by a long explanation of the chaos caused by the filming of the scene.
While not as memorable as some of Ferrell's best films, you have to admire Ferrell for trying something new, as well as the films' willingness to embrace its flaws, which adds to the laughter.
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