Wednesday, June 07, 2006

MovieWatch: "Nacho Libre"


"Nacho Libre"
Director: Jared Hess
Fien Print Rating (Out of 100): 31
In a Nutshell: There are people, and I don't necessarily begrudge them, who can't watch Wes Anderson's most recent films because his geek-chic formal rigidity leaves them feeling creatively stifled. The key to curing those people is to make them watch a Jared Hess movie. Like "Napoleon Dynamite," "Nacho Libre" wastes a tremendous amount of energy on feeling like sloppy, kitschy outsider art and very little energy on developing a plot beyond "Here's a guy with a funny name and some geeky affectations... Let's laugh at him!" Despite a running time of something less than 90 minutes, "Nacho Libre" feels much longer, because Hess' greatest interest as a filmmaker is finding dead-eyed non-actors and then pointing the camera at them with contempt. I fear this movie will do for Mexicans what "Moon Over Parador" did for Paradorians, with the only difference being that Parador was a fictionalized country from the beginning, while Hess has gone to some lengths to make Mexico seem an awful lot like Idaho. Making the movie vaguely amusing at times is Jack Black, prancing around in tights without an iota of self-consciousness, speaking with a fractured accent that's as much French as Spanish. His silent movie star expressions and mugging provide a spark of energy that's in contrast to "Napoleon Dynamite," where Jon Heder's brain-less gawking was just another part of the joke. Oh and I laughed at the perplexing Ewoks who wrestle Nacho in one scene. That wasn't really humorous, but it was bizarre. I can see "Nacho Libre" making a new crop of frat boys wander around with bad accents talking about how they believe in science, rather than God. That makes me sad.

My review for this one will go up on Zap2it.com next Friday (June 16).

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