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Casa De Mi Padre (Blu-ray Review)

24 Jul, 2012 By: John Latchem

Box Office $5.91 million
$19.98 DVD, $24.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for bloody violence, language, some sexual content and drug use.
In Spanish with English subtitles.
Stars Will Ferrell, Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Genesis Rodriguez, Efren Ramirez, Adrian Martinez, Pedro Armendáriz Jr., Nick Offerman.

Westerns are ripe for parody, but Will Ferrell takes it to the next level in Casa De Mi Padre, which is performed almost entirely in Spanish.

Ferrell, who says he has had the idea to do a Spanish-language comedy for a while, aptly describes the film as a telenovella meets a bad Mexican Western, with the fun elements of a Tarantino film.

Throwback is the key word here. For starters, the film bears a fake 1970 copyright, which makes it a neat trick for Christina Aguilera to sing the title tune, given it’s supposedly 10 years before she was born (then again, half the cast wouldn’t have been born yet, either).

And then there is the attempt to simulate the poor production values of those old-school foreign Westerns. Casa De Mi Padre is loaded with backdrops that are obviously painted, sets with visible seams, stagehands showing up in reflections on sunglasses, fake horses, animal puppets, chintzy models of cars and small towns, re-used rear-projection footage and just bad editing in general, up to and including a love scene in which Genesis Rodriguez is suddenly replaced by a mannequin.

The plot, such as the film requires one, involves Ferrell playing the son of a Mexican ranch-hand (Pedro Armendáriz Jr. in his final role) who falls for his brother Raul’s fiancée (Rodriguez), and then must avenge the family when Raul (Diego Luna) starts a drug war with a gangster called the Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal). And Nick Offerman of “Parks and Recreation” shows up in a hilarious cameo as a racist DEA agent who plans to manipulate all the Mexicans into killing each other.

The obvious gag, besides the characters’ self-awareness of existing in a Spanish Western, is that Ferrell wouldn’t pass for Hispanic even if this were a cartoon.

The Blu-ray layers on the laughs with about 20 minutes of deleted scenes, some fake beer and cigarette commercials, and a music video performed by Ferrell and Rodriguez.

There’s also a 15-minute making-of featurette, a final interview with Armendáriz (which runs almost four minutes, but unfortunately the sound quality isn’t very good), and a relatively straight commentary from Ferrell, director Matt Piedmont and writer-producer Andrew Steele.

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