Casa de mi Padre Blu-ray Review
Anyone who watches American cable television is guilty of it. You’re flipping through the channels and you stop on a program whose actors are not exactly speaking the Queen’s. To each his or her own, most likely his, as to why they are paused on a form of entertainment they cannot understand, but would those same people who seem fascinated by such things be willing to watch an entire feature length film that parodies the telenovela genre, mixed in with a little Tarantino-ish style directing and some James Bond-y type sound tracks? We’ll probably never know, I mean who in their right mind would back such a project and put their entire career at risk? They’d have to be crazy to even think . . . oh yeah that’s right, Will Ferrell exists in this universe. Entre la CASA DE MI PADRE.
Armando Alvarez (Will Ferrell) is the oldest son of a rancher in Mexico. When the ranch falls on some tough economic troubles, Armando’s younger brother Raul (Diego Luna, MILK) returns home from his successful American “business” to save the ranch. Along with Raul is his fiancée Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez, WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING), who Armando is very attracted to but also wary of, concerning her true feelings and intentions with his brother. As Armando and Sonia fall in love, he learns the actual reason Raul has returned home and finds himself in the middle of a Mexican drug war.
Other than a novelty gift, or a staunch collector of everything Will Ferrell, there is zero reason to add this film to a private collection. The only reason it’s worth a peek at all is to marvel at just how well Ferrell is able to convincingly recite and apply appropriate emotion to dialogue that he can’t even understand. Ferrell had to learn his lines in about a month for this film, which was way too brief a time to fully teach him the Spanish language, so he just relied on his memory and his uncanny talent to morph even straight lines into hysterics simply from tone and expression.
However, even Ferrell’s character was not within a Don Quixote sized trek of how funny this film needed to be. Once the script was done with all the obvious farces of a telenovela, which was about the first 10-15 minutes, it seemed like not even the actors were sure what type of film they were making. There are agonizingly long stretches void of any humor whatsoever. At times, it’s like this film is trying to be an actual Mexican drama, but since the audience knows it’s a parody, the standard pillars for mocking are taken away as well. The film’s $6 million budget was actually too large for what they were trying to accomplish. The intentional bad effects had too high a production value and they were even mixed in with some pretty good ones, dispelling the comedic bed the film is built upon.
Whether audiences think Ferrell succeeded or failed with CASA DE MI PADRE, his ingenuity and originality are beyond approach. Trailers for this film had people instantly intrigued, proving the idea was definitely something worth developing. Unfortunately, the execution was lost in translation, which had to be monumentally difficult for Ferrell to monitor since he couldn’t even understand the script. Fans just have to hope this flop doesn’t make him hesitant to go full throttle with insane ideas like this in the future. A great comedy is the most challenging type of film to create and Ferrell continues to be the “Sábado Gigante” of the genre.
Video: The transfer is a 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. There is an overall yellow tone to the film, perhaps to make the look a bit dated, but it’s actually a very clean and sharp picture. Probably too sharp for what the filmmakers were trying to accomplish.
Audio: The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is even better than the picture and ironically a bigger detraction of the film. The sound effects were too good, especially gun fire. Cap guns would have been a better comedy choice.
Commentary with Director Matt Piedmont, writer Andrew Steele, and star Will Ferrell: It’s sad when the commentary is actually more entertaining than the film itself. The trio are never at a loss for words during the track and discuss a wide span of topics on and off the film that are both serious and hilarious.
The Making of “Casa de mi Padre” (16 min): This featurette displays more of the Will Ferrell humor people are used to as the stars, director and writer discuss their experiences on set while going in and out of sketch-like material.
Pedro Armendáriz Final Interview (4 min): The final interview with the actor who passed away in December of 2011. His role in this film as Armando’s father, Miguel Ernesto, would be his last role. His career dates back to 1966 and the 4 minutes is worth a listen just for the respect alone.
Comerciales (HD, 3 min): Three spoofs portraying fictional products in vintage style 1970’s commercials.
Music Video “Fight for Love” (3 min): Stars Will Ferrell and Genesis Rodriguez perform the song “Fight for Love” incorporating scenes from the film and original cut aways using a 1970 style variety show backdrop.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 20 min): 10 deleted scenes that are just as good or bad, depending on what you thought of the film, as anything that made the final cut.