32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
I love telenovelas! That being said, Will Ferrell's Spanish in "My Father's House" is just bad enough that I can almost understand it, and trust me: I do NOT speak Spanish, so the captions are a treat.
This delightful spoof takes itself seriously every single second of its running time, which always adds to the fun. When the badly made fake white puma laughed sardonically, I bought every moment; and I loved the horseback riding on stuffed animals with a fan blowing their hair. Any time our three heroes are riding in the pickup, the same scene goes by the "windows" and you can practically see the wires holding up the bushes. Rough scene shifts and laughably poor continuity were fun all the way, e.g., our hero has a roll-your-own cigarette in his mouth, dribbling tobacco down his shirt front. In the next camera angle...no cigarette. Then from another view, there is that cigarette again!
We follow the estupido second son of a successful Mexican rancher. All the dialogue is in Spanish with the exception of a creepy American DEA officer who speaks a clumsy combination. This cast is terrific:
* Will Ferrell ("The Other Guys") is Armando, a well-meaning but clumsy hombre who will never measure up to his padre's expectations. He is still a virgin because the "right woman" hasn't come along. I think his chances would improve if he could only learn how to roll his own cigarettes!
* Genesis Rodriguez ("Man on a Ledge") Sonia seems to be the "right woman" despite the fact that she is engaged to Armando's brother and appears to be connected to drug lords. In keeping with the telenovela tradition, she sings at the end!
* Diego Luna ("Y tu mamá también") Raul is Papa's favorite. Little does the old man suspect that his son's obvious succe$$ is NOT based on livestock!
* Gael Garcia Bernal ("Letters to Juliet") is an especially great "bad guy!" He lights two Canadian Slim cigarettes and smokes them alternately with either hand. He wears white cowboy boots that are waaaay too long, and is obviously having a blast! Actually, a sharp-eyed Amazon reader enlightened me: Those white boots are not too big for him. He says they are called chuntaros and they are made that way. I added this information on my blog @ JayFlix.net, as well. Thanks!
There is a hilarious scene where two Mexicans are discussing the drug trade. The "Narco" rationalizes that he isn't selling drugs to Mexicans, just fat, stupid Americanos. I was delighted with the equal time granted to the Gringos before the film ended!
The sound track is loaded with referential, mariachi-tinged música that adds to the fun. The men's trio "No Se" ("I Don't Know"), complete with bongos, was a delight. Amazon.com will let me know when I can add this one to my collection.
22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2012
Nice parody of Westerns and Spanish telenovelas. Of course seeing a "gringo" play the lead in this comedy role with a largely Mexican cast was going to be fun, but Ferrell was absolutely perfect and the only guy that could have pulled it off very well.
It's true Will's career has been up and down with hits and misses, but he made a homerun here. I really enjoyed the movie.
With his poor broken Spanish and intentional bad acting guaranteed a laugh a minute. Just looking as his black perm and acting Mexican pretty much sold the movie. However, the barrage of over the top and bizarre sequences pretty much elevated the movie even more (and there are too many too list).
Probably my favorite involved the ones involving the "White cat" (pure gold).
The supporting cast is made of acclaimed Mexicans actors like Diego Luna, and the late Pedro Armendáriz Jr., and young up and coming actress Genesis Rodriguez who all gave great comedic performances.
You can tell they really had fun with this one.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Not a hater, but also not a Will Ferrell fanatic. I've liked him in stuff and not liked him in stuff. But I do think the concept behind CASA DE MI PADRE is sort of genius. Take a popular American comedic actor - who happens to be the gringoest gringo around - and plant him in a Mexican melodrama and have him speak entirely in Spanish. In Ferrell's own words: "It's telenovela meets bad Mexican western." Just the novelty of seeing Ferrell take on this out-of-left-field role - and then full-on committing to it - was worth the price of admission. To quote Kris Kristofferson's brief opening voice-over: "If it sounds Spanish, man, that's what it is. It's a Spanish movie." For trivia-heads, this is a nod to Kristofferson's spoken opening of his version of the song "Me and Bobby McGee." And, yes, those are Christina Aguilera's lips as she belts out the title song in the opening credits.
Ferrell plays Armando Alvarez, a humble Mexican who takes pride in toiling on his father's land. But the ranch has fallen on hard times, thanks in large part to the rampant neighborhood drug trafficking. The Alvarez household is pinning their hopes on Raul (Diego Luna), the other and smarter Alvarez son who now returns after years away making a success of himself. Raul brings with him his sultry fiancee Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez), and never mind that Sonia has messed-up ties to the local drug kingpin, the elegant La Onza (Gael García Bernal). And, it turns out, the bold and clever Raul isn't the panacea to the ills of the Alvarez clan. Far from it. So, now, can Armando step out of his brother's shadow and resolve the community's drug problem? He'll have to do it with an unending hail of bullets and in gratuitous slo-mo. Bring on the gun battles, but, please, not until the final 20 minutes.
With English sub-titles and shot in epic "Mexicoscope," CASE DE MI PADRE hilariously spoofs those trashy yet somehow addictive telenovelas. The filmmakers purposely riddle the film with deliberately obvious and cheap sets, with dubious blocking and editing gaffes and rear screen snafus. There are sight gags involving dummies briefly replacing the actors in action sequences. The film is scratched up in places and occasionally skips. There are bizarre hallucinatory interludes and musical numbers with the accompanying zestful gritos (really enjoyed the song "Yo No Se"). It all kept me giggling.
Will Ferrell's accent sounds convincing to me. I actually assumed his voice had been dubbed in by someone else. But, no, that's Will himself servicing the dialogue, relying on his four years of high school Spanish and a dialect coach and undoubtedly on his fellow cast members who are native Spanish speakers. It's weird, by the way, to see Gael García Bernal in a comedy and being funny. He's certainly funnier here than he was in AMORES PERROS. And that's exactly how I'm aiming to push this film to my friends: "Hey, check out CASA DE MI PADRe... it's funnier than AMORES PERROS." Plus, this one has a fake mystical white mountain lion. Just in case that's the decider for you.
The DVD's bonus stuff:
- Audio Commentary with Will Ferrell, director Matt Piedmont and writer/producer Andrew Steele
- The late Pedro Armendariz Jr.'s Final Interview (00:03:38 minutes)
- 10 Deleted Scenes (totaling 00:19:38 minutes)
- Making Of CASA DE MI PADRE featurette, worth it alone for the segment featuring Luna and Bernal in a sit-down interview (00:15:44 minutes)
- "Fight for Love" Music Video - original song performed by Will Ferrell and Genesis Rodriguez
- 3 fake commercials (totaling 00:02:57 minutes)
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2012
This deadpan spoof of Mexican "telenovelas" generates a fair quotient of laughs provided you tap into its goofy spirit. Will Ferrell stars in this all-Spanish language tale of a Mexican rancher who has to defend his father's land after his no-good brother (Diego Luna) shows up having owed a debt to a drug lord (Gael Garcia Bernal). Andrew Steele apparently wrote "Casa De Mi Padre" in English, but the film is a faithful Mexican soaper all the way through, and one's familiarity with the genre probably will dictate how much of the film you'll find funny. Though I'm certainly not a constant viewer of Univision, there are some inspired moments here along with several amusing songs penned by score composers Andrew Feltenstein and John Nau. Lionsgate's Blu-Ray of this barely-released comedy hits stores on the 17th with commentary with Ferrell, Steele and director Matt Piedmont on-hand; deleted scenes; commercials; a featurette; music video; and interview with the late Pedro Armendariz, Jr., who co-stars in the film. The 1080p transfer is fine (English subs run on the picture itself as opposed to below it) and the DTS MA audio is nicely engineered.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2012
I applaud Will Farrell for making the movie. It's a bold choice. But the premise of sending up Mexican TV and movies stopped being funny about 15 minutes into the movie. Making fun of poor production values, acting and music got very stale very fast. There's just not that much to recommend the movie.
On a happier note, Genesis Rodriquez is clearly a talented actress, and I expect we'll be seeing much more of her in the future.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2012
"Ill take care of my family, let the devil take care of you." After Armando's (Ferrell) brother Raul (Luna) returns home he is happy is family is whole again. His father is happy that his favorite son is back and they are all impressed with his new girlfriend. After talking to her Armando begins to wonder about his brother's new wealth. When he finds out his brother is a drug dealer he begins to second guess everything. When a family tragedy occurs it is up to Armando to avenge the Alvarez name. I have to preface this by saying that I am a huge Will Ferrell fan and love just about everything he has done (wasn't a fan of "Semi-Pro"). After the masterpiece that was "Anchorman" he did seem to make a few movies where he played that guy over and over. I really liked it but when you saw a movie with him you knew exactly what you were gonna get. Then I saw "Everything Must Go". I gained more respect for him after that because of his stretch to become more of a dramatic actor. Then he does this movie...entirely in Spanish. I was looking forward to it but wasn't sure what to expect. I should have known however. The comedy is definitely Ferrell type comedy...over the top line delivery and totally off the wall things that you can't help but laugh at (such as we walks to a large brown calf to pick it up, when he turns around it is an obviously stuffed black one). Trying his best to make a cheesy 70's style Mexican movie he 100% attains his goal. Cheesy effects and bad editing make it that much funnier. Overall, if you like Will Ferrell you will love this movie. I sure did. Very funny. If you are worried that his humor won't work in another language don't worry. It does and then some. I give it a B+.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2013
There is something about a movie that has ambivalent support yet you find brilliant. This movie helps to explain why many women tend not to like the Three Stooges and some think In Search for the Holy Grail is terrible or why the play Rhinoceros is junk.
With regard to the Holy Grail, with out this reference you may never get the scroll over apologizing for the tiger getting into the cocaine. Funny stuff.
This movie, and those in the same vein, is a litmus test for the type of person (especially female type person) I want to hang with. Andrew Steele even managed to get a message in there. (Americans are not all evil, Mexicans are not all drug dealers... imagine that).
Budget constraints are a great way to expose comedic posers. For 6m this production delivers a priceless experience, and throws in some vast tracks of "production value."
Harold Bloom in his "Best Poems of the English Language," discusses the necessity for authentic poetry to reflect the "art of strangeness." (Now you know why I will never get laid). I feel authentic humour, at its most basic, depends on the art of strangeness to make things funny.
Casa de mi Padre is wonderfully strange, while being genuinely reverent to it's sources of parody.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2012
Note: May contain spoilers. Proceed with caution.
It's clear from the start of the film that this isn't a movie to be taken seriously. After the credits, we come in on Will Ferrell getting off a horse to pick up a (brown) full grown cow. Once he picks it up it randomly turns into a (black) baby calf. Shortly after that, Armando (Ferrell) is seen with his friends Esteban and Manuel crouching below a stack of hay, grass, or some mixture of the two as they witness a murder. And behind them is an obvious cardboard backdrop, and for majority of the film scene's like this are what hold the film together.
Going in I didn't know that it was going to be practically all Spanish, but it honestly didn't bother me. Yes, the story wasn't great and the writing wasn't much better, but it's not meant to be. As I commented in another review this is in no way, shape, or form a serious film. There is a dinner scene where there's clearly a manikin in a chair, and one standing behind Ferrell dressed as a butler. Then there's a love scene with Sonia (Génesis Rodríguez) where halfway through her body is replaced by a manikin as well. So it's clearly done on purpose, and once you accept that it becomes somewhat enjoyable. Speaking of, if that was actually Génesis Rodríguez during the love scene then that scene alone makes the film worth watching. I first saw her in "Man On A Ledge" and she had a scene where she was just in her undergarments, and she was gorgeous. Here, if it's her, you get a couple of ass shots and a slight glimpse of her breast. However, you also get the same shot of Ferrell's behind which I couldn't help but laugh at.
Overall Score: 7/10 - Is this the best film I've seen? No. Is it the best movie I've seen from Ferrell? No. But at the end of the day you have to give it to him for trying something different. He's never been one to be scared of trying a role, which in the end makes him a comedian with one of the most versatile collection of films out there. So of course you're not going to fall in love with every movie he's in, that would be impossible. In the end it's just a quirky film with some decent action.
Edit: Found out that it was not Génesis Rodríguez, but a "butt double." Either way the scene is pretty hilarious because of Ferrell's actions.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2014
If you LOVE Will Ferrell like I do, you have to have this movie. It is a bit slow and the comedy isn't much more than laughing at Will slaughtering the Spanish language. Buy it anyway. Es bueno!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2013
Cheesy, yes. Childish, yes. Over the top, yes. Excellent, YES!!!
Hmmm... What else to say..? Yo no se!!!
Bottom line: LOVE IT!