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Jared Hess
Jack Black, Ana de la Reguera, Héctor Jiménez
Writing Credits:
Jared Hess, Jerusha Hess, Mike White

Berated all his life by those around him, a monk follows his dream and dons a mask to moonlight as a Luchador.

Box Office:
$32 million.
Opening Weekend
$28,309,599 on 3070 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English Dolby 5.1
English Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 92 min.
Price: $14.99
Release Date: 10/24/2006

• Audio Commentary with Director Jared Hess, Actor Jack Black and Writer Mike White
• “Detras de la Camara” Featurette
• “Jack Black Unmasked!” Featurette
• “Exterior – Hacienda – Night” Featurette
• “Interior – Lucha Libre Ring – Night” Featurette
• “Lucha Libre” Featurette
• “Heche en Mexico” Featurette
• Moviefone Unscripted with Jack Black and Hector Jimenez
• “Jack Sings”
• Deleted Scenes
• Trailer & Promo Spots
• Photo Gallery


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Nacho Libre [Blu-Ray] (2006)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 16, 2020)

Let’s see: we have a movie with a director whose only prior credit was Napoleon Dynamite, a flick I openly loathed. It stars Jack Black, an actor who I find sporadically entertaining at best and actively annoying at worst.

This new film also works with a premise that sounds moronic. So why in the world am I watching 2006’s Nacho Libre? I’m a glutton for punishment?

Ignacio (Black) works as the cook at the Mexican monastery where he grew up as an orphan. As a child, he dreamed of becoming a “Luchador”, a pro wrestler. He planned to use his nickname “Nacho” and as an adult, he maintains these fantasies.

In the meantime, a new teacher arrives at the school. Due to her beauty, Sister Encarnacion (Ana de la Reguera) causes friction there and Ignacio develops a serious crush on her. However, he gets fed up with the lack of respect the brothers at the monastery accord him and decides to find another way to redeem himself.

This means Ignacio will finally pursue his Luchador dreams. He recruits a skinny street bandit named Steven (Hector Jimenez) to be his partner, and the pair christens themselves “Nacho” and “The Esqueleto”.

Though they lose their match, they prove popular with the crowd and get another bout the following week. The rest of the movie follows their work as Luchadors and how Ignacio fits this into other aspects of his life.

Here’s how to decide if you’ll enjoy Nacho: do you enjoy the sight of an obese comic actor without a shirt? If you answer “yes”, then you’ll love the film. If you reply “no”, then you’re in for a long night.

Since I can imagine few sights less appealing than a scantily-clad Jack Black, I found it tough to take Nacho. Man, do we see a lot of him without much in the way of clothes! An absence of attire was great for The Notorious Bettie Page but not such a good thing here.

With his tendency toward broad slapstick, Black doesn’t seem like a good fit for the painfully understated humor preferred by director Jared Hess. Half the jokes seem to revolve around Black’s pudgy physique.

Either he goes around shirtless or sports clothes too tight for him. It’s like a 90-minute riff on “fat guy in a little coat” from Tommy Boy.

Hess tries to meld Black’s wilder sense of humor with his own preference for low-key whimsy, and it doesn’t work at all. Granted, I didn’t think the barely-there gags of Napoleon were amusing, but at least that flick maintained its own sense of identity. Nacho never attains the same state of coherence as it uneasily balances the two sides.

The characters can’t even keep up any internal consistency. This means that Nacho himself tends to break character at times with awkward lines such as “buttload of crap”. That sounds like Black – or someone from Napoleon Dynamite - but the line doesn’t fit with Nacho as already established.

Not that the movie tries too hard to create three-dimensional – or even two-dimensional – personalities. Character development is less than nil, as we get basic sketches for the roles and nothing more.

Even Nacho himself is extremely underdeveloped, and he’s the best evolved of the bunch. The rest exist as nothing more than thin plot devices, so they never turn into anything other than one-dimensional sketches.

Nacho feels like a really stupid version of the kind of movie Wes Anderson does. Anderson’s flicks walk a fine line between clever and too precious, but they usually stay on the right side of that line.

With less talent involved, Nacho falters consistently. It forces it premise and characters upon us with no sense of intelligence or cleverness.

All that, and it’s glacially paced as well! Nacho Libre just plods along with its inane forced wackiness.

Like Napoleon, this one might have worked okay as a short TV skit, but as a full-length movie, it falters. There’s just not enough to carry it for 90 minutes, and the film never produces anything remotely entertaining or amusing. Chalk up Nacho as another stinker from Jared Hess.

The Disc Grades: Picture C+/ Audio B-/ Bonus B-

Nacho Libre appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This release came out very early in the format’s existence, and the Blu-ray showed its age.

Sharpness became a concern. Though the movie usually brought decent to good delineation, it could go awfully soft at times, mainly in wide shots. None of this looked terribly tentative, but the image rarely felt especially tight.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering emerged, and I noticed no edge enhancement either. Print flaws were minimal, as I noticed a couple of specks but no other problems along the way.

Nacho went with a stylized palette that favored a warm golden tone. This favored deep browns, ambers and reds as it produced a rich, vivid set of colors.

Blacks were dark and dense, while shadows seemed appropriately concise and well-defined. Without the softness, this would’ve been an appealing image, but the lack of consistent definition knocked it down to a “C+”.

I can’t say I expected a lot of sonic fireworks from the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Nacho Libre, and the mix stayed within the fairly laid-back constraints I anticipated.

The forward speakers dominated and usually focused on music. The score and songs offered good stereo definition, while the effects concentrated on general atmosphere. Those elements added a nice sense of place, and they opened up a bit during the wrestling scenes.

However, don’t expect much from them, especially in regard to the surrounds. The back speakers didn’t play much of a role in the proceedings.

Audio quality was perfectly adequate. Music fared best, as both score and songs demonstrated nice life and vivacity.

Speech was consistently natural and distinctive, as the lines never suffered from edginess or other problems. Effects showed good accuracy as well, so they were clean and clear throughout the movie. This was an unspectacular mix but it suited the material.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? Both provided the same Dolby 5.1 mix, which meant I deducted points from the Blu-ray like I do any time a disc in that format lacks a lossless option.

As for visuals, they showed minor improvements related to the capabilities of Blu-ray. Since both DVD and BD hit the shelves the same day, they clearly used the same source, and the Blu-ray did exhibit stronger definition, blacks and colors.

However, the Blu-ray didn’t blow away the DVD. It worked better but didn’t become a radical improvement.

As we move to the set’s extras, we start with an audio commentary from director Jared Hess, actor Jack Black and writer Mike White. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion. Actually, the disc bills this as "dinner and a commentary", so you know to expect something unusual here.

Not that this choice produces anything interesting. Instead, it just acts as an occasional annoyance as we hear the guys chomp on their Mexican food.

They discuss locations, actors, the wrestling scenes, and general anecdotes. Good information pops up infrequently, as they usually do little more than laugh at the movie and talk about what they like about it. The word "rad" appears often in regard to the action.

Occasional dead air also slows down the piece. Though Black’s goofiness produces a few chuckles, this is a generally boring commentary that lacks insight or much entertainment value.

From there we move to a few separate featurettes. Detras de la Camara goes for 28 minutes, 33 seconds as we hear from Hess, Black, White, producer Julia Pistor, co-writer Jerusha Hess, hair and makeup artist Roz Music, and actors Peter Stormare, Ana de la Reguera and Hector Jimenez.

The show covers the development of the project and how Hess came onboard after Napoleon Dynamite, and general production notes.

The interviews all come from the set and they play a minor role here. Instead, "Camara" emphasizes footage from the shoot. We get a good look at the production as we visit various elements as they occur.

This means that although we don’t learn a ton about different decisions, we find a lot of fun material that gives us a nice backstage glimpse of matters.

Next comes Jack Black Unmasked!. Originally aired on Nickelodeon, this 12-minute, 36-second featurette mostly lets us see Black’s antics during the shoot.

However, it also presents a quick history of Lucha Libre, and we see other aspects of the production. A lighter than air piece aimed at kids, "Unmasked" provides some decent glimpses of the shoot, but its heavily promotional nature makes it less than stellar.

Lucha Libre lasts three minutes, 13 seconds and gives us a few general notes about Mexican wrestling. We hear the thoughts of a few cast and crewmembers as we watch shots of the matches staged for the movie.

If there’s a real point to this, I can’t figure out what it is. The quick featurette doesn’t tell us anything useful, really.

Up next, Hecho en Mexico runs two minutes, 28 seconds as it gives us some very brief notes about shooting in Mexico. These stay fluffy and general, so they don’t offer any good nuggets of information. This is another pointless program.

Two reels in the same vein, we find Exterior – Hacienda – Night (14:58) and Interior - Lucha Libre Ring – Night (15:15). Both consist of footage from the shoot.

We get occasional on-location remarks from Hess and others, but the two segments usually stick with the “fly on the wall” perspective. Both seem engaging in that regard.

During the nine-minute, 12-second Moviefone Unscripted with Jack Black and Hector Jimenez, the pair interview each other and ask questions submitted by viewers.

They discuss issues related to shooting with each other, training for the wrestling, various production and performance specifics, filming in Mexico, and a few other general notes. Though nothing fascinating emerges, we get a few fun tidbits in this enjoyable piece.

For some musical content, we go to Jack Sings. This six-minute, 18-second segment includes two songs: "La Cancion de Ramses" and "La Cancion de Encarnacion".

These feature rehearsal shots of Black as he runs through the tunes. That makes the clips more interesting than expected and a nice little addition.

Three Deleted Scenes fill a total of nine minutes, 36 seconds. These include "The Way of the Eagle" (7:57), "Poem for Ramses" (0:44) and "Ramses Gets Jumped" (0:55). Obviously "Eagle" presents the most substantial of the new clips.

It gives us an alternate introduction to the mentor played by Peter Stormare. It’s too long, too lame and not necessary. "Poem" gives us a little more of the fat girl with a thing for Steven, while "Jumped" just shows a street fight that involves the wrestler. Neither adds anything.

Promo Spots features three ads that run a total of one minute, 37 seconds. These are simple TV commercials, though they occasionally become a little more clever than usual. We also get the trailer for Libre.

Lastly, we get a Photo Gallery. This breaks down into three categories: "On Set" (55 shots), "Luchadores" (53) and "Nacho Especial" (41).

If I never see a shot of Jack Black’s doughy shirtless body, it’ll be too soon. That’s mostly what you see here, so don’t expect anything interesting – or to keep down your lunch.

Despite my dislike of Napoleon Dynamite, I gave its director a second change with Nacho Libre. Fool me twice – shame on me. Like its predecessor, Nacho suffers from too little humor and too many scenes of forced whimsy and wackiness. None of this amuses or entertains. The Blu-ray provides mediocre picture quality along with perfectly acceptable audio and a mix of decent extras. The movie stinks too much for me to care about much else.

To rate this film visit the original review of NACHO LIBRE

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main