In the past on this blog, I have overpraised movies, only to regret my ill-chosen words weeks later (Fun with Dick and Jane, Junebug, etc - fine films but not worthy of drooling fervor.) So, I chose to wait before discussing Nacho Libre. Some of you may have received a context-less text message from me calling it the greatest film ever made. But texts don't count - only blogs do.
I decided to impose a 10-day waiting period on all blubbering fawning blog entires relating to currently released films (music, books, and TV have no such restrictions.) It has been 10 days since I saw Nacho Libre in the Harkins North Phoenix Megaplex (you know - the one by the Chick-Fil-A) during a lazy academic conference weekend. I can now take a deep deep breath and consider all my options before proceeding.
Breath taken, options considered, I can now solemnly proclaim Nacho Libre as one of the best films I have seen during the middle period of the second Bush administration. To say that director Jared Hess improved his craftsmanship between Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho is the greatest understatement since I over heard someone in a fruit stand by the beach say "Mangoes are good." To say that Jack Black picked a better role here than he did in Envy or even School of Rock is a comparable understatement. To say I almost cried would be hyperbole but damn my heartstrings were pulled (the last movie I did cry during? this one.) Throw in an amazing soundtrack (unavailable in stores. why?), sweet costumes, and great supporting performances and you've got greatness. Even the wrestling scenes were tolerable!
Another great movie: Word Play. I have no words left to describe this one. Except: Long live Will Shortz. Great Indigo Girls (?!) cameo. I'm going to next year's national crossword tournament. But I have to get my completion time for a Monday New York Times puzzle below four minutes. The best ones can do it in 2:30. I've got a long way to go.