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El Cantante (2007)

Jennifer Lopez , Marc Anthony  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 30, 2007
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000VZADR4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,710 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

El Cantante (DVD) (WS)

Though they don't look much alike, slight actor-singer Marc Anthony was born to play robust salsa sensation Héctor Lavoe. In addition to similar ancestry and vocal skills, Anthony has been building a respectable cinematic resume with roles in Big Night and Martin Scorsese's Bringing out the Dead. The title of El Cantante comes from a number Rubén Blades wrote for The Singer. Lavoe would make it his signature song. In the film, Anthony's wife, producer Jennifer Lopez, plays Puchi, the Nuyorican beauty who won Lavoe's heart. She narrates their story from the perspective of 2002 (the real-life Puchi passed away shortly afterwards). Leon Ichaso (Piñero) contrasts Lavoe's rise from Puerto Rican street singer to New York superstar with his fall from innocent immigrant to heroin-addicted ladies man. By the mid-1980s, Lavoe's popularity hit its peak, and Ichaso spends the rest of the time ticking off the tragedies of his final years: the break with trombonist Willie Colón (John Ortiz), stay in a mental ward, etc. It's a dynamic portrait, and Anthony and Lopez work well together, but despite the urban setting and Latin-flavored soundtrack, El Cantante follows virtually the same trajectory as Ray and Walk the Line (Ichaso has also directed biopics of Jimi Hendrix and Muhammad Ali). His movie looks and sounds authentic, but Lavoe's story might've been better served as nonfiction. There's a sense that there was more to the man than what appears on screen. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good insight into Hector's world October 26, 2007
My wife and I watched the movie recently and we both enjoyed it very much. The film's excellent, period! Anyone curious to learn about this unique salsa singer should purchase the DVD. Though I must confess the biographical nature of it was sad for me to see. Of course it's unavoidable as he led such a tragic life. Hector must've had many wonderfully fun moments during his short life, but you couldn't really extract that from watching the film.

Having said that, I give high accolades to all involved in its production. Both Marc and Jennifer were excellent in their respective acting roles. I was particularly impressed with Jennifer and would agree with a commenter here that she should receive Oscar consideration.

Side notes: I wish the relationships between Hector and the other musicians like Willy Colon would've been explored even further. And that the director would've allowed the actor playing Ruben Blades to finish singing the song El Cantante on acoustic guitar - very cool.
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Movie That Was Virtually Ignored!! October 28, 2007
Let me start off by stating that I thought this was a very good biopic about the legendary Hector Lavoe.
Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony both did an excellent
job in their portrayals of Lavoe and the fiery Puchi
and the way it was shot, the music, etc. was very good too.
I wish they could've been more detailed about the deaths
of Hector himself of AIDS in 1993, Hector and Puchi's son,
young Hector Jr., who was killed in a gun accident in 1987,
as well as Puchi's own tragic death in 2002.
That's my only sore spot.
The real problem lies in whomever they chose to distribute
and promote this film! When it came out it was in very limited
release and virtually non-exsistent in secondary market theatres!--
-Where I live (Orlando, FL), where there is a very
large latino community
(many of which are northern transplants
of Puerto Rican, Dominican & Cuban descent!)
there was abosolutely nowhere you
could go see this movie on it's opening weekend!
The only way that I got to see it was through a bootleg,
but this movie, if handled right, could have done much better!
Even now, though it's being released to DVD on Tuesday
October 30th, you haven't seen or heard any advertisements
on TV about it's release!--WTF??--Anywayz, I hope that it gets
the love that it deserves from the DVD buying/renting public,
because it's a great story and well done I might add!
I hope a film on the early days of salsa comes out
about Tito Puente / Celia Cruz / Mongo Santamaria/ La Lupe, etc.
that captures that time in the early 50's in NYC when all
of this music was being created. A biopic about any one of
those figures needs to be done. These stories need to be
told and passed on to younger generations and people
who may like salsa music, but never knew where it came from!
This DVD Is Worth Buying!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Tour de Force for Jennifer Lopez November 3, 2007
EL CANTANTE missed in the theater run, perhaps because the public is growing weary of 'little person makes good, becomes a celebrity, and aborts a successful life in favor of drugs' stories. But now that the film is available for DVD viewing in the home, the public can appreciate the very fine qualities of this surprise work. And it may not be too late for an Oscar nod for Jennifer Lopez...

The film is based on the life of Hector Lavoe (Marc Anthony), the Puerto Rican King of Salsa who gained fame and stardom in the 1970s and 1980s as not only a talented singer but also as a charismatic 'man of the people'. His rise to fame is related in a tremendously effective black and white late in life interview with Hector's wife Puchi (a brilliant role for Jennifer Lopez!) offering in flashback sequences the rise and fall of the King of Salsa, a life cut short by both drug abuse and AIDS. Much of the film is devoted to musical sequences that bristle with the excitement of Salsa music and Anthony carries his role as Lavoe very well. The cast is uniformly excellent with some fine new faces. Write/director Leon Ichaso lets the drama slip a bit in favor of the music, but still the performance of Jennifer Lopez as the smart but sleazy, tacky and wise Puchi is dynamite. The film is far more solid than expected: the opportunity for Lopez to demonstrate her talent is well worth watching. Grady Harp, November 07
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie! Stand up Boriquas!!! August 5, 2008
Great movie, about a great man Mr. Hector Lavoe (Perez). I am a Nuyorican from Brooklyn with alot of family in the bronx, and this music was always in my family parties. Salsa as a Latina, is the music of my moves me whenever I hear it..
At times I admit it may go a little slow..but overall I loved the cast and the story. And I am not a very big JLO fan....but I loved her in this movie as Hector's strong willed wife Puchi.. And it gave me a bit of history from back when Salsa first began and was the made me proud.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars El cantante sings! May 31, 2008
I loved this movie and I also love JLo and Marc Anthony! I think this movie was underrated. If you are truly interested in Hector Lavoe, you will love it. If you buy it just cause you want to see JLo and Marc, you probably won't like it. They are good in the movie but the story is what made it for me. Of course, it goes without saying, Marc Anthony's voice is supberb!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars great overall
good movie, love the salsa music from the original singer....good job by both actors, although slightly B-ish movie overall.... Read more
Published 8 days ago by JimKellyfan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie... Love it!
Published 10 days ago by Yolanda Corcino-Gili
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved El Cantante
Loved El Cantante, Jennifer Lopez, and Marc Anthony were amazing. I really enjoyed this film. Hector Lavo was so talented, but, his dark side brought him down.
Published 17 days ago by Angelo Lopez
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good! Both the acting and soundtrack were phenomenal.
Published 19 days ago by DUBS VII
4.0 out of 5 stars This movie is great! I recommend everyone who is interested something...
This movie is great! I recommend everyone who is interested something real to watch it!
Published 27 days ago by teresa mangle
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
movie was sad but glad I got.
Published 1 month ago by martha
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
Well - OK is about all you can say for this effort...
Published 1 month ago by Gungo
5.0 out of 5 stars Must see movie for Salsa fans!
Marc Anthony does a fantastic job of imitating Hector Lavoe.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Never got a chance to view the movie. When ...
Never got a chance to view the movie. When I inserted the dvd in the player it, the tv screen would turn black and "JPEG" will pop-up on the screen. Read more
Published 2 months ago by George Reyes
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie! Great Actors! Great Soundtrack!
For some reason, this movie received poor reviews, but this movie and the starts potrayals were spot on! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Junne Olmo
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