- Rated: R
- Closed captioning available
- Run Time: 1 hours, 56 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: October 30, 2007
- Originally Released: 2007
- Label: New Line Home Video
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English
- Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - English
- Subtitles - English, Spanish - Optional
- Additional Release Material:
- Deleted Scenes: "Say No to Drugs"
- Featurette: "The Sound and the Heat of El Cantante"
- Trailers: Theatrical Trailer
- Audio Commentary:
- Leon Ichaso - Director
- David Darmstaeder & Todd Antony Bello - Writers
- Interactive Menus: Animated Menus
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Jennifer Lopez &
Tony Devon &
David Darmstaeder &
Todd Anthony Bello
Jennifer Lopez &
Director of Photography:
New York Times - 08/03/2007
"[The] music is a complex and captivating form of drama in its own right....Ms. Lopez brings a lot of fight to her performance."
Sight and Sound - 10/17/2008
"Anthony does a convincing turn as the charismatic Lavoe, poetically extemporising his freeform lyrics on stage..."
Based on the life of salsa legend Hector Lavoe, director Leon Ichaso's EL CANTANTE, follows the beloved Puerto Rican performer (played by Marc Anthony) as he moves to New York City, and rises through the Bronx's vibrant Latin music scene during the 1960s and '70s. Singing with popular trombonist/bandleader Willie Colon (John Ortiz), Lavoe goes on to a successful solo career, but along the way, he becomes a drug addict, sabotaging not only his music, but his relationship with Puchi (a.k.a. Nilda Roman, portrayed by Jennifer Lopez).
Helmed by Ichaso (PINERO) with documentary-like realism, and carried by Anthony, who bears a striking (albeit thinner) resemblance to Lavoe, EL CANTANTE thoughtfully depicts the rise and fall of a remarkably talented vocalist unable to shake debilitating addiction. Husband and wife in real life, Anthony and Lopez reveal a convincing chemistry, and the movie bolsters the Puchi role to give J. Lo more screen time, an aesthetic decision than allows her gentle-yet-determined presence to play off of Anthony's troubled Lavoe. While off-stage drama receives its share of attention in EL CANTANTE, the film also wisely shines the spotlight on Lavoe's charismatic performances, which are captured with grace and gusto by Anthony, a beloved singer in his own right. For fans of Lavoe, Anthony, and Lopez, this labor-of-love project is a must-see biopic that depicts the joy of Latin music against an otherwise difficult backdrop.