Tag Archive: Cesar Romero


Review by C.J. Bunce

Stagecoach, Lost Horizon, Citizen Kane, Casablanca, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, High Noon, The Seven Year Itch, Giant, Rio Bravo, Batman, Chinatown, and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  What do these films have in common?  They each featured significant contributions by Latinx and Hispanic creators.  Next week Turner Classic Movies/TCM and Running Press continue their long-running master class in cinema with the latest volume of the TCM Film Library.  For it they tapped the biggest expert in Latinx and Hispanic cinema, Luis I. Reyes, author of the authoritative 550-page treatise on the subject, Hispanics in Hollywood. 

In TCM’s Viva Hollywood, Reyes updates and highlights pieces from his earlier work, pulling back the veil into a world of actors in front of the camera as well as filmmakers behind the scenes.  Since the heyday of silent film, Latin and Hispanic performers have provided audiences some of their most memorable movies.  From Antonio Moreno’s first film appearance in 1912 to modern entertainers Zoe Saldana, Michelle Rodriquez, Ana de Armas and Oscar Isaac, they all come together in TCM’s Viva Hollywood, available for pre-order now here at Amazon and arriving in bookstores next week.

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In marked contrast to the fun, fantastic, and surprising Warner Brothers release Shazam!, finally arriving in theaters in general release today and reviewed previously here at borg, film fans now have their first look at Warner Brothers’ fall release, Joker For a franchise from the same superhero universe, you couldn’t find a most strikingly dissimilar pair of films, if the first trailer for Joker is any indication of the rest of the film.  Joaquin Phoenix is stepping in this time to fill the role previously played by Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Jared Leto, Cameron Monaghan, and even Mark Hamill in animated versions, and countless others.  This time the character is named Arthur Fleck, so we don’t know whether this is truly the same as the other Jokers or just some parallel world incarnation of the larger-than-life, psychotic, clown villain who became a household word for TV audiences as portrayed by Cesar Romero in the 1960s.

If audiences and fans of DC Comics and DC movies know one character inside and out, it’s the Joker.  So why another movie with the Joker, and more to the point, why another origin story?  Phoenix, the multiple Academy Award-nominated actor from Gladiator, Walk the Line, and The Master, digs in with great, nuanced skill in all of his roles, and Joker will no doubt be any different.  So if you’re still a fan of the dozen recent dark visions into the superhero universe of DC Comics, Phoenix probably is a solid casting choice.  But can you really have a major Joker tale without Batman?  What about all that “creating each other” business?  The market certainly seems saturated with dark comics adaptations and we’re hoping Shazam! will grab audiences so we see more superhero films like it and The Lego Batman Movie ahead, or DC could split the difference and mine the Marvel Cinematic Universe for some fresh ideas.  But first, it’s going to be a Joker tale later this year.

Check it out for yourself, the first trailer for Joker:

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