Cesar Romero

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Batman (1966) Review


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If you're old enough, you remember when Batman first became a cultural phenomenon. No, not when Tim Burton tagged then-comedian Michael Keaton and Oscar-winning warhorse Jack Nicholson to play the Caped Crusader and his joking nemesis, respectively. Forty years ago, every kid in America was glued to their living room TV set, awaiting the moment when the familiar Neal Hefti theme music would announce another amazing adventure with the crime fighter and the boy wonder Robin. So successful was the '60s version that at the height of its popularity it actually aired twice a week. Naturally, ABC wanted to maximize its prime time hit's potential, so in between seasons one and two, a full length motion picture was produced.

The storyline of 1966's Batman offers up the four main villains from the series -- The Joker (Cesar Romero), The Penguin (Burgess Meredith), The Riddler (Frank Gorshin), and Catwoman (Lee Meriwether, subbing for a previously committed Julie Newmar) -- uniting to bring down Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) once and for all. Using a device known as a dehydrator, they kidnap the United World Security Council, determined to use their crime to dismantle the organization and take over the world. With the leaders now turned to dust, our bad-guy-busting duo must save the day, hopefully restoring the assembly before the planet devolves into chaos.

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If a Man Answers Review


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Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin were always the poor man's screwball couple -- but the acquit themselves just fine in If a Man Answers, a corny comedy about love and such. Dee nabs confirmed bachelor Darin -- then turns him into "the marrying kind" by using a handbook meant to train dogs. Eventually, his eye strays, and she concocts a faux beau (Cesar Romero) to send her flowers and "call her" every night. The subterfuge falls apart in the end, as the film turns into a complete and utter farce. Frequently funny, it's still not anywhere near a classic due to its trite plotting.

Ocean's Eleven (1960) Review


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Implausible yet wholly unforgettable, Ocean's Eleven is as much fun as it is a misogynistic relic of a bygone era. Essentially, the Rat Pack of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Peter Lawford are playing themselves as ex-military playboy buddies who decide to pull off a daring heist on New Year's Eve, robbing five Las Vegas casinos in one fell swoop. As it turns out, the heist itself is kind of a forgettable letdown, as is the aftermath involving an investigation into the matter by Lawford's character's future stepfather (Cesar Romero). Even the setup takes close to an hour, as Billy Ocean (Sinatra) woos his lady and slowly gathers his crew -- all while Martin and Davis provide musical accompaniment. The end result is more than two hours of heist work that would make David Mamet cringe.

So why watch Sinatra and his 10 (not 11) ex-military buddies romp through their kinda town? Ocean's Eleven is the kind of movie you turn on and just hang out to, just like the Rat Pack would have done, as you enjoy a scotch and soda on a Saturday afternoon while Dean Martin croons "Ain't that a kick in the head..." in the background. Then you'd go bowling in an orange sweater to talk about the job. When it's over, you won't feel like you've bettered yourself in any way, but you might feel just an inch of kinship with a bygone era when Vegas was black tie-only and when a woman's place was in a distant, supporting role. (Just kidding, dames.)

Continue reading: Ocean's Eleven (1960) Review

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