Opening on Friday, August 19, are “Conan the Barbarian,” “Fright Night,” and “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World.” “Conan” is 3-D re-make of the hit 1982 film, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Like the original movie, the re-make is based on a popular comic book series, and begins with Conan’s tribe being wiped out and Conan seeking revenge. RON PERLMAN, 61, plays Conan’s father, with STEPHEN LANG, 59, as Khalar Zym, a ruthless warlord.
As an aside, I always wished somebody would make a short, Jewish-themed parody film called “Cohen, the Barbarian.” Ron Perlman could (also) play Cohen’s dad. Twenty-five ago, MARC SINGER, a Jewish beefcake actor who starred in the “Beastmaster” movies, would have been perfect as a crazed, sword-wielding Hebrew with muscles to spare. Now I think the best choice for the title role would be Dallas Cowboys defensive end IGOR OLSHANSKY, 29. An all-pro, he’s 6’5”, weighs 315 pounds, and can bench press 505 pounds. If “Arnold” could become an actor, so can Igor.
“Fright Night” is a re-make of the hit 1985 film of the same name and differs little from the original. ANTON YELCHIN, 22, (“Chekov” in the latest “Star Trek” movie) plays Charlie Brewster, a high school student. Playing “Evil Ed,” Brewster’s best friend, is CHRISTOPHER MINTZ-PLASSE, 22 (Mintz-Plasse, whose mother is Jewish, is best known as “McLovin” in the comedy “Superbad”)
After viewing some unusual activity, Charlie becomes convinced that Jerry (Colin Farrell), his new next-door neighbor, is a vampire and is preying on the neighborhood. Everyone else, including Charlie’s mother (Toni Collette), thinks Jerry is a great guy. Eventually, Charlie enlists the help of a vampire hunter, but in the meantime, Jerry turns Ed into a vampire, too.
Singer LISA LOEB, 43, has a supporting role as Ed’s mother, and DAVE FRANCO, 26, the brother of actor JAMES FRANCO, appears in a smallish role.
“Spy Kids” is the fourth film in the “Spy Kids” movie franchise, and the first to be made since 2003. Marissa (Jessica Alba), a retired secret agent, is called back into service by the OSS, a “good spy” organization, when a manically evil guy, called “The Timekeeper,” threatens the world (he’s played by JEREMY PIVEN, 44, of “Entourage” fame). Marissa is aided by her twin, 10-year-old step kids, who used to not like her. The twins join the revived “Spy Kids” division of OSS. The main “Spy Kid” characters in the first three movies, Carmen and Juni Cortez, re-appear to equip the twins with crime-fighting gadgets. DARYL SABARA, now 19, who played Juni in the first three films, is back for this sequel.
Women We Love—Daniella Ruah
Each month, Esquire magazine has a feature called “Women We Love.” It highlights an attractive famous woman and includes a profile/interview and a few “cheese-cake” photos (bathing suit or exercise wear—never nudity). Actress DANIELA RUAH, 27, is featured in the September issue, now on newsstands (photo credit: Esquire Magazine). She is best known for playing agent Kensi Blye on the hit CBS crime show, “NCIS: Los Angeles.”
As I noted last February, Ruah has an unusual background. She was born in Boston, where her father, a Sephardi Jewish doctor who was born in Portugal, was then practicing. (Her mother, who is of mixed Sephardi and Ashkenazi background, is also a native of Portugal).
When she was 5, Daniella and her parents moved back to Portugal. Her family is active in the Portuguese Jewish religious community. Daniella graduated from a British university and later became a Portuguese soap opera star. She moved to the States in 2007.
Well, what can I say? The photos of Ruah (Photo Credit: Esquire Magazine), an ex-dancer with a perfectly toned body, are stunning. More revealing, in a sense, are the (easily found) “bonus” videos on the magazine’s website (Esquire.com). One is a comically sexy short featuring Ruah speaking Portuguese with English sub-titles. The other video features Ruah lip-synching short speeches by a bunch of famous people, including Dr. RUTH WESTHEIMER and Danny DeVito. She shows a real flair for capturing these celebrities’ body language. It’s quite amusing.
No Celebrities, But May Be Worth Watching
On Wednesday, August 24, at 10PM, cable channel Spike TV begins a new series called, “Alternate History.” Its premise is to explore what might have happened “if.” The premiere episode has a chilling title: “What If Hitler and the Nazis Won WWII?” The producers of this series have made pretty good, if not great, “what if” programs for the History Channel—so this series may be worth a look.
Nate Bloom writes a weekly column on Jewish celebrities. For the purpose of this column, Bloom defines someone as Jewish if they have at least one Jewish parent, were not raised in a faith other than Judaism, and do not follow a faith other than Judaism as an adult. (Also counted as Jewish are converts to Judaism). Persons who meet this definition are in bold type.