Nate Bloom blogs on this week’s Jews in the News
These movies were set to open on Wednesday, Nov. 21:
“Rise of the Guardians” is a 3-D animated film that tells another story about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, and Jack Frost. Together they battle an evil spirit and reveal previously unknown abilities. The top-notch voice cast includes Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, and ISLA FISHER, 36, as the Tooth Fairy. The very fit Fisher appears on the cover of the Dec. 2012 issue of the UK version of “Women’s Health Magazine” and inside she answers some questions about her faith and her figure.
On converting to Judaism before her marriage to SACHA BARON COHEN, 41: “It takes a couple of years of studying,” Fisher says, “ I’ve always been really into family and food, so culturally it was the right fit for me.” On body image, weight and pregnancy: “I do watch my food,” Fisher says, “But I’ve been blessed in that I never had any body issues during pregnancy. I loved being able to eat whatever I wanted and the whole experience of giving life. And I never worried about losing the weight afterwards, because breastfeeding burns all the calories up so fast. Breastfeeding – that’s my big slimming secret! That and Spanx. Anytime anyone compliments me on my figure, I’m wearing my Spanx undies.”
“Silver Lining Playbook,” a hit at the Toronto film festival, stars Bradley Cooper as a guy who has hit rock bottom (lost his job, his wife, etc) and is living at home with his parents (Robert DeNiro and Jacki Lawrence). It was directed and written for the screen by DAVID O. RUSSELL, 54, (“Three Kings”), who is Jewish on his father’s side.
Red Dawn” is a re-make of the 1984 film of the same name. In the original, the Soviets invade America and occupy large parts of the country. The original centered on a resistance group in a Colorado town. The 1984 version had a lot of exciting action scenes which resulted in big ticket sales, but the premise was pretty absurd even in 1984–and when the internally decayed Soviet Union collapsed in 1991–”Red Dawn” seemed even sillier. But, in 2009, MGM figured they might have a box-office winner again and made a new version, this time subbing in the Chinese for the Soviets. The planned 2010 opening was delayed by MGM’s financial woes and Chinese government protests—including a veiled threat that MGM movies would be barred from the Chinese market. So, in the last year, MGM caved (how ironic!) and turned the Chinese into North Koreans in post-production. JOSH PECK, 26, who is best known for his Nickelodeon series, “Drake & Josh,” co-stars as one of two brothers who lead the small resistance group.
Also opening in a very few theaters on the 23rd is “Hitchcock,” co-starring SCARLETT JOHANSSON. I’ll say more next week when the film opens “wider.”
Cool Old Guy News
MEL BROOKS, 86, gave a wonderfully funny and informative interview, on Nov. 13, to the New Yorker magazine that can be read on-line (only). The interview was done in conjunction with the release of a boxed set entitled,” The Incredible Mel Brooks: An Irresistible Collection of Unhinged Comedy.” This collection assembles odds and ends from his career, including classic interviews with Dick Cavett and Johnny Carson; sitcom appearances; and rarities such as the 1978 parody TV newsmagazine “Peeping Times.”
Believe it or not, HERMAN WOUK, 97, the author of “Marjorie Morningstar” and “The Caine Mutiny,” has a new novel out that’s got very good reviews. Entitled, “The Lawgiver,” it’s mostly about a fictional group of modern-day people making a movie about MOSES. There are explicit Jewish religious themes in the novel beyond the mere mention of Moses. In a Nov. 12, NY Times profile, the amazingly fit Wouk (who is a religious Jew, by the way) expressed some annoyance that people would think it remarkable that he would include such modern touches as text messages and Skype conversations in his new book.
Well, the casting news was held back until almost the last minute, so I couldn’t tell you in advance—but you can watch the episode on-line, anytime. I refer to the special Thanksgiving episode of the hit Fox TV show, “New Girl,” which aired last Tuesday. JAMIE LEE CURTIS, 53, and ROB REINER, 65, guest starred for the first time as the parents of star character Jessica (Zoey Deschanel). During the episode, Jessica tries to reunite her long-divorced parents.
Nate Bloom writes a weekly column on Jewish celebrities, broadly defined, that appears in the Atlanta Jewish Times, the Cleveland Jewish News, the American Israelite of Cincinnati, the Detroit Jewish News, and the New Jersey Jewish Standard. It also appears bi-weekly in j., the Jewish news weekly of northern California. Most of the items in Bloom’s weekly newspaper column differ from the items in his bi-weekly column on interfaith celebrities for InterfaithFamily.com. If you wish to contact Nate Bloom, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org . The author welcomes questions and celebrity “tips,” especially about people you personally know.