a different side of Israel

Tag: Movies

Rotten Melon?

Mel Gibson, who told a police officer once when he was drunk and Israel’s 2006 invasion of Lebanon had the front page of every media outlet: “Fucking Jews… the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world…” is set to direct a new film!

The Los Angeles Times reported:

“Mel Gibson, the Oscar winner who has defended himself against accusations of anti-Semitism, is developing a film for Warner Bros. about the life of Judah Maccabee, the warrior whose ancient victory is celebrated by Hanukkah…
…Gibson’s Icon Productions has closed the producing deal with Warner Bros., and Joe Eszterhas will write the screenplay. Gibson’s camp said the filmmaker will decide if he’s directing after the script is done and that he has not ruled out the possibility that he could act in the film…”

It is a good idea if you think about it.

A big budget motion picture based on Judah Maccabee. Often I’ve pondered doing a Masada remake, or better, Bar Kokhva the film, with Antonio Benderas as the megalomaniacal Shimon bar Kokhva, Kevin Spacey as the Roman emperor Hadrian and James Earl Jones as Rabbi Akiva.

So despite the fact that the guy’s an Anti-Semite, I’d pay to see the film. However, various Jewish groups are up in arms about it.
Abraham Foxman, Anti-Defamation League national director:

“Judah Maccabee is a hero of the Jewish people and a universal hero in the struggle for religious liberty, he deserves better. It’s facetious that his story is told by a person who has no respect for other people’s religious viewpoints…”

Rabbi Marvin Hier from Los Angeles’ Simon Wiesenthal Center:

“Gibson’s plan is simply an insult to Jewish people…He has antagonistic viewpoint towards Jews. Casting him as a director or perhaps as the star of Judah Maccabee is like casting (Bernie) Madoff to be the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or a white supremacist as trying to portray Martin Luther King Jr. It’s simply an insult to Jews…”

In a recent interview in GQ, Wynona Ryder told Alex Pappademas:

“I remember, like, fifteen years ago, I was at one of those big Hollywood parties. And he was really drunk. I was with my friend, who’s gay. He made a really horrible gay joke. And somehow it came up that I was Jewish. He said something about ‘oven dodgers,’ but I didn’t get it. I’d never heard that before. It was just this weird, weird moment. I was like, ‘He’s anti-Semitic and he’s homophobic.’ No one believed me!”

So he can’t deny his anti-Semitism.

Nevertheless, the church has often been interested in the various texts of the Aprocrypha, a collection of texts from Ancient Judea, largely written in Greek, which were not canonized, and in which the story is included.

Check out Jeffrey Goldberg chin-wagging Gibson over at the Atlantic.

Finally: A ‘New’ Agent 007

New James Bond Movie
Bond, James Bond. Always cool, never in a hurry. So is characterized the British Secret Service agent immortalized in British author Ian Fleming’s highly successful spy novels. This character, first played by Sean Connery in the first ‘Bond Flick’ Dr. No during the early 1960’s, went on to appear in a total of 21 films, played by Connery and a number of other actors, including Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan (from the Daniel Steel TV mysteries series), seemed to become more out of touch with Fleming’s tough and steely intelligence agent who drank vodka martinis (stirred, not shaken) drove a vintage 1936 Bentley convertible, and had a highly successful way with women. Following Connery’s leaving the Bond series in 1971, the subsequent characters seemed never able to replace the Scottish actor in this role; and more bizarre plots and use of gadgetry were required to keep up viewer interest at the box office.

All this has changed, however, with the casting of British actor Daniel Craig as the ‘new’ Agent 007 in a recently released version of Fleming’s first Bond book, Casino Royale. This film, which tries to show a James Bond similar to the true character, is being reviewed as the best James Bond to appear since Connery. The film is no way similar to the original Casino Royale, released as a comedy in 1967 with such stars as Peter Sellers and Woody Allen. This new version, in which Craig was picked from a pool of over 200 other actors, is a true Bond film, and a credit to Flemings original character. Craig, who has starred in a number of British films, including the tragic romantic film Sylvia with actress Gwyneth Paltrow , and the Steven Spielberg thriller Munich is 100% James Bond – with more characterization and less reliance on high-tech gadgetry.

For those of us who have read all of Flemings 007 novels, as well as seen many of the ensuing films, this is welcome news. This new movie retains some of the old film characters, including Bonds superior, M; but without Miss Moneypenny (M’s secretary who was secretly in love with 007) or Q, the scientist who introduced Bond to the items he would use to assist him in his latest spy caper. Bond’s personal weapons have also changed over the years, from a tiny Beretta 0.22 automatic, then to a Walther PPK 9/mm, he now uses a more modern weapon to fight his adversaries, who are also more suitably armed.

The Aston Martin returns as well, although it’s a more advanced model than Bond’s original DB-5.

The world has changed significantly since the Cold War, which served as the backdrop for the Bond film From Russia with Love. With Islamic terror now the big international threat, we might wonder if future bond films might include terrorists like Osama bin Ladin (name changed to not offend Muslims, of course). We’ll all just have to wait and see what does develop in Craig’s future James Bond roles.

Pirate Fantasy Cleans Up at the Box Office

Pirate Fantasy Cleans Up at the Box Office“Yo ho ho, and a bucket of cash!”

Fantasy flicks in recent years have managed to capture both the imaginations of their audiences as well as making big bucks at the box office. This summer was no exception, with the Walt Disney Productions fantasy adventure Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Mans Chest outdistancing all its cinema rivals by almost 2 to 1. “Pirates”, is the sequel to the original Pirates of the Caribbean, starring Johnny Depp. Depp, as the pirate Will Sparrow, along with many of the cast of the original 2003 movie, Curse of the Black Pearl, continues to entertain and amaze viewing audiences with more of the bizarre pirate zombies, brought back to ‘life’ by fiendish adversaries out to take over the lucrative pirate shipping routes. Also included are fantastic hidden treasure, waiting to be taken by those courageous (and stupid) enough to pursue it.

The production has already grossed more than $414 million dollars for Disney, which along with other productions, both animated and with live actors, has revolutionized the ‘special effect’ techniques of film making. Using a high tech filming technique called ‘pixar’, imaginary images become very real; in fact so real that it plays heavily with peoples’ imagination. Another popular summer film, Cars, has also become a hit, especially with the younger set. The combined earnings of both ‘Pirates’ and ‘Cars’, $656 million is almost as much as the movie ‘The Davinci Code’, which has so far grossed over $754 million.

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