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Kosher Cinema: June Movie Picks For JDaters®

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Kosher Cinema

As Universal ponders who sunk their Battleship, and Disney basks in the golden glow of the piles of money The Avengers has made them, we enter June, a month that promises entertainment at the box office for everyone! From musicals (Rock of Ages) to SciFi Thrillers (Prometheus), and even male stripper movies (Magic Mike), June is certainly chock full of variety.

The Chosen Feature

This month’s chosen feature is a departure from the norm. Previously I’ve been recommending movies, but this month, I’m going to be recommending a TV Series. Mad Men, the ever popular and award-winning AMC series, also happens to be one of the most Jewish shows on television right now.  This season, the show’s fifth, has included scenes in which a Jewish father blesses his son after he gets a job,  the agency tries to sign Manischewitz® as a client, and Roger Sterling has a frank discussion with his Jewish ex-wife about his thoughts on Judaism. But if you haven’t seen Mad Men, you should go back to the start. Season one of the show also features some heavy Jewish themes. In fact, the show starts off with an episode in which Don Draper and the boys at Sterling Cooper must deal with having their first Jewish client. And the 6th episode, “Babylon,” is one of the most Jewish episodes ever produced for television. It deals with Don Draper’s struggle to craft an ad campaign for Israel tourism. It’s an incredibly well-written, thought-provoking episode, and well worth checking out. So is the entire series for that matter.

The JScale – Remember, the stars tell you how Jewish the film is, not how good.

Piranha 3DD – 0/5 Stars of David

No Jewish careers were harmed in the making of this sure-to-be-ridiculous sequel to Piranha 3D, which appears to raise the gross-out factor to new heights.  If you want to know what I mean, look up the Wikipedia page of the film and read where one piranha hides and what it bites. Ouch.

Snow White and the Huntsmen – 0.5/5 Stars of David

Aside from producer Joe Roth, who it should be noted, when he was a child, was one of the kids involved in the Supreme Court Case “Engel v. Vitale,” that helped abolish prayer in public schools, there are no Jews involved in this second Snow White re-imagining of the year. Let’s hope it’s better than Tarsem’s failed vehicle from earlier this year. It does feature the most incredible cast ever to play the seven dwarfs, including some of my absolute favorite British actors like Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Toby Jones, Ray Winstone, and Nick Frost. So it might be worth a look.

For Greater Glory – 0/5 Stars of David

This film, about the fascinating true story behind the Cristero War, a rebellion in Mexico that occurred over government persecution of Catholics, is pretty devoid of Jews – not surprisingly.

Prometheus – 0/5 Stars of David

Four films in to the month of June and it’s looking a lot more like the British run the film industry than the Jews, so take that, anti-Semites! Prometheus, the pseudo prequel to Alien, features many impressive actors, none of whom are Jewish.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted – 2/5 Stars of David

Jews ahoy! Madagascar 3 features the voice talents of Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer and Sacha Baron Cohen, as well as the writing skills of Noah Baumbach. You know what you’re getting here, wacky zoo animals, sophomoric humor, and Europe apparently.

Rock of Ages – 1/5 Stars of David

The big screen adaptation of the popular 80’s rock musical is being helmed by (member of the tribe) Adam Shankman, but his cast is as goyish as it gets. It promises some good musical fun, and a chance for us to see whether Julianne Hough can act or not.

That’s My Boy – 3/5 Stars of David

From the pen of Jewish screenwriter Dan Caspe, That’s My Boy once again features Adam Sandler playing someone obnoxious, this time the father of Andy Samberg, whose film career as anything other than a supporting character has been mediocre, to be generous, at this point. We’ll have to hope this film, which also features Hebrew brother James Caan, is better than Sandler’s last offering, the truly abysmal Jack & Jill, one of the worst studio films ever made.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – 1/5 Stars of David

Seth Grahame-Smith had better hope this adaptation of his best-selling novel does well in theaters, because after Dark Shadows bombed, and was criticized by many critics for having a lazy, meandering, and even stupid script, he needs a hit.

Brave – 0/5 Stars of David

Very little Jewish involvement in the production of the latest Pixar film, which is set in Scotland, and features a largely Scottish cast, none of whom are one of the approximately 5 Scottish Jews.

Magic Mike – 0/5 Stars of David

Of course there are no Jews in this male stripper film based on Channing Tatum’s pre-acting career escapades.  And we’re glad there aren’t – what would their mothers think?!

Ted – 2/5 Stars of David

Both screenwriter Alec Sulkin, and Actress Mila Kunis are Jews, and they may need to repent come Yom Kippur for the damage done to the psyche of any children who mistakenly see Ted, as this is one adult-teddy bear film. When Seth MacFarlane’s involved, you know boundaries are going to be pushed.

Madea’s Witness Protection – 2.5/5 Stars of David

This latest in the long line of Madea films involves a clearly Jewish CFO who’s been caught up in a Ponzi scheme, being placed in witness protection in Madea’s home. The CFO is played by Eugene Levy, and fellow Jews Doris Roberts and Tom Arnold (who converted after marrying Roseanne Barr) are along for the ride.

And that’s the wrap for this month. Until next month, enjoy your JDating® and movie-going experiences!

Jonathan Maseng is a Los Angeles based screenwriter and journalist. He is a frequent contributor to the LA Jewish Journal, and his work has appeared in publications around the globe. His mother would like him to find a nice Jewish girl — he’s still looking.
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