Jewish celebrities: Call of the Wild, streaming update and Rick Moranis is back

Lisa Bonet, Lenny Kravitz, Zoe Kravitz

By Nate Bloom, Special to the Jewish Light

At the movies: Something wild

 “The Call of the Wild,” which opened last Friday, is based on the famous 1903 novel by Jack London. It’s the story of Buck, a very big dog whose idyllic life in Northern California ends when he is stolen and transported to the Alaskan Yukon during the Gold Rush of the 1890s. Buck is mistreated by a series of owners until John Thornton (HARRISON FORD, 77) comes into his life and nurses Buck back to health. They form an inseparable bond. Ford, who has always been secular, is the son of a Jewish mother and an Irish Catholic father.

The screenplay of “Call of the Wild” was written by MICHAEL GREEN, 46. This New York native is the son of an Israeli mother and an American Jewish father. He started as a TV writer (“Sex and the City”). In 2018, he was nominated for a screenplay Oscar for “Logan.”


Streaming Catch-Up

New Mt. Sinai Cemetery advertisement

 “High Fidelity,” an original, 10-episode Hulu series, was released in its entirety on Feb. 14. It is based on a British novel of the same name that was turned into a hit film, also called “High Fidelity,” in 2000. In the film, Rob (John Cusack), a Chicago record store owner often broke the “fourth wall” and told us, the film viewers, about his problems. His biggest problem was a recent break-up with his girlfriend. The film co-starred LISA BONET, now 55, as a singer Rob is attracted to.

The Hulu series stars ZOE KRAVITZ, 31, as Rob, a Brooklyn record store owner whose former boyfriend has just returned to New York after a year-away. (Kravitz is the daughter of Lisa Bonet and LENNY KRAVITZ, 55). As in the film, there are long monologues in which Zoe Kravitz tells us, the viewers, about her life.  Reviews are mostly good.

The first, 10-episode season of the Amazon original series “Hunters” began streaming last Friday, Feb. 21. Al Pacino, in his first TV role, plays Meyer Offerman, the Jewish leader of a group of Nazi hunters headquartered in New York City in 1977. They discover that hundreds of important Nazi officials are living in America and are conspiring to create a Fourth Reich. The “hunters,” who include many non-Jews of all races, set out on a bloody quest to bring these Nazis to justice. The Jewish cast members do play Jewish characters: LOGAN LERMAN, 28; JEANNIE BERLIN, 70; JOSH RADNOR, 45; CAROL KANE, 67; and SAUL RUBINEK, 71 (Rubinek’s parents survived the Holocaust because Polish farmers hid them). 

Creator and executive producer DAVID WEIL, 35ish, has received some backlash to the series, especially a scene that included a human chess game, which the official Auschwitz Memorial referred to as “disrespectful and disrespectful”.

Weil has responded that the series is inspired by true events, and in a statement to Deadline magazine said he included the human chess match “To most powerfully counteract the revisionist narrative that whitewashes Nazi perpetration, by showcasing the most extreme – and representationally truthful – sadism and violence that the Nazis perpetrated against the Jews and other victims.”

By the way, Israeli actress MEITAL DOHAN, 43, broke up with Pacino, 79, about two months ago. They were together for about two years. Dohan explained why they split in a recent interview with Israeli magazine La’Isha. She said: “It’s hard to be with a man so old, even Al Pacino. The age gap is difficult, yes. I tried to deny it, but now he is already an elderly man, to be honest. So even with all my love, it didn’t last.”

Dohan is best known in America for a recurring role on the Showtime series “Weeds,” in which she played the head of a rabbinical school who was romantically involved with lead character Andy Botwin (played by JUSTIN KIRK, now 50).

Moranis returns

RICK MORANIS, 67, will return to the big screen to star in “Shrunk,” a sequel in the “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” series of movies. JOSH GAD, 38, will co-star. Moranis starred or co-starred in a number of hit movies (“Ghostbusters,” “Parenthood” and the “Honey I Shrunk” films) before taking a very long hiatus to raise his two children.  Rick’s Jewish wife, ANN BELSKY, a costume designer and the mother of his children, died in 1991. Moranis stopped doing live action films in 1997 but continued to do voice-over parts in animated films.