Wonder Woman with an Israeli attitude

By Nate Bloom

Movies coming to theaters and on your couch 

Opening June 2 is “Wonder Woman.” Basic plot: Chris Pine, whose maternal grandpa was Jewish, plays Steve, a World War I American secret agent pursued by the German army because he knows they plan to use a horribly deadly chemical weapon. He crash lands on an idyllic island where Diana, a.k.a Wonder Woman, lives. She takes him back to England and for a time she doesn’t reveal her true self. But fate takes her to a no-man’s land on a WWI battlefield, and look out, it’s Wonder Woman in full regalia!

 Jews worldwide have been giddy since Israeli actress GAL GADOT, 32, was cast as Wonder Woman. She’s practically a super-hero Jewish role model: A former Miss Israel, top model, Israeli army veteran, motorcycle rider, mother of two with her Israeli husband (a successful hotel developer)—and, of course, hot actress.

 The original Netflix film “War Machine” premieres on Friday, May 26. It is a satire that is loosely based on the non-fiction book, The Operators,” by the late Michael Hastings. In 2010, Hastings did a Rolling Stone interview with General Stanley McCrystal, then the head of NATO forces in Afghanistan, in which the general heavily criticized President Barack Obama. He was subsequently forced to resign. In 2012, Hastings turned his year of traveling with and interviewing McChrystal into “The Operators.”

 Brad Pitt stars as Gen. Glen McMahon, who is based on McChrystal, and like McChrystal, “War Machine” follows the events leading up to his firing. EMORY COHEN, 27, plays Willy Dunne, an important member of McMahon’s staff. Cohen burst into prominence with his lovely performance as an Italian guy who courts an Irish girl in the acclaimed film “Brooklyn” (2015). The cast includes Anthony Michael Hall as General Michael Flynn (yes, that Michael Flynn).

 “Band Aid” opens in a few theaters on June 2 and will be available for on-demand streaming from IFC on June 9. It co-stars ZOE LISTER JONES, 34, and ADAM PALLY, 35, as a couple whose marital discord, ironically, helps their music career as they form a band that does “fight songs.”  Lister-Jones, who was raised in her mother’s Jewish faith, wrote and directed the film. She co-stars in the Fox series, “Life in Pieces.” Pally co-stars in the Fox comedy, “Making History.” “Band Aid” has got very good advance reviews.

  “The Hero,” which opens June 9, may not open near you—but make a mental note to look for it on-demand or on DVD. Sam Elliott plays a has-been actor seeking out his estranged daughter after a health scare. Along the way, he bonds with a comic (LAURA PREPON, 37, of “Orange is the New Black” fame). Prepon’s father is Jewish and she’s engaged to actor BEN FOSTER, 36, who was raised in his father’s Jewish faith. They’re expecting a child.

Mayim Bialik’s new book

You’d think that the teenage years of “Big Bang Theory” star MAYIM BIALIK would be any young person’s dream. At age 13, she was in “Beaches” (1988), a major hit film starring BETTE MIDLER. When Bialik was 16, she was the star of “Blossom,” a hit sit-com.

 But it was not all smooth sailing for Bialik, who is a Modern Orthodox Jew. In a recent Marie Claire magazine article she recounts, year-by-year, from age 4 until age 17, her insecurities. Here’s age 17: “I don’t like the boys the other girls like. I don’t want to act dumb so boys will like me. I want to find someone who looks and thinks like Elvis Costello. I want to live anywhere other than this country; I want to go where I’m not the only one who doesn’t shave my legs and armpits. I want to go where it’s not weird to like sports cars and comic books and veganism.”

 Her new book, “Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular” is aimed to be an encyclopedic guide for all girls, those quirky and those not, on how to cope with the challenges of growing-up. Bialik, 41, says: [It teaches] girls about themselves through learning about the cultural experience, or a scientific experience, of being female and how it varies across culture.”

Contact columnist Nate Bloom at [email protected].