By Nate Bloom
Something Evil; Something Cute
The following films open on Friday, Sept. 14:
Handsome Israeli actor ODED FEHR, 41, who is best known for playing the character Ardeth Bay in “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns,” has a large supporting role in “Resident Evil: Retribution,” the fifth flick in the “Resident Evil” series. His character (Carlos Olivera) was killed in the third “Evil” movie, but Carlos comes back as a clone of himself. Fehr is also seen in flashback as the “real Carlos.”
Disney has brought back the 2003 animated film classic, “Finding Nemo,” in 3-D. ALBERT BROOKS, 65, voices Marlin, the overprotective father of Nemo (voiced by ALEXANDER GOULD, now 18. He’s been co-starring as Shane Botwin on the Showtime series, “Weeds,” since 2005).
NICHOLAS JARECKI, 33, the brother of director/screenwriters ANDREW JARECKI, 49 (“Capturing the Friedmans”), and EUGENE JARECKI, 42 (“Why We Fight”), makes his feature film directing/screenwriting debut with “Arbitrage,” a suspense thriller. The plot: hedge-fund magnate Robert Miller (Richard Gere) is desperate to sell his company to a major bank before the depths of his fraud is revealed to the public and to his loyal wife (Susan Sarandon), and to his adult daughter, the heir-apparent of his firm. He’s also concealing an extra-marital affair. All this juggling gets the attention of an NYPD detective (Tim Roth) who is determined to reveal the truth.
Interesting sidelights: Jarecki is a co-founder of Moviefone, the popular web service, and it has made him quite wealthy. Tim Roth, who was born and raised in Britain, is not Jewish “at all.” His father, whose original last name was “Smith,” changed his name to “Roth” not longer after WWII. He was a left-wing journalist who made this name change, in part, he said, to express solidarity with the victims of the Holocaust.
Easier to Catch
The following IFC films had or will have a short run in Cincinnati, but it’s easier to catch them using the on-demand feature provided by almost all cable or satellite providers
“Sleepwalk with Me” stars Mike Birbiglia, a real life comedian, who has turned his surreal bouts of sleepwalking into a hit play, best-selling book, and, now, a film. Much of this mostly comedic film concerns Birbiglia’s relationship with his girlfriend Abby (Lauren Ambrose) and his parents (played by CAROL KANE, 60, and James Rebhorn). “Sleepwalk” is produced and co-scripted by IRA GLASS, 53 (“This American Life”) (It opened in one Cincy theater on August 24 for a short run).
JOSH RADNOR, 38, is best known as the star of “How I Met Your Mother.” In 2010, he directed, wrote, and starred-in the romantic comedy/drama “Happythankyoumoreplease,” which had some good moments, but didn’t charm me or critics. He stars in the new film, “Liberal Arts,” as well as directs and writes it. Respected advance reviewers say it is pretty good, but not great. Radnor, a practicing Jew who grew-up in Columbus, filmed the movie on the campus of Kenyon College, his alma mater. The plot: Jesse Fisher (Radnor), newly single and uninspired by his job, leaps at a chance to speak at the retirement dinner of his favorite college professor (Richard Jenkins). While on campus, he meets and becomes infatuated with Zibby, a beautiful, cultured, and precocious college sophomore (Elizabeth Olson). Can it work? Zac Efron (whose paternal grandpa was Jewish) has an important, but small role as a free-spirited young guy who ends up steering Fisher in the right direction.
The prestigious Motion Picture Academy’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, which isn’t given every year, will be given to Hollywood executive JEFFREY KATZENBERG, 51, currently the head of Dreamworks SKG. The award will be presented on Dec. 1. Katzenberg’s award isn’t for his film work, but for his philanthropy. This includes serving on the boards for AIDS Project Los Angeles, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, and the SIMON WISENTHAL Center.
On Aug. 27, the son of the late Soviet Olympic gold medalist Valeriy Brumel, one of the top high jumpers of all-time, arrived in Israel and sought citizenship under the law of return. He made this claim based on his father’s Jewish background. It is unclear if Brumel had one or two Jewish parents. But it has never been previously reported that this great athlete was Jewish at all.