By Nate Bloom
Contributing Columnist

Asteroid and The Flash; Ed Ames

“Asteroid City,” a sci-fi romance-comedy, has a limited opening on June 16 and opens “wide” on the 23rd. This Wes Anderson film follows the transformative events that occur at an annual Junior Stargazer convention in 1955. The stars include SCARLETT JOHANSSON, 38, JASON SCHWARTZMAN, 42, LIEV SCHREIBER, 55, and ADRIEN BRODY, 50.

The cast is so large that some members don’t have character names in lists of credits. This is the case with JEFF GOLDBLUM, 70, FISHER STEVENS, 59, and BOB BALABAN, 77.

Anderson’s movies are always quirky and I have mixed feelings about many of his films. “Asteroid City” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 23 and a lot of major critics wrote reviews. I wasn’t surprised that Asteroid City split these critics. “Asteroid” got rave reviews from Vanity Fair and The Guardian (U.K.) newspapers, and an acerbic “thumbs-down” from Rolling Stone, Variety, Time Magazine, and the Hollywood Reporter.

“The Flash” opens wide on June 16. EZRA MILLER, 30, plays the title character. Miller previously played the Flash in “DC Universe” films in which the Flash is a supporting character. They first played the Flash in “Justice League” (2017) and they reprised the role in “Zach Snyder’s Justice League” (2021).

In the new film, the Flash travels back in time to prevent his mother’s death, which traps him in an alternate reality. He enlists the help of his younger self, an older Batman, and Supergirl in order to save this world from a big-time baddie and return to his own time.

Miller’s father is Jewish and they identify as Jewish. I was impressed by a remark they made circa 2013 — they eloquently asserted their Jewishness, even though they are not a halachic Jew.

Miller, who also starred in the acclaimed film “Perks of Being a Wallflower” (2012), had a nice career arc until 2020. Then they were involved in a long series of “crazy” actions. Really serious mental illness type incidents.

The Flash was completed in Dec. 2021. But Miller’s constant “uber-meshuga” (and worse) conduct had Warner Bros. seriously thinking of shelving the film and taking a huge loss. But Miller agreed to go into therapy early this year, and they relented. Whether Miller will ever play the Flash again is an open question.

At one point, JOHN FRANCES DALEY, 37, and JONATHAN GOLDSTEIN, 54, were set to write and co-direct “The Flash.” But, for a lot of reasons, they left the film before it was made. However, they are credited with writing the story the movie’s screenplay was built-upon. Daley, whose mother is Jewish, began as an actor and co-starred in “Freaks and Geeks” and “Bones.” In 2011, he teamed up with Goldstein and the first film they wrote (“Horrible Bosses”) was a hit.

Goldstein, 54, is a Harvard Law grad. His wife, ADENA HALPERN, 55, is a novelist.

Singer/actor ED AMES died on May 21, age 95. People of a certain age know that Ames played Mingo, Daniel Boone’s faithful Native American companion, in the 1960s series “Daniel Boone.” Years after it aired, I saw some episodes on cable.

A long time ago, I read a Jewish newspaper profile that informed me that Ames was Jewish. I already knew that Ed Ames was a member of the singing group, The Ames Brothers, and the group was very popular in the 1950s.

The profile said that Ames was not religious, but was a big-time supporter of Israel. This article, and others, noted that Ames donated his time and money to groups and charities helping Native Americans.

Ames is probably best known for his 1965 appearance on the Tonight Show. Johnny Carson had Ames flip a tomahawk at a wooden board with the outline of a man painted on it. The tomahawk stuck in the figure’s groin area. Johnny said, “I didn’t know you were Jewish” (alluding to circumcision). Carson re-ran this funny moment on his yearly anniversary show.

Just before Ames’ death, I saw an interview with actor Darby Hinton, 57. Hinton played Daniel Boone’s son, Israel (nice name!). Here’s two Hinton/Ames stories: (1) Many years ago, Hinton saw Ames sing at a fancy nightclub. Some drunk wouldn’t stop heckling Ames. Ames, a very big man, stopped singing and said, “Hey, don’t f—k with a Jewish Indian!” and (2) Ames and “Daniel Boone” star Fess Parker were friends. Parker was a religious Christian. Ames honored his friend by singing “Amazing Grace,” a beautiful Christian hymn, at Parker’s funeral.

By the way, Ames’ first time on “Tonight” (1964) and the tomahawk episode are posted online. In 1964, he sang “Try to Remember” and wowed everyone. Carson said it was the best rendition of the song he ever heard. It’s a “must-watch.” Search: Ed Ames Try to Remember Carson.