Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sony and Seth Rogen are at it again

Anthony Mackie, Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt
While The Interview was not a moneymaker for Sony nor for lead actor Seth Rogen, the publicity generated from the controversy over the film got the ball rolling on Rogen's next feature.

Set to co-star pal Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie, X-Mas has secured a Nov. 25 release date. While few details are known about Rogen's next comedy, the plot will reportedly focus on three friends who reunite in New York City to party on Christmas eve. Rogen will, of course, bring the Chanukah spirit, as evidenced by the sweater he'll be wearing.

Rogen's also ready to add another producing credit to his growing list of projects, as news broke this week that Garth Ennis' and Steve Dillon's '90s comic-book series Preacher will, after many years of being kicked around, go straight to series and air on AMC later this year. Rogen's producing partner,, Evan Goldberg, is also attached to the project.

Dominic Cooper
For those unfamiliar with the story, the comic follows Jesse Custer, a conflicted preacher in a small town who, with the help of his former flame and a party-animal Irish vampire, attempt to find God in the hope of stopping the powerful offspring of an angel and a demon, who has escaped from heaven. From what we understand, Custer will somehow be combined with the creature, giving the Preacher unique abilities that will aid him in his search for the divine.

While not a comic-book series focusing on run-of-the-mill meta-human heroes, it will feature Dominic Cooper, who has previously played Howard Stark (father of Tony Stark's Iron Man). as well James Bond creator Ian Fleming in the mini-series Fleming, which aired on BBC last year.

AMC is home to one the most watched sci-fi programs on cable television, The Walking Dead, and believes Preacher will be an excellent companion to it in the coming season.

2015 NFL season to start on Rosh Hashanah

In past posts, we've written about athletes who have had to make the hard choice whether to play when their games are scheduled on the Sabbath or key holidays on the Jewish calendar.

On Tuesday, when the NFL announced its 2015 fall schedule, Jewish football fans learned that the kick-off, normally held on the second Thursday of September in recent years, has been moved to Sunday. This year, that Sunday, Sept. 13, is Erev Rosh Hashanah.

All but six teams in the league are affected, but the change will especially impact fans in the New York area the most, as the Giants are due start their game at 8:30, more than one hour after the start of the holiday.

As well, according to JTA, the Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers will be playing their first games the following night, on Rosh Hashanah.

Abstain from services or add one more sin to those requiring repentance on the High Holidays? Either way, many observant Jews/fervent football fans will undoubtedly lament their choice.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Gene Simmons to bring brand expertise to Toronto

On May 25, a one-day conference will share with attendees how five internationally renowned best-selling authors and thought leaders employed cutting-edge thinking and real-world experience to tackle today’s most critical marketing issues.

Headlining this year's conference is the co-founder of Kiss and author of Me, Inc., Gene Simmons, who will impart key strategies on how to unleash your inner rock God in business.

Born Chaim Witz in Israel in August 1949, Simmons has been an American rock icon for 40 years.. Learning both from his triumphs and failures has helped him continue to sell out stadiums around the world, as well as help him get Kiss inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, obtain his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and make him the media mogul he is today.

For more on the chance to network with Simmons and more than 1,500 of Canada’s most influential marketers, explore what The Art of Marketing Toronto has to offer by clicking here.

Netanyahu addresses the nation on Yom Hashoah

The official ceremony marking the commencement of Yom Hashoah was held April 15 at Yad Vashem to remember the martyrs, heroes and six million Jews whose lives were lost during the Holocaust (1939-1945).

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to the podium and delivered the following address.



For a full transcript of the PM's address, go to here on cjnews.com.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Goldberg and Baruchel's Goon 2 is good to go

Good news for fans of Goon, the little sports comedy that could: it looks like a sequel is on the way.

Like the original, the new film was co-written and is being co-produced by Montreal hockey enthusiast, Canadian actor, writer and producer Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg of Vancouver, better known as Seth Rogen's production partner.

After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, Goon earned just under $6.5 million worldwide after a late-winter release in February 2012.

It wasn't a huge haul, but it was enough for the film to be honoured with Telefilm's Golden Box Office award as the top-earning English-language Canadian film that year, which undoubtedly helped to green-light the sequel.

In July 2013, Baruchel told The Canadian Press the sequel script was nearly completed, and "if all goes according to plan, we'll be shooting this time next year."

Baruchel's projected production start was just a little bit off, by about a year. While the original was shot in Manitoba, principal filming in Ontario will begin in three months time.

"I'm proud as hell of the first one, but I think we're going to smoke it with No. 2," Baruchel said.

It will be a bit darker, but will have "a bit more gravitas," he added.

The film's lead actor, Sean William Scott, portrayed a good-natured bouncer who becomes a minor league hockey team's enforcer. Baruchel co-starred along with the likes of fellow veteran Canadian comic actor Eugene Levy and Ray Donovan's Liev Schreiber.


After production wraps, Baruchel will begin work this fall in Toronto on a second season of his TV series Man Seeking Woman, which airs on FX Canada and is executive produced by Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Oregon accuses SodaStream of mislabelling

The bullseye on the "West Bank" manufacturer of home carbonated beverages has returned.

The Israeli company SodaStream has been forced to change the labelling on parts of its product line, specifically those produced in its main facility in Ma'ale Adumim.

As reported here last November, the factory is schedule to close by the end of 2015 and move to Israel's southern Negev region, to the community of Lehavim near Be'er Sheva

In the meantime, the company has been forced to bow to the ruling of the Oregon Department of Justice (ODJ), which maintains it has violated the state's Fair Trade Practices Act by giving products made in Ma'ale Adumim a "Made in Israel" label when the parts are actually sourced from the West Bank settlement.

The act, which is meant to protect consumers, makes false representations and false advertising of a consumer product illegal and holds retailers accountable if they sell such products.

Does the label change compromise the quality of SodaStream's product? The answer is most certainly no.

Under the guise of human rights, boycott, divestment and sanctions movement supporters want to harm Israeli exporters around the world. Petitioning regulatory bodies to argue that Israel and its successful businesses conduct illegal practices, act unethically or operate in ways that undermine Palestinian society is a key tool in their toolkit.

Rod Such, speaking on behalf of the PDX Boycott Occupation Soda! Coalition, made the following statement: "Many people of conscience refuse to purchase products made in Israel's illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank, but in the case of SodaStream, they were deceived by false labelling that claimed the products were produced within Israel's internationally recognized borders."

Palestinian employees are valued by SodaStream, so much so that CEO Daniel Birnbaum very much wishes to keep them on and arrange for them to follow the facility when it moves to Lehavim. Work permits issued by the Israeli government would allow them to enter Israel each day for their shifts.

Alas, aside from all that the BDS movement is doing to undermine the company, SodaStream is reportedly facing significant declines in revenues and profits as North Americans increasingly shift their drinking habits in favour of juices and teas.

As a result, 2015 is looking no better than 2014 turned out to be.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A new kind of Dayeinu from the Maccabeats

Over the years that we've been posting to Heebonics, the holidays don't quite feel like the holidays until the Maccabeats put out their newest video.

Well Heebonics readers, we've found it.


Chag Kasher v'Samayach!