Monday, April 14, 2014

A parody comes full circle, from Derulo to Jewbellish

As we sit down this week to retell the story of Passover and our Exodus from Egypt, and despite being a people so persecuted throughout history, we can be proud that today's artists and mainstream media are drawing quite a bit on aspects of Jewish culture.

For instance, American singer-songwriter and dancer Jason Derulo took a sweet Yiddish melody and adapted it to create his most recent smash hit Talk Dirty, the second single from his third studio album titled Tatoos.

Now the artist known as Jewbellish has taken it back with Talk Yiddish.

El Al's new safety video is a wild ride

To everything there is a parody, and even airline passenger safety videos are not exempt.

El Al, Israel’s national carrier, promoting its low-fare Up brand, has added a bit of funk to the traditional explanation of aircraft rules and regulations. The video features disco bell bottoms, comical dance moves and a five-piece band.

Patterned after Virgin airlines’s viral hit, El Al's goes a couple of wild steps further.

The relatively new, low-cost brand was started last November. There are two classes of passengers and two ticket price points for short-haul flights to European destinations, as well as special handling for frequent-flier members. Customers decide how much they wish to pay and pay extra for each added service.

Here's a look at the sub-titled version of the video.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

From Breaking Bad to Breaking Bread

On the heels of the critically acclaimed and wildly popular American crime drama Breaking Bad's finale – which in 2013 was named by the Writers Guild of America the 13th best-written TV series of all time and also labelled the highest-rated cable TV series of all time by Guinness World Records – comes a parody with a Jewish twist for Passover... Breaking Bread.

Chag Samayach.

Zach Braff makes a movie for the people

A jewel of a show that started on NBC, Scrubs, put Zach Braff front and center in Hollywood's collective consciousness. Portraying Dr. John "J.D."Dorian for nearly nine 9 full seasons, Braff amassed quite a fan following.

In 2004, Braff branched into directing with his debut film Garden State. While he has continued to act in various film and TV projects over the years, he yearned to direct again. The biggest challenge he faced was obtaining the funding for his second picture.

Enter Kickstarter.  A new way to finance creative projects, Kickstarter is a form of crowd-sourcing in which money is donated online by the public to fund everything from films, games and music to art, design and technology. A campaign for the second feature film Braff wanted to make, Wish I Was Here, garnered more than $3 million dollars in fan contributions, surpassing his goal.

The first trailer for the film is online now, co-starring Josh Gad, Kate Hudson and Mandy Patinkin, among its many recognizable stars. Fans of the Big Bang Theory will also be treated to Jim Parsons on the big screen.

The film centres on Braff's character, Aiden Bloom, a 35-year-old struggling actor, father and husband. Bloom wrestles with holding on to his dream career while trying to take care of his family and homeschool his two kids after pulling them out of expensive private school when his conservative Jewish father's wealth is needed for medical bills.

Gad recently spoke of his fascination with the power of the Kickstarter-type vehicles to make the dreams of independent artists possible. "It really does feel like you're making a movie for the people."

Wish I Was Here is scheduled for wide release July 25.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The first of the 2014 Passover parodies

Inspired by the motion picture Frozen, the Walt Disney blockbuster and Academy-Award-winning best animated feature film of 2013, Aish HaTorah has adapted Let It Go, the best original song from the movie, originally performed by Idina Menzel, for Passover this year, celebrating our Exodus from Egypt and retelling a part of our story.

Bar Rafaeli too hot for Israeli daytime TV

A campaign ad for fashion brand Hoodies, starring Israeli supermodel Bar Rafaeli and a muppet known as Red Orbach, has been deemed too risque for daytime television viewing audiences in Israel.

Orbach fantasizes about multiple sexual encounters with the blonde bombshell, and the spot ends with the tag-line ''It couldn't get any better than this. Or could it?''

According to the ruling by government group censors for the Second Authority for Television and Radio, there are just "too many sexual insinuations" for the spot to run before 10 p.m.

To us, it's more like a page taken from the broadway smash Avenue Q,  but judge for yourself. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

It's a Matzah makeover not seen before

Stay traditional or try something new – the debate rages on; and as Passover draws ever closer,  this year companies are rolling out new matzah product lines that just might excite your taste buds and flavour your seders.

It's Not Just Your Grandmother's Matzo Anymore