In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb 2, 2012/ 9 Shevat, 5772

The worst biopics ... ever

By Barry Koltnow

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) My boss cheated on me.

While I was on vacation, he ran somebody else's movie list in my space. I've never felt so betrayed.

But we both learned something from the experience. We learned that the half-empty glass gets so much more attention than the half-full glass.

Allow me to explain.

The editor — for the sake of clarity, let's call him Jeff — ran a news-service story listing the 10 best movies of 2011, according to the syndicated writer with whom my boss was cheating. The story did well enough in the online version of this newspaper that my editor was motivated to run a follow-up column from the same writer.

The second story was a list of the 10 worst movies of 2011, and it drew five times as many readers as the original.

"Don't you think that's interesting?" the editor asked.

"Why would you think I would be surprised by that?" I responded. "I have made a living out of being negative."

In fact, I was scolded once for being too negative by Shirley MacLaine. Although the actress has since forgiven me, she was angered at the tone of my questions, and instructed me to work on being more positive. That's not going to happen.

But I was encouraged by my editor's discovery that many of you are just as negative as I am. It was heartening to learn that we are bonded in a negative way.

Therefore, I am inspired to write something negative today.

I recently compiled a list of the 40 best biopics (biographical films) of all time, so a list of the worst biopics was begging to be written.

I timed my original list to the opening of Meryl Streep's "The Iron Lady," in which the two-time Oscar winner portrays former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Early reviews suggest that Streep could pick up her 17th Oscar nomination for the role. I am sure I will have something negative to say about it if she does.

For now, here are the worst biographical films of all time, accompanied by my usual negative comments.

1. "Great Balls of Fire!" — Dennis Quaid's subtle portrayal (I'm being sarcastic, which is a negative writing style, of course) of pioneer rocker Jerry Lee Lewis is a joke. I have read that some people like this movie. I think anyone who likes this movie is either an anarchist or emotionally damaged. But anarchists and emotionally damaged people are entitled to their opinions.

2. "Gable and Lombard" — Decades before Angelina and Brad, and years before Liz and Dick, there were Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. There has never been a more glamorous Hollywood couple, and the actress' tragic death in an air crash immortalized the romance. However, if all you knew of Gable and Lombard came from this 1976 disaster film — starring James Brolin and Jill Clayburgh — you would be mystified that anyone ever cared about these Hollywood stars.

3. "The Babe" — I interviewed John Goodman for this movie, and he told me that he was shocked when producers told him he had to lose weight before starting the role. "When you have to lose weight to play Babe Ruth, you're in trouble," he said.

3a. "The Babe Ruth Story" — William Bendix played the Sultan of Swat, although he resembled the Crown Prince of Corn in this portrayal.

4. "Alexander" — Trying to be positive for a moment, this Oliver Stone biopic about Alexander the Great includes some sizzling scenes of nudity. Otherwise, it's a horrible waste of time.

5. "The Conqueror" — John Wayne played Mongol leader Genghis Khan, and it wasn't pretty. You may be are aware of the curse on this film, which was filmed in an area that apparently was impacted by earlier nuclear tests in the desert. An alarming number of the cast and crew (including Wayne) were stricken later by cancer.

5a. "Genghis Khan" — In this 1965 film, Omar Sharif became the latest casualty of a malady called "Actors Who Tried to Play Genghis Khan."

6. "The Doors" — Hmmm, Oliver Stone again. Could "JFK" and "Nixon" be far behind? Val Kilmer plays the late Jim Morrison, but the movie is too weird for its own good.

7. "Ali" — I'm not knocking Will Smith's portrayal of the legendary boxer, but Michael Mann's direction was disappointing, particularly to those of us who admire his work.

8. "Beyond the Sea" — Kevin Spacey directed, co-wrote, co-produced and starred in this disappointing biopic of singer Bobby Darin. The only explanation is that the actor was bitten by a shark, whose teeth are pearly white.

9. "Man on the Moon" — Jim Carrey's portrayal of Andy Kaufman was dead-on, but the Milos Forman-directed movie left more questions than it answered. What was Kaufman really like? I saw the movie, and don't have a clue.

10. "Amelia" — Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank, playing iconic aviator Amelia Earhart, went down in flames.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Barry Koltnow's column by clicking here.


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