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 July 19, 2012/ 29 Tamuz, 5772

Nothing new in the new Spider-Man movie

By Barry Koltnow

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) The world hasn't made sense since Darrin Stevens.

It's been 45 years since TV executives replaced the actor (Dick York) who played Samantha's husband on the show "Bewitched" with another actor (Dick Sargent) and hoped that nobody would notice. Did they really think we'd be fooled because both actors had similar first names? I've never recovered from the treachery. I have trust issues because of it, and I don't sleep well. While it's true that back problems led to York leaving the show, my problem is with the lack of an explanation.

As a result, I have trouble fully committing to any movie or TV character because I live in fear that one day, some executive will make an arbitrary decision based on ratings, money or whimsy, and hire a new actor to replace the one I like.

Do you think it was easy for me to accept Roger Moore, even though it probably was Sean Connery's decision not to do any more James Bond movies? They should have ended the film series right then, admitting that Sean Connery was the perfect Bond, and that perfection is its own reward. Don't even get me started on George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.

I am nothing if not flexible, and I have made allowances for certain changes in actors, including Batman and The Joker. George Clooney pretty much killed Batman for all intents and purposes, and the universe demanded a new Batman. As long as you're changing Batman, you might as well change his nemesis.

But the exceptions that I allow are few. More often, the changes are egregious, such as the casting of Russell Brand in the title role of "Arthur." My rule of thumb is that if a certain actor created the perfect character, as Dudley Moore did in the 1981 movie, it should be a crime against art to remake the movie.

I won't belabor the point. You know how I feel about this, and all of this has just served as an introduction to the real topic of today's column — "The Amazing Spider-Man."

As you probably know, the newest Spidey adventure opens Tuesday, and I've seen it.

My opinion on whether it's a good movie is not important to this discussion. Besides, I keep reading that most of you get your movie reviews from friends on social media or by anonymous sources on the Internet, so I won't waste your time with my opinion.

Here is what has bothered me since the day it was announced that Andrew Garfield of "The Social Network" would replace Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, and that director Sam Raimi would be replaced by a little-known filmmaker named Marc Webb. It doesn't matter that Maguire and Raimi didn't want to return to the franchise. As far as I am concerned, the franchise ran its course with three terrific films that were in theaters between 2002 and 2007. Those three films together made $2.5 billion at the worldwide box office. That doesn't count lunch boxes, costumes and other paraphernalia. When is it enough money? Why can't anyone be satisfied with making a lot of money, and then move on to other projects?

Please allow me to repeat those dates — 2002 through 2007 — because I don't want to hear that tired old refrain from the movie studio about how so much time has passed since the original film, and it was necessary to remake the movie for a "new audience."

It's all about money. It's always about money, but it's never been so blatant.

Why was it necessary to make another Spider-Man movie? That's the question I have been asking myself since the announcement of the "new chapter in the Spider-Man saga."

"It was important to the filmmakers to show a side of Peter Parker that moviegoers haven't seen before," a studio statement said.

Really? We haven't seen Peter Parker being picked on by bullies in school before? We haven't seen Peter bitten by a radioactive spider before? We haven't seen Peter pursue the girl of his dreams before?

In the new movie, I learned nothing new about Peter's saga. And I learned nothing new in 3-D. I suppose the studio is counting on 3-D to convince audiences to line up outside theaters around the world. And they will line up because many people believe what they are told. They are told that Andrew Garfield is a good Spidey, and he is. They are told that Emma Stone is a good Gwen Stacy, and she is. They are told that The Lizard is a good villain, and it is.

But is that worth the price of a tub of popcorn, or would those studio resources be better spent on an original project?

I wish Samantha could wrinkle her nose and make it all go away.

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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