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December 2, 2014

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 Aug 17, 2012 / 29 Menachem-Av, 5772

Watch August movies at your own risk

By Barry Koltnow




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) In the beginning, there was Harrison Ford.

On the second day, the movie gods created Bruce Willis, and it was good.

Perhaps some context would be helpful.

We are talking about the month of August, once known as the toxic dumping site of Hollywood.

The big movie studios used to unload their worst movies in August. You might ask why they made those movies in the first place. Nobody sets out to make a bad movie, but sometimes the script doesn't work, the director has no talent and there is no chemistry between the stars. The studio then shows the movie to a test audience, which gives it a thumbs-down verdict, and the movie becomes a tax write-off in August.

Only Ford was considered a strong enough star to open a hit movie in August. His 1993 film "The Fugitive," and the following year's "Clear and Present Danger," were able to beat the late-summer blahs, but industry insiders didn't see a trend. They dismissed it as a Harrison Ford exception to the August rule.

And then along came "The Sixth Sense" in 1999.

Frankly, I don't know if the studio thought it was a loser, or there was a genius at the studio who really believed that there was an audience desperately waiting for a great movie.

Regardless, director M. Night Shyamalan's film, in which Haley Joel Osment saw dead people who looked like Bruce Willis, made nearly $300 million at the domestic box office and changed Hollywood forever. August was never again seen as just a dumping ground for bad movies. Studios actually started to schedule big openings in August with the hope of box-office gold.

But old habits are hard to break, and I suspect that there is some dumping still being done in August.

And that brings me to three movies that I'm not sure the studios see as favorites or outcasts.

The three - "The Campaign," "Celeste and Jesse Forever" and "2 Days in New York" - have one thing in common, besides their August openings. All three star a former or present member of the "Saturday Night Live" cast.

Will Ferrell stars with Zach Galifianakis in "The Campaign," Andy Samberg is one of the stars of "Celeste and Jesse Forever" and Chris Rock headlines "2 Days in New York."

Although some of Hollywood's biggest comedy stars got their big break on the TV show, the big screen hasn't always been kind to "SNL" cast members.

Need we list the movies inspired by "Saturday Night Live" sketches?

"Wayne's World" may have been the best of the lot (and the most successful at the box office), but there also was "Coneheads," "It's Pat: The Movie," "The Ladies' Man," "MacGruber," "Stuart Saves His Family," "Superstar" and, of course, "A Night at the Roxbury."

But you can't ignore the individual stars from the show, including Eddie Murphy, Will Ferrell, Bill Murray, Adam Sandler and Mike Myers. More recently, Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have made the successful transition from small screen to big screen. The jury is still out on newcomers Andy Samberg and Jason Sudeikis, although I am a big fan of Bill Hader's supporting work in the films "Superbad," "Adventureland" and "Men in Black 3" (he played Andy Warhol).

Other cast members haven't been as successful, including Chris Rock, one of the biggest stand-up comedians in the world, but unable to translate that popularity to movies.

Ferrell was the highest-paid cast member in "SNL" history, and he has had few struggles making it in movies. In fact, the only times he seems to run into problems is when he tries something drastically different, like dramatic acting or appearing in a comedy spoken entirely in Spanish.

But Ferrell's career is strong enough to stand up to the August heat. Harrison Ford isn't the only person who can open a movie in the dog days of summer. If you check the list below of the biggest August movies of the last three decades, you'll find two of Ferrell's hits.

For that reason, the opening last weekend of Ferrell's latest comedy - "The Campaign" - might not be a dumping as much as a carefully planned strategy. One can assume that studio executives figured that audiences would be tired of "The Dark Knight Rises" by now, and would be ready for something funny.

I haven't seen the Rock or Samberg movies, but it is August, so draw your own conclusions.

Here are the biggest August movies of the last 30 years:

1. "The Sixth Sense" (1999)

2. "Signs" (2002)

3. "The Bourne Ultimatum" (2007)

4. "Rush Hour 2" (2001)

5. "The Fugitive" (1993)

6. "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" (2011)

7. "G.I. Joe: "The Rise of Cobra" (2009)

8. "Talladega Nights" (2006)

9. "Clear and Present Danger" (1994)

10. "The Other Guys" (2010)

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.


Previously:

Nothing new in the new Spider-Man movie
Grading the summer movies . . . so far
Readers are angry about TV network practices, too
TV networks have some explaining to do
The night Johnny Depp made me a star
Summer movies: the dark horses
Lindsay, Ashton, Kim --- are they kidding?
Readers pick their favorite baseball movies
Our 10 favorite baseball movies
The most over-hyped movies of 2012
The 10 worst best pictures ever
The greatest Oscar acceptance speech NEVER given
The worst biopics ... ever
20 celebrity questions that must be answered in 2012
The Golden Globes are meaningless
The 10 Most Annoying Celebrities of 2011
The funniest comedy teams
Fake celebrities ignite real controversy
Hollywood: Stop spoiling our movies
Mob expert reveals his favorite gangster flicks
Good riddance, Harry Potter
The coolest car movies ever made
Our favorite teacher movies
Are women funny?
Our special snarky summer movie guide
The 10 most pressing show biz questions
Readers weigh in on the royal wedding
The royal wedding: I don't get it
Readers reach verdict on lawyer column
Our favorite lawyer movies ever
Readers pick their worst Oscar winners
The 10 worst best pictures ever
25 hit-man movies to die for
The 10 greatest sidekicks ever
The 10 biggest celebrity missteps of 2010
Who's cooler than Steve McQueen? (Answer: nobody)
The best revenge movies ever
The good old days, when celebrities weren't train wrecks
Making sport of celebrities
Youth will be served? Don't give me that trash!
A celebrity answer is no answer at all
Caution: geniuses at work



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