celebrity Jews, Hollywood, Jewish celebrities

Celebrity Jews: Movies, Binge-Watching And Sports

AT THE MOVIES

Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot is based on the true-life story of the late John Callahan (Joaquin Phoenix, 48). His severe alcoholism led to a car accident that left him a quadriplegic. Callahan gradually regains the will to live via an unlikely mentor: a rich, gay guy named Dexter (Jonah Hill, 34). Dexter sponsors John and also conducts AA-therapy sessions at his home. Callahan recovered sufficiently enough to discover that he had a talent for sardonic cartooning and he gradually became a well-known cartoonist. Jack Black, 48, has a big scene at the beginning and end of the film. He appears, first, as a “gonzo” who parties hard with Callahan and later, as a pretty wrecked guy that a sober Callahan seeks out. Most reviews are favorable, including a rave in Variety. (Opens July 20.)

Jonah Hill in Don’t Worry

Jonah Hill in Don’t Worry

BINGE-WATCH ALERT: CATCH UP NOW, SLOWLY

The original Hulu series Casual begins streaming its fourth and final season on July 31. The series centers on three characters: Valerie (Michaela Watkins, 46), a therapist; her brother, Alex, a high-tech guy; and Valerie’s teen daughter, Laura. Valerie’s office assistant, Leia (Julie Berman, 34) became a pretty important character in the third season. Fred Melamed, 62, who played Alex’s father, was a central character in several second season episodes. The series was created by Zander Lehmann, 30, and the principal director is Jason Reitman, 40.

Michaela Watkins

Michaela Watkins

This series has gotten great reviews and is really worth watching. But be warned: It’s too exhausting to watch three seasons in one go. Without spoiling: The characters evolve with severe flaws that leave you wondering where the original uncomplicated “good folks” have gone (this is especially true of Valerie and Laura). However, despite their flaws, you’ll really want to know what happens to them in the final season if you watch the first three.

LOCAL ATHLETES HONORED

Jacqueline Spizizen

Jacqueline Spizizen

Jewish Sports Review (JSR) magazine is just out with its lists of the best Jewish college athletes in spring sports. Four are from the Detroit-area: David Vinsky, a junior next fall, and an outfielder, was named to the JSR All-American Baseball Team (Div. II-III). He plays for Northwood University in Midland, Mich. His hot bat led to his name being on many other top player lists, including All-Midwest, first team. He’s from Farmington Hills. Jacqueline Spizizen, a sophomore next year, and a pitcher, was named to the JSR College Softball All-America Team (Div. II-III). She plays for Emory University, in Atlanta, Ga. She was named “Rookie of the Year” in her conference. She’s from West Bloomfield. Leah Israel, a graduating senior, was a lacrosse mid-fielder. She was named to the JSR Women’s All-America Lacrosse team. She played for Denison University, Granville, Ohio. Her great play helped get her team into the NCAA championships. Israel is from Bloomfield Hills. Like Israel, Amanda Moss, who will be a senior next year, is a lacrosse midfielder and is on the JSR All-American team. She plays for Kalamazoo College. She’s a great scorer. Moss is from Bloomfield Hills.

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