Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Martin Brest and Stephen Elliott

Nate Bloom blogs on this week's Jews in the News.


40 Years of Beverly Hills Cop; Rashida Jones & Her Robot Pal; The Other Paltrow's Movie; Weinstein, Olympics Bound!


On July 3rd, Netflix began streaming “Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F". It is the fourth film in the Beverly Hills Cop (“BHC”) feature film series.

Here’s the premise: Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy), a Detroit police officer, returns to Beverly Hills after his daughter Jane's life is threatened. She and Axel team up with her ex-boyfriend (JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT, 43) and Axel’s old pals, John Taggart, now the Beverly Hills Police Chief,  and Billy Rosewood, a police lieutenant. Together, they uncover a conspiracy.

Taggart (John Ashton) was a police sergeant and Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) was a police detective in the original “BHC” film (1984).

I was surprised to learn that “BHC I” is the highest grossing film since 1977. Adjusted for inflation, it made over $700M---and, incidentally, a lot of Jews have benefitted from the series popularity.

The first “BHC” film was directed by MARTIN BREST, now 72, and the third “BHC” film (1987) was directed by JOHN LANDIS, now 73.

 The first BHC flick had three Jewish co-stars: STEPHEN ELLIOTT (1918-2005) as the chief of the Beverly Hills P.D.; British Jew STEVEN BERKOFF, now 86, played top evil guy Victor Maitland, and PAUL REISER, now 68. He played Detective Jeffrey Friedman. (Reiser, as Friedman, was also in “BHC II”, and  he is in “Axel F”. )

“Sunny” is a dark comedy TV series that premieres on July 10 on Apple+ TV. RASHIDA JONES, 48, stars as Suzie Sakamoto an American married to a Japanese scientist who creates sophisticated robots.

Suzie’s husband and her son mysteriously vanish in a plane crash. After the crash, her husband’s company gives Suzie one of their best, new robots (named “Sunny”). The robot is a sort of “consolation prize”. Sunny and Suzie set-out to dig-out the truth behind the crash and disappearances.

Jones is the daughter of the late actress PEGGY LIPTON and famous African-American music producer Quincy Jones. She identifies strongly as Jewish. Her partner, since 2015, is EZRA KOENIG, 40. He’s the lead vocalist, guitarist, and primary songwriter of the popular indie rock band Vampire Weekend. He’s won two Grammys. The couple have one child.

Sometimes it takes years before a feature film gets a nationwide release. Sometimes they never get a national release and you can only find them in a “corner” of a streaming service.

“June Zero” was first screened for some critics in 2022 and it was then reviewed by Variety (a so/so review) and Deadline (very good review).  It got good reviews in festival showings and a major releasing company decided to pick up the film and give it a national theater release (July 12). It opened in Israel in May.

You can easily find the Deadline and Variety reviews on-line and I suggest you read them because they lay out, in detail, the film’s complex plot. Here’s the “short version”: “Juno Zero” was filmed in Israel and it is mostly in Hebrew (with English subtitles). It’s set around the trial, verdict and 1962 execution of Adolf Eichmann, a principal architect of the Holocaust. Based on true accounts, "June Zero" is told from the unique perspectives of three distinct figures: Eichmann’s Jewish Moroccan prison guard, an Israeli police investigator who also happens to be a Holocaust survivor; and a precocious 13-year-old Libyan immigrant.

The film was co-written by JAKE PALTROW and he directed the film. Paltrow, 48, is the brother of famous actress GWYNETH PALTROW , 51. His late father, producer/director BRUCE PALTROW, was Jewish and his mother, actress Blythe Danner, 81, isn’t. Jake was raised Jewish and he had a bar mitzvah.

I am 99% certain that Jake’s wife, TARYN SIMON, 49, is Jewish. She’s an acclaimed (Guggenheim Fellow) artist who combines photography, text, sculpture, and sometimes performance to produce thematic works that have appeared in major magazines or in galleries or museums. The couple have two children.

Unlike his sister, Jake Paltrow has few credits. He has written and directed two other feature films: “Good Night” (2007) and “Young Ones”. Sadly, both got so/so reviews at best and didn’t find an audience.

In my June 21 column, I said that swimmer CLAIRE WEINSTEIN, 17, had a good shot at making the U.S. Olympic team. I said that she had already qualified to swim in 7 trial swim events. The bad news is that she didn’t swim as well as she hoped in some of these events. But she finished in the “top three” in two races (the 200M event and the 800M relay) and she’s going to the Olympics!


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