For Rosh Hashanah: Five Movie Jews You Don't Want To Mess With
This weekend is Rosh Hashanah, which I understand from that Jon Stewart stand-up special is the Jewish new year. So while you're polishing the shofar and boning up on your Amidah, you could also get in the spirit by checking out a few of the more...inspirational Jewish characters from the movies.
5. Zohan Dvir (Adam Sandler) -- You Don't Mess With The Zohan (2008)
Having been raised Catholic in two of the least Jewish areas of the country (Salt Lake City, UT and College Station, TX), I have to thank Sandler for teaching me so much about Israeli Jews. Specifically, that they all love disco and have enormous amounts of pubic hair. Oh, and thanks also for giving Rob Schneider another movie. Awesome.
4. The Basterds (Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, et. al.) -- Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Time will tell if Tarantino's bold strategy of casting Eli Roth in a major role will have the additional desired effect of keeping him from directing any more Hostel movies.
3. The Bielski Brothers (Daniel Craig, Live Schreiber, Jamie Bell) -- Defiance (2008)
I liked how the reviews of this movie all contained some variant of "Jews can kick ass, too." I guess they never heard of a certain character named Alvy fucking Singer.
2. Mordechai Jefferson Carver (Adam Goldberg) -- The Hebrew Hammer (2003)
The combination of blaxpolitation and Jewish Orthodoxy makes so much sense you wonder why nobody thought of it before, until you remember that whole historical animosity thing.
1. Moses (Charlton Heston) -- The Ten Commandments (1956)
The Big Kahuna of Judaic cinema badassery, Moses' achievements also far outstrip those of anyone else on the list. It's Heston who really sells it, however. We'd have a hard time buying "Behold His mighty hand" coming from, say, Sid Caesar.
BONUS: Jesus Christ (Phil Caracas) -- Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter (2001)
The problem with most of your cinematic representations of Jesus is, he's kind of a pansy. Now, I understand this is part of the whole "turn the other cheek" shtick, but here we have a Savior modern, ass-kicking Americans can really get behind.