Killer Elite **+

Despite having a perfect cast for a title like Killer Elite, Gary McKendry’s feature debut comes across as little more than a generic Jason Statham movie with two high-profile guest stars…writes James Berardinelli. Read more

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close ***+

For one reason or another, there have been few quality movies made about 9/11. Maybe it’s because the event is too recent and the wound too fresh…writes James Berardinelli. Read more

Facing a Housefull of Critics

February 23, 2012 by  

The second Sydney Symphony Orchestra concert in the Ausgrid series was on safe ground when it came to programme choice…writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

Record numbers for annual swimming championships

February 22, 2012 by  

A record 166 entrants competed at the 62nd NSW Jewish Swimming Championships last Sunday. Read more

Former Wallaby to coach Maccabi NSW Rugby

February 22, 2012 by  

The Maccabi rugby club has pulled off one of Maccabi sport’s great coaching coups with the appointment of former Wallabies fullback and Australian rugby legend Glen Ella as coach for 2012. Read more

Friends of Israel and enemies in Marrickville

February 22, 2012 by  

At a function launching the revitalised NSW Parliamentary Israeli Friendship Group, Israel’s ambassador to Australia expressed his farewell to the pro-BDS Greens who drove last year’s anti-Israel campaign in the inner-Sydney suburb of Marrickville. Read more

Meeting the Challenge of the Desert and Spearheading IT

February 21, 2012 by  

The president of Ben Gurion University and members of its academic staff have addressed meetings in Sydney on technology and water preservation. Read more

The Gonski Report and Jewish Schools

February 21, 2012 by  

The Australian Council of Jewish Schools has announced that it will be part of the consultation process following the release of the Gonski Report into the Review of Funding for Schooling. Read more


February 21, 2012 by  

Earlier this month, the noted American commentator and jurist Alan Dershowitz wrote a thought provoking article entitled ‘How the Hard Left, By Focusing Only on Israel, Encouraged Arab Despotism’…writes Emily Gian. Read more

Parliamentarians visit Our Big Kitchen

February 21, 2012 by  

The NSW State Liberal MP for Coogee Bruce Notley-Smith and the Speaker of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly Shelley Hancock are the latest high-profile visitors to Sydney’s Our Big Kitchen.  Read more

Mar-06 8:30pm SBS2-TV: As it Happened – Jewish and Émigré Attempts

February 21, 2012 by  

Anti-Semitism was at the heart of the Nazi ideology from the beginning. Read more

Mar-09 9:30pm SBS1-TV: As it Happened – the Soviet Liberation of Auschwitz

February 21, 2012 by  

Bringing together rare and forgotten footage, this series provides a ground-breaking portrait of World War Two. Read more

Kosher Shopping Online

February 21, 2012 by  

A Sydney-based company is selling Kosher food on line…and half their clients are not Jewish. Read more

Mar-01 9:00pm Radio National: The Magician of Lublin Part 2

February 21, 2012 by  

The Magician of  Lubin tells the story of Yasha Mazur. He’s a Houdini-like performer whose skill has made him famous throughout eastern Poland. Read more

Beinart’s False Image of Zionism and American Jewry

February 20, 2012 by  

In June 2011, Peter Beinart a former editor of the staunchly pro-Israel New Republic, published a controversial essay in the left wing New York Review of Books, headlined “The failure of the American Jewish Establishment”…writes Isi Leibler. Read more

Helping Thousands Takes Millions

February 20, 2012 by  

Over 660 people gathered at Jewish Care’s Gala Dinner, recently held at Melbourne’s Caulfield Racecourse, launching the 2012 Annual Appeal in support of those in need in the Victorian community. Read more

Displaced Jews from Arab Lands

February 20, 2012 by  

The plight of Jewish refugees displaced from Arab lands was discussed at a meeting in Sydney last night. Read more

Conversation with David Broza

February 20, 2012 by  

Israeli music icon David Broza is scheduled for concerts in Sydney and Melbourne next month. J-Wire spoke to him at his home in Tel Aviv. Read more

New home for Betar

February 20, 2012 by  

Hakoah’s White City complex will provide youth group Betar with a new home…the first headquarters they have had in five years. Read more

Spreading the Love

February 19, 2012 by  

Emanuel School’s Talia Rubenstein cheered up patients at Sydney’s Prince of Wales Public Hospital, Randwick and the Wolper Jewish Hospital, by delivering 280 red roses with a smile. Read more

Top JNF Award for Perth Collector

February 19, 2012 by  

Lore Zusman, a  Perth-based JNF Blue Box Collector has received JNF Australia’s highest honour. Read more

This Means War **+

Sometimes it’s hard to recognize the importance of seemingly inconsequential element like “tone” when it comes to a romantic comedy. This Means War is a case study in what happens when the filmmakers mess this up. The movie is being marketed as an “action romantic comedy,” but the “action” aspect is really just a little flavoring that shows up at the beginning and the end. It’s jokey action – a would-be parody of over-the-top spy situations like those in Bond movies and the recent Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. But it’s clumsily presented, generating neither excitement nor humor. At the heart of the movie is a romantic triangle between three impossibly good-looking people who are so uninteresting that we keep hoping the sleazy bad guy will show up and shoot them all.

Maybe I’m being unreasonable. Maybe I’m asking too much that a romantic comedy makes me feel something other than apathy. Maybe it’s wrong of me to hope the most sympathetic character ends up with more than a throw-in consolation prize. I can’t say whether the biggest problem with This Means War lies in the direction, the acting, or the screenplay, but all three elements are contributors. Romantic comedies, especially those that overdose on steroids, are supposed to uplift. This one is just depressing.

Read more…

The Grey ***

Some would argue that the best way to see Alaska is through the images captured by an expert photographer. As breathtaking as the views may be, the climate can be unforgiving, with weather, terrain, and fauna that might give even notable survival expert Bear Gryllis pause. InThe Grey, director Joe Carnahan’s man vs. nature epic, the filmmaker strands seven characters in the midst of some of the most inhospitable territory on earth and shows that, when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles to survival, human beings have a tendency to look inward. The Grey is about raging against the dying of the light but also about accepting it with peace once the fight has been lost.

January and February, while not considered a prime market for motion pictures, have been good to Liam Neeson. Clad in the mantle of The Everyday Action Hero, Neeson has capitalized on his stolid reputation and a weak release schedule to burn up the box office withTaken (in January 2008) and Unknown (in February 2011). That is likely the reason Open Road Films elected to distribute The Grey to theaters in the dead of winter, and to open it in multiplexes when one could easily argue it is art house fare.

Read more…


My Week With Marilyn ***

At first glance, My Week with Marilyn might seem like a salacious behind-the-scenes look at a mostly forgotten (yet high profile at the time) movie that had its share of off-camera drama…write James Berardinelli. Read more

Is Iran Behind the Deaths of its own Scientists?

February 19, 2012 by  

The way attacks were conducted against the car of an Israeli diplomat’s wife in Delhi has contributed to an interesting, if disconcerting theory among pundits…writes Emanuele Ottolenghi. Read more

Good Lying

February 18, 2012 by  

Rabbi Michoel Gourarie asks and answers questions about lying… Read more

Cooking for Love

February 18, 2012 by  

Are you looking for an ice-breaker, a way to really get to know someone?…writes Odile Faludi. Read more

Israel ranked 2nd most educated country in the world

February 18, 2012 by  

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has released its “Education at a Glance ” naming Israel as the second most educated country in the world. Read more

A Meeting with the Maestro

February 18, 2012 by  

Being one of his greatest fans, I’d always wanted to meet Vladimir Ashkenazy, principal conductor of the Sydney Symphony and legendary pianist. It happened last week, most unexpectedly…writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

NSW Parliamentarian makes personal Genocide Study Tour

February 18, 2012 by  

NSW  Labor Upper House MP and NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel deputy chair,  Walt Secord has made a self-funded genocide study tour to Israel, Armenia, Iraqi Kurdistan and Auschwitz-Birkeneau. Read more

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