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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 March 5, 2010 19 Adar 5770

A Movie to Make Us Proud

By Suzanne Fields




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Everyone gets to be a movie critic in the days leading up to the award of the Oscars, betting their favorites to win, place or show. Down the home stretch, "Avatar" and "Hurt Locker" battle it out to the finish line. What delicious irony that the "jockeys" were once married to each other.


James Cameron, director of "Avatar," and Kathryn Bigelow, director of "Hurt Locker," have untied the marital knot, but their talents remain locked tightly together.


Hollywood is far from perfect, as you may have heard, but moviemakers push the envelope of popular culture, telling us as much and more about ourselves, for better and for worse, than the political players in Washington. The politicians only get to craft -- or crash -- health care, and the mavens of Wall Street only exploit the economy. But every generation finds the popular culture it deserves, and "Avatar" and "Hurt Locker" are testimony to the obsessions of contemporary young Americans, who often play electronic war games without noticing that their country is fighting two real wars in real time.


If "Avatar" is perceived as a happening through a hallucinatory drug, "Hurt Locker" requires something to calm the collective hyperactivity felt by its audience. High tech meets adrenalin to strike an authentic high.


For all its spectacular three-dimensional beauty, "Avatar" suffers from a sloppy sentimental love story with a behind-the-curve message of America as the ultimate imperial power. Actors are clothed in digital distortions.


"Hurt Locker" brings gritty American soldiers to life in a realistic war in Iraq, with an appreciation for the heroism of a soldier whose main purpose is not to shoot to kill, but to dismantle roadside bombs -- the IEDs, improvised explosive devices. It's a new kind of combat, where our tough guys set out to protect and defend civilians who don't always feel any need to say thanks.


The strength of "Avatar" lies in its harnessing new electronic technology to create bursts of dazzling action. Director James Cameron creates splashes of surreal color in fantastical fights between man and beast. The power of "Hurt Locker," in striking contrast, resides in its earthy, drab, down-and-dirty realism, captured in the fine acting of men who transport us into their hearts, minds, fears and frustrations for an experience most Americans will never confront.

Letter from JWR publisher


Ironically, "Avatar" is the work of the man who turns violence into fantasy, the stuff of fairy tales told with a soft and even feminine sensibility. "Hurt Locker" celebrates the macho, directed by a woman obsessed with human violence. She creates a combatant character in a contemporary Trojan War, a warrior with pluck and tenacity who reminds us of Hector's words in the Iliad: "I know how to stand and fight to the finish. Twist and lunge in the War-god's deadly dance."


Kathryn Bigelow gives imaginative force and power to the narrative, as conceived by screenwriter Mark Boal, who was imbedded with the grunts in Iraq. Her creativity recalls that of Stephen Crane, who never heard a Union or Confederate gun fired in combat but whose novel "The Red Badge of Courage" was one of the classics begat by the Civil War. Like Crane's, her creativity does not depend on personal experience.


Certain critics of "Hurt Locker" argue that it's politically neutral, and many viewers even regard it as opposing the war in Iraq. But it makes you proud of the American soldier in the way that John Wayne portrayed soldiers who made Americans proud in World War II.


Staff Sgt. William James, portrayed by Jeremy Renner, does not have the walk and swagger of the Duke (who does?), but he suggests the Duke's pride, conviction and even his recklessness in setting out to do a dangerous job with redneck nobility. When we watch him striding alone down a scary street to defuse a homemade bomb, he's as death-defying as Duke in a Green Beret.


Our military men have not received the honor and respect they deserve. Their heroic sacrifices haven't won the public attention and appreciation owed to them. Political criticism of our current wars has taken its toll, rendering unobservant Americans immune to the danger that is their daily portion. Young people often wear the camouflage as parody rather than pride and lack the understanding of reality that goes with the recognition that "there, but for the grace of G0d, go I."


Some veterans complain that "Hurt Locker" is not authentic and doesn't tell it like it really is. Expecting a mere movie to do that is expecting too much. But portraying the literal is not the moviemaker's challenge. "Hurt Locker" triumphs with an emotional truth about the character of war and the men who reluctantly go there to win it.


The envelope, please.

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