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The Movies and TV Shows You Need to See in 2018

From Spielberg to Superman, the Blueprint pop culture guide for the new year

The new year is upon us and with it, an entirely fresh landscape of pop culture offerings on the big and small screens. Israeli commandos, ‘80s easter eggs, and Stephen King will help you ring in 2018 properly.

 

MOVIES:

 

“7 Days in Entebbe” (March 9):

As the fourth film to depict the famous Ugandan hostage situation and the subsequent Mossad-orchestrated rescue in 1976, “7 Days in Entebbe” has some creative hurdles to overcome in terms of originality. Still, this smooth-looking Hollywood project from “Narcos” director José Padilha brings some heavy-hitting stars like Daniel Brühl, Rosamund Pike, and Eddie Marsan. Based on the trailer (set to "I'd Love to Change the World" by Ten Years After) it will flaunt some impressive production values and ruminations on morality that could make the film a swell companion piece to Steven Spielberg’s “Munich.”

 

 

Speaking of Spielberg...


“Ready Player One” (March 30):

For anyone still reeling from the absence of “Stranger Things” in their lives, this is the movie for you. Based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel of the same name, “Ready Player One” is an ‘80s-lover’s dream come true. Melding retro influences with the futuristic world of virtual reality, the plot’s main scavenger hunt will be a chance for Spielberg to plunder his past works for easter eggs galore.

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” (May 25):

Technically speaking, Harrison Ford is Jewish because his mom (the daughter of Belurussian immigrants) is Jewish. As such, it stands to reason that the actor picked to play a young Han Solo should also be Jewish, right? That would be Alden Ehrenreich (“Hail, Caesar!”) who was discovered by Spielberg at a friend’s Bat Mitzvah (true story!). Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (“21 Jump Street”) and Ron Howard (“A Beautiful Mind”), the “Star Wars” spinoff will tell the origin story of the galaxy’s most famous smuggler.

 

 

“Goosebumps 2” (October 12):

Jack Black is set to reprise his role as Robert Lawrence Stine, the writer of the “Goosebumps” series that scared the pants off of most millennialsmillenials growing up. The sequel found its director in Ari Sandel (“West Bank Story,” “The DUFF”), an American Jew with an Israeli father. All said and done, the subject,ource material, to the talent and to the  director all have asome connection to Judaism.

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” (November 16):

While not stated outright in the first “Fantastic Beasts” movie, Tina and Queenie Goldstein played by Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol are almost certainly Jewish with a surname like Goldstein. The two witches/sisters will aid magical zoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) in this sequel. Maybe one scene will have them going to shul on saturday. Do wizards go to shul?




Courtesy of Warner Brothers; The Jewish Dan Fogler (left) plays Jacob Kowalski, a Muggle and baker who serves as Newt's friend and the movie's comedic relief


TV SHOWS:

“Westworld” Season 2 (TBD):

Remember that HBO show from last year that everyone called genius, but couldn’t really understand? Yeah, it’s coming back for Round II and the robots aren’t too happy with their human creators. Leading them is Dolores, played by Jewish actress Evan Rachel Wood.




Courtesy of HBO

“Krypton” (March 21):

Kal-El has come a long way since he was thought up by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, two NJBs from Cleveland, Ohio. With this new series on SYFY, we’ll get a look at the Man of Steel’s grandfather as he tries to restore the family honor prior to the destruction of his home planet.

“Jessica Jones” Season 2 (March 8):

The alcoholic, super strong private eye was created by Jewish comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis. Bendis just switched from Marvel to DC.




Courtesy of Netflix

“Castle Rock” (TBD):

Taking place in Stephen King’s fictional Maine-based town, “Castle Rock” is the latest King-related adaptation from producer J.J. Abrams.

“A Series of Unfortunate Events” Season 2 (March 30):

The b0oks the Netflix series in based on may say they were written by Lemony Snicket, but they were actually penned by Jewish author Daniel Handler. He packed the books with Jewish references and Yiddish phrases and the show's executive producer Barry Sonnefeld does the same.




Courtesy of Netflix

Did we miss anything? Let us know what you're looking forward to seeing on TV or the big screen this year. Comment below or email josh.weiss@jewishweek.org.

Spielberg

Ready Player One

Entebbe

Han Solo

Star Wars

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