At the movies
Paul Rudd, 46, stars in the title role of “Ant-Man,” opening July 17. This is the first time that “Ant-Man,” a founding member of Marvel Comics’ Avengers, has hit the big screen. “Ant-Man” is actually master thief Scott Lang, who has a suit that allows him to shrink in scale but increase dramatically in strength. The suit was developed by his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas, 70). Lang, according to movie publicity, “has to channel his inner hero to help his mentor and keep the secret of his suit from a new generation of towering threats.” One possible threat is Darren Cross, aka Yellowjacket, who has developed a similar suit. He’s played by Corey Stoll, 39 (“House of Cards,” “The Strain”).
Also opening July 17 is “Trainwreck,” starring the brilliant comedian Amy Schumer, 34, who also wrote the film. It’s directed by Judd Apatow, 47, the master of romantic comedy with some raunch, and has had great advance buzz. Schumer plays a magazine writer who doesn’t believe in monogamy, a lesson her father drilled into her growing up. When she starts to develop an interest in the subject of one of her articles, a sports doctor played by comedian Bill Hader, “Amy starts to wonder if other grown-ups … might be on to something,” according to the movie promo.
Apatow likes to cast celebrities in smaller roles. Hader’s best friend is played by basketball star LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers (the team reportedly will visit Israel in the fall to face Maccabi Tel Aviv). The Hollywood Reporter says James is “charming” in the part. Also look for Norman Lloyd, 100, as an interesting neighbor of Amy’s father. Lloyd had big parts in a number of Hitchcock films dating back to 1942. He’s probably best remembered as Dr. Auschlander on TV’s “St. Elsewhere.”
TV news and notes
“Impastor” premieres on the TV Land channel at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 15. It stars Michael Rosenbaum, 42, as a gambling addict and slacker who goes on the run from a loan shark and ends up stealing the identity of a gay pastor in a nearby small town. (Rosenbaum played Lex Luthor in the long-running TV series “Smallville.”) Another Jewish thespian, Sara Rue, 36, has a co-starring role as an assistant to the pastor who is also the town gossip. Rue starred in the ABC series “Less Than Perfect” (2002-2006). She and her husband wed before a rabbi and in 2013 had their first child.
Also premiering on July 15 on TV Land (10 p.m.) is “The Jim Gaffigan Show.” Jim Gaffigan plays a comedian named Jim Gaffigan who has five kids and a wife named Jeannie. In real life, the comedian’s wife, Jeannie, produces the new show — but she’s played in the series by Ashley Williams. The setting is a New York City two-bedroom apartment that can barely hold the whole family. The two regular supporting characters are played by tribe members — Adam Goldberg, 44, as Jim’s best friend, and Michael Ian Black, 43, as Jeannie’s confidant. By the way, Gaffigan played in Israel in 2010. Vacationing there with his wife and five kids, he was persuaded to do one show at a comedy club in Tel Aviv and another in Jerusalem.
I previously noted that HBO’s “Silicon Valley” had a Jewish cast member, Josh Brener, 30, who plays Nelson “Big Head” Bighetti. Cast member Zach Woods, 30, recently said on the website Gold Derby that he’s Jewish and his sister is studying to be a rabbi. Woods plays Jared Dunn.
Columnist Nate Bloom, an Oaklander, can be reached at email@example.com.