“Our Boys” and “The Boys”
I’m four episodes into “The Boys” on Amazon Prime, and so far it’s very good. Critical reviews for the eight-episode series, which dropped on July 26, are mostly favorable, and a second season has been ordered. (By the way, don’t confuse “The Boys” with the current HBO offering “Our Boys,” a limited series filmed in Israel, in Hebrew and Arabic, about the kidnapping of three Israeli boys and other explosive events in 2014.)
The premise is that people with superpowers pop up around the U.S. and are recruited by a corporation to foil crimes, while at the same time the corporation heavily markets them for big bucks (cereal boxes, action figures, reality TV shows, etc.). The corporation keeps hidden that these superheroes are not saints and sometimes do bad things.
Eric Kripke, 45, who created the TV series “Supernatural” and “Revolution,” is one of the series’ creators and wrote the first two episodes. The first episode is directed by Dan Trachtenberg, 38. Seth Rogen, 39, and Evan Goldberg, 39, are executive producers.
Jack Quaid, son of Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid, plays hero Hughie; Karl Urban plays mysterious tough guy Butcher; and Israeli actor Tomer Capon, 34, plays Frenchie, who is skilled in munitions, ordnance, infiltration and communications. You might know Capon for his portrayal of an Israeli soldier in “Fauda” and an Israeli ex-commando in “When Heroes Fly” — two Israeli series on Netflix. Capon’s service in the Israel Defense Forces included being a squad commander in the Paratroopers Brigade, an elite unit often asked to do special forces missions.
“The Boys” is an adaptation of the 2006-2012 comic book series of the same name by co-created by writer Garth Ennis and artist Darick Robertson.
At the movies
“Angel Has Fallen,” which opens on Friday, Aug. 23, stars Gerard Butler as a Secret Service agent who is framed for the attempted assassination of the president. He must evade his own agency and the FBI as he tries to uncover the real threat. The vice president is portrayed by Tim Blake Nelson, 55, who starred as Buster Scruggs in the 2018 Netflix offering “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.”
“Ready or Not,” which also opens Friday, Aug. 23, follows a young bride (Samara Weaving) as she joins her new husband’s rich, eccentric family — portrayed by Adam Brody, 39, Henry Czerny and Andie MacDowell. The wedding turns into a lethal game, with everyone fighting for their survival. Brody is still best known for his very Jewish role of Seth Cohen on “The O.C.,” a teen/young adult primetime soap opera that ran from 2003 to 2007.
Looking back at Robin Williams
Oy vey, has it really been five years since the tragic death of Robin Williams? His suicide on Aug. 11, 2014 was particularly hard on many of us in the Bay Area. When he was 16, Robin’s family moved to Tiburon and he graduated from Redwood High School in nearby Larkspur. He honed his comedy chops on the streets of San Francisco streets and at many San Francisco comedy clubs, and at the time of his death he was living in the city’s Sea Cliff neighborhood. His philanthropic work included many local charities.
In the 2018 Williams biography “Robin” by Dave Itzkoff, 43, there’s a section devoted to the 1999 film “Jakob the Liar,” in which Williams played a Jew. In it, Itzkoff summed up Williams’ connection to the Jewish community: “On face value, there might seem to be little common ground shared by an impoverished Holocaust victim [Jakob] and the Episcopalian son [Williams] of a wealthy Midwestern auto executive,” Itzkoff wrote. “But in his mind, Robin could justify it: He had grown up around Jews, worked with them and embraced them as some of his closest friends; he liked to boast that he knew so much Yiddish, ‘people tend to think I’m Jewish.’ He was fascinated with the otherness of Jews, admired them for their tenacity, and was furious with how they’d been treated by history.”