NEW YORK (6NoBacon) — “The Possession” is off to a devilishly good start at the box office, grossing $21.3 million — making it the second best opening for a movie on Labor Day weekend after “Halloween” in 2007, which brought in $30.6 million. Based on the dybbuk, a malevolent Jewish spirit, and the film "The Exorcist,” it features Matisyahu in his big screen debut and Kyra Sedgwick. The film tells the story of a young girl (Natasha Calis) who buys a mysterious box at a yard sale, unaware that inside lives an ancient spirit. Despite the box office success, “The Possession” received mixed reviews, scoring only 39 percent on the Rotten Tomatoes Fresh scale, but performing better with critic Roger Ebert, who gave the film 3 1/2 out of 4 stars.
Shannen Doherty going to Israel, despite negative tweets
Shannen Doherty, best known as Brenda Walsh of the 1990s hit teen drama “Beverly Hills, 90210,” announced on Twitter that she will be going to Israel. The tweet stirred many responses: positive from Israelis congratulating her, and negative from pro-Palestinian and pro-BDS (boycotts, divestments and sanctions) supporters. The latter accused Doherty of being “excited about apartheid and oppression of Palestinians.” Six Degrees (No Bacon) has reported in the past that some celebrities, such as Roseanne Barr, were not afraid to strike back, but Doherty decided to respond more light-heartedly. She tweeted, “Lol ok political activist … Try not judging and realizing that other cultures and the study of them, provides insight” and “Judging others is simply wrong. No one knows another’s true situation. If it aint your business, stay out of it. Thought of the day <3.” She later added some edge to her tweets, saying, “I’m also possibly going to Russia in a few weeks so prepare now for your angle on that trip …”
Farewell to Edon
Edon Pinchot, or the “Jewish Justin Bieber,” was eliminated from “America’s Got Talent” last week in the semifinals. Despite not making it all the way, the 13-year-old kipah-wearing singer and pianist from Skokie, Ill., had a successful run, and frequently received high compliments from the show’s three judges — Howie Mandel, Howard Stern and Sharon Osbourne, all of whom happen to be Jewish. Mandel even claimed that Edon was “the best singer of the competition”; that came a few weeks after telling him “Jew are terrific!” Pinchot now will return to the Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago and real life.
Lipa Schmeltzer backs haredi troops
Lipa Schmeltzer, the haredi Orthodox pop star who became widely known for his appearance as a Jewish robot in the video “Hang Up The Phone,” came out with a new video last week for “Mizrach” (East), a catchy song that calls for Jewish solidarity. The video features Schmeltzer in several spots around Israel and offers a variety of dancing, flashmobs and support to the Israeli army’s Netzach Yehuda unit, the haredi brigade. In addition, Schmeltzer dons a military uniform and offers his opinion regarding the furor in Israel over drafting haredim in the army, especially following the recent expiration of the Tal Law, which dealt with military exemptions for yeshiva students. (Schmeltzer himself was criticized for his decision to include soldiers in his video). Despite the inspiring words, the video has yet to receive a a strong status among YouTube viewers.
Isla Fisher embarrassed by hubby Sacha Baron Cohen
Actress Isla Fisher (“Confessions of a Shopaholic”) sat down with Conan O’Brien to talk about her new movie “Bachelorette,” and also shared her experience of being married to Sacha Baron Cohen. Fisher, who converted to Judaism to marry Baron Cohen, said that despite his sense of humor, it can be embarrassing to be in public with her husband. She told Conan that when they first came to Hollywood, they were invited to a premiere by Jack Black. Baron Cohen commented publicly about the physical features of an older lady who was speaking at the event — not knowing that the woman was Black’s mother. Fisher ended with the sad realization, confirmed by Conan, that Baron Cohen’s “social faux pas” will “finish her in Hollywood.”
Scarlett Johansson’s sexy, classy ad
Scarlett Johansson was photographed for Dolce & Gabbana’s new Perfectly Luminous foundation in a seductive, yet classy position, revealing her bare back. As the Examiner describes it, “The ad released on Tuesday isn’t just sexy, it’s classy too as it shows how a woman can be suggestive, still command attention and avoid revealing too much.” Johansson joins Natalie Portman, who has done two semi-nude campaign ads for Dior, most recently last week. It’s not the first time that ScarJo’s name connects to nudity — photos of her in the nude were leaked last fall to a website, leading to a six-year prison sentence for the man who posted them.
(For more Jewish entertainment news, visit 6nobacon.com, the illegitimate child of JTA.)