The Jerusalem Post
Israeli summer fun movies hit screens
The Israeli film industry is coming back to life with a bang this summer with the release of two crowd-pleasing summer movies. Free Shuli, the first movie starring the popular Ma Kashur comedy trio – Tzion Baruch, Assi Israelof and Shalom Michaelshvili – was released last Thursday all over Israel and sold over 100,000 tickets in its first three days, which its distributor, United King Films, is hailing as a new record. One hundred thousand tickets sold is the magic number that Israeli producers hope their movies will hit during the course of their entire run, so to sell that many in the first three days is impressive.
The comedy, in the spirit of the Romancing the Stone movies, sends the trio off to Colombia – it was filmed there on location – when one of their sons is kidnapped by a crime lord. The bumbling but daring buddies head off into the jungle to carry out the rescue, where they meet thugs and drug kingpins and get into some shootouts, go to a couple of pool parties and meet gun-toting babes. There are a lot of Israeli-fish-out-ofwater laughs along the way as they attempt to pay the ransom using the Bit app and search for jachnun in the jungle.
While critics tend not to appreciate movies like this, audiences love them and their proceeds end up financing any number of serious art house movies. They are part of the Israeli tradition of sirtei burekas (burekas movies, named after the often greasy street snack), which have been part of the film industry here almost since the establishment of the state.
Israeli director Navot Papushado’s new action movie, Gunpowder Milkshake, will be released in the US on Netflix
and in theaters on July 14 and in Israeli theaters on July 15. Papushado previously directed, with Aharon Keshales (who is one of the executive producers of Gunpowder Milkshake), the offbeat Israeli horror/thrillers Big Bad Wolves (a movie Quentin Tarantino praised) and Rabies. Gunpowder Milkshake is an American movie and stars Karen Gillan (Nebula in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies) as a gutsy hit woman who works for a ruthless crime organization. She reunites with her estranged mother (Lena Headey of Game of Thrones), also an experienced assassin, to save the life of an eightyear-old girl held captive by the crime organization that raised her. But mother and daughter don’t fight alone. They are helped by the Librarians, a group of trained killers who operate out of a library and hide guns in Jane Austen novels, played by Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh and Carla Gugino. Paul Giamatti is on hand to play a liaison to the crime organization. Based on the trailer, it looks like Charlie’s Angels meets Tarantino.
Seven years ago, Papushado and Keshales announced they were making a movie called Once Upon a Time in Palestine, which is described on the Internet Movie Database as, “A genre-bending thriller with elements of spaghetti westerns, war movies, romantic comedies and silent movies set in British-ruled Palestine in 1946.”
In a statement released in 2017, the directors said that film would be “[an] at times funny and at times nerve-wracking portrayal of Israel’s birth of a nation, a kidnap thriller packed with shocking twists, touches of dark comedy and even romance.”
Now that Gunpowder Milkshake is being released, maybe they will get back to that, which sounds as if it’s worth waiting for.