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|Index||51 reviews in total|
29 out of 36 people found the following review useful:
Oye vei!!, 27 November 2004
Author: George Parker from Orange County, CA USA
"The Hebrew Hammer", is all about Goldberg as the certified circumcised private dick title character, a Jewish combination of Shaft, Superfly, and Mike Hammer, who sets about to defeat an evil Santa Claus who has sworn to put an end to Hanukkah. A campy, silly, an occasionally outrageous slam fest, this flick takes potshots at Jews, Afro-Ams, and white gentiles as our not-so-super-hero goes after Santa armed only with a babe, big guns, and guilt trips. What the film lacks in class and production value it almost makes up for with nonstop kosher comedy of the same ilk at Scary Movie, Naked Gun, Airplane, etc. Only for those into wacky slampoons who aren't concerned with political correctness. (B-)
22 out of 30 people found the following review useful:
Not Terrible, But Not Great, 8 December 2003
Author: kensmark from Right Behind You
The concept is good, the performances are good, but this film is too uneven
to be great. Writer/director Jonathan Kesselman should've watched the much
better blaxploitation parody "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka!" a few times and
thought harder about *why* it's a good parody. Even then, that film, too,
could have been improved.
When you do satire, you get the best results when you stick pretty closely to your target. The funniest moments in "The Hebrew Hammer" are those in which it really mirrors blaxploitation films. When it degenerates into really broad parody, lame social commentary, and random jokes about Jewish stereotypes, it goes downhill quickly.
That's too bad, because the principle cast really does do an excellent job. The villains are weaker than the heroes -- conceptually and by performance -- but I can't really blame the actors (much as I might be tempted to blame Andy Dick) because the villains are *too* over-the-top just as they're written.
Satire works as comedy because it keeps moving back and forth over the line of plausibility -- or, at least, the line of genre convention. "The Hebrew Hammer" has many good moments but, in the end, it strays too far, too often. There's about thirty minutes of really good material in there.
14 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Well Executed comedy., 26 February 2005
Author: shumiluvr from United States
This movie reminded me of "UnderCover Brother". Sure, this movie was
rather tasteless and obviously a low budget film. It was very funny. I
myself am Jewish and was able to laugh and relate to this movie. I do
not know if you would enjoy it if you were of another religion, but I
still recommend this movie. There were many hidden references and of
course some basic Yiddish humor packaged in. It easily could have been
a modern Mel Brooks movie, and if you enjoy his humor i recommend this
film. Although some jokes became repetitive, and were overdone, there
are many MANY funny jokes that I could laugh about.
This is one of those movies you should see multiple times. I guarantee you will catch more jokes and references making each viewing funny. So overall it was a cheap lo budget comedy. But a Funny cheap low budget comedy. A rare find indeed.
27 out of 45 people found the following review useful:
You're a hora!, 15 December 2004
Author: Andy (film-critic) from Bookseller of the Blue Ridge
Let me be absolutely clear, this movie is HYS-TER-IC-AL! In a world
where the same three holiday movies are played over, and over, and over
again in a complex form of brainwashing by our local networks, it was a
pure delight to see something fresh, funny, and outstandingly original
in the holiday film circuit. Director Jonathan Kesselman has done his
homework with this project. By homework I mean watching "cult" classics
like Hot Shots! and Airplane! while using a similar structure to
develop his own unique blend of humor and satire. While watching this
you will be surprised at how little you see coming. That is due to the
fresh feel of this film. We have not seen many films like it lately, it
on all levels it worked. It left me wanting more, oh so much more.
You can only credit the director for so much, it takes the talent from in front of the camera to really pull a film together. The feeling that actors have when doing a project definitely comes through the screen and onto the audience. Take Stepford Wives for example. You could tell that Kidman had no excitement on doing this project, and it consequently was horrible. I was never interested in Kidman's character because if she didn't care, why should I bother. This was not the case with The Hebrew Hammer. Goldberg was having a blast playing this zany yet kind character that cares more about his faith than anyone in the entire world. His eyes told the story, and allowed us to really follow this "leader" blindly into uncharted territory. I am an enormous fan of Andy Dick, not only does he carry my name, but he also bring to the screen his one style of comedy. He is notorious for being who he is, and while others may find him annoying, I only see him as comic genius a la Robin Williams. He is destined to be one of the greats and if he keeps with these films he will surely do well. The rest of the cast is superb, they really transport you into this world unlike our own. They really do define themselves and take this film to a new level. Adam Goldberg and Andy Dick are the staples of this film, while the rest assist in holding the film together.
I would also like to take this time to say that I watched this film with my Jewish friends, and they thought it was hysterical as well. I have trouble seeing where offense could be taken from this film. This was a humorous story about the uneducated nature of our culture towards the Hanukkah holiday. It comes at a time when consumerism is up and family values are at an all time low. This was no Oscar film, but it did bring to the spotlight a holiday and culture that is normally left on the doorstep. I applaud Kesselman's hard work and excitement behind this picture. This could have easily been something that fell through the cracks, but instead it will be something I show to friends time and time again.
Overall, I was extremely impressed with this film. The quality of the story, the witty and knowledgeable humor made me laugh as well as use my mind (which is a plus), and the honesty behind the characters was something other films should use more often. There was just a sense of fun with this picture, and it blasted through my television with the greatest of ease. This is our new Holiday film in our house. I am skipping the "classics" and creating new ones of my own. How impressive this film was!
Grade: ***** out of *****
19 out of 30 people found the following review useful:
Jewsploitation at its best (and only)!, 7 September 2004
Author: kill_claudio from Massachusetts
Though it's been compared to Mel Brooks' films, the humour in the
Hebrew Hammer is much broader and exploits far more stereotypes than
Mel Brooks ever managed to. Some people doubtless consider this a bad
thing, but in the grand tradition of politically incorrect comedy, the
movie is funny regardless.
Intentionally reminiscent of the Blaxploitation films of the seventies, the Hebrew Hammer is full of modern references as well as classic Jewish humour. The script is fast-paced and clever, and has some brilliant one-liners. Watch out for the bagels.
Although certainly not a film for the easily-offended, those capable of looking at Jewish stereotypes and laughing at them will enjoy this movie very much. The sheer camp, though not something I usually like, works very well with this particular script and format. Don't pass it up just because it looks bad--it's supposed to look bad. That's half the point.
17 out of 29 people found the following review useful:
Hebraic hilarity--I could watch it repeatedly, 26 December 2003
Author: Alan Jacobs (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Greenwich Village, NY
I can't get over this movie. I watched it once (on Comedy Central), and
despite the fact that the sides were cut off (it was not made for TV), and
the many expletives were deleted, and I had to skip through commercials, I
thought it was brilliant and hilarious. I've made tapes of it to share with
my non-cabled friends. Now it's playing in theatres, and I'm tempted to see
Now, maybe you've got to be Jewish to love this film, and maybe you've also got to have been brought up in a Catholic town (as I was), and maybe you've got to have felt the sting of everyone else celebrating Christmas while you've got this lousy holiday based on a rather tepid myth (the Chanukah story), but, even if the movie was made just for me, it was a great movie. I give it a 10.
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Hilarious Stuff, 29 May 2009
Author: jts0405 from United States
I am Jewish, so when I heard of this concept I felt that I had to see it. The movie was just flat out filled with laughs. The Hebrew Hammer is displayed as a cool styled Jewish private investigator. He joins with the Jewish Justice League as Damien Claus (Andy Dick) is on the verge of destroying Channukah and possibly Kwanzaa. With a pretty memorable performance from Adam Goldberg as the Hammer himself. Most of the lines become pretty memorable and even if you are Jewish and find the content too risky for your liking, you still have no choice but to laugh at the guys Star of David hood ornament as well as other things, like the Star of David spurs on his boots. The movie is definitely not for everyone. The content may offend those who celebrate Channukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and are Jewish. But even for me being a Jew, I can't help but just sit back and laugh at humor like this.
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Gets a bit lame near the end, but until then it's a scream, 25 August 2010
Author: samkay1 from Canada
Odd as it may sound, it takes a bit of brains to enjoy the Hebrew
Hammer. The movie requires its viewers to have a fairly extensive
knowledge of Jewish stereotypes, which is what the film lives off of,
Not since Mel Brook's last good movie (Men in Tights) have I sampled Jewish humour this laugh out loud. It's wild and wacky, and despite pushing into the red zone, it's not all that offencive (unless you are orthodox). My dad is an extremely tough critic, and is easily offended by red zone stuff, but I got him to watch part of this, and he laughed.
The plot is deliberately cheesy. It concerns a pimping agent of a Jewish Justice League, who goes by the name of 'Hammer', and he takes on the mission to stop Santa Claus Jr. from destroying Chanukah (which he is unable to pronounce).
The jokes keep coming, and they never get tiring, but in the climactic twenty minutes, something goes wrong. The humour starts to disintegrate a bit (except for a funny cameo by Ed Koch) and the silliness of the plot ceases to wink at itself, It goes from satirical cliché to regular cliché (the hero must rescue his damsel in distress)
Well, no film is perfect. I suppose there is one other problem with the movie, but it's not as big a deal. I'm not realty sure who best to recommend it to. If I had to guess I would say this kind of stuff would be right for the same audience who embraces Team America. It is crude, crazy, satirical, but really funny.
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
What "Idiocracy" is to stupidity..."Hebrew Hammer" is to religion.., 21 May 2008
Author: merklekranz from United States
Great comedic concept, poking fun at religious stereotypes, and especially Jewish stereotypes, which are hilariously lampooned. This clever comedy is destined for cult status. Some of the ideas seem to have been "borrowed" from Woody Allen, and in fact the Santa Claus in "The Hebrew Hammer" is a dead ringer for Woody, which makes it even funnier. Although wildly uneven, there is enough terrific, irreverent, material to maintain interest throughout. The idea of making a Jewish superhero patterned after "blaxpoitation" movies is pure comedy genius. There is something here to offend almost everyone, so if you are at all religiously sensitive, you would be advised to steer clear. All others prepare to laugh till it hurts. - MERK
Hammer, Please, 27 December 2012
Author: gavin6942 from United States
An orthodox Jewish blaxploitation hero (Adam Goldberg) saves Hanukkah
from the clutches of Santa Claus's evil son (Andy Dick).
My biggest complaint with this film is the sex jokes. I thought they carried themselves well with the racial and ethnic humor, and made a mockery of racism and stereotypes. Throwing is sexual material just seemed to cheaper it, and for that I had to dock them a star.
What I found interesting was having Peter Coyote as the head of the Jewish Justice League. With a name like Coyote, I did not think he was Jewish. Turns out I was very, very wrong. His father was a Jewish investment banker and his maternal grandfather was a rabbi. He certainly knows about the stereotypical Jewish, New York City life.
I also found my appreciation of the film changed between my first and second viewings. The first time I loved it for the racial humor. The second time, there was still that, but I had since seen "Superfly" and a few other films and better appreciated the homages that were thrown in, particularly the use of the Curtis Mayfield.
The MC Hammer and Mike Hammer jokes were good, and hopefully not over anyone's head (by 2003, did people still know who MC Hammer was?).
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