Mordechai Jefferson Carver, aka the Hebrew Hammer, is an orthodox Jewish stud who goes on a mission to save Hanukkah. When Santa Claus's evil son Damian is pushed over the edge by his father's liberal policies, he does away with the Christian patriarch. Subsequently stepping into his father's role, Damian launches a campaign to eradicate the Jewish Holiday. The Hammer joins forces with Esther Bloomenbergensteinenthal, the gorgeous and dangerous daughter of the leader of the Jewish Justice League; and his brother-in-arms Mohammed Ali Paula Abdul Rahim, the head of the Kwanzaa Liberation Front, to topple Santa's evil progeny and to save Hanukkah for future generations of Jews.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The movie was shown at the Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente on April 16th, 2005 (among other dates). The director was present at the show and answered questions after the presentation. He mentioned that he had sort of an actor's top-five in mind when he was about to make the movie, and besides Adam Goldberg, his other options were Adam Sandler, David Schwimmer, and Ben Stiller. See more »
When Mordechai is using his tefillin as a grappling hook, he can be seen wearing them on his right arm and hand. Because tefillin are wound around the non-dominant arm, this would only be correct if Mordechai is left-handed; in the next scene he is holding a gun in his right hand. See more »
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 *****
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