Roper and Ebert, they’re not, but John and Joan Schwartz have some strong opinions about the latest movies they’d like to share.
“ ‘Battleship’ sucked,” and the recent action movie flop based on a board game may be the worst movie they have ever seen.
Still, it gets one and-a-half-bagels out of sheer generosity.
That’s one of the few times they agree, said Joan, who said Terrence Malick’s 2011 Oscar-nominated “Tree of Life” was a “masterpiece” while John hated it.
Joan loved the Sacha Baron Cohen vehicle “The Dictator,” while John objected to the “preponderance of diatribe” (three and a half bagels “with lox and cream cheese”).
They’re Two Jews on Film, and the couple’s four-minute film-reviewing webisodes are now featured on the websites of the Detroit Jewish News and the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, as well as the couple’s own blog.
Reminiscent of a “Saturday Night Live” sketch, the two dish out gripes on recent films, sometimes getting actors’ names wrong (the lead in “Battleship” is Liam Neeson, not Nielson) and sometimes bickering or commenting on the state of their marriage, with a bookcase in their home as their backdrop.
But film amateurs they’re not. Both are in the business with credits as screenwriters, producers and, in Joan’s case, actor. The series was born when actor/director Amelia Mulkey asked her “adopted Jewish aunt and uncle” to post their advice about which movies were worth seeing.
So far they’ve given out bagel ratings for 175 films. The best by mutual agreement is “Marvel’s Avengers.”
Are they concerned their sometimes brutal honesty will close doors in the industry?
“You give your opinion, but it’s always very respectful,” said Joan, the more outspoken of the pair.
She said after the Two Jews panned this year’s “Man On A Ledge,” directed by Asger Leth, the screenwriter, Pablo Fenjves, sent them his script.
“Sometimes the studio will get involved and you had a really good script,” says Joan. “We wound up mentioning that it wasn’t the writer’s fault.”