Former Vice-President Al Gore, center, with Bay Area filmmakers Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, July 24, 2017. (Photo Courtesy SFJFF)
Former Vice-President Al Gore, center, with Bay Area filmmakers Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, July 24, 2017. (Photo Courtesy SFJFF)

Rob Lowe, Rodney Dangerfield and Martin Landau

Al Gore and the sequel

“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” opened in limited release on July 28 and will hit theaters nationwide on Friday, Aug. 4. The film, which played in the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival on July 24 (with former Vice President Al Gore appearing in person), is the sequel to 2006’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” directed by Davis Guggenheim and winner of an Oscar for best documentary.

The sequel follows Gore (the “star” of the original) as he continues his fight to rouse the world to take action on climate change. There are a lot of behind-the-scenes moments, some funny and others poignant. The film follows Gore as he reaches the apex, to date, of his efforts: the signing of the Paris climate accord in 2016. The film was re-edited just before release to address President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement.

The co-directors are Bay Area-based filmmakers Bonni Cohen, 52, and Jon Shenk, 48. Cohen’s other credits include producing “The Rape of Europa,” a 2006 documentary about the Nazi looting of European art treasures, including those owned by Jews. Shenk was the cinematographer on a 2013 film on which Cohen was a co-executive producer, “American Jerusalem: Jews and the Making of San Francisco.”

A few Netflix notes

On July 21, Netflix began streaming the 10-episode first season of “Ozark.” It stars Jason Bateman as Marty, a Chicago financial adviser who, we quickly learn, has been laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel. Upon discovering that Marty’s partner has been skimming their money, the cartel plans to kill them both. To save his hide, Marty moves with his wife (Laura Linney) and kids to the Ozarks to launder money, far away from prying Feds.

Reviews are mixed to very good, with many critics saying that the interesting supporting characters are a high point. Singled out are Julia Garner, 23 (“Perks of a Teenage Wallflower”), Jordana Spiro, 39 (“My Boys” comedy series on TBS), and Harris Yulin, 79.

Garner plays the 19-year-old leader of a “white trash” gang that thinks they can get money out of Marty. Spiro plays the owner of a bar that Marty invests in. Yulin plays, in the words of the Los Angeles Times, “the unhurriedly dying old man who comes with the house” that Marty buys.

You may not know Yulin’s name, but you know his face. He’s been a supporting player in more than 100 films and TV shows since 1970. He was born in Los Angeles, the son of immigrant parents; his original surname is Goldberg. His IMDB biography says he first began acting and directing when he was living in Tel Aviv during the 1960s.

On July 25, Netflix began streaming “Joe Mande’s Award Winning Comedy Special.”

Joe Mande
Joe Mande

You might not have heard of comedian Joe Mande, 34, but many have — his Twitter account has 1.02 million followers. The special mostly consists of Mande delivering political and pop culture observations that tend to be oriented to people his age, or a bit younger. You might know Mande as Morris Lerpiss in seven episodes of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.”

Rob Lowe’s Jewish sons

The Lowe Files,” a nine-episode reality/travel series, begins airing on AMC on Aug. 2. The series stars veteran actor Rob Lowe, 53, and his sons Matthew, 23, and John Owen, 21 (John is called “Johnny” by his father and brother). Matthew and Johnny were raised Jewish, the faith of Rob’s wife of 26 years, makeup artist Sheryl Berkoff, 56. They both had a bar mitzvah.

Rob, we are told, has always had an interest in the weird and paranormal. On the show, the Lowes will investigate reports of an underwater alien base off the coast of Malibu, and Preston Castle, an old reformatory for boys near Sacramento that has long been rumored to be haunted.

Rob and his sons appeared recently on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” His sons, I was pleased to see, have their father’s easy charm and nice sense of humor. So this series, I think, may be more interesting and fun than it might sound.

Dangerfield and Landau

I recently saw, via YouTube, an April 7 appearance of Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show” in which he shared a story about the late Rodney Dangerfield. He said that when Rodney was dying in 2004, he visited him in the hospital, and with him lying there semi-conscious, his wife told Jay to put his finger in her husband’s hand. She said Rodney would squeeze his finger if he heard what was being said. Rodney squeezed, and Jay exclaimed, “Rodney, that’s not my finger.” Rodney let out a small chuckle, and Jay said how happy it made him to make the comedian laugh on his deathbed.

When Martin Landau died on July 15 at age 89, three things came to mind.

Martin Landau, on left, starred in the short-lived 1970s-era ITV show "Space: 1999."
Martin Landau, on right, starred in the short-lived 1970s-era ITV show “Space: 1999.”

First, see or re-see the three movies that revived his career late in life: “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Woody Allen’s “most Jewish” film and his best drama), “Tucker,” an underrated Francis Ford Coppola film, and “Ed Wood” (in which Landau brilliantly portrays Bela Lugosi). Second, in case you didn’t know, Barbara Bain, his ex-wife, frequent co-star and the mother of his children, is Jewish and alive at 85. Finally, Landau was a kind, highly intelligent man who was making and being cast in new films until his very short fatal illness. He went out swinging.

Nate Bloom

Nate Bloom writes the "Celebrity Jews" column for J.