Christopher Abbott and George Clooney in Hulu's adaptation of Joseph Heller's Jew-ish WWII satire "Catch-22"
Christopher Abbott and George Clooney in Hulu's adaptation of Joseph Heller's Jew-ish WWII satire "Catch-22"

Josh Gad is a dog; Paul Rudd hosts SNL finale; ‘Catch-22’ comes to TV

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At the movies

“A Dog’s Journey,” opening Friday, May 17, is a sequel to hit 2017 movie “A Dog’s Purpose,” and both are based on novels that tell the story from the dog’s perspective. The novels and films follow a dog named Bailey who changes the lives of his human families. Josh Gad, 38, returns as the narrator voice of Bailey.

Opening on Friday, May 24 is the teen comedy “Booksmart,” which centers on two high school seniors, Amy (Beanie Feldstein, 25) and Molly, who are academic overachievers as well as best friends. They decide to break out of their bookish rut by going to a wild graduation party, but they don’t know where it is and accidentally go to a party on a yacht hosted by a rich classmate (Skyler Gisondo, 22). They are accidentally drugged at this party, then they go to another wrong party, hosted by a classmate (Noah Galvin, 24), before they finally make it to the right party. A lot of weird stuff happens, but it all comes out fine in the end, and Lisa Kudrow, 55, has a supporting role as Amy’s mom.

TV and streaming

The new CBS series “Blood and Treasure” premieres on Tuesday, May 21, with the first two episodes (“The Curse of Cleopatra: Parts I and II) to be shown back-to-back from 9 to 11 p.m. Matt Barr and Sofia Pernas star as a brilliant antiquities expert and a cunning art thief, respectively, who team up to catch a ruthless terrorist who funds his attacks through stolen treasures. Israeli actor Oded Fehr, 48, who is best known for co-starring in the hit movie “The Mummy” in 1999, co-stars as a terrorist named Karim Farouk.

Another person to look for in “Blood and Treasure” is Anna Silk, 45, who appears as Roarke in a recurring role, her first big role on American TV. The Newfoundland native moved to Toronto in 1999 and got steady work in Canadian TV shows, then in 2007 moved to Los Angeles, where she met her future husband, actor Scott Cooperman. They wed civilly in 2009 and in a Jewish ceremony in 2011, after Silk converted to Judaism. They now have two young sons, Samuel and Levi.

On Saturday, May 18, Paul Rudd, 50, will host the season finale of “Saturday Night Live” on NBC. Rudd’s appearance probably marks the end of the publicity push for his latest film, “Avengers: Endgame,” in which he plays Ant-Man. Then again, the film doesn’t need any more publicity, as it grossed $2 billion worldwide in only 11 days, shattering the previous record of 47 days to reach the $2 billion mark held by “Avatar.”

“Catch-22,” an original Hulu six-episode miniseries, begins streaming in its entirety on Friday, May 17. Of course, it is based on the famous, 1961 satirical novel by Joseph Heller (1923-1999), a book that was inspired by Heller’s own experiences in World War II. He enlisted at 19 and flew 60 combat missions on a B-25 as the member of the bomber crew responsible for aiming and releasing the bombs. The novel, and now the series, centers on Yossarian, a bombardier with a problem: The number of missions he has to fly until he can go home keeps on being raised. A lot of other nasty stuff and/or mishegas occurs, and the novel’s description of that mishegas caught a wave during the anti-establishment sentiment of the ’60s and made the novel a favorite of the hip.

Will it play as well in 2019? We’ll see. Some advance reviews are very good (Forbes and the Hollywood Reporter, for example, but Variety and others are decidedly mixed. All seem to praise Christopher Abbott, who plays Yossarian.

The series was co-produced by George Clooney, and he directed two episodes and he has a co-starring role. Grant Heslov, 55, an actor who has been Clooney’s producing partner for decades, co-produced and also directed two episodes. He also has a supporting role as Doc Daneeka, the character who explains what Catch-22 means. The large cast includes British Jewish actor Rafi Gavron, 29, as Aarfy Aardvark and Jon Rudnitsky, 29, as McWatt. Rudnitsky’s uncle, Michael Oren, 63, is the former Israeli ambassador to the United States.

Nate Bloom

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