Faith, Media & Culture

Here are today’s Top 10 dispatches from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

1. Spider-Man movie producer dies. From The Wrap: “Spider-Man” producer Laura Ziskin died Sunday evening. She was 61 and had been battling breast cancer for seven years…She was best known for her work on the “Spider-Man” franchise, which brought in over $1.5 billion worldwide, making her one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood.”
Also read: When Laura Ziskin fought David Fincher over abortion joke. It you’re like me, you’ll end up respecting Ziskin more and Fincher less.

2. Book of Mormon wins Best Musical Tony. From Hollywood ReporterVoters for the 65th annual Tony Awards demonstrated their faith in The Book of MormonSunday night, showering the irreverent buddy comedy about two unworldly missionaries catapulted from Salt Lake City to a poverty-stricken Ugandan village with nine wins, including best musical.
Side Note:
Joseph Smith, Jr. had no comment.

3. Super 8 #1 @ b.o. From The Wrap: Super 8,” produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by J.J. Abrams, grossed $38 million at the weekend box office, according to studio estimates, putting the $50 million sci-fi thriller about $10 million above pre-release forecasts…The movie with the no-name cast and a 12-year-old-kids-save-the-day story arc was reminiscent to many of Spielberg efforts including “E.T.: The Extraterrestrial.” It easily beat out No. 2 film “X-Men: First Class,” which dropped about 53 percent from its premiere week and finished with $25 million.”
Comment: Once again “family friendly” wins the weekend.

4. Field of Vision ratings disappoint. From TV by the Numbers: The Walmart/P&G Family Movie Night advertising vehicle Field Of Vision scored just a 0.5 adults 18-49 rating, but based on previous such movies not much could have been expected, and presumably Walmart got its money’s worth.
Comment: That’s not quite true. Some the the Walmart/P&G films have done quite well in the ratings (i.e. Secrets of the Mountain). NBC might have done better with Field of Vision had they actually made half an effort to genuinely promote it. Instead, the networks continue to act like “family friendly” is something to be embarrassed by rather than proud of. 

5. Chaos grows. Also from TV by the Numbers: The only other new episode on broadcast Saturday night, the continuing burn off of cancelled Chaos gave off just a puff of smoke, with a 0.5 adults 18-49 rating, up a tenth from last week.
Comment: This is actually a good old-fashioned espionage-with-humor caper show that CBS is burning off with little no fanfare on Saturdays during the summer. The network would be wise to keep in eye on the trend line. They could have a sleeper hit on their hands. 

6. Can conservatives represent the values of both Ayn Rand and Jesus Christ?

More at The American Values Network.

7. Scouring Sarah Palin’s emails may backfire on her opponents. From from The Blaze: The Main Stream Media supposed dirt digging is backfiring as reporters pour over the 24,000 pages of emails released by the state of Alaska. Sarah Palin is emerging as a capable politician, a well rounded and thoughtful person, and deeply caring mother, not the ridiculous caricature the media has tried desperately to morph her into.

8. Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) on Tracy Morgan’s anti-gay rant. From The Huffington Post: He is homophobic. His employers now know this about him. And, I don’t think he should simply be vilified and shunned. Nor, just apologized for. I am optimistic wonderful Tina Fey and the brilliant writers won’t just reference it on the show in a cute and sweet way, thus dealing with the incident with a wink and a nod. I hope NBC does more than issue a statement.

9. Salman Rushdie’s new sci-fi show. From The Guardian: The new work, to be called The Next People is being made for Showtime...Showtime has announced that the hour-long drama will deal with the fast pace of change in modern life, covering the areas of politics, religion, science, technology and sexuality. “It’s a sort of paranoid science-fiction series, people disappearing and being replaced by other people,” said Rushdie, 63, best known for Midnight’s Children and The Satanic Verses.

10. Author Ben Shapiro (Primetime Propaganda) enters the No Spin Zone.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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