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Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

January 1970 Archives

Look! Up in the Air! A Methodist!

posted by burb

A Jewish comedian claimed not long ago that he grew up thinking that all the comic-book superheroes were Jewish, because, like, say, Goldman and Federrman, all their names end in “man”: Spiderman, Batman, Superman… A report on MSNBC this week […]

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The Greatest Movie You Don’t Want to See

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I saw “United 93,” so you don’t have to. Which isn’t to say it’s a bad movie, because it’s excellent, maybe even great–original, innovative, riveting, heartbreaking, unforgettable. Many had feared that the film would be exploitative, but “United 93″ is […]

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Sequel Summer! (What a Shame)

posted by doug howe

May is about here and with it comes the kickoff of the summer movie season, which looks like it will be far different than last summer, when May’s bombs and semi-bombs included “Kingdom of Heaven,” “Monster-in-Law,” and “Kicking and Screaming,” […]

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Roar, TomKat, Roar!

posted by burb

Tom Cruise fans—those who read the gossip mags these days with paper bags over their heads—must wonder, Why does Tom do it? Why pounce on Oprah’s sofa? Why pooh-pooh post-partum depression? Why placenta? Why does he insist on announcing that […]

Brawl at the Christian Concert

posted by dena ross

Last night I attended the most violent concert I’ve ever been to—and believe me, I’ve been to a lot of them. The thing is, this one was a Christian show. I’ve wanted to see the rock-rap-reggae band P.O.D. live for […]

Spotlight on Walden Media

posted by

Kudos to Walden Media on its lengthy profile in this week’s Entertainment Weekly. Though not (yet) a household name, Walden is the company behind “The Chronicles of Narnia” movie, as well as “Holes,” “Because of Winn-Dixie,” and the upcoming “Hoot” […]

“House” vs. God

posted by kris rasmussen

One of the reasons Fox’s “House” receives so much critical acclaim is because even when this medical drama tackles a topic that has been done to death on other TV shows, it finds a way to present an old story […]

Time for a TV Turn-off?

posted by doug howe

You may not think of yourself as a rebel, but if you’re watching TV this week, you’re working against the efforts of Robert Kesten and his team at the TV-Turnoff Network, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that’s behind “Turn Off Your […]

The Lady Won’t But the Beatle Will

posted by burb

Paul Sharrat had no luck contacting the late Princess Diana three years ago in a televised séance—well, no luck in the sense that Di refused to speak for the cameras. Sharrat did make some $7 million from viewers willing to […]

“Who Would Kill a Saint?”

posted by sherry huang

For fans of “Crossing Jordan” (a CSI-meets-grown up-Nancy Drew weekly drama), the tantalizing question on Sunday night’s episode was: Who Would Kill a Saint? A woman’s body–wearing a silver cross–is discovered buried in a forest. As the crime-scene photographer leans […]

Jennifer Aniston’s Newest “Friends”

posted by kris rasmussen

Can lifelong friendships be torn apart by money when some of your friends have lots of it but others don’t? Are the age old proverbs “Money is the root of all evil” and “Money can’t buy happiness” actually true? Jennifer […]

Invasion Reconciles God and Evolution (Maybe)

posted by donna freitas

In Wednesday night’s “Invasion” episode, “Re-Evolution” (the first new episode aired in over a month), Everglades park ranger Russell Varon theorizes that the hybrids (humans crossed with aliens) beginning to overrun the once-quiet town of Homestead, Fla., are a new […]

Gilmores Get Buddhist

posted by

The most recent Gilmore Girls opened with Rory and Lane helping Mrs. Kim carry a large, golden Buddha into her house/antique shop. “Take down the crucifixes!” she hollered at Lane. This was all in preparation for Lane and Zach’s traditional […]

Alias Begins Its End, No Sign of Rimbaldi in Sight

posted by donna freitas

The best overall plot line for J.J. Abrams’s “Alias” has always been the mysteries surrounding Milo Rimbaldi, the 15th century apocalyptic philosopher-inventor, which was Arvin Sloane’s obsession for most of the first three seasons of the show and the cause […]

Mary Magdalene, Superstar

posted by kris rasmussen

Mary Magdalene, the woman who according to some gospel accounts was one of the first followers of Jesus to encounter a risen Christ, has long been a much-debated biblical figure–and now she is about to become the star of her […]

End-Times for Christian Music?

posted by burb

To the Christian music fans in Kansas City, Denver, and Jefferson City, Indiana, who are still waiting to watch the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Awards show: your wait is not almost over. You have at least two more weeks before […]

Brad’s Buddhist Body Art

posted by ellen leventry

It seems that fatherhood has brought out a devotion in Brad Pitt that transcends just sharing the same faux-hawk haircut with his adopted son, Maddox Jolie-Pitt. Hello! Magazine reports that the Hollywood hunk has gotten a Buddhist blessing tattooed on […]

Welcome to Church: Here’s Your Earplugs!

posted by doug howe

Several news outlets reported this weekend that Episcopal churches are piping in U2 music as part of their services–even their liturgy–in an effort to preach the message of ending global poverty. “As the electric guitar in the U2 anthem ‘Pride […]

Dang It! Napoleon Dynamite Keeps His Career Clean

posted by kris rasmussen

The huge success of the indie hit “Napoleon Dynamite”–the oddball story of a geeky Idaho teen and his friend Pedro–has brought actor Jon Heder, currently starring in the movie Benchwarmers, a slew of new comedic movie roles, along with a […]

Their So-Called Life After Matisyahu

posted by burb

Two key players at J-Dub Records, the label that was summarily dissed and dismissed by the Hasidic hipster Matisyahu last month, appeared on “Soundcheck,” on New York City’s public radio station, yesterday to discuss the label’s future. Aaron Bisman and […]

The Passover Tour?

posted by donna freitas

Yesterday, NPR’s Terry Gross interviewed the members of “What I Like About Jew,” the quirky duo Rob Tannenbaum and Sean Altman, who sing jokey, cabaret-style songs about Jewish traditions and life. The two men recently released their newest CD, “Unorthodox,” […]

God or the Girl? Young Aspiring Priests Make Tough Decisions

posted by donna freitas

Meet Joe, Steve, Mike, and Dan, four men who star in a new five-part A&E series called “God or the Girl?” which begins airing on April 16th. Why the quandary in the title, God or the girl? Who’s to say […]

Big Inspiration In “Little People”

posted by kris rasmussen

It’s not like I want to invest my time in yet another reality show, but then last weekend I just happened to stumble across one of TLC’s relatively new series, “Little People, Big World”–and now I feel like I am […]

“Veronica Mars”: It’s No “Buffy”–At Least Not Yet

posted by donna freitas

Tonight, “Veronica Mars“–the show that features a crafty, high school girl P.I.–moves to its new UPN time slot, 9 p.m. What has me excited is the potential implied in the title of this episode: “I am God.” I fully admit […]

Holy Hilton!?! Paris & Teresa, Separated at Birth?

posted by ellen leventry

Simple life, indeed. In possibly one of the most bizarre bids for publicity ever, MSNBC.com–via Access Hollywood via “People Magazine”–reports that Paris Hilton is on the short list to play Mother Teresa in a film set to begin production early […]

Fearless Film Fester Faces Faithful Cinephiles

posted by burb

Richard Herskowitz is a brave man. The director of the Virginia Film Festival has chosen a theme for this year’s 70-film hoedown: “Revelations: Finding God at the Movies.” In a news brief released by the University of Virginia, which runs […]

How Not To Promote “The Ten Commandments”

posted by kris rasmussen

I am sure some ABC exec thought it was a good idea to have Naveen Andrews, one of the stars of ABC’s hit show “Lost,” do the talk-show circuit to promote tonight’s premiere of the ABC miniseries “The Ten Commandments,” […]

A Fish Out of Water

posted by dena ross

Normally, when I go to a rock concert, most of the people in the audience have their hands in the air, making the “sign of the devil” with their pinky and pointer fingers extended, rocking out to the music. They’re […]

A Display of Mastery–of Biblical Proportions

posted by doug howe

The Masters golf tournament may not command the television ratings of the Super Bowl and March Madness, but it still qualifies as one of the cultural sports holidays that many Americans gather around and observe religiously. During Sunday’s final round, […]

Toto, Meet TM. TM, Meet Toto

posted by burb

The Beatles are all now either dead, knighted or Ringo, but the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the group’s onetime spiritual guru and the inventor of Transcendental Meditation, is still making news. The Maharishi’s followers recently broke ground on a $14 million […]

Phew! ‘Da Vinci Code’ Movie Can Proceed as Planned

posted by

At least one “Da Vinci Code” mystery has been solved… as far as the High Court in London is concerned. According to Reuters, the British court decided that “while Brown may have copied bits of the 1982 book ‘The Holy […]

Heeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Jay and Paul!

posted by doug howe

All of the wires, websites, and blogs that are talking about Paul Newman’s appearance on last night’s “Tonight Show” are missing what I thought was the most powerful part of the evening. Paul Newman ate dog food, discussed his charitable […]

For God, for Scripture, and for Sushi

posted by

Aviad Cohen–you may know him as 50 Shekel, though then again, you probably don’t know of him at all–has found a new way to get the word out about his latest passions. He’s started a blog called Scripture & Sushi, […]

“The Colbert Report” Tries to Save Easter

posted by kris rasmussen

Steven Colbert has spent as much time skewering Easter kitsch as he has politics lately on his talk show “The Colbert Report”–and I love him for it. Hypocritical as it may seem, Santa Clauses and elves don’t seem to bother […]

The Softer Side of Jerry Jenkins

posted by

When you hear the name Jerry Jenkins, the first thing you think of probably is not “emotional love story.” But the king (or co-king, with Tim LaHaye) of Christian apocalyptic storytelling is much more than just “The Left Behind” series. […]

“The Gospel of Judas”

posted by charlotte allen

The long-lost “Gospel of Judas” published by the National Geographic Society today has one thing going for it: it’s one of the shortest gospels on record. It’s a mere 25 (very small) pages long, in contrast to the canonical Gospel […]

John McCain Defends “Liberty” on “The Daily Show”

posted by kris rasmussen

The only thing better than watching Jon Stewart’s satirical spin on the world of politics on the “The Daily Show” is watching the sharp-tongued Stewart being outwitted by one of his guests. Such was the case last night when Stewart […]

Don’t Miss a Day of Idol Chatter!

posted by

We’d like to take this opportunity for a quick and shameless public service announcement: Beliefnet is pleased to announce the launch of BeliefBuzz, a daily newsletter featuring the best of our entertainment and pop-culture content, including, of course, the latest […]

Not Basic and Not Much Instinct

posted by doug howe

There was something redeeming—or at least potentially redeeming—about the first “Basic Instinct” in 1992. One or two tantalizing scenes could not have been enough to drive all of the $350 million it made, nor would they have sustained celebrity status […]

From One Rag to Another …

posted by ellen leventry

Sometimes I find New York Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams’s Larry King-like meanderings a bit too filled with non-sequiturs. For example, a snippet from today’s column: “B’way’s new show ‘Well’ has the line: ‘In the Midwest, Judaism is an accessory […]

Faith Gets Tested in the “Apprentice” Boardroom

posted by kris rasmussen

Battles in Donald Trump’s boardroom have taken a decidedly spiritual spin on this season’s “The Apprentice,” with an ongoing storyline that has highlighted one contestant’s refusal to compromise his religious faith just to get ahead in the show’s competition. (Well, […]

Tony Soprano: Does God Love Viagra?

posted by donna freitas

Last night’s “Sopranos” episode, “The Fleshy Part of the Thigh” was filled with religiously themed moments, including the mysterious appearance of a quotation from Native American spirituality posted at Tony’s hospital bedside. Paulie also finds out that his mother is […]

Happy Opening Day!

posted by

It’s common these days to refer to Super Bowl Sunday as a civic holiday, but to me there’s no more significant sports-oriented festival than baseball’s Opening Day–just as there is no more spiritual sport than baseball, with its focus on […]

For George Mason: God Finally Left the Building

posted by donna freitas

Mason Miracle, March Miracle, and Miracle Run are just a couple of the turns of phrase invoking miracles or divine-intervention that have been used to somehow describe the fact that, against all odds (literally), the George Mason Patriots men’s basketball […]

Previous Posts

A First Look at 'Saints and Strangers'
National Geographic will be releasing a four-hour epic television movie event this fall  that takes a historical look at what life was really like for the pilgrims, and the hardships they faced in the New World. Saints & Strangers will not ...

posted 3:26:22pm Aug. 03, 2015 | read full post »

The Arizona Cardinals Hire First Female NFL Coach
The National Football League appears to be making the same strides toward gender equality by hiring Jen Welter who is the first female NFL coach. The Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians hinted towards the hiring of a female coach back ...

posted 8:52:03am Jul. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Bobbi Kristina Brown Dies at 22
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n5A6ZCXuis[/youtube]Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of the late Whitney Houston, died Sunday at the age of 22. On June 24, the family announced that Bobbi Kristina would be moved to a hospice facility ...

posted 9:47:31am Jul. 27, 2015 | read full post »

“The Great” Hope Hits Theaters Today
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11tsR0kI1ZQ&feature=youtu.be Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Billy “The Great” Hope, a junior middleweight boxing champion in “Southpaw.” Hope had all the riches he could dream of--a solid family and a ...

posted 10:20:53am Jul. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Becky Hammon Makes History Again
Becky Hammon made history again on Monday by becoming the first female coach to win a NBA Summer League Title, as she led the San Antonio Spurs to a championship victory at the NBA Las Vegas Summer League Championship. The Spurs first game ...

posted 8:08:40am Jul. 22, 2015 | read full post »

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