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January 1970 Archives

The Onion Snags a Star Writer

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Editing a faith-focused website like Beliefnet, it’s hard not to dream of the star writers I wish we could get to write for us. And who is bigger than Jesus Christ himself? Alas, he hasn’t been on the freelance market […]

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The Rabbi Nanny?

posted by donna freitas

Earlier this week, Oprah held a Dr. Phil-like parental advice-giving session, yet not with Dr. Phil himself–her show about on-camera counseling for families in crisis was hosted by none other than the ubiquitous Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, author of many popular […]

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The History Channel’s Psychic

posted by ellen leventry

John Holland is the perfect psychic for the History Channel. He eschews the usual gimmicks of media mediums, the schmaltziness of John Edward or the histrionics of “Most Haunted” and “Ghost Town”‘s Derek Acorah, and even goes so far as […]

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Anxiously Awaiting “The Devil”

posted by donna freitas

The devil I await is the one wearing Prada, of course. Though the idea of embodying the devil in female form is not terribly original, I tore through Lauren Weisberger’s payback of a novel, “The Devil Wears Prada“–a thinly veiled […]

A Different Kind of Baseball Classic

posted by holly rossi

Tuesday night, I had the pleasure of watching the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Mets 9-4 at Fenway Park. But as much as Boston baseball can feel like a religion, I’d never personally witnessed any warm-fuzzies at the […]

“Click”-ing on Sandler Can Be Spiritual

posted by doug howe

Of the two time-travel related movies available this July 4th weekend–and sans the existence of a wonderful July 4-ish movie like “National Treasure” or “Independence Day”–here’s why I highly recommend “Click” over its play-with-temporal-reality competition, “The Lake House.” First, I’m […]

Can Christianity Save Britney’s Marriage?

posted by ellen leventry

This week’s US Weekly features a headline that one might expect to find on an issue of the magazine Guideposts rather than on one of the nation’s top gossip magazines: “Kevin’s Last Chance: A Christian life coach helps Britney forgive […]

Why Kathy Griffin Is On My LIst

posted by kris rasmussen

“I’m sick to death of Jesus. I feel that Jesus and Paris Hilton are both overexposed.” Loud and obnoxious statements like that should offend my Midwestern evangelical sensibilities just enough to make me want to rant about Kathy Griffin, the […]

Superman Is Back!

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Superman is back, and not a moment too soon. The world is falling apart, and now even Lex Luthor is being let out of jail. Does the world need a savior? That’s a question pondered by the characters of the […]

Nicole & Keith: Legally Wed?

posted by charlotte allen

So how was Nicole Kidman able to wed Keith Urban in a Catholic church? Kidman, baptized and raised Catholic, is one of the most famous divorcees in filmdom these days, her 1990 marriage to fellow actor and former Catholic Tom […]

Spiritual Summer Reads

posted by kris rasmussen

One of the many reasons summer is my favorite time of year is the fact that while enjoying the view of Lake Michigan, I can also catch up on my reading. Yes, with re-runs on TV and little at the […]

Monks and World Cup Soccer Don’t Mix!

posted by dilshad d. ali

Were your weekend’s activities planned around exciting (and some ho-hum) World Cup soccer elimination matches? Mine were, and happily, here in the U.S. I had the benefit of daytime broadcasts from Germany. And though my biggest problem was fighting for […]

Aaron Spelling: Crowd Pleaser, Crowd Shaper

posted by doug howe

With the amount of TV that most of us watch, it’s inevitable–much as we try to resist or deny it–that the small screen shapes our worldview and our national conversation. To that end, a significant cultural leader passed away this […]

World Cup Interlude

posted by dilshad d. ali

And so the dream has died, with the United States’ loss to Ghana yesterday (2-1) in the World Cup competition. Even though Italy did its part by beating Czechoslovakia (2-0), the U.S.’s loss cemented its shameful exit from the first […]

Pink Floyd’s Latest “Wall”

posted by doug howe

A British singer borrows an American president’s phrase when painting graffiti on Israeli property that is characterized by Palestinians as a land grab. I’m not sure what I am more struck by: the scope of history, politics, music, and culture […]

A Little Saintly Roadside Assistance

posted by donna freitas

As far as saints go, free-standing statues, mass cards, portraits on the walls, ceramic figurines, and tiny iconic pendants that you can dangle from a chain are par for the course for anyone who grows up an Italian Catholic–namely, me–or, […]

Superman’s Identity Crisis

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Steve Skelton–an author and minister–has been going around telling anyone who’ll listen that Superman is a Christ figure. He’s got a good point, what with the whole “only son sent to earth as a savior” angle. Now The Advocate tells […]

Make Your Own Family Tree (With Help From Madea)

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Tyler Perry–and his large black-woman alter-ego, Madea–have conquered stage, screen, and more recently, page, with the best-selling “Dont Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings.” Now, to coincide with the DVD release of his “Madea’s Family Reunion,” the Hollywood […]

Fiennes Finds “Faith” On Broadway

posted by kris rasmussen

It’s not often I get to (a) see a movie star up close and (b) see a Broadway show. But on my first –and hopefully not last–whirlwind trip to New York, I was able to do both in one afternoon. […]

Crossing a Line?

posted by burb

No need to wake early and drink warm beer to enjoy the World-Cup-time flap over English soccer star Wayne Rooney’s new billboard for Nike, left, which has scandalized churchmen in the Sceptred Isle because it recalls the Crucifixion. “‘The trivialization […]

L’Chaim Lohan?

posted by ellen leventry

It seems that Madonna’s Kabbalah connection with Lindsay Lohan may be reaching new heights of mystical ecstacy.Perezhilton.com is featuring pictures of Lohan with a Jewish “chai” charm necklace. It is not clear whether wearing the Hebrew word for “life” around […]

Definitely Not Your Mama’s “Grace”

posted by dena ross

I’m a sucker for unique music combinations (think: Metallica’s “S&M” collaboration with the San Francisco Symphony). So when I listened to the first track off Celtic punk band Flatfoot 56’s soon-to-be re-released album, “Knuckles Up,” I was immediately drawn in […]

Big Brother’s Kaysar Returns

posted by kris rasmussen

Tonight will mark the return of perhaps the one and only positive representation of American Muslims currently on primetime television. Unfortunately, instead of being on a show that is substantial and thought-provoking, it will be on something shallow and salacious–a […]

Sermonizin’ Simon

posted by burb

There comes a time in every musical artist or band’s life when he, she, or they recognize the superior majesty of another being and succumb to his control. I refer, of course, to the superiority of sound engineer Brian Eno, […]

“The Lake House”: Why Patience is a Virtue

posted by donna freitas

For those who last watched Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in the thriller “Speed,” re-imagining their relationship at a much slower pace and across different times in “The Lake House” might be challenging at first, but it’s worth the effort. […]

Eliza’s Mom Slays Mormon Misconceptions

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Dr. Judith Dushku is best known–in some circles, at least–for being a professor of government at Suffolk University in Boston. She also spent time as the dean of their satellite campus in Senegal, where she became involved with various African […]

The Real Reality TV

posted by doug howe

While an avalanche of “reality TV” shows fill our airwaves, I’m still glad for seasons like this, when the truest reality TV—sports television—has a large presence. Rarely is that presence greater than the once-every-four-years season of World Cup soccer, the […]

E!’s New “Sin” Series

posted by kris rasmussen

Who’s the biggest sinner in Hollywood? The E! Channel promises to answer that question in its new seven-week series, “The Seven Deadly Hollywood Sins.” Starting tonight, the series will provide a cheesy and cheeky look at how Hollywood celebs indulge […]

Entertainment Weekly Tells the World: Read Idol Chatter!

posted by

Idol Chatter is humbled and just a little bit giddy at being named among Entertainment Weekly’s top 100 entertainment websites. In a feature titled, appropriately, “Bookmark This Page!” the magazine’s editors listed their favorite 25 sites, and asked the editors […]

Where Love Is Stronger Than Frozen Food

posted by rebecca phillips

If you took the Ben Stiller comedy “Meet the Parents,” rewrote it in Spanish, and added in a dash of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and a pinch of religious conversion experiences, you’d end up with “Only Human,” which opens tonight in […]

The Price of Trash Talk

posted by burb

The price of saying seven words you can’t say on television just went up: Thanks to legislation pushed by the Christian Coalition and signed into law by President Bush today, fines for broadcasting what the Federal Communications Commission deems indecent […]

My Netflix Supernatural Summer Top Three

posted by donna freitas

As the spring television seasons wound to a close in May, I finally took the advice of many friends and joined Netflix, the super-fast DVD service that gets film and television favorites to your door in the blink of an […]

Britney Sacrifices for Her New Religion

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Last week, we blogged about Britney Spears’ spiritual journey, capped by her proclamation that her baby is her religion. Turns out that Britney’s announcement did more than make headlines– it also cost her the close friendship of Madonna, an ardent […]

Will Christian Rock Have the Courage to Wither Away?

posted by burb

Like Earth in the End Times, Christian rock’s days are numbered, but the industry has to undergo a few transitional stages. The current stage might be called “The Revolving Door.” Take Flyleaf, for example. The hard-rock foursome is often described […]

Hooray for “Hex”! TV’s Next Buffy?

posted by donna freitas

A friend who knows my affinity for all things Buffy and Buffy-related recently alerted me to a giant subway advertisement for a new TV series with my name written all over it: “Hex.” “Hex” premiered last Thursday at 10 on […]

TNT Hopes You Feel Like Getting “Saved”

posted by kris rasmussen

Mix “Grey’s Anatomy” with “Rescue Me” and you get TNT’s lastest summer drama, “Saved.” There is the requisite flawed hero who can only save others but can never save himself. There are also the obligatory dysfunctional family relationships and the […]

Rating Radical Christianity

posted by burb

To evangelicals bent on conquering Hollywood, it was this month’s sign of the apocalypse. Last week, the Motion Picture Association of America—invented by Hollywood executives in the 1930s at the behest of Christians to monitor morals in the movies—warned parents […]

Hardly Model Behavior at “The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency”

posted by esther kustanowitz

She was the Simon Cowell of “America’s Next Top Model“–the judge who everyone hated but whose acerbic, insensitive responses were a central reason for high ratings. Then on “The Surreal Life,” she clashed with “The Apprentice’s” Omarosa, to the glee […]

There Is No Place Quite Like Home Sweet “Home”

posted by kris rasmussen

Oscar winner and director Robert Altman has long been known for making movies filled with unusual characters and rambling, improvisational dialogue which viscerally dissect a certain segment of society–country singers in “Nashville,” Hollywood execs in “The Player,” hired help in […]

Step Right Up! Get Your Redemption Here!

posted by donna freitas

Casinos apparently are big venues for musicians, and I’ve spent my share of time these last few days watching people play slots while waiting for Toby Lightman, Jewel, and Rob Thomas to take the stage. My husband is on this […]

Sequel to “The Passion”?

posted by kris rasmussen

In my recent Beliefnet interview with Ralph Winter, he said that if Hollywood could make a sequel to “The Passion of the Christ,” they would. Well, Winter was right as usual: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Screen Gems studio is […]

Did ‘Passion’ Fire You Up the Most?

posted by holly rossi

Entertainment Weekly magazine has announced its list of the 25 most controversial movies of all time, and at the top is Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” chosen for “igniting a culture-war firestorm unrivaled in Hollywood history.” Other films […]

Scientology on the Fast Track

posted by ellen leventry

While most recently associated with a certain couch-jumping movie star, Scientology has had a long history of recruiting celebrities. But now the L.A.-based religion is turning its sights to the massive demographics of NASCAR, which has, as of a 2004 […]

Please God, Help My Team Win!

posted by dilshad d. ali

Are you salivating in anticipation of watching the great Ronaldinho of Brazil in action? Can’t wait to see Germany’s Michael Ballack use the home-turf advantage to chew up his opponents? Or perhaps it’s the thought of the Ivory Coast’s Didier […]

“The Omen” of Satan

posted by

My wife couldn’t believe I was interested in attending a screening of “The Omen.” Perhaps being invited to a June 5 screening (as opposed to the 6-6-06 opening date) made me feel better about it. But I think I’d do […]

Could Koufax Come Out of Retirement?

posted by burb

Boston millionaire Larry Baras, whose food services company makes, among other products, Unholey Bagels, has become the driving force behind the Israel Baseball League and is currently seeking out cities and stadiums in the Holy Land to host teams. Baras […]

“Windfall” Breezes on to NBC

posted by kris rasmussen

In a culture where quick wealth and instant fame are becoming more and more glamorized on television–think the recent hit game show “Deal or No Deal” and almost every reality show on the tube–it seems the time is right for […]

What’s Your Favorite Jewish Book?

posted by rebecca phillips

The New York Times Book Review created a furor in the literary world last month when it chose Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” as the best American work of fiction from the past 25 years. Though the book was chosen by a […]

Cult Status for Sienna’s Dad

posted by burb

A boorish Jude Law was the stumbling block to Sienna Miller’s domestic bliss. Now comes news that a boorish cult leader ruined the marriage of Miller’s father, the American investment banker-turned-art dealer Ed Miller. In an interview in the British […]

This New Divine Comedy Plans on Being a “Ten”

posted by kris rasmussen

Thou shalt not covet thy Middle Eastern neighbor’s oil–but coveting his wife, not such a big problem. Thou shalt not use weapons of mass destruction. Thou shalt not lie–unless you are up for re-election. These are a few of the […]

Seeing This Movie Will Save The World

posted by donna freitas

Riveting. Terrifying. Inspiring. Exasperating. Makes you want to grab people off the street as you exit and shove them in the door so they can see it too. Causes you to catalogue all the little things you could do, but […]

An “Average Joe” Wedding

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A big Idol Chatter mazel-tov goes to Adam Mesh on his recent wedding! The charismatic, fan-favorite runner-up of NBC’s original “Average Joe” and its follow-up “Average Joe: Adam Returns” tied the knot May 28 with his girlfriend, Jessica Malca. (I […]

A Quarter Century of AIDS

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Amidst the coverage of this week’s 25th anniversary of the identification of the disease that’s come to be known as AIDS, Idol Chatter would like to take a moment to remember the pop-culture figures who’ve been lost to the disease. […]

“Guru Pitka,” International Man of Enlightenment

posted by kris rasmussen

What if a spiritual leader such as Deepak Chopra was channeled through the completely politically incorrect energy of a very famous comedian? You’d get a character named Guru Pitka, and Paramount Pictures would want to make a feature film about […]

God Is the Word, Word, Word

posted by jmcgee

Intrigued is how I would describe myself the moment I learned that a “hip hop mass” would be held at St. Paul’s Chapel, an Episcopal church in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district. How can liturgical Protestantism and hip hop […]

A Balanced Portrayal of Opus Dei–If You Can Stay Awake

posted by charlotte allen

If you can sit through the 149-minute movie version of “The Da Vinci Code” directed by Ron Howard, you can certainly sit through “Opus Dei and the Da Vinci Code,” a 50-minute BBC documentary directed by Jeremy Jeffs, which aired […]

What’s Your Most Inspiring Film of All-Time?

posted by doug howe

The American Film Institute is conducting another one of its “ballots,” this time searching for the Top 100 Inspirational Films of All Time. It’s called “100 Years… 100 Cheers,” and serves as an addition to prior efforts listing the best […]

“Omen “ Director Discusses the Signs Of the Times

posted by kris rasmussen

There are several supernaturally-themed horror movies coming to the cineplex this summer, but perhaps none is more anticipated by horror film buffs that the remake of the ’70s cult classic “The Omen,” which opens next week–on 6-06-06 to be exact. […]

Getcher Jesus Bobblehead Doll Right Here!

posted by burb

Today’s New York Times has a front page story about the widening phenomenon of Faith Night at the ballpark. Always on the lookout for ways to drum up business, minor-league sports teams are hosting religious-themed promotions, hoping to tap into […]

Dixie Chicks Are Singing to the Choir

posted by burb

Ricky Skaggs knows how the Dixie Chicks feel. So does Randy Travis. Both country singers spoke and sang about what they believed in—faith in Jesus—and both saw record sales and radio airtime plummet, despite the fact that half of country […]

The Chicks Grow Up

posted by ellen leventry

The “Dixie Chicks” moniker has always been fitting, perfectly personifying the sassy, dynamic, youthful tunes of Natalie Maines, Emily Robison, and Martie Maguire. But their latest album, “Taking The Long Way,” shows that these girls ain’t chicks anymore–they’re wearier, wiser […]

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Letterman Bids Farewell Tonight
It's David Lettman's last episode interviewing, so what do you do? Well have his first guest, ever, Bill Murray pop out of a cake - of course! [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YW8MY9CD-tQ[/youtube] Murray appeared on the first late ...

posted 9:03:34am May. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Finding Neverland - On a Stage!
Calling all fans of Lost Boys!             You loved Finding Neverland with Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, right? The film about J.M. Barrie in 2004 is back - in the form of a Broadway ...

posted 12:53:47pm May. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Blues Guitarist B.B. King Dead at 89
Legendary blues guitarist B.B. King died Thursday night at the age of 89 in a Las Vegas hospital. King was the son of a sharecropper, and was born on a plantation in Mississippi. He worked his way up from singing in church, performing on street ...

posted 9:27:21am May. 15, 2015 | read full post »

'Where Hope Grows' is a Much Watch
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L10tIzZZrA Kristoffer Polaha stars as a baseball slugger with Detroit Tigers who was forced to retire early due to panic attacks at the plate. Calvin Campbell struggles with alcoholism, depression, and battles ...

posted 8:58:33am May. 15, 2015 | read full post »

One Good Fella
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKjent3fFcs Jersey Girl, the Body Guard, and Goodfellas--Mike Starr always plays a wise guy. The graduate of Hofstra University’s latest role is the comedy Dancer and the Dame, a film about a police officer ...

posted 12:13:10pm May. 14, 2015 | read full post »

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