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Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

July 2006 Archives

Well, There Goes the ‘Passion’ Sequel

posted by burb

Idol Chatter hardly needs to add to the barrage of quips, canned responses, and commentary about Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic outburst during his arrest early Saturday morning. Sadly, even in the 21st century, and even from stone sober blatherers, talking crazy […]

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PBS Controversy: It’s About More Than a Few Curse Words

posted by abigail malik

Those of us who watch public television are fully aware of what a refreshing alternative it is to the mindless programming on most networks. Unfortunately, the federal government is making it harder for public broadcasting to continue doing its job. […]

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The “Lather” Pack?

posted by doug howe

A little indie movie called “The Lather Effect” is making the rounds in art houses and is screening at the L.A. Independent Film Festival. It’s a small movie in the true spirit of independent film. Its director (Sarah Kelly) has […]

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Ella the Nephilim Slayer?

posted by donna freitas

After initial high hopes for “Hex,” the BBC America’s new budding-witch-goes-to-high-school series, my expectations have plummeted as the 10-episode pilot season comes to a close (the last episode airs next week). The series has all the makings of a supernatural […]

Say It With Me: ‘I Want My Jesus TV!”

posted by burb

What do Jerry Falwell and the Sci-Fi Channel have in common? Okay, you can enter your comments below, but the real answer is that they both figure to lose if the U.S. Senate passes a so-called cable TV reform bill […]

Family Dysfunction Hits the Road

posted by abigail malik

Every now and then, amidst the summer blockbusters and unrealistically romantic comedies, a small film comes along that promises to provide a respite from the wild explosions and happy endings of all films typically Hollywood. This summer’s foray into the […]

Does it Take “30 Days” To Change Our Culture?

posted by kris rasmussen

Could 30 days walking in someone else’s shoes change what you believe? That’s the premise of what is perhaps the one truly intelligent reality TV series on the tube this summer–Morgan Spurlock’s (“Supersize me”) FX series “30 Days.” Premiering for […]

Cleaning Up the Cussing: It’s About Time

posted by doug howe

At first, it sounded like an unfair bureaucratic issue. Paula Kerger, the new President and CEO of PBS, has been speaking publicly about her fear that PBS may face fines for violating the “fine print” of FCC laws in its […]

Forgive Us Our User-Generated Trespasses

posted by jmcgee

In the age of user-generated videos distributed to your computer via youtube.com, stupidvideos.com, and ifilm.com, employers might want to consider adding “forgiveness” to their list of hiring pre-requisites. Melanie Martinez is the perfect example of what the future will look […]

Eau de God

posted by abigail malik

When the fragrance company Coty asked Russell Simmons, the hip hop zillionaire and yoga junkie, to create an alluring perfume for women, God was the furthest thing from their minds. This week’s New York magazine reports that Coty expected something […]

Colbert gets Catholic on “The Report”

posted by donna freitas

Most fans of “The Colbert Report” know by now that its hilariously truthy host Stephen Colbert moonlights as a good Catholic family man. Last night his Catholic leanings were put to the test by his guest, William Donohue, president of […]

Saving the “Tailenders”

posted by burb

What Irish monks did for the ancient classical texts, a dedicated group of evangelical missionaries may be doing for the world’s disappearing languages. Since 1939, the Global Recordings Network has been spreading the gospel to remote parts of Africa, Asia, […]

The Messengers: Return to Sender?

posted by ellen leventry

“The Messengers,” a new eight-part series on The Learning Channel featuring 10 of the nation’s up-and coming inspirational speakers, left me somewhat less than inspired. In the premiere episode, the contestants are left to live for 24 hours on L.A.’s […]

Gaming for Good?

posted by donna freitas

In an article for The New York Times, Clive Thompson reports that video games–at least some of them–are turning their attention away from mangling bodies for pure sadistic pleasure and oggling impossibly endowed women for that other kind of pleasure. […]

Naked Archeologist Decodes Exodus

posted by esther kustanowitz

You may not have heard of him yet, but for the past year or so, filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici has hosted a television show in Canada–where he is huge–as “The Naked Archeologist,” in which he is neither naked (thankfully) nor an […]

“Lady In the Water” Story Sinks

posted by kris rasmussen

In the last few days, I have found more articles debating what in the world has happened to director M. Night Shymalan’s career than I have found positive reviews about his latest movie, “Lady in the Water.” Not exactly good […]

ABC’s “Fallen” Falls Flat

posted by donna freitas

ABC Family’s original movie, “Fallen” which aired last night (Sunday) and promised all sorts of exciting enchantments–prophecies, redemption, destinies revealed, and the lore of fallen angels–fell far short of my hopes for movie magic. In fact, rather than a movie, […]

From Hair to Eternity

posted by burb

New York City’s public radio station, WNYC, has a wonderful segment today on a hair salon in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, that doubles as a Catholic shrine, crammed with ornate renderings of the Virgin Mary, Jesus, and the archangels, including a […]

Disney Ditches “R”-Rated Movies

posted by kris rasmussen

The Mouse House is promising to become more family friendly than ever with plans to release 10 live-action and animated films per year under the Disney name–none of which will be rated “R.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney Studios […]

Dinosaur Rockers on the Warped Tour

posted by burb

One of this summer’s great pleasures has been watching the progress of Underoath, the Christian “screamo” band whose third album, “Define the Great Line,” debuted at #2 on Billboard’s 200 chart. That feat earned them a spot on the main […]

Coming Soon: The Bible with an All-Star Cast

posted by donna freitas

The Christian power-house publisher Zondervan, together with Media Group, has plans to release a star-studded audio-version of the New Testament with Samuel L. Jackson playing the voice of God, and Forest Whitaker as Moses–to name just a few Hollywood luminaries […]

Scientology “South Park” Airs Again!

posted by donna freitas

I am not an avid watcher of “South Park” though I do catch an episode now and then if it airs leading up to The Daily Show. But I admit I was curious about the now-infamous Scientology-Tom Cruise episode, “Trapped […]

A New Project for Jennifer Aniston

posted by

Why was Jennifer Aniston’s production partner, Kristin Hahn, visiting Ken Wilber, the founder of the Integral Institute, author, and Beliefnet columnist well known among people interested in integral spirituality and body-mind-spirit connection? Talking movies, according to Ken’s blog. Specifically, talking […]

100 Greatest Christian Songs

posted by dena ross

Is your idea of a good time sitting around with your friends, debating your all-time favorite Christian Contemporary songs? Me neither. However, when I came across the new book, “100 Greatest Songs In Christian Music: The Stories Behind the Music […]

Jewish: It’s the New Black

posted by burb

The highpoint of 1960s Radical Chic has long been marked by a party held at Leonard Bernstein’s Manhattan duplex at which the city’s sparkling social elite gathered to meet members of the Black Panthers. The highpoint of 2000s Radical Chic, […]

Can “Shakespeare” Save Souls?

posted by kris rasmussen

Think performing a Shakespearean play is about nothing more than a bunch of guys running around in tights reciting some frou-frou poetry you can’t even understand? The convicts at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex, a medium security prison in Kentucky, […]

What Would Jesus Blog?

posted by esther kustanowitz

Since the invention of blog technology–which made instant publishing accessible to the masses–we have taken for granted the immediacy of the form. For people who grapple with issues of faith, our instant access to the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of […]

TomKat Owes Us

posted by jmcgee

I have to disagree with Michael, my fellow Idol Chatterer, who fails to see the importance of Joe Public getting a glimpse of little Suri Cruise. Since the beginning of this so-called love affair (I mean relationship) between Tom Cruise […]

Mr. T Says Good-bye to the Bling

posted by ellen leventry

If a rose by any other name is still a rose, then is Mr. T without his miles of gold chains still Mr. T? The AP reports that Mr. T, star of “The A-team,” Rocky movies and his own eponymously […]

Mr. Outside, Mr. Inside

posted by burb

If you’re the kind who likes to hit the beach armed not with literary fluff but with serious reading, surf’s up: two of the year’s most important and engaging books with a religious twist have been published just in time […]

Dreamy Healer

posted by ellen leventry

Adam is your typical 19-year-old. He likes to work out, has tattoos, and goes out on dates. But Adam, as it turns out, is not just a typical university student, but a famous Canadian healer–“The Dream Healer.” Last night, John […]

“24” Rolls On, Even During Hiatus

posted by doug howe

Last season’s “24” ended months ago and next season’s series won’t start until January. I’m not sure there’s another show on TV that could retain an audience over that long of a hiatus, but perhaps one reason it works is […]

Where In the World Is Suri Cruise (and Who Wants to Know)?

posted by

I understand the deep-seated need to see The Chosen One, baby Suri, the TomKat spawn. Really, I do. My life also is incomplete without a sighting of the little princess. I also am on board with the Tom-has-gone-nuts crowd, and […]

James Taylor a “Wuss”?

posted by doug howe

Blender magazine has named James Taylor the #1 “wuss” ever. According to the magazine, J.T. is accused of initiating “an era of confessional, listen-to-my-troubles singer/songwriters” and turning “self-examination into a hallmark of the baby-boom generation.” J.T.? A “wuss”? You’ve got […]

Baldwin Disses Bono

posted by kris rasmussen

While the autobiography of D-list actor turned outspoken skateboarding evangelist Stephen Baldwin is not in Christian bookstores quite yet, one quote from the book–entitled “The Unusual Suspect: My Calling to the New Hardcore Movement of Faith”–is already stirring up controversy […]

Is Your Fortune in a Cookie?

It’s always a struggle to know when to interpret day-to-day events as indications of larger lessons we must learn. It’s also a toss-up to know what to blow-off as something that just “happened” without an enlightened message to walk away […]

The Head-Butt Explained, Sort of

posted by dilshad d. ali

France’s soccer captain Zinedine Zidane finally apologized for head-butting Italian defender Marco Materazzi in overtime during the championship match of the 2006 World Cup. (Zidane was kicked out, and Italy went on to win.) And Zidane revealed the gist of […]

Bleep this! No More Cleaned-Up Tarantino

posted by kris rasmussen

Want to see “Kill Bill” without the four-letter words and violence ? Do you prefer watching Kate Winslet on the Titanic with her clothes on? Too bad. Four companies which have profited from bleeping, muting, editing , and otherwise altering […]

Tzedakah Tsk Tsk?

posted by ellen leventry

What does it mean for a superstar’s career when shilling for a charity during a concert generates as much controversy as wearing a crown of thorns and strapping yourself to a wooden cross during a concert? No stranger to controversy, […]

Our Lady of Weight Loss

posted by charlotte allen

Can the Virgin Mary help you lose weight? The answer is yes, according to writer/collage artist Janice Taylor–although you might be forgiven for thinking that Mary has better things to do, such as listen to all those rosaries. Taylor is […]

Head-Buttgate Continues

posted by dilshad d. ali

So the sports world was all over this story since Sunday night: What did Marco Materazzi, a defender on Italy’s 2006 World Cup championship team, say to France’s captain Zinedine Zidane that caused Zidane to viciously head-butt Materazzi in the […]

Superman as Super Savior? A Quiz

posted by donna freitas

It’s high time you see “Superman Returns” if you haven’t already, especially if your pastor is telling you so. Don’t be super surprised if at church one Sunday in the near future, the sermon revolves around a Superman theme–I already […]

The Head-Butt Seen ‘Round the World

posted by dilshad d. ali

If you pay the slightest bit attention to the world of sports, then you know that the 2006 World Cup has come to a glorious end, with Italy taking the prize from France in an exciting match that went into […]

The Rehabilitation of Tintin

posted by burb

Since their American reissue in the 1970s, the Adventures of Tintin comic books have been dogged by the supposed racism and even downright Fascism of their pseudonymous author, Hergé. Relax, everyone: a documentary to be shown on PBS Tuesday explains […]

‘Pirates’ Sequel Is Still A Treasure

posted by kris rasmussen

Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of…fun. The only movie I have been anxiously waiting to see this summer is “Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest.” And I was not disappointed. Bigger, bolder and funnier than the original “Pirates,” I […]

A ‘Dark’ Vision of the Future

posted by abigail malik

By Hollywood standards, Philip K. Dick’s “A Scanner Darkly” might be the eccentric author’s most inadaptable work. The robotic intrigue of “Blade Runner” and the crime-stopping fortune-telling of “Minority Report” attracted studios and audiences alike, but this time the challenge […]

Astrology in the ‘Morning’

posted by abigail malik

“Good Morning America’s” new series-within-a-show, “What’s Your Sign?” debuted today with my fave astrologer Susan Miller (check out her eerily prescient ‘scopes at: astrologyzone.com). She talked about things like why most billionaires are Virgos. Turns out Virgos and Pisces are […]

A West Wing Afterlife for Dule Hill?

posted by donna freitas

The end of Seinfeld was the kiss of death for just about its entire cast–save Jerry Seinfeld of course. Will the similar end of power house drama “The West Wing” mean the same for its long time actors and actresses, […]

Seeger Sessions: How Can I Keep From Singing?

posted by wschuman

Whatever happened to music that can change the world? I’m talking about folk music, music with roots and wings and a message. Folk music is dead, you say? Tune in to your local PBS station starting July 5th for Bruce […]

Cash-ing in a Musical Legacy

posted by kris rasmussen

“Everyone take a look, see I’m doing fine/Put me and my box on the 309.” The stark symbol of a coffin being placed on a train bound for some unknown location is only one of the many allusions to love, […]

Moby Talks About Faith

posted by donna freitas

Last Thursday night, NYC’s flagship Barnes & Noble in Union Square held a special event featuring a conversation about faith between the eclectic, very successful Moby (musician, vegan, tea entrepreneur, and self-proclaimed Christian–sort of), and Chicago Sun Times religion reporter […]

An Atheist’s Religious Music

posted by donna freitas

This Sunday’s New York Times Magazine article “Her Lonely Voice” features Katell Keineg–the singer-songwriter that could’ve been a star but didn’t become one (even after she was signed to a six album contract with Elektra). When reporter Darcy Frey asked […]

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