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January 1970 Archives

My Favorite (Most Overlooked) Music and Books of 2006

posted by Kris Rasmussen

While I am still on a movie-watching spree so I can finish my list of Top Ten Films of 2006, I thought I would share with Idol Chatter readers the books and music that are some of the best of […]

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Is Meaningless Controversy Even a Controversy?

posted by Douglas Howe

One of the most interesting–albeit meaningless–awards of the year comes from CNN Headline News’ “Showbiz Tonight,” which names its “Most Controversial Celebrity” of the year. For 2006, Britney Spears won out over the likes of Mel Gibson, Michael Richards, Tom […]

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“Rocky Balboa” Packs More Than a Punch

posted by Douglas Howe

If you’ve seen all the other family movies this season–or even if you haven’t–take your teens or even your grown kids to see “Rocky Balboa.” It may end up being the kind of bonding that goes beyond inspiration to transformation. […]

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Um, About That Missing Family Movie?!

posted by Douglas Howe

Like a lot of people, I love lists, and I love the Beliefnet team of gifted bloggers, writers, and editors, but I have to say it’s a glaring oversight that “The Nativity Story” doesn’t make the list of Top Ten […]

Top Family Films of 2006

posted by mkress

‘Tis the season of year-end best-of lists, and Beliefnet is no exception. Check out our Top Ten Family Films of 2006 gallery here, compiled by Sharon Linnea, our Reel Inspirational columnist. Sharon’s kids also made their own best-movies lists here. […]

“Eragon” (The Movie): Add Fantasy Ingredients, Then Stir

posted by Donna Freitas

I finally bit the bullet and went to see “Eragon,” the first of three films based on the bestselling “Inheritance” trilogy by Christopher Paolini. Paolini is a shockingly young (i.e., born in 1983) author who took the book world by […]

A Twisted Sister Christmas

posted by mkress

Christmas may be behind us, but it’s never too late to enjoy Twisted Sister’s take on Christmas classics. Here’s an animated video of their “Come All Ye Faithful”: For more celebrity Christmas carol fun, click here.

RIP: James Brown (1933-2006)

posted by mkress

Yo! “Rocky Balboa” Still Throws An Emotional Punch

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Along with many other critics and fans, I winced when I first heard the news that Sylvester Stallone was going to add one more chapter to the “Rocky” franchise. And the cynic in me became even more nervous when I […]

The Cheezin’ of the Season

posted by Paul O'Donnell

“All-Time Worst Christmas Movies” is not just a list, but a debate. Readers of the movie-ga-ga website Pearl and Dean recently voted “Jingle All the Way,” a 1996 flick starring the current governor of California, the worst Christmas movie ever, […]

Conan: Good Priest, Bad Priest

posted by mkress

Miss Understood

posted by Ellen Leventry

Since it’s common knowledge that nothing sells a paper like a good scandal, could the same work for pageants? The latest news in the Miss USA underage-drinking/alleged drug use/inappropriate behavior kerfuffle is that Miss Teen USA–whom current Miss USA Tara […]

Rocky Reborn: Stallone & the Pastors

posted by dross

As my fellow Idol Chatterer Paul O’Donnell recently mentioned, there has been a big marketing push by Motive Entertainment to get faith groups out to theaters to see Sylvester Stallone’s just-released “Rocky Balboa.” As a participant in a recent conference […]

Canon Fodder

posted by Ellen Leventry

Meant to evoke the salaciousness associated with films, TV shows, and books about the desperate lives of housewives, the latest installment of National Geographic Explorer, “Secret Lives of Jesus,” doesn’t disappoint. This exploration of alternative gospels, those not included in […]

“The Queen’s” Royal Treatment

posted by Kris Rasmussen

In one of the most subtle yet daring movies of the year, director Stephen Frears (“Dangerous Liasons,” ‘The Grifters”) examines the death of Princess Diana with a unique and thoughtful prespective in his drama “The Queen.” There’s no conspiracy theories […]

Who’s Deader? God or Opera?

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Last night, the German Opera’s production of Mozart’s “Idomeneo” went on in Berlin without incident, albeit two months late and with more than 100 green-clad cops on hand. The heavy security was deployed to protect the artistic freedom of the […]

Caroling with the Stars

posted by mkress

The holiday season means it’s busy time here at Beliefnet, and there are a couple of new features that we think Idol Chatter readers will love. The first is Caroling with the Stars–music from some of the year’s best celebrity […]

“Black Christmas”: Blood and Gore, Bah-Humbug

posted by Ellen Leventry

Dimension Films is doing a little re-gifting this holiday season–and certain religious groups are responding with a loud “return to sender.” Dimension, a division of the Weinstein Company, is releasing a remake of the 1974 horror classic “Black Christmas,” a […]

The Next (Bakker) Generation: “One Punk Under God”

posted by Donna Freitas

His congregation meets weekly at a bar, he runs operations out of an auto body shop, and holds staff meetings at a local cafe. After some angry teen years and recovery from drug addition, Jay Bakker, son of the infamous, […]

Unidentified Faith Objects: Flying Saucers in the Bible

posted by Ellen Leventry

What if the “X” in “X-Files” stood for Christ? It wouldn’t be a surprise to those who believe that the Bible is full of evidence of extraterrestrial visitations and manipulations. But while it’s true that Erich Von Daniken’s 1974 book […]

“Charlotte’s Web”: Miracle at the Zuckerman’s Farm

posted by Donna Freitas

I not only grew up reading E. B. White’s classic “Charlotte’s Web” together with my mother, but each year my family gathered to watch the animated movie version of this story about rescue, friendship, and the circle of life (and […]

“Happy” Holidays For Will Smith

posted by Kris Rasmussen

A pig and a spider were no match for the charisma of Will Smith, as his inspirational movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” topped the weekend box office. Based on the life of rags-to-riches stock broker Chris Gardner, the movie is […]

Have a Holly Jolly (Atheist’s) Christmas!

posted by Donna Freitas

In the article “The Grinch Delusion: An Atheist Can Believe in Christmas,” New York Times reporter Randy Kennedy looked into what some of our most famous public intellectual-atheists are doing (or not doing) this holiday season. The article explores what […]

How About Some Pinot Grigio with Your Crane Pose?

posted by Donna Freitas

Yoga and chocolate I totally get. The sensuous feel of that delicious substance melting into your fingertips, that burst of flavor on your tongue, all in a bite-sized portion perfect to put your thoughts into that ideal mindful state. Chocolatier […]

Playing at “Shivah”

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

Think of video games. If you’re of a certain age, it’s Pac Man and Donkey Kong. If you’re younger, maybe you think of Grand Theft Auto or The Fast and the Furious. Religious Christians who have faith in the Rapture […]

“The Holiday”: A Plea for Movie Cheer This Season

posted by Donna Freitas

So I caved. It’s utterly predictable, and I can’t stand Cameron Diaz (I mean, really can’t stand), not to mention Jack Black, who is about as un-McDreamy as you can get in a guy lead. But due to the slim […]

Rosie O’Donnell–Good Intentions Go Sour

posted by dali

She’s a far cry from Meredith Viera, but she sure makes the show interesting. The addition of comedian-actor Rosie O’Donnell to “The View” was genius in some ways, as it gave life to a show that was heading south when […]

The Horrific Beauty of “Blood Diamond”

posted by mkress

I liked “Blood Diamond” for a lot of little reasons and one big one. I liked it because Leonardo DiCaprio seemed more like a man’s man–or at least an adult–than he did as Howard Hughes in “The Aviator” or other […]

A Very Kosher Comedy Christmas

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

December 25 may be the day that all Christian boys and girls wait all year for, but for Jews, celebrating Christmas often takes a different approach, which often includes some or all of the following elements: 1) Stand-up comedy, featuring […]

Jon Stewart: The War on Christmas Is Over!

posted by mkress

The Weinsteins Get Into the “Contemporary Christian Cinema” Game

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Only two months after 20th Century Fox announced plans to aggressively target the Christian market with a new FoxFaith label, the Weinstein Company–whose predecessor, Miramax, produced such edgy fare as “Fargo”–has announced that they will also create a faith-based movie […]

“Apocalypto”: Mel Chooses Carnage Over Creativity

posted by Kris Rasmussen

One man is chosen as a sacrifice to suffer unbelievable torture to save others. That’s one way to sum up Mel Gibson’s work in “Braveheart,” “The Passion,” and now Gibson’s latest effort, the Mayan action-adventure film “Apocalypto.” “Apocalypto”–which follows a […]

Mel Gibson’s Book of Revelation

posted by mkress

Mel Gibson’s “Apocalypto” is a story about pagan Mayan Indians who offer ghastly human sacrifice to their gods, hunt tapirs to bloody deaths, and fill their leisure hours playing bawdy practical jokes on each other. It is also a deeply […]

The Sixth Coming of Rocky

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Full disclosure: I have run to the top of the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, extended my arms, and bounced on my toes while da-da-dah-ing “Gonna Fly Now,” the theme to “Rocky.” I felt ridiculous and, yes, exhilarated, […]

In Iran: Sex, Lies, and Videotape

posted by dali

Paris Hilton was plagued last year by the wide-spread internet distribution of a private video, as was Pamela Anderson more than 10 years ago. But while these actors (if you can call them actors) faced humiliation, the loss of privacy, […]

‘Apocalypto': Blame It on the Jews

posted by mkress

A funny (if somewhat low-blow) fake movie trailer from SNL explains what those Mayans are really saying:

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. FOX

posted by Paul O'Donnell

The wonderful payoff of “American Idol”–it’s the most successful reality show, with record deals and American Music Awards all tallied–is that the show finds actual talent amid all those “Gong Show” rejects and braying, overtanned blondes tarted up like porn […]

“Scrubs” Plays Abortion for Laughs

posted by Kris Rasmussen

After getting a late start as part of the new TV season, the NBC sitcom “Scrubs” has found its sweet spot. Last night’s episode didn’t look to the caustic Dr. Cox or the goofy antics of the hospital janitor for […]

‘The Painted Veil': Class and Romance in the Time of Cholera

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

In this post-“Sex and the City” era, people dissect relationships a lot. There’s so much to navigate that some daters might wish they had been born in an era when there wasn’t so much choice–a time when a man saw […]

Seduced by ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’

posted by mkress

Looking for a holiday feel-good movie with an inspirational message? A family-friendly tale of father-son devotion that uses the F-word in a heartwarming way? A spiritual flick that embodies some of the highest ideals of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, […]

‘The Real World’ Gets Ugly

posted by lmarcus

A few weeks ago, Nicole, my fellow Idol Chatter-er, blogged about the premiere of “The Real World Denver.” Specifically, she wrote about the clash between housemates Stephen and Davis, both Christians. Davis announced he was gay and criticized Stephen’s anti-homosexuality […]

Don’t Waste Time Unlocking ‘The Secret’

posted by Donna Freitas

If you are looking for repetition (You are what you think! You are what you think!), unintentional comedy (think Parker Posey’s Libby in “Waiting for Guffman“–but real), a reason to roll your eyes a lot, and are hoping to “get […]

The Devil and ‘Doctor Who’

posted by Ellen Leventry

What happens when you’re a time lord–a humanoid race that can, in simplest terms, manipulate time and acts–and you meet another being who claims to have existed before time even began? If you’re Doctor Who, the last of the time […]

Tipping Etiquette: It’s Good Karma and Good Christianity

posted by Donna Freitas

I confess: I used to be a terrible tipper. My father tried to teach me well, explaining that every doorman, porter, cabbie, waitress, and mail carrier deserved a tip for their services and that the bulk of their earnings depended […]

Bush’s So-Called Elementary School Life

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

Life in elementary school is hard. Even if you’ve got Lil’ Condi Rice to do your homework, Lil’ Dickie Cheney to growl at your enemy cafeteria workers who are trying out a multicultural menu, and parents who live in the […]

Why Buddha is Everywhere (You Eat)

posted by Donna Freitas

Ever wonder where all those Buddha statues in your favorite Asian-fusian restaurant come from? Chances are, if you live in New York City, Los Angeles, or Las Vegas, a man named Richard Wolf (The Buddha Wrangler) retrieved them from a […]

Is J. Lo Turning to Scientology for Baby Help?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Celebrities may have personal assistants, trainers, make-up artists and stylists, but many of them are just like their average American counterparts–they have a hard time conceiving. In 1995, “Days of Our Lives” star Diedre Hall chronicled her struggle with infertility […]

Christmas and College Sports: Bah Humbug!

posted by Douglas Howe

I’m writing this after having just turned off the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) Selection Show, that is airing in prime time on the FOX, even though there’s still a half-hour left to go. The show’s now on its fourth commercial […]

“The Nativity Story” is a Flop

posted by Kris Rasmussen

I had high hopes for “The Nativity Story.” While there were a few moments worthy of praise, I have to say that this film was disappointing. I won’t waste time quibbling over historical discrepancies in this adaptation. After all, the […]

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90 Minutes in Heaven Hits Theaters Sept 11th
90 Minutes in Heaven is the film based on Don Piper, who died in a highway accident, experienced heaven and returned to face severe physical, emotional and spiritual challenges—has landed a distribution deal with Samuel Goldwyn Films. The ...

posted 11:32:37am Aug. 26, 2015 | read full post »

WM. Paul Young's Book "Eve" Hits Shelves Soon
After selling 25 million copies of his bestseller The Shack, author WM. Paul Young has written a new novel that will be one of the best books of our time - Eve. When a shipping container washes ashore on an island between our world and the ...

posted 12:01:28pm Aug. 25, 2015 | read full post »

The True Story Behind ‘Woodlawn’ Will Amaze You
The highly-anticipated film, ‘Woodlawn’ is a powerful story of courage, strength, and football in the midst of impassioned racial tensions in Birmingham, Alabama in the early ‘70s. New football coach, Tandy Gerelds was struggling to put ...

posted 9:04:51am Aug. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Little Boy Releases on DVD & Blu-ray
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_BdzqsIX6A[/youtube] The great inspirational tale about a seven-year-old boy and his efforts to bring his father back from the way, otherwise known as Little Boy, releases on Blu-ray and DVD today ...

posted 8:41:11am Aug. 18, 2015 | read full post »

For Real? Starbucks Will Offer Pumpkin in Fall Fav
I was pretty disappointed to find that Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte had no pumpkin in it. I ...

posted 6:00:37am Aug. 18, 2015 | read full post »

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