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Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

January 1970 Archives

John Travolta: Scientology Could Have Saved Anna Nicole

posted by Ellen Leventry

Maybe he feels a certain kinship with the late Anna Nicole Smith after donning drag for the upcoming film version of “Harispray,” but John Travolta feels that Scientology could have saved the former Guess! model and reality star’s life. “The […]

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Putting the “Cross” in Crossover

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

Relient K is a Christian band. Like Switchfoot, they have managed a tricky crossover from the Christian market into the mainstream. But according to a Monsters and Critics interview, their lead vocalist/songwriter Matt Thiessen doesn’t enjoy the segregation. “We view […]

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Everybody’s Got Religion This Week

posted by Donna Freitas

Between “24” and “Heroes” on Monday and “Gilmore Girls” last night, television viewers are getting a heavy dose of religion. With the recent re-appearance of the shamed President Charles Logan from Season 5–Jack needs his help tracking down a Russian […]

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Don’t Be Fooled by “The Secret”

posted by Donna Freitas

Between the front page New York Times Style section article “Shaking Riches Out of the Cosmos,” which marvels about the fact that “The Secret” book is sitting atop the New York Times Hardcover Advice Bestseller List, and Newsweek’s online extravaganza […]

Al Gore and Oscar

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Okay, so it’s taken a day to recover from the fact that some of my Oscar predictions for this year didn’t quite work out the way I had hoped, but as I reflect on the ups and downs of the […]

Forget the Tomb: Find Your Own Personal Jesus

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

If you’ve been reading or watching the news this week, you’ve likely heard about James Cameron’s press conference about his latest project: the supposed unearthing of Jesus’ crypt. What’s that? Isn’t it the Christian tradition that Jesus was resurrected? Well, […]

Oscar’s Inspiring Moments!

posted by Douglas Howe

Big awards shows show us the human side of stars as they navigate spontaneous moments that can even make them nervous. That’s why we like Oscar night, which is the biggest of these. While the show itself may not have […]

God and Race at the Oscars

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Jennifer Hudson’s Oscar win was everything we tune in for: a handsome leading man (George Clooney) welcoming a young actress to the Hollywood fold and a teary speech punctuated by gasps of gratitude and sheer terror (and featuring a grandmother). […]

Ellen was nice and…boring

posted by Douglas Howe

Being an Oscar host is a difficult thing. I’ve never done it, but I’ve met two of the three most successful ones ever, and they both told me it was among the hardest gigs they’d ever done. There’ve been a […]

It’s “Black” Monday on NBC

posted by Kris Rasmussen

With “Studio 60’s” ratings floundering, NBC has decided to up the premiere date of their mafia drama “The Black Donnellys” from Oscar winner Paul Haggis (“Crash,” Million Dollar Baby”) to this Monday evening, taking over “Studio 60’s” timeslot for the […]

The Final Drop of ‘The O.C.’

posted by shuang

I admit it: I followed “The O.C.” fervently during its first season, when Ryan was still a tough guy from Chino, Seth was still a videogame-playing geek, and Marissa and Summer were still hard-drinking, unattainable rich girls. (Plus, the theme […]

A “Grey’s” Glimpse at the Afterlife

posted by Donna Freitas

It’s official: Meredith Grey didn’t die last night in “Some Kind of Miracle,” one of “Grey’s Anatomy’s” most intense episodes yet. I know, I know. She is one of the main characters. She couldn’t really die. But I really did […]

My Oscar Predictions

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Feeling a little puffed up over my successful predictions of the winners of last year’s Oscars, I am going to set myself up for possible ridicule again by putting myself on the line once more here at Idol Chatter, and […]

Britney Back in Rehab: Part Three

posted by Ellen Leventry

CNN reported yesterday that Kevin Federline, nee Mr. Britney Spears, planned on attending an emergency hearing today after learning that his former wife had left rehab for a second time after a brief 24 hour period, following months of bizarre […]

Others Take Up Britney’s Cross

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Business is booming at Body and Soul, the tattoo parlor where Britney Spears stopped on her much-reported breakdown last weekend, according to celeb tracker andPOP. Tattoo artist Max Scott says he expects many of the new bookings will be asking […]

“The Witches Next Door” are a Happy Family

posted by Donna Freitas

TLC premiered a new reality series this week, “My Unique Family: The Witches Next Door,” presumably because the very premise must sound weird (or even blasphemous!) to most viewers. “What?” you’re meant to wonder with confusion. “Witches? A family of […]

Tom Arnold: Evangelical Preacher!

posted by Douglas Howe

“Law & Order: Criminal Intent” is not a regular show for me, but when Michael Kress, our Idol Chatter editor, told me about the “Brother’s Keeper” episode last night, I was inclined to watch, even though the “televangelist has secret […]

Shatner and Shore: The “Good” Lawyers?

posted by Douglas Howe

Just when I thought “Boston Legal” was going to forever fade into the kind of redundancy that was starting to plague this entire season, it took a nice break from some of the whimsical hijinks and sexual politics that have […]

Oh, My Stars and Crosses! Britney’s Long, Strange Faith(s) Journey

posted by hrossi

Britney Spears’ much-balleyhooed head-shaving meltdown over the weekend had (at least) one religiously confusing aspect to it. While she was getting a white-and-pink cross tattooed on her lower hip, the former teen idol sported a large Star of David necklace […]

“Breach”: An Opus Dei Catholic Falls from Grace

posted by Donna Freitas

In “Breach,” director Billy Ray of “Shattered Glass” tells yet another gripping story of one man’s utter duplicitousness. This time around, however, the man in question, Robert Hanssen–played brilliantly by Chris Cooper–succeeds in bringing down not only himself, but the […]

Do It For Us One More Time

posted by Paul O'Donnell

The press this week about Britney Spears has centered on a single puzzle–what’s going through that newly bald head? For a while, Britney’s life has been “The Truman Show” meets “Real World.” In the past week, reports from the disaster-in-progess […]

These Guys Are Better Players Than Actors…

posted by Douglas Howe

…and that’s a good thing! The National Basketball Association and the City of Las Vegas’ tourism bureau went prime-time on TNT on Sunday night, and we found out that these players are clearly gifted for high levels of competition, but […]

“Half Nelson” Wrestles WIth Grace

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Even though Ryan Gosling ( “The Notebook”) is up for an Academy Award for his performance in the indie film “Half Nelson,” the film played in such limited release last summer that it’s hard to imagine many outside of Hollywood […]

‘Daddy’s Little Girls': A Breath of Fresh Air

posted by jmcgee

Finally, Madea goes on vacation and we get to see what kind of work Tyler Perry does when he stays behind the scenes. The results are magical, as depicted in his latest film, “Daddy’s Little Girls.” The story follows Monty […]

Sometimes a Game Is Only a Game

posted by mkress

Time was, not so long ago, that the game superseded just about anything for professional athletes. Perhaps a day off was warranted if a close family member died, but not much else could tear a player away from those temporary, […]

“Bridge to Terabithia”: A Lesson in Child’s Play or Cautionary Tale?

posted by Donna Freitas

I walked into the theater with great trepidation to see Walt Disney’s film adaptation of Katherine Paterson’s Newbery Award-winning “Bridge to Terabithia,” a story about a friendship between a boy and a girl, Jess and Leslie. From the look of […]

‘Amazing Grace,’ Drop by Drop

posted by Idol Chatter

Does God work through thunderbolts or more subtly? That’s the underlying theme of “Amazing Grace,” an earnest, informative, and often stirring biopic of the heroic William Wilberforce, who battled the slave trade for nearly 20 years in England’s Parliament. As […]

‘Amazing Grace': Giving Vision to the Blind

posted by jmcgee

Before seeing the movie “Amazing Grace,” I didn’t know who William Wilberforce was. I had no idea that the namesake of Wilberforce University, the nation’s first historically black college, was a British man who fought long and hard for the […]

Chad Allen’s Still Looking to be “Saved”

posted by Kris Rasmussen

The current issue of Newsweek features an interesting follow-up to the potential pseudo-controversy surrounding the movie “Save Me,” which recently made an appearance at the Sundance Film Festival. The Newsweek article features a surprisingly in-depth interview with actor Chad Allen, […]

Best Punchline by a Christian Insect

posted by Idol Chatter

I’d like to think that Christian vegetables–like VeggieTales’ Larry the Cucumber–will never be passé. There is, however, a new kid on the block in evangelical children’s entertainment: Max Lucado’s “Hermie, a Common Caterpillar” series. The series’ latest DVD is “Milo, […]

An Angel for Matt Albie

posted by shuang

Angels found their way to “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” last night in Matt Albie’s flashback to the days when he was still a new (and struggling) “Studio 60″ writer seeking attention from the senior staff and attention from […]

Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese & Carl Sagan’s Legacy

posted by Donna Freitas

Don’t miss the Science Times section of The New York Times today: it’s filled with religious kitsch and memorabilia! Ever wanted to see that famous Tennessee cinnamon roll that boasts the face of Mother Teresa? Or the Florida grilled cheese […]

Grammy’s Big Winner: Freedom of Speech

posted by dross

Last night’s Grammy’s weren’t about outrageous rocker antics (although I did hear one of the Red Hot Chili Peppers curse during a pre-show on another station), or about big rapper feuds. Instead, the main themes of the night were faith […]

“American Idol” Second Only to God: Carrie Underwood Wins Best New Artist

posted by Donna Freitas

Mary J. Blige wasn’t the only artist giving props to Jesus last night at the Grammy Awards. The 2006 American Idol winner Carrie Underwood collected two awards–the first, off-screen for Best Female Country Vocal Performance–and the second in front of […]

A Claude Koan?

posted by Ellen Leventry

When “Heroes,” the NBC hit about ordinary people who develop extraordinary powers, returned from winter break several weeks ago, we met a new citizen with supernatural abilities, Claude. Played by “Dr. Who’s ” Christopher Eccleston, Claude–whose full name is Claude […]

Ready–and Not So Ready–To Make Nice

posted by Douglas Howe

It was a night for unity and positivity at the Grammys–except for one glaring omission! “The Police” got back together. African-American-Old-Guy Stevie Wonder won with Older-White-Guy Tony Bennett. Justin Timberlake’s “What Goes Around” featured a white guy singing with a […]

Her Song Re-Maines the Same

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Redemption appeared to be the theme of the night at the Grammys, from the Dixie Chicks’ triumphs to Mary J. Blige’s gracious acceptance speech to Carrie Underwood’s win for the spiritual surrender anthem, “Jesus Take the Wheel.” Not everyone handled […]

The Real Tragedy of Anna Nicole Smith’s Death (and Life)

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Yesterday’s tragic news of the death of model/Playmate/reality star Anna Nicole Smith, after being found unconscious in a Florida hotel room, was shocking, and yet, at the same time, oddly not completely surprising. From her days as a stripper in […]

“Because I Said So”: When Fate Needs a Mom’s Touch

posted by Donna Freitas

Movie Land has been barren of late, at least when it comes to shiny, happy romantic comedies, which are my favorite kind. I can appreciate intensity, drama, and depressing stories. But sometimes I’d just rather not. And during the pre-Christmas […]

Bible Saves “Veronica Mars” From Vengeful Act

posted by Donna Freitas

Last night’s “Veronica Mars,” somewhat oddly titled “There’s Got To Be A Morning After Pill,” portrayed a family of evangelical Christians in a surprisingly sympathetic light. (I say surprising only because evangelicals are not usually portrayed this way on TV, […]

The 2007 Beliefnet Film Awards!

posted by Idol Chatter

Beliefnet’s now-annual answer to the Oscars is underway. The Beliefnet Film Awards honor the best mainstream films that explore spiritual topics and themes. This year, we’ve got three categories, each with five nominees: Best Spiritual FilmBabelChildren of MenFlags of Our […]

“Lost” is Back! And so is Jack’s “God Complex”

posted by Donna Freitas

I just have to start with a little “Hip, hip, hooray!” “Lost” is back on tonight, after a way-too-long hiatus. I will also admit that before this morning I wasn’t that excited, and I’d even almost forgotten it was re-premiering […]

Some Good Political News?!?!

posted by Douglas Howe

The national reality show that is our national political stage plays on several cable news shows and network news and newsmagazines. There was a great plot twist–and the deepening of a main character’s character–that went largely overlooked last week, which […]

Has ‘Lost’ Lost It?

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

I’ll admit it, I was initially resistant to the charms of “Lost.” A plane gets ripped in half mid-air and crashes? Undiagnosed vertigo and living in New York City post-9/11 are enough to make that one of my top-10 fears–no […]

C.S. Lewis’ ‘Letters’ Coming to the Big Screen

posted by Kris Rasmussen

More powerful than Wolverine and more charismatic than Magneto, the man best known for producing the “X-Men” series of films, Ralph Winter, has achieved something even Professor Xavier couldn’t dream of accomplishing. Variety has announced that Winter will at long […]

‘Harry’ the Hedonist?

posted by shuang

When strategically cropped nude photos of Daniel Radcliffe from the play “Equus” first surfaced on the web, the first thought that ran through my mind was: Oh no, et tu, Daniel? It seems that child actors these days are trying […]

What Daniel Radcliffe Owes to Harry Potter

posted by dali

“Mothers, Harry Potter has done something that will make you mad! Stay tuned to hear what!” These were the titillating words I heard driving home after dropping my kids off at school. I already knew the story: Daniel Radcliffe, the […]

NFL = No Free Lunch

posted by Douglas Howe

When economics meets the spiritual journey, economics wins–at least as far as the NFL and its lawyers are concerned. And that’s a shame. The Bears-Colts match-up included a wonderful and historic storyline, as the first Super Bowl ever to have […]

Those Crazy Christian Serial Killers!

posted by Donna Freitas

Last night, I watched “Criminal Minds” for the first time. I’d heard it was good and decided to watch its newest episode, “Revelations,” when it aired following the Super Bowl. After all, how could I resist watching a show with […]

Bracing for Harry Potter’s Afterlife

posted by Donna Freitas

We don’t know yet whether the young wizard Harry Potter will survive Book 7, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” (though we will soon–hooray!!). But the publishing industry–particularly children’s-book publishers and most of all Scholastic, JK Rowling’s American publisher–are bracing […]

Harry Potter… er, Daniel Radcliffe… Gets Naked

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Ladies and gentlemen, Daniel Radcliffe will take his clothes off onstage when the play he’s starring in opens in London later this month. So who cares? Ladies and gentlemen, Daniel Radcliffe also plays Harry Potter in the Warner Bros. film […]

A Real American Idol?

posted by Ellen Leventry

The auditions on “American Idol” can usually be counted on to make the audience cringe, but how often do they make the audience cry? Sure, “Baywatch” star David Hasselhoff and contestant Kathrine McPhee’s father both teared upduring last year’s finals, […]

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Wes Craven, Godfather of Horror Films, Dies at 76
Wes Craven best known as the godfather of horror films passed away August 30, 2015 after a battle with brain cancer. Craven, a director, writer, producer and actor, is best known for films such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, the Scream series, ...

posted 8:39:27am Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

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 »

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