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Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

April 2007 Archives

‘In the Land of Women': Avoid at All Costs

posted by Donna Freitas

I should have listened to New York Times film critic Stephen Holden, who called “In the Land of Women” meek and mopey, “the film equivalent of a sensitive emo band with one foot in alternative rock and the other in […]

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Kathie Lee Gifford’s New Role

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Two of America’s biggest born-again tabloid sensations are getting together in a stage musical with all the hoopla of a tent revival meeting. One is Kathie Lee Gifford, the public Christian and former morning talk-show matron whose repeated bouts with […]

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The Birth of a Mythmaker

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Any Tolkien fan can tell you that J.R.R. Tolkien, a faithful Catholic, was pals with pop theologian C.S. Lewis, and that he laced his Lord of the Rings trilogy with Christian theology. What’s not always obvious, however, is how. What’s […]

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The Kiss Heard ‘Round the World

posted by Ellen Leventry

A week or so ago, I suggested that “Idol Chatter” cover the Richard Gere kissing kerfuffle that was consuming India. It seems the “Officer and a Gentleman” exhibited what some Indians consider less than gentlemanly behavior by vigorously kissing Bollywood […]

‘The Secret’ in Action

posted by dross

In case you haven’t seen it yet, Beliefnet recently posted an interesting gallery on how its readers have credited the “law of attraction”–the idea that we create our reality with our thoughts, popularized by the controversial best-selling book and DVD, […]

Summer Sequels: The Good, the Bad, and the Good

posted by Douglas Howe

The summer movie season officially kicks off (are you ready for this?) a week from Friday! May 4th brings us Spider-Man 3—the summer’s first movie release, the first anticipated blockbuster, and the first sequel. Movie sites such as Moviephone and […]

Another “Fair and Balanced” Source?

posted by Douglas Howe

I read in USA Today that ratings for several top-rated shows are down, and it listed several reasons why, including Daylight Savings Time, DVRs, and long hiatuses. I think there’s one huge reason they missed: too many people are switching […]

Is “Idol” Partly to Blame for the VTech Shootings?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Did Simon Cowell contribute to the massacre at Virginia Tech?,” asked yesterday’s Scoop column on MSNBC.com. It seems that Barbara Coloroso, author of “The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander,” thinks so. “I think we are experiencing something amiss culturally […]

It’s Tribeca Time!

posted by mkress

One of the true joys of living in New York these days is the Tribeca Film Festival, started in the wake of 9/11 by none other than Martin Scorsese. This year’s extravaganza opens on Wednesday, and as always, the festival’s […]

Kryptonite Is Real!

posted by Donna Freitas

OK, I am a shamelessly huge “Smallville” fan and after a tough season five, I feel like season six has bounced back and then some. This, of course, also makes me a huge Superman fan in general. So I was […]

Dove Awards at GMA Week 2007

posted by Kris Rasmussen

The Gospel Music Association celebrates the many faces and voices of contemporary Christian music this week with the 38th annual Dove Awards. While the award ceremony is Wednesday evening , it won’t air in (limited) national syndication until next month. […]

CSI: Divorce

posted by Douglas Howe

Of the CSI’s (New York, Miami and Las Vegas) I believe “CSI:Miami” is either–depending on your taste–the most outrageous or the most prophetic. Last night’s show featured a future view on divorce that I wish would ignite a national discussion […]

Lisa Lynne Mathis: An ‘Anchor’ for Tough Times

posted by dross

In the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, many people—particularly those who survived the tragedy or were directly affected by it—are leaning on their faith to cope, while others may be questioning their spiritual beliefs. (“Why did God let this […]

Spin Control to Major Tom

posted by Ellen Leventry

Once upon a time there was an actor named Tom Cruise. He was king of the box office; everyone wanted to work with him. Heck, even Rosie O’Donnell had a crush on him. And then something odd happened. He jumped […]

Nicole C. Mullen Plants “Seed” of Faith

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Listening to pop/gospel artist Nicole C. Mullen’s powerful vocal gymnastics on songs like “Call on Jesus” and “Redeemer” has long been an antidote for lifting my spirits whenever I’m feeling a little blue. So it was difficult not to feel […]

Do Celebrities Celebrate Religious Holidays?

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

“We’re always looking for a seder. This year we [she and husband Matthew Broderick] drove four and a half hours to go to a Rosh Hashanah dinner.”– Actress Sarah Jessica Parker, quoted in “Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About […]

Methinks Kristin Chenoweth Doth Undress too Much

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Back when Kristin Chenoweth had her own television show, she told Beliefnet that she hoped the show would “show the human face of Christianity.” Nowadays, it’s more than the face of Christianity that Chenoweth is showing. She appears nude (tastefully) […]

There’s Justice, but No Cross in ‘Crossroads’

posted by Paul O'Donnell

From Sherlock Holmes to “Dragnet” to “CSI,” we like to see a killer get his, in the form of comeuppance when the detective solves the crime, or in the judge’s sentence, or best of all when he (or she) comes […]

DVD of the Week: ‘The Last King of Scotland’

posted by Kris Rasmussen

I never had the chance to see “The Last King of Scotland,” which tells the tale of psychotic Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, when it first came out. I was expecting a very different movie than the one I saw when […]

‘American Idol': No Faith in Sanjaya

posted by lmarcus

Pairs of hands all over the country were clasped in prayer last night. “Thank you, God,” said thousands of mouths, exalting their voices to the divine. Were they thanking Him for good weather, for providing food, or for curing a […]

‘Lost': Desmond is an Ex-Monk?

posted by Donna Freitas

Turns out that Desmond David Hume on “Lost,” the character most memorable for calling everybody “brothuuh,” (heavy on the accent), is actually an ex-brother! (well, ex-monk, but close enough). This shocking revelation was revealed on last night’s episode, “Catch-22.” Here’s […]

’24’ is Finally Back and All About Choices

posted by Douglas Howe

For the first time in the current season of Fox’s “24,” the show finally became interesting again (at least for me) because it returned to the kind of ethical and moral drama that had made it great for its first […]

‘Drive’ This Way

posted by Ellen Leventry

Like the Toyota Prius, “Drive,” the FOX network’s latest offering is a hybrid. The show is essentially about a group of Americans who are participating in a secret, illegal cross-country road race. It’s one-third conventional car chase show (think “Starsky […]

Hawaiians Angry at Sean Penn

posted by Ellen Leventry

Lately Sean Penn is known more for his provocative political stances, writing about “human shields” in Iraq and documenting a diplomatic visit to Iran, than his provocative roles in films such as “Mystic River” and “Dead Man Walking.” That’s why […]

Marie Osmond No Santa Maria?

posted by Ellen Leventry

She shares her name with the holy mother, but Marie Osmond’s estranged husband is claiming that the Mormon entertainer and entrepreneur doesn’t share Mary’s maternal proclivities. Even though Osmond and her husband of 20 years, music producer Brian Blosil, issued […]

Jay Leno Shines for V-Tech–and is Misquoted

posted by Douglas Howe

At times of national crisis like this, it must be hard to be a professional comedian, especially one with a nightly show and millions of viewers. Luckily, Jay Leno is a class act who performed a courageous act at the […]

‘The Hoax': A Giant Leap of Faith (or Fraud)

posted by Donna Freitas

If you haven’t already seen it, make time for “The Hoax,” a riveting film about Clifford Irving that’s based on a true story. In 1971 Irving almost fooled publishing house McGraw-Hill into putting out his utterly fictionalized “authorized autobiography” of […]

Daniel Radcliffe: Marked Man

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Some weeks back Idol Chatter brought you the flap over Daniel Radcliffe’s appearance in “Equus” on the London stage. Some British parents were aghast that the 17-year-old child star of the Harry Potter movie series would bare all (as his […]

Fashion the Muslim Way

posted by Donna Freitas

When I worked in Residence Life at Georgetown University, one of the resident assitants (R.A.’s) on my staff was a young, beautiful Muslim woman who always wore a head scarf and whose clothes extended to her wrists and ankles. Her […]

After Imus: Rap Deserves a Slap in the Face

posted by jmcgee

We’ve all waxed poetic about Imus, his apology and his punishment, but now it’s time to get down to business. This isn’t about the shocking nature of Imus’s comment–whether it is racist or sexist–it is about morality. During one of […]

Firing Imus Wasn’t the Answer!

posted by Douglas Howe

Don Imus was fired–and I think it’s a travesty. I don’t have the same point of view as my esteemed Idol Chatter colleague Nicole Symmonds, who wrote that “you couldn’t have said a more racially-charged comment,” and “the apology is […]

Imus Is the Tip of the Iceberg

posted by mkress

The question, to me, is not whether Imus should have been fired for his comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball players; it’s why he was fired for these comments in particular–or rather, why he, and countless other shock-jocks like him, […]

More Harsh (Hindu) Words for Hurley

posted by Ellen Leventry

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue … something Hindu? Liz Hurley, the one-time face of Estee Lauder, and Arun Nayar’s Hindu wedding has already stirred controversy amongst Hindu traditionalists for being performed after the London-based Christian rite, but […]

Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007): Author, Social Critic… Prophet?

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Author Kurt Vonnegut, the man best known for writing the dark, satirical novel “Slaughterhouse Five” died Wednesday at 84, leaving behind a literary legacy founded on a restless angst in search of truth. His novels and essays never stopped attacking […]

We Win! ‘Friday Night Lights’ Is Safe For Now

posted by Kris Rasmussen

After several posts right here on Idol Chatter in the last few months begging and pleading for Chatter readers to watch the small town drama “Friday Night Lights,” it seems NBC has finally listened to me–and you. The good news […]

‘Into Great Silence': An Experiment in Movie-Meditation

posted by Donna Freitas

Audiences will either find director Philip Gröning’s “Into Great Silence“–an almost three hour film chronicling the silent lives of the Carthusian monks at Grande Chartreuse, a stunning but austere monastery perched high up in the French Alps–a masterpiece or the […]

Choose Your Religion: Spin the Wheel!

posted by lmarcus

Two of my favorite things are spirituality and kitsch. That’s why I love coming across something like the Choose Your Religion Wheel. It’s a brightly colored cardboard wheel with different religions written around the outside. Pointing the dial on a […]

Mr. Imus: Apology Not Accepted

posted by jmcgee

On the April 4th edition of MSNBC’s “Imus In the Morning,” Don Imus fired the shot heard ’round the world when he called the Rutger’s women’s basketball team “Nappy-Headed Ho’s.” He laughed after he said it, and if you listen […]

Golfing and Jesus on Easter Sunday

posted by Patton Dodd

One day in my junior year of college in 1997, I excused myself from my favorite class because my stomach was cramping so hard. When I arrived at my apartment, I tossed my backpack into the corner, collapsed onto the […]

Third Day: More Than Christian Rock

posted by Paul O'Donnell

There’s more than one moment on Third Day’s retrospective album “Chronology: Volume One,” that so masterfully combines pain and hope, delicate lyrics and anthem rock, that you ask yourself, “How do they do that?” And then you remind yourself: “Oh […]

‘Axis of Evil” Comedy Show: Humor Kills!

posted by dali

Who says Middle Easterners and Muslims don’t have a sense of humor? Because in these tense times, if you can’t make fun of the situation you’re in, then you’re up the creek. And so my husband and I laughed until […]

‘The Reaping': Ten Plagues, No God

posted by jmcgee

I always dreamed of the day when a Hollywood director would have the courage to transform a biblical disaster story into a big screen blockbuster. I thought my dream had come true when I saw the posters for “The Reaping,” […]

Watching “The Sopranos” Religiously

posted by Patton Dodd

Say what you will about “The Sopranos.” Chances are that it’s already been said. In the last decade, no show has been praised more highly, examined more closely, credited with more cultural influence, or been as consistently good as “The […]

‘7th Heaven': Goodbye, Again

posted by lmarcus

I remember watching the finale of “7th Heaven.” Even though I hadn’t been following the show since most of the Camden kids moved out and a string of random houseguests filtered through, I felt enough of a loyalty to tune […]

Obama as Jesus Causing a Stir

posted by Donna Freitas

It’s Holy Week, so it’s not that surprising to see all sorts of Jesuses are popping up in the art world. There was a “Chocolate Jesus,” and fellow blogger Douglas Howe mentioned something about a “hot buttered Jesus” (!!) in […]

Debbie Gibson’s Mom is Your Manager? That Takes ‘Chutzpah’!

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

Diane Gibson–the “powerhouse manager at GMI Entertainment who crafted a musical career for her daughter Debbie (now Deborah)–has signed on to manage Chutzpah, the “Jewish Hip-Hop Supergroup” that’s experiencing some success in this early stage of their career, or as […]

A Spiritual Seeker Moment on ’24’

posted by hrossi

The hit Fox counterterrorism drama “24” depicts a universe where people rely on one of two things when faced with difficult decisions. Either they turn to the protocols, laws, and directives of the hierarchies in which they work, or they […]

NBC Gives Up Good Shows for the ‘Crashers’

posted by Kris Rasmussen

With March Madness behind us and the May “upfronts”–where television executives announce the shows they are scheduling for fall–only weeks away, it is that time of year when existing shows receive the unwelcome news that they are getting the pink […]

Charlotte’s Inspiring ‘Web’ Now on DVD

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Perhaps it’s no accident that a movie about finding the miraculous in the ordinary is being released during this Holy Week of Passover and Easter. No, I am not talking about the recent DVD release of the religious drama “The […]

‘The Tudors': All Sex and Religion, Religion and Sex

posted by Donna Freitas

Showtime just premiered a 10-part series called “The Tudors” starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers as a sexy, pompous King Henry VIII and Sam Neil as Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. The series basically switches back and forth between explicit sex scenes between Henry, […]

Jesus and Religion are Everywhere This Week!

posted by Douglas Howe

It must be Easter, or Passover, or Holy Week, or Orthodox Easter … or at least Spring Break! I can always tell because there are two times a year (the December holidays and now) when spiritual issues rise to the […]

Redemption on Opening Day

posted by Douglas Howe

I echo Michael Kress’s post yesterday about giving thanks for baseball’s Opening Day. There truly is something refreshing–if not anti-climactic–about the first day of a 162-game season. Most of the country saw the primetime emotion in New York, but I […]

A Word of Thanksgiving for Opening Day

posted by mkress

Amidst the intensity of Holy Week for Christians and the joy of Passover for Jews comes the secular festival known as Opening Day. Even as I frantically cleaned my apartment for Passover last night, I dilligently checked the Mets score […]

Giving up MySpace and Facebook for Lent

posted by Donna Freitas

With the beginning of Holy Week upon us and Easter just around the corner, the dark days of Lenten abstinence are coming to an end. I thought giving up email for Lent–OK, just checking once a day for work purposes […]

Plans for Holy Week “Chocolate Jesus” Melt

posted by Donna Freitas

Yes, Jesus appears in a myriad of forms, outfits, and doing all sorts of activities in America. We boast portraits of the Savior in such diverse poses as Jesus in the boxing ring, Jesus as a flowing-haired hippie, and procelain […]

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