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Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

August 2007 Archives

Saint Diana: On the 10th Anniversary of Her Death

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Some Britons may have come to regret their queen-bashing, flower-tossing, and mile-long queues to sign her “Book of Remembrance,” but for many, Peter Singer points out in a recent column, Diana has become something akin to a saint. “Some had […]

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The Top Five Vampire Novels Ever Written

posted by Donna Freitas

For those of us diehard Buffy/Angel fans who can’t seem to get over the fact that so far nothing can truly replace Buffy and Angel (and probably Spike, too), at least on the small screen, and for those of us […]

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‘Beyond Blue’ on Owen Wilson

posted by mkress

We here at Idol Chatter can fulminate all we want about media coverage of Owen Wilson’s suicide attempt, but Therese Borchard over at Beyond Blue, a blog all about mental health, can actually speak to how we can process and […]

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The Day Diana Died

posted by Ellen Leventry

As a child, I remember hearing adults talk about the day JFK was shot, recounting with vivid detail where they were when they heard the news. I knew, even as a child, that the death of the president had been […]

‘The Lookout': My DVD Pick of the Week

posted by Kris Rasmussen

In between all of the big-budget action adventures and horror films in theaters earlier in the year, one thriller slipped under the radar, but resurfaced on DVD a few weeks ago. “The Lookout” could have been nothing more than another […]

“Friday Night Lights” Scores On DVD

posted by Kris Rasmussen

I was probably the biggest cheerleader here at Idol Chatter last season for NBC’s small town football drama, “Friday Night Lights.” I appreciated the intelligent way it dealt with serious teen issues as well as how it incorporated small moments […]

‘Friday Night Lights’ Winning Season

posted by mkress

Many of us cheered when NBC renewed “Friday Night Lights” for a second season. The primetime high school football drama is heavy on great acting, inspirational and real storylines, and great characters. But before settling into the bleachers (or your […]

‘September Dawn’ & Mormonism: Your Responses

posted by mkress

Sometimes, arguing about a movie or TV show becomes a debate over some aspect of faith, society, and life. So much for dismissing entertainment as “just a movie/TV show” that is inherently lacking in larger meaning. The best debates on […]

Amy Winehouse’s Parent Trap

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Back when the problems of the pop-tart phenoms were mostly restricted to their over-revealing fashion choices, my then Beliefnet colleague and now co-blogger Ellen Leventry and I had the same question for every new outrage: “Where’s her mother?” Britney, Christina […]

Owen Wilson: Media has Gone Too Far

posted by Ellen Leventry

I am not easily offended or disgusted by the media. I peruse US Weekly, regularly log on to TMZ.com, and love reality television. Admittedly, I feel an impish glee when I see on the cover of Star or The Enquirer […]

Rilo Kiley Gives a Little Love

posted by Idol Chatter

Rilo Kiley seems like a weird choice for burn-or-burn scrutiny: Nobody from the band has publicly claimed to be religious, and they’re kind of potty-mouthed. But band member Jenny Lewis’ solo album, last year’s “Rabbit Fur Coat,” was mostly about […]

Owen Wilson: Celebrity Hospitalization and Speculation

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

Owen Wilson, star of “The Wedding Crashers” as well as every Ben Stiller movie ever created and bona fide member of what some have dubbed “The Frat Pack,” was rushed to the hospital via ambulance on Sunday. The Star and […]

Miss South Carolina: The Flub Heard ‘Round the World

posted by Douglas Howe

The speed at which a goofed statement can become national news reached new heights this weekend, as Miss South Carolina, Caitlin Upton, flubbed a question so badly at Friday’s Miss Teen USA pageant that it was a YouTube phenomenon over […]

Scarlett Johannson: A Refreshingly Non-Scandalous Star

posted by Douglas Howe

Here’s some amazing news from Hollywood: a young actress is emerging as a star and she hasn’t—repeat has not—been arrested…

‘Kid Nation': What’s the Big Deal?

posted by Ellen Leventry

There’s this reality show in which 12-15 year olds are sent out to a remote location to use their survival skills to win physical and mental challenges, expel other contestants, and work toward winning a grand prize. You could be […]

Has Michael Vick Found God?

posted by lmarcus

You can’t escape from Michael Vick in the media these days. Since initial allegations rose a few months ago accusing the Atlanta Falcolns quaterback of participating in dogfighting. Now the state of Georgia is pressing criminal charges, and the NFL […]

Prince’s Take on the Bible

posted by Douglas Howe

And the newest televangelist is … Prince! Okay, not really. In fact, he’s really just a pop culture icon and singer who talks about his faith. And, okay, there’s probably quite a few religious leaders who would question his theology. […]

Exclusive Premiere: ‘O Jerusalem’ Trailer

posted by Idol Chatter

“O Jerusalem,” the story of a Jewish-Arab friendship as the State of Israel is coming into being, opens in theaters in October. Watch the trailer, exclusively premiering on Beliefnet: Click to Launch Trailer Synopsis “O Jerusalem” re-creates the struggle surrounding […]

‘September Dawn’s’ Mormon Terrorists

posted by mkress

A group of religious fanatics led by a bloodthirsty leader who preaches the violence of “blood atonement” ruthlessly murders a group of peaceful travelers. This, in a sentence, is the plot of “September Dawn”, starring Jon Voight and opening Aug. […]

Casting Crowns’ New CD A Winner

posted by Douglas Howe

Their last two studio albums were platinum sellers and the Christian world–as well as many in the pop culture world–have been anxiously awaiting the newest Casting Crowns release, “The Altar and the Door.” An opportunity to win a pre-release copy […]

Little League Baseball: A Source of Inspiration

posted by Douglas Howe

When did the Little League World Series become such a pop culture phenomenon? And more importantly, why? There was a time when–once a year–the Little League World Series final was broadcast nationwide (and then worldwide) from Williamsport, PA. Now, it’s […]

‘The Lives Of Others': My DVD Pick of the Week

posted by Kris Rasmussen

“The Live of Others” won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film last year for its haunting but restrained depiction of life in East Berlin in the 1980s before the Berlin Wall crumbled. Yes, that means you have to deal […]

The Real Story of “Big Love”

posted by Donna Freitas

The season finale of “Big Love” is this Sunday (oh no!), and things are about to boil over for polygamist Bill Henrickson. His three wives are unhappy–with each other and him. Barb seems poised to leave (go Barb!), Nicki feels […]

Top Five TV Shows I Love and Hate

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

We all have those television shows which serve us as utter escapism, which help us transcend our bodies and our daily lives. Often they even become true guilty pleasures worthy of repentance–that’s how guilty and self-indulgent they are. But some […]

Video: Jon Voight in ‘September Dawn’

posted by Idol Chatter

Jon Voight Discusses “September Dawn” “September Dawn” tells a fictionalized version of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, in which a group of Mormons killed 120 innocent settlers who were passing through Utah in 1857. Voight plays Bishop Jacob Samuelson, the leader […]

Gwen Stefani’s Take on Muslim Fashion

posted by dali

With her ultra-coiffed platinum blond hair, naval-bearing fashion sense, and rock-star attitude, singer Gwen Stefani, at 37 years of age, is still one hot mama on the concert circuit. She’s got the rocker husband (Gavin Rossdale), the hippest accesory in […]

Attention ‘Lost’ Fans!

posted by lmarcus

If you’re a “Lost” junkie like me, you’re probably wondering how on earth you can possibly hold out until the next season begins in February. Fear not–you can join Beliefnet’s new dialogue group to talk about religious themes on our […]

The Science of Magic

posted by Donna Freitas

Ever wonder how magic really works? Not just the “how to’s” of performing a trick, but why we humans are so susceptible to believing we see the impossible? Well, George Johnson of The New York Times reports that scientists are […]

Watch Video: The Dalai Lama on Keeping Tradition

posted by dross

Watch a video clip from “10 Questions for the Dalai Lama,” a new documentary by filmmaker Rick Ray, opening August 31. Ray traveled to India to interview His Holiness, only to find out he didn’t have an interview scheduled. Ray […]

Enter to Win: New Casting Crowns CD

posted by dross

One of the year’s most anticipated Christian albums is set to hit stores August 28th–“The Altar and the Door”–by top-selling worship band, Casting Crowns. Beliefnet has five autographed copies of the album to give away. To enter, just post a […]

‘The 4400′: Bracing for an Apocalyptic Battle

posted by Donna Freitas

USA’s “The 4400,” with its fourth summer season coming to a close, might be the most interesting show on television when it comes to exploring Christian themes. The 4400 are a group of individuals who were abducted by “the future” […]

Over the Rhine’s “Trumpet Child”

posted by Kris Rasmussen

I have been reading author/critic/blogger Jeffrey Overstreet’s continuous and always glowing comments about musical duo Over The Rhine for over a year now without having a clue who they are. But since I agree with most of his opinions on […]

“The Company:” Look for the Encore

posted by Douglas Howe

TNT’s “The Company” finally got interesting and spiritually provocative in its last show, after three weeks of hype and (in my opinion) underperformance. Really interesting. Really provocative. The three-week CIA show had a great cast, including Chris O’Donnell (“Grey’s Anatomy,” […]

“The Ultimate Gift” is Worth the Work

posted by Douglas Howe

Watch a clip from “The Ultimate Gift”:Movie Review:If you enjoyed the idea behind “Brewster’s Millions,” and can put up with the kind of preachiness that Steven Seagal (“One Deadly Ground“) and Michael Moore (“Farenheit 911“), then “The Ultimate Gift,” newly […]

‘God Grew Tired Of Us': My DVD Pick of the Week

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Because I needed a serious attitude check this week, I perused the video store looking for something that would make me realize that whining about my personal circumstances is really petty. That’s when I discovered the critically acclaimed but hard-to-find […]

Intelligent Design Gets Bad to the Bone

posted by mkress

B-B-B-Bad to the Bone. Rebel truth-seekers vs. complacent status-quo defenders. Free thinkers vs. conformist mind controllers. A fight for good vs. evil, a struggle for the soul of a people. All set to the strains of George Thorogood’s early-80s rebel […]

Lure of the West

posted by Idol Chatter

That the societies, culture, and traditions of countries like Tibet, Pakistan, India, and others in South Asia are becoming diluted by western influences has long been the grievance of many patriots and thinkers. This sentiment is a familiar theme in […]

Billy Bob’s ‘Beautiful Door’

posted by Paul O'Donnell

You have to admire Billy Bob Thornton’s consistency. A dozen years ago, when he was up for an Oscar for his self-directed performance in “Sling Blade,” he told the Washington Post, “I think religion is a good thing. The problem […]

Heartbreaking Portayal of Alzheimer’s

posted by Kris Rasmussen

I don’t care for disease-of-the-week TV movies, and I especially don’t care for movies that think they know how to dramatize the plight of Alzheimer’s Disease (don’t even get me started on “The Notebook”). And a lot of this has […]

Top Ten Most Inspiring On-Screen Presidents

posted by Douglas Howe

In this season of unending presidential coverage, debates, campaigning, newsmagazine teases, ad infinitum and ad nauseam, I figured it’d be a good time to reflect on some of the most inspiring presidents of our generation–on the big screen and the […]

Enter to Win: Shane & Shane CD Collection

posted by dross

Popular Christian group Shane & Shane—comprised of friends Shane Barnard and Shane Everett—has been bringing a hip, acoustic, pop-rock sound to praise music for 10 years, headlining shows with big-names Mat Kearney, David Crowder Band, and Bethany Dillon, among others. […]

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Dire Warning

posted by mkress

Watch a video clip from “The 11th Hour,” a new documentary narrated and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio about the environmental crisis–and what we can do about it: Click to Watch the Video

MxPx’s Latest Album Fizzles Out

posted by Idol Chatter

MxPx‘s first album, 1994’s “Pokinatcha,” was one of the first releases on Tooth and Nail Records, a label which has since become the juggernaut of Christian indie imprints. A few years back, MxPx and the label’s owner, Brandon Ebel, had […]

‘The Awakening’ Universe

posted by shuang

The second installment of ABC.com’s summer scifi series, “Masters of the Universe,” aired this past Saturday, and I was surprised at how much spirituality was packed into the short hour. In “The Awakening,” a mysterious cocoon-wrapped golden creature with human-like […]

A Facelift for BeliefBuzz

posted by Idol Chatter

A bit of housekeeping for those readers who subscribe to our BeliefBuzz newsletter: We’re changing the name to “Beliefnet Celebrities and Entertainment.” But fear not, despite the name change, the newsletter will still bring you the same great content: * […]

‘Stardust': Love and Magic of the Best Kind

posted by Donna Freitas

I was in a bad mood on Friday afternoon, and it didn’t get any better when I learned that “Stardust,” the novel by Neil Gaiman, as a new film was over two hours long. The water-logged week in New York […]

‘Californication,’ Sex vs. Family Life

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

In case the name wasn’t a big enough tip-off, the opening of “Californication” (debuting tonight at 10:30 p.m. on Showtime)–with a most unholy visit to a church (cue the cigarette in the holy water and the hot nun) while the […]

Reverend Rorschach

posted by Ellen Leventry

Is Time Magazine trying to make sublimal suggestions about its recent coverboy the Reverend Billy Graham? The question comes from none other than celebrity gossip website TMZ.com. “Rev. Billy Graham’s cover photo for Time magazine is innocent enough in and […]

Pakistani Musicians Make Anti-Terrorism Video

posted by dali

The number one song in Pakistan right now is “Ne Hum Naheen,” or “This isn’t Us,” a moving anti-terrorism music video made by the top eight Pakistani pop stars. As it gains popularity, the song is starting to sweep the […]

Educational Videos More Harm than Good?

posted by dali

Parenting magazines and the vast marketing landscape that target new parents have always pushed that children’s videos, like “Baby Einstein” and “Bee Smart Baby,” are a crucial part of the educational upbringing for your babies. These days, the prevailaing theory […]

Reality Shows Get Religious

posted by Ellen Leventry

Summertime is a time for rashes–poison ivy, heat rash–but this summer there’s been a rash of religion on reality shows. Why, just in the last week alone I’ve seen a group of former boy band members go through a Native […]

‘In Her Shoes': My DVD Pick of the Week

posted by Paul O'Donnell

I ought to know not to judge a flick by its trailer. It’s the cheap pick-up line, the carnival barker, the radio hit that makes you think the whole album is pop schlock. And so, when I saw the trailer […]

‘Once': A Film of Purity and Heart

posted by Kris Rasmussen

The one movie I have been anxiously waiting to see all summer long is the limited-release romantic drama-posing-as-a-musical, “Once.” Critics have been heaping praise on it, and now I can understand why. What seems like a very simple, formulaic tale–boy […]

‘Big Brother’s’ Big Racist Contestant

posted by lmarcus

There are two kinds of reality shows: One where the contestants have to have some kind of talent or skill (“Top Chef,” “Project Runway,” “American Idol”), and one where participants are just chosen based on looks or personality (“The Real […]

Top 10 ‘Angel’ Songs

posted by dross

Here at Beliefnet, everyone loves angels. We even have an entire section of the site devoted to them. I think angels are great and all, but as with anything, sometimes you just want to get away from the stuff that […]

‘The Jesus Project': Most Translated Film in History

posted by Kris Rasmussen

This may be a banner summer for Hollywood at the box office, but a movie milestone of a different kind was reached last month for the evangelical association Campus Crusade, International. Their cinematic adaptation of the Gospel of Luke, titled […]

Third Day Wears Success Comfortably

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Christian rock insiders have found a lot to criticize about the second volume of Third Day’s retrospective, “Chronology”—it omits some of the southern rockers’ hits in favor of covers and to some, comes off more adult contemporary that Christian Skynard. […]

‘Becoming Jane': Not to be Missed

posted by Donna Freitas

Sometimes I leave a movie theater and feel an overwhelming desire to write an actor, actress, or even the writer a love letter of sorts. It doesn’t happen often–I’m not one who cares much for celebrity. But I felt this […]

Osama bin Laden: A Musical?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Remember a few weeks ago when I was waxing poetic about how art is supposed to provoke, as well as inspire? Well, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the 60-year-old mother of all other fringe theater festivals, is providing plenty of provocation […]

In Defense of Scientology

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Mark Oppenheimer, writing in The Washington Post, suggests Germany’s ban on Scientologists (including Tom Cruise) is an overreaction, and one we’re all a little guilty of. He says it’s Scientology’s similarities to mainstream religion that embarrasses us, not it’s strangeness. […]

Common’s ‘Finding Forever': Reaching Across Religions

posted by nsymmonds

Ever since I heard Common‘s “Retrospect for Life,” a track off his 1997 release “One Day It’ll All Make Sense,” where he ruminates on the mistakes he made as a premature father, I fell in love. I loved his ability […]

‘Fallen': An Angel Extravaganza

posted by Donna Freitas

Why is it that when someone spreads their wings on television (i.e., reveals that s/he is an angel), I find myself groaning or rolling my eyes in a way that I almost never do if a person, say, sprouts fangs? […]

Michael Moore’s Film Festival: Documentaries Rock

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Last year at the Traverse City Film Festival (organized by Michael Moore), most of the documentaries were, to no surprise, about the war in Iraq. This year, however, I was pleasantly surprised that there was a wide range of diversity […]

‘Bourne Ultimatum': When Good Mixes with Evil

posted by Douglas Howe

“The Bourne Ultimatum” is a compelling movie that all general movie fans should see, that all action fans will love, and that lovers of the timeless story of good vs. evil should appreciate. It’s that good on so many levels. […]

Watch ‘Arctic Tale’ Clips

posted by mkress

Part “March of the Penguins,” part “Inconvenient Truth,” “Arctic Tale” is a new documentary, narrated by Queen Latifah and produced by the National Geographic Society. We’ve got three video clips from the movie: She Could Drown Practicing For the Seal […]

Dispatch from Michael Moore’s Film Festival

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Nine movies. Two panel discussions. Four days. It all adds up to one tired film reviewer–and the week’s not over yet! I have spent most of this week attending the third annual Traverse City Film Festival –a.k.a. “The Film Festival […]

Atheism in Bookstores: A “Miracle”?

posted by rphillips

Atheists in Minnesota are celebrating that their lack of belief now merits an official bookstore category. While most major bookstores have had special sections for books on Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and even the Occult for years, “endcaps” (as these displays […]

‘Hot Fuzz': My DVD Pick Of The Week

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Many a fellow film critic has looked at me in shock and dismay when they discover that I have never seen the cult comedy/ horror spoof “Shaun of the Dead.” So when the creative team behind that movie released their […]

BarlowGirl: Spiritual Songs with Purpose

posted by Douglas Howe

If you’re a person of faith looking for a great sound that you can share with your friends and kids–or if you’re a Christian who struggles to be bold and stand up for your faith–then BarlowGirl’s “How Can We Be […]

Top 10 Jewish TV Characters

posted by mkress

These days, it seems, memorable Jewish television characters are scarce. But it wasn’t always so. So without further ado, here is one yid’s (that’s me) Top 10 Jewish TV Characters: 1) Herschel Pinkus Yerucham Krustofski, “The Simpsons“: He may be […]

Christian Rock’s Evolution

posted by Paul O'Donnell

In yesterday’s Slate, Erik Davis (whose own site TechGnosis sits at the corner of sci-fi fantasy and visionary spirituality) has a review of “Frisbee,” the soundtrack to last year’s Emmy-winning documentary on founding Jesus Freak Larry Frisbee. Davis is enthusiastic […]

Mute Math: Is It Christian Music?

posted by Patton Dodd

A Burn or Burn profile of Mute Math almost writes itself. This is a band whose lead singer once fronted Earthsuit, a band with crystal clear Christian credentials. This is also a band who sued its label, Warner, when the […]

A “Dance” Controversy

posted by Ellen Leventry

This summer, Wednesday night is reality TV night for my digital video recorder, committing to memory both “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Top Chef” for my later consumption. Usually “Top Chef” serves up the drama with the delicious […]

O.J.’s Book to be Published by the Goldman Family

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Just when it seemed there could not be any more bizarre headlines to be made regarding O.J. Simpson and the unsolved murder of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend Ron Goldman, a court order has allowed the Goldman family to […]

Harry Potter: Christian Opposition Over?

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Did the double whammy of the latest Harry Potter movie (“Order of the Phoenix”) and the last Harry Potter book being released in the same 10-day span crush Christian opposition to J.K. Rowling’s wizardry? With the final installment of the […]

Stryper is a Christian Rock Band!

posted by Douglas Howe

Are there any Stryper fans out there? Or ex-Stryper fans? I’ll bet there are very few new Stryper fans, but I think I’m one of ‘em, and you will be too if you pick up their new release, “Stryper—The Roxx […]

Previous Posts

Academy Award Nominated Film Unbroken Releases on DVD
The highly acclaimed film Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie that tells the inspirational story of Louis Zamperini hits DVD on March 24, 2015. At the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Louis Zamperini won a personal meeting with Adolf Hitler, who complimented his fast finish. In 1941, Zamperini enlisted in

posted 9:19:32am Mar. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Self/Less: 'God Created Man, Man Created Immortality'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71fWtJXEI0Q What would it really feel like to feel immortal and you know longer had to worry about failing health? Phoenix Biogenic offers this once in a lifetime offer where the new body will be genetically mastered to perfection. Only a select few are chosen to

posted 10:57:15am Mar. 13, 2015 | read full post »

The New Trailer for CW’s ‘The Messengers’ Is Here, And It’s Like Nothing You’ve Ever Seen
[youtube]https://youtu.be/61AfGNlXf9M [/youtube] CW’s “The Messengers”, starring Diogo Morgado from the hit series “Son of God”, centers around five individuals who die as a result of an earthly phenomenon. When they return to earth as Angels with unique abilities, they must band together

posted 11:13:54am Mar. 12, 2015 | read full post »

Open Letters to Oscar Night Standouts
The following is a guest post from one of our Entertainment contributors, Malayna Dawn. Enjoy! Dear John Travolta: We know you are multi-talented and have played many characters, but lately it seems like you may be having trouble expressing your true self – at least in ways that the public ca

posted 10:46:28am Mar. 04, 2015 | read full post »

We Bid Farewell to Leonard Nimoy
Friday, February 27th Leonard Nimoy, famously known for his role as Spock in the infamous Star Trek series, passed away at the age of 83. His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, stating that the cause was the end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Nimoy publicly announced last

posted 2:25:26pm Feb. 27, 2015 | read full post »

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