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January 1970 Archives

Remembering Bette Davis: An Actress with Soul

posted by Donna Freitas

New York Times reporter Terrence Rafferty has a wonderful ode to the famous (and infamous) golden age movie star Bette Davis, on the occasion of her centennial—born one hundred years ago. In “The Bold and the Bad and the Bumpy […]

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Miley Thanks Jesus at Kids’ Choice Awards

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Up until recently, teen queen Miley Cyrus has let her Christian faith be more implied than overtly stated. But recent red carpet appearances—not to mention her interview with Barbara Walters—have found Miley giving more and more sound bytes about Jesus. […]

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‘Love Guru’ Stirs Up Controversy

posted by Idol Chatter

Weeks before its release, Mike Myers’ latest film, “The Love Guru” is raising flags and stirring up controversy. Scheduled to hit theaters June 20th, the story revolves around an American, Guru Pitka, who is raised by gurus in India. In […]

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Vegas, Baby: The Addiction That Happens Here…

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

Having recently been on my first trip to Las Vegas, I was amazed by how people got sucked into the lifestyle. I don’t have a lot of money, so of course the idea of turning “not a lot” into “a […]

British Author Barred from Entering U.S. for Reasons of ‘Morality’

posted by Donna Freitas

Apparently, U.S. Customs is not only protecting citizens from terrorists entering the country, but also from British writers with questionable morals. In this week’s New York Times “Possessed” column, David Colman writes about “infamously debauched writer” Sebastian Horsley and his […]

Paris Hilton, Role Model?

posted by Ellen Leventry

We’ve called Paris Hilton many things here at “Idol Chatter,” but I’m not certain anyone has dubbed her a role model. But that’s exactly how the hotel heiress sees herself, according to Reuters (via TMZ.com). “I work very hard and […]

Spring Break Reading: An ‘Act of Faith’

posted by dali

Here in Virginia where I reside, this week is spring break. And although that means vacation for the kiddies and teens and more work for stay-at-home-but-also-working moms like me, I have decided to read one thought-provoking book like I used […]

Jamie Lynn To Say ‘I Do’?

posted by Kris Rasmussen

With big sis Britney seeming somewhat stable for the moment, I guess it’s time for the other Spears sibling to make some headlines— just in case the tabloids can’t find another celeb family to fill their pages. There were gossip […]

Jodhaa Akbar: Where Love Unifies An Empire

posted by Idol Chatter

In a world wrought with religious fundamentalism and violence, Jodhaa Akbar, director Ashutosh Gowariker’s latest venture gives a refreshing peek into the history of Hindu-Muslim unity. The movie is both a 16th century love story, and a chronicle of religious […]

‘Autism: The Musical’

posted by Kris Rasmussen

I’m an easy sell for watching most musicals, but I especially appreciate the art form when it celebrates the best of humanity and the redemptive power of the creative process. HBO’s latest documentary “Autism: The Musical” does both of those […]

Music Video: Hawk Nelson’s ‘Friend Like That’

posted by dross

Check out popular Christian rock band Hawk Nelson’s new music video “Friend Like That.” Their album “Hawk Nelson Is My Friend,” hits stores April 1. embedVideo(1459252150,1460867924);

Top 10 ‘American Idol’ Performances Ever

posted by lmarcus

I know Season 7 is still in high gear, but the last few weeks of the show have gotten me thinking about the best of the best. Here are my top ten “Idol” performances of all time. 10. Brooke White, […]

Oprah/Eckhart Class #4: ‘Role-playing: The Many Faces of the Ego’

posted by Todd Havens

Here we are again all set to talk about the fourth week of the Oprah Winfrey/Eckhart Tolle “A New Earth” Worldwide Web Event. Monday night’s class, based on Chapter 4 ‘Role-playing: The Many Faces of the Ego,’ is now available […]

Resurrection on ‘Torchwood’

posted by Ellen Leventry

The brooding, spiritually-challenging “Battlestar Galactica” returns to airwaves on April 4, but those in the Sci-Fi know have been getting their fix of thought-provoking, other-worldly entertainment over at BBC America, thanks to “Torchwood.” Perhaps best known for its camp and […]

Contest: Tell Us Your Opinion of Intelligent Design and Win Movie Tickets

posted by dross

In the upcoming documentary “Expelled No Intelligence Allowed,” opening April 18th and starring Ben Stein (you may know him best as the monotone-voiced teacher from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “The Wonder Years” as well as his commercials for the […]

Sneak Peek: ‘Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian’

posted by Idol Chatter

Those of you who loved 2005’s movie version of the revered book “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” will be happy to watch this making-of featurette about its sequel, “Prince Caspian.” The plot picks up 1,300 years later as […]

J.K. Rowling Shines Light on Suicide

posted by Ellen Leventry

At the beginning of January, I contributed a piece to “Idol Chatter” positing that spinning Britney Spears’ then increasingly curious behavior as a drug problem was far more acceptable in America than admitting to suffering from a mental health disorder. […]

Watch Exclusive Clip: ‘Stop-Loss’

posted by dross

In this exclusive clip from the new military movie “Stop-Loss,” opening March 28, Iraqi war hero, Sgt. Brandon King, played by Ryan Phillippe, comes back home after his tour of duty to a townwide celebration in his honor. Watch the […]

Monks Rock YouTube, Score Record Deal

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Their music is ancient, their lifestyle medieval, but a group of Cistercian monks from Holy Cross Monastery near Vienna secured a recording contract with Universal Music using the latest craze on the Internet: YouTube. Their video audition came in response […]

The Mystery of Eckhart Tolle: Not Even Oprah Knows…

posted by Donna Freitas

Eckhart Tolle may be Oprah’s new spiritual guru of choice–inspired by his long time bestselling self-help favorite The Power of Now, but this weekend in the article “The Wisdom of the Ages, For Now Anyway,” New York Times reporter Jesse […]

Will Lenny Kravitz Start a Celibacy ‘Revolution’?

posted by Kris Rasmussen

As rocker Lenny Kravitz is about to begin an international tour to promote his first studio album (“It’s Time for a Love Revolution”) in four years, he has also been promoting something very un-rock ‘n roll like–celibacy. But the man […]

‘New Amsterdam': When Adultery Trumps True Love

posted by shuang

Is committing adultery in the name of true love spiritually justifiable or morally (and biblically) wrong? Like my fellow blogger, Esther Kustanowitz, I gave the Monday night show “New Amsterdam” a chance (Thanks, writer’s strike!) and was taken away by […]

God’s Workout?

posted by Donna Freitas

In this weekend’s New York Times Sunday Magazine, reporter Virginia Heffernan covers what she calls “God’s Workout” and its followers, otherwise known as CrossFit. “The superfit walk among us,” Heffernan writes. “They saunter or strut, depending on whether they’re showcasing […]

SciFi’s “Visions for Tomorrow” Board: The Coolest Committee You’ve Never Heard of

posted by Ellen Leventry

When I received a press release yesterday stating that Sir Richard Branson, of the Virgin mega-brands and various hot air balloon adventures, had joined SciFi Channel’s “Visions for Tomorrow” advisory board, my curiosity was piqued. Not only do I think […]

‘90210’ Redux? Rebooting the Series for Generation ‘Gossip Girl’

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

Brenda and her “going to acting school in England.” Brandon and his sideburns/journalism career. Token Jew Andrea (pronounced “Ahndrea”) who bused over from another zip code so she could have a better education. The characters were ours, and the issues […]

Paul Scofield’s Big Screen Sainthood

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Paul Scofield’s passing today shows the depth of Britain’s classical acting squad: he’s perhaps one of the top actors of the 20th century, with enough gravitas, impeccable diction and nuance to rank with Sirs Gielgud, Olivier, or Richardson. Yet he […]

The Obsessions of Anthony Minghella

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Britain’s tightly-knit theater and film community has had a tough few days, with the deaths of actor Paul Scofield and film director and screenwriter Anthony Minghella in the same week. Scofield, who had suffered from leukemia and was 86, represented […]

Is Change the Only Constant? Pondering ‘New Amsterdam’

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

I admit, I was feeding a hunger for vampires when I initially tuned into “New Amsterdam,” which airs Mondays on FOX. I was hoping to find my new David Boreanaz in the series’ star, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, or at least my […]

Making ‘Miley’ Official

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

There’s a grand old tradition of changing your name in order to make it big. But usually the change is made to distance yourself from tradition or religious affiliation (I’m looking at you, Melvin Kaminsky!) or because there’s already another […]

Top 10 Films to Put Your Faith Back in Romance this Spring

posted by Donna Freitas

When the movie theaters fail to live up to your romantic aspirations and sensibilities (though I have hope for the upcoming releases of Priceless starring Audrey Tautou, and Sex & the City, of course), there are always the time-tested, tried […]

Anonymous Online Confession: Blasphemous or Bashfulness?

posted by Todd Havens

Speaking of confessions, I’m not Catholic and I don’t know much about the Sacrament of Penance (or Reconciliation) except for what I’ve seen in the movies and on television. I certainly don’t know anyone that goes to traditional confession, though […]

Watch Trailer: ‘The Moses Code’

posted by dross

Read “The Secret” and thought you knew it all? Apparently you don’t. A new movie, “The Moses Code,” by James Twyman, opening the weekend of April 5-6, features some of the biggest spiritual and inspirational authors and speakers–Debbie Ford, James […]

Watch Clip: ‘College Road Trip’

posted by dross

In this clip from the new Disney film, “College Road Trip,” Donny Osmond’s nerdy character, Doug, takes saying “goodbye” to Martin Lawrence’s character to the extreme. embedVideo(1460783975,1460867924);

Chakra Cleansing on ‘Rock of Love’

posted by lmarcus

“Rock of Love,” VH1’s “The Bachelor”-style dating show starring ’80s glam rock band Poison’s lead singer Bret Michaels, is my favorite guilty pleasure TV show. That said, I never thought I would have a reason to write about it on […]

‘Dancing With The Stars’ Goes Pro

posted by Kris Rasmussen

I believe it is both a strength and a weakness of my nature that I simply have to rant when I see a social injustice— be it big or small—being perpetrated on the masses. And that is why I simply […]

Will Smith: Still Not a Scientologist

posted by Kris Rasmussen

It seems more and more of the media are no longer afraid to take shots at Scientology and the celebs who may or may not be a part of their flock. The latest expose of the cult–and it seems like […]

Oprah/Eckhart Class #3: ‘The Core of the Ego’

posted by Todd Havens

Starting with this week, the third week of the Oprah Winfrey/Eckhart Tolle “A New Earth” Web Event, I’ll be posting here on what I gleaned from the live “class” held each Monday evening at Oprah.com (9/8c) (you can also watch […]

Hasidic Actor Walks Off Portman Set

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

A talented beauty whose career has been eclectic and impressive even from her early years, Natalie Portman is the reigning Jewish princess of Hollywood (even unbesmirched by her Padme/Amidala years). As actresses go, she’s fairly modest, a good role model […]

Top 10 Inspiring Songs For Holy Week

posted by Kris Rasmussen

While Easter cantatas are in their final stages of dress rehearsal all over America this week, I thought I would take a moment to reflect on my favorite songs that I feel symbolize the meaning of Holy Week for me—the […]

‘Under the Same Moon': A Hopeful Journey from Mexico to the U.S.

posted by shuang

Don’t let the fact that “Under the Same Moon (La Misma Luna)” is a subtitled movie deter you from heading to the theaters. Otherwise, you will miss a charming film with radiant characters and heartfelt storylines. Rosario (Kate del Castillo) […]

Political Lines Cross on Facebook

posted by lmarcus

The ubiquitous social networking website, Facebook, has recently gotten some negative press. Users who live in the disputed West Bank were upset to discover that Facebook’s software (which can identify a user’s location by their town name or zip code) […]

Juno, Meet “Jewno”

posted by lmarcus

Did you see the movie “Juno” (the Oscar-nominated film about a pregnant teenager) and wonder in the back of your head how the movie would have been different if the title character had been Jewish? Well, wonder no more. This […]

Why I Can’t Listen to Erykah Badu’s Latest Album

posted by nsymmonds

Erykah Badu has always been a mystery. From the 1997 release of “Baduizm,” she blazed the trail for neo-soul as a genre, but she also brought with her a raw spirituality that made her god no particular god. It was […]

For the Nervous Traveler: The Wayfarer’s Prayer

posted by Donna Freitas

Alana Newhouse, a journalist who writes frequently for the New York Times, writes about having to step up her traveling–and flying–lately in her article “At 36,000 Feet, Closer to God.” A nervous flyer, she talks about how a Jewish prayer–the […]

Listen to Chris Sligh’s ‘Empty Me’

posted by Idol Chatter

Chris Sligh finished in tenth place on the sixth season of “American Idol.” Chris’ humor and unique style, along with his choice to sing songs by Christian bands like Mute Math and dc Talk, made him one of the most […]

Danielle Steel: Aspiring Nun?

posted by dross

“I’ve always loved coloring eggs and having Easter egg hunts with my kids. Religiously, the notion of resurrection and being reborn is very meaningful to me. After the dark days of Lent, Easter is a time of hope!” says Danielle […]

‘Jezebel James’ Marks the Return of The Original Gilmore Girl

posted by Kris Rasmussen

I can’t imagine anyone admiring “Gilmore Girls” co-creator Amy Sherman-Palladino’s writing more than I do. I still feel the loss of visiting Stars Hollow a year after it has gone off the air. Tonight, Fox is bringing Sherman-Palladino and her […]

Last ‘Harry Potter’ Movie Will Be Released in Two Parts

posted by shuang

Harry Potter fans still mourning over the end of the book series can rejoice: They’ll be treated to an extra film version of the “The Deathly Hallows.” Even though the first six books were condensed on film, the seventh book […]

Shalom Sanjaya: Former ‘Idol’ Contestant Performs at Bat Mitzvah

posted by Ellen Leventry

Remember back in the late 90s and early 2000s when you couldn’t flip open a lifestyle section or magazine without seeing at least one article about outrageous Bar and Bat Mitvahs? The progenitor of the MTV “My Super Sweet Sixteen”-style […]

Cruise’s Marriage To Katie Not His First Choice?

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Certainly one of the tenets of my day-to-day spiritual walk is the firm belief that whatever is done in darkness will eventually come to light. So while I am not into celebrity gossiping or tabloid-mongering, I had to smile for […]

David Gordon Green’s Emotional Reality: Q & A with the ‘Snow Angels’ Writer-Director

posted by Idol Chatter

For the record: David Gordon Green wants you to be surprised. So if you’re planning to see his target=”_blank”>adaptation of “Snow Angels,” wait until after you’ve left the theater to read Stewart O’Nan’s novel, which discloses a key plot point […]

Horton Hears a ‘Boo’?

posted by Ellen Leventry

How many times have you asked yourself, when reading a newspaper headline, “What were they thinking?” Sure Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s head-scratching admission to patronizing a prostitute elicited the most furrowed brows this week, but it was TMZ.com’s report of pro-life […]

U2’s Music in the Name of Love

posted by dross

If you haven’t already seen it yet, be sure to check out our new U2 gallery, comprised of spiritual and inspirational quotes and lyrics from Bono and company, along with fabulous photos from their new movie, “U2 3D.” And, be […]

‘Miss Pettigrew’ Will Remind You that Anything Is Possible

posted by Donna Freitas

Delightful is the best word to describe “Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day,” a gem of a period film starring Amy Adams as the zany Delysia Lafosse, an aspiring actress, and Frances McDormand as Miss Pettigrew, a governness turned social […]

Enter to Win: ‘Songs 4 Ever’ CD Box Set

posted by dross

If you’re a fan of Christian Contemporary and praise and worship music, have we got the collection for you! Our friends over at Time Life sent us five box sets of “Songs 4 Ever: The Ultimate Christian Music Collection.” The […]

New Literary Trend: The Faumoir

posted by Todd Havens

With the recent discovery that yet another memoir to hit the bookshelves was entirely fabricated, the latest being “Love and Consequences”–the Margaret A. Jones tall tale of being raised by a gang-banging foster family which led to her life of […]

Appropriate or Disrespectful? Esquire’s ‘The Last Days of Heath Ledger’

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

When I saw this article as a link in one of my daily media e-newsletters, I could barely believe the title. Was it that it was “too soon” for a fictionalized account of Heath Ledger’s final days, or was the […]

The Cult of Celebrity Disease

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

As we all know, representatives for Patrick Swayze recently announced that the “Dirty Dancing” actor has pancreatic cancer, but allayed the initial rumors that he has mere weeks to live. Now the New York Times is reporting that the actor’s […]

‘FNL’ Renewed By NBC in Overtime Once Again

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Just when I have almost no faith left that the networks will value the primetime drama over cheaply-produced reality show garbage, I find a glimmer of hope on the television horizon. Though the fictional Dillon Panthers never finished their second […]

Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis Just Say No to Music Concert

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

Before I start this entry, let me just say that Orthodox Jews are not against music. To the contrary, music figures prominently in liturgical recitations, holiday celebrations, and of course at bar/bat mitzvahs, weddings, and other family simchas (occasions of […]

4 Ways of Looking at Justice’s ‘Cross’

posted by Idol Chatter

Anybody who follows Christian music has probably heard the old saw from Christian bands: “if we cross over, we’re going to carry the cross over.” Really, though, when was the last time you heard a Christian pop band sing about […]

Top 5 Most Charitable Celebs

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Oprah hit it big last Sunday with her new philanthropic reality series “The Big Give.” Angelina Jolie has made more headlines for her recent op-ed piece on Iraq in the Washington Post than for her latest baby bump. Clearly, being […]

Paris Hilton’s Spiritual ‘Fauxru’

posted by Ellen Leventry

“Does being Paris’ spirituality chihuahua mean the guy was especially horrible in a past life,” my friend asked me when confronted with the recent story of Paris Hilton’s new Buddhist monk sidekick. According to the Daily Mail, the celebutante’s newest […]

‘Stop Loss’ and the Struggle of Military Life

posted by dross

In the upcoming military movie “Stop Loss,” releasing March 28th from MTV Films, Ryan Phillippe plays an Iraq war hero who returns home from his tour of duty and tries to go back to his civilian life. Then, against his […]

Patrick Swayze May Be Dying

posted by dross

I’m really not in the business of rumor mongering, but it’s being reported by many media outlets that Patrick Swayze, the beloved hunk from such classic films as “Dirty Dancing,” “Ghost,” and “Roadhouse” may be dying of late-stage pancreatic cancer […]

‘Duets': Anne Murray’s Latest Isn’t Quite Legendary

posted by Kris Rasmussen

While not particularly a fan of Anne Murray’s mellow croonings about love and loss, I was curious about her latest effort “‘Duets: Friends and Legends.” I enjoy it when unlikely combination of singers join together to create a fresh twist […]

‘Snow Angels’ Leaves You Frozen

posted by shuang

Warning: This review contains spoilers. Halfway through watching “Snow Angels,” I began asking myself, “When is this movie going to end?” My listlessness foreshadowed my feelings when I walked out of the theater: bewildered, numbed, and absolutely depressed. Based on […]

‘Tyler Perry’s House of Payne’ Returns

posted by dross

The inspirational comedy series, “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” about a multigenerational family living under one roof, returns tomorrow night on TBS (9 p.m. EST). Madea (Tyler Perry, himself) is set to make a guest appearance. Cast members from the […]

The New ‘Secular Sabbath’

posted by Donna Freitas

Last year during Lent I gave up the Internet. That’s right! I got myself off email, web-surfing, all of it between starting Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday. The one consession I made, for work purposes only, was to […]

Listen to “Free at Last” by The Blind Boys of Alabama

posted by dross

Click on the photo below to listen to a song from the album “Down in New Orleans” by the critically acclaimed gospel band, The Blind Boys of Alabama. Then, click here to read Paul O’Donnell’s interview with the band’s drummer, […]

Brad Avery Leaves Third Day

posted by Paul O'Donnell

The reverb from their 10th anniversary DVD/compilation album hasn’t completely died down (in my car at least) when Third Day, one of the most successful Christian bands to come out of Nashville, announced that rhythm guitarist Brad Avery was quitting […]

Pure as the Driven Showbiz: Hollywood Virginity Makes a Comeback

posted by Ellen Leventry

Remember the heady days of the new millenium when every self-respecting teen star was declaring that they were saving themselves for marriage? Now remember how you felt when it was discovered that shocker, one pop princess did not in fact […]

‘I’m Not Blind, I Just Can’t See': A Chat with the Blind Boys’ Ricky McKinnie

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Ricky McKinnie has been playing with the gospel legends The Blind Boys of Alabama for more than three decades, and that makes him one of the new guys. First recorded in the 1940s, the Blind Boys were known mostly to […]

The Apocalypse Comes to ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’

posted by Donna Freitas

Last week’s episode of “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” got all apocalyptic. Well, not that it’s not already a show about a coming apocalypse, but “The Demon Hand” episode got explicitly Christian this time, evoking the Book of Revelation, and […]

Can Oprah Save Reality TV from Itself?

posted by mkress

“Oprah’s Big Give,” which debuted last night on ABC, offers reality TV the Winfrey way–sans back-stabbing, snarkiness, and rauchiness. So, will anyone watch it as it proceeds through its eight-week run? Put another way, does wholesome reality TV have a […]

Previous Posts

Exclusive Sneak Peek from Episode 9 of ‘A.D. The Bible Continues’ featuring Mark Burnett and Roma Downey
[jwvideo vid='BvyIgfYp' pid='GvkPWNBE'] In an exclusive sneak peek from a brand new episode of ‘A.D. The Bible Continues’ executive producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey share not only what we will see in this coming episode but also a ...

posted 2:46:09pm May. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Grand Canyon University’s Center for Worship Arts Releases First EP Album, Receives Rave Reviews
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZkS1rx_5Hk[/youtube] Grand Canyon University’s Center for Worship Arts has released “Canyon Worship”, its first extended play album, and it’s already climbing Christian music charts for good ...

posted 10:59:32am May. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Box Office Blockbuster...or Blunder?
The Wall Street Journal reports that this Memorial Day Weekend, normally a blockbuster box office weekend, is one that Hollywood may wish for a mulligan. Disney's "Tomorrowland" didn't bring out the numbers, as expected. Granted, there are ...

posted 11:39:02am May. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Letterman Bids Farewell Tonight
It's David Lettman's last episode interviewing, so what do you do? Well have his first guest, ever, Bill Murray pop out of a cake - of course! [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YW8MY9CD-tQ[/youtube] Murray appeared on the first late ...

posted 9:03:34am May. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Finding Neverland - On a Stage!
Calling all fans of Lost Boys!             You loved Finding Neverland with Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, right? The film about J.M. Barrie in 2004 is back - in the form of a Broadway ...

posted 12:53:47pm May. 19, 2015 | read full post »

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