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January 1970 Archives

‘Lost’ Season Four Finale: Yes, Miracles Do Happen

posted by shuang

Yesterday’s Season Four finale of “Lost” was a fantastic reminder of how the theme of miracles and destiny will always be a part of the show’s mythology. When Jack and Locke began arguing outside “The Orchid” about whether miracles existed […]

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This Weekend’s Pop Culture Happenings

posted by lmarcus

Do you spend Friday afternoons wondering where the week went and simultaneously trying to make plans for the weekend? You’re not the only one. Beliefnet’s handy entertainment calendar gives you the scoop on the weekend’s best new movies, TV shows, […]

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Tom Cruise Launches Official Website

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Talk about getting in late on a hot trend. Celebrities from George Clooney to Rosie O’Donnell have had their own websites or blogs for a long time now, but Tom Cruise has only just this past week launched his own […]

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Believing in ‘Sex and the City’

posted by Idol Chatter

“Year after year, twenty-something women come to New York City in search of the two Ls: labels and love. Twenty years ago, I was one of them,” Carrie Bradshaw says in the May 30 theatrical release “Sex and The City.” […]

Dunkin Donuts’ Terrorism Woes

posted by dali

Advertising is a tricky business, and apparently wearing the wrong scarf can send the message that “This company tolerates and supports terrorist organizations!” Sounds crazy? That’s because it is, as exemplified by the Dunkin’ Donuts recent pulling of an advertisement […]

Enter to Win: Chris Sligh’s ‘Running Back to You’

posted by dross

You may remember Chris Sligh as that guy with the super curly hair from “American Idol” Season 6, who made it to the finals. Now, he’s trying to make a name for himself as a Christian rocker (you can read […]

Top 5 TV Series on DVD For Summer Viewing

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Summertime has become a time for me to catch up on TV series I haven’t had time to watch during the rest of the year, or, in some instances, foreign TV series that I have never even heard of, or […]

Sam Phillips ‘Don’t Do Anything’ Is Really Something

posted by Kris Rasmussen

My love of Sam Phillips’s music is unabashedly deep and goes back many years. I have listened to her distinctive voice since I was a little girl, when she went by the name Leslie Phillips and was busy fighting the […]

Watch Video: ‘Sex and the City’ Movie Featurette

posted by lmarcus

After several years off, the “Sex and the City” crew is back and better than ever. In this behind-the-scenes featurette, you’ll get the inside scoop on the cast, the clothes, and the characters you know and love. embedVideo(1577898357);

‘My Stroke of Insight': New Book Outlines Alternative Path to Nirvana

posted by Donna Freitas

Former Harvard neuroscientist, Jill Bolte Taylor has taken a strange path on the road to enlightenment—and not one that most of us would want to follow—it was while she was having a stroke that she reached nirvana. Now she’s written […]

Sharon Stone: Karma Chameleon

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Sharon Stone was caught by reporters on a Cannes red carpet and asked what she thought of the earthquake in China. (Funny, but do they ever ask George Bush or U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon what they thought of “If […]

Dancing for Abstinence? Purity Balls and Party Dresses

posted by Donna Freitas

I don’t know how I, watcher for all-things Christian chastity culture-related, missed this big New York Times feature, “Dancing the Night Away, With a Higher Purpose,” by Neela Banerjee, from last week about the growing popularity of the Purity Ball. […]

Indiana Jones and the Curse of the Alien Coven! (I Mean, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)

posted by Donna Freitas

I just wanted to make a few quick remarks about my wonderful, Indiana Jones movie adventure this weekend… First of all, finally(!): the return of the true, non-stop fun, adventure flick. Whatever happened to that old-fashioned, Indiana Jones-style action adventure, […]

Saint Ron Paul? At Least According to Remaining Supporters…

posted by Donna Freitas

John McCain may have sealed the Republican nomination, but apparently libertarian Ron Paul’s supporters are not only hanging on, they are approaching his continued campaign with all the fervor of religious zealots, according to a New York Times Sunday Styles […]

Steven Curtis Chapman: A Heartbreaking Video

posted by mkress

We all grieve for Steven Curtis Chapman’s loss of his daughter. Today, in memory of her and as a way for fans to grieve, an entry in Chapman’s video blog featuring him with his beautiful children in much happier times […]

‘Shakespeare Behind Bars': The Sequel

posted by Kris Rasmussen

There are a handful of movies that I can say have not only inspired me, but haunted me. A little-seen documentary from three years ago “Shakespeare Behind Bars’ has been one of those movies. The stories surrounding a group of […]

Twin Peaks: An Interview with tobyMac

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Since he released his third solo album, “Portable Sounds,” a year ago, Christian music veteran tobyMac has been, well, reborn. The hip-hop heavy collection entered the Billboard 200 at #10— tobyMac’s highest showing ever—and this year, with his Diverse City […]

Video Clip: Lacking Moral Fiber on ‘Family Guy’

posted by dross

In this funny clip from “Family Guy,” Lois become the church’s new organist and tells the family she wants them to start going to church more often.

Top 5 ‘Indy’ Moments

posted by Kris Rasmussen

With one of pop culture’s favorite heroes having just returned to the big screen in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” after too many years away, many sites are posting their all-time favorite Indiana Jones moments. I […]

‘Idol’ Ends on a High Note

posted by lmarcus

Having been a David Cook supporter all season, I was biting my nails a lot during last night’s two hour “American Idol” finale. There were some great moments (Brooke White dueting with Graham Nash, Jason Castro reprising his lovely performance […]

Steven Curtis Chapman Suffers Tragedy

posted by dross

Grammy-winning Christian music star, Steven Curtis Chapman is battling a heart-breaking personal tragedy today—his 5-year-old daughter Maria Sue was struck and killed by a car in her family’s driveway yesterday. Chapman, and his wife, adopted Maria Sue, as well as […]

Narnia See Him, Narnia Don’t

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Used to be, any main character who had a rough day had critics crying “Christ figure”: Billy Budd, Charlie Brown–Harry Potter, for the Lord’s sake! But Richard Corliss, writing in this week’s Time magazine, says that Aslan’s similarity to Christ […]

‘Tooth of Crime': T-Bone Sinks His Teeth Into a New Recording

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Humor and Inspiration on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

posted by lmarcus

I love “Dancing with the Stars”–it’s a fun, frothy show that always ends up surprising me with some genuinely inspiring and touching moments. This year, my sentimental favorite was Marlee Matlin–the deaf Oscar-winning actress was completely undaunted by the task […]

The Chosen Festival

posted by Idol Chatter

It could be said without much debate that there is a significant number of Jews in Hollywood. However, a festival focusing on the theatrical depiction of the Jewish experience is relatively new to the area. The third annual Los Angeles […]

Watch Video: ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’

posted by lmarcus

The most anticipated movie of the summer hits theaters on Thursday. Get ready for Indy-mania by viewing this clip. And then when you’re done, try taking our quiz to see how much you know about spirituality in the Indy flicks.

Who Should Win ‘American Idol’?

posted by lmarcus

After a season full of forgotten lyrics, horrible auditions, restarted songs, and more, “American Idol 7″ is down to two contestants: David Cook and David Archuleta. Cook, 25, is a Missouri native who has played in rock bands and nailed […]

The Evolution of Homer Simpson

posted by dross

Check out this “Simpsons” clip that shows how Homer evolved from a single cell organism into a couch potato.

Watch Video: ‘This Is Home’ by Switchfoot

posted by shuang

Did you recognize the band whose song played at the end of “Prince Caspian“? If not, you can see the Caspian-centered music video Switchfoot put together for their song, “This Is Home,” With its catchy guitar sounds and thoughtful lyrics, […]

‘Prince Caspian': Lewis’s Paradise Gets Lost

posted by Kris Rasmussen

While I agree with critics and fellow IC blogger Paul that “Prince Caspian” was an entertaining film that is better production-wise that its cinematic predecessor, “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe,” and that certainly not all of the spirituality […]

Mary Magdalene as Provocative as Ever in ‘Bloodline’

posted by Todd Havens

Here at Idol Chatter we often have to dig around through the pop culture items we cover to come up with a relevant religious, spiritual or ethical angle for our readers. It’s often a challenge! Case in point, I watched […]

Faith-Based Flacks Can’t Save Flunking Films

posted by Paul O'Donnell

This just in: churchgoers know a bad movie when they see it. After furiously pandering to evangelical Christians in recent years, the major Hollywood studios are backing away from faith-based marketing schemes that offer churches private screenings and Bible study […]

My Teen Idol Kirk Cameron Called Me Twice Yesterday!

posted by Donna Freitas

Okay, I’m going to take a minute to gush like a teenaged girl right now: Kirk Cameron, a.k.a. Mike Seaver from “Growing Pains,” that family-friendly television series that we all loved to watch during the ’80’s, has written a spiritual […]

Tommy Walker’s Latest Resounds With ‘Hope’

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Since I am not a big follower of the ever-increasing amount of Christian worship music available, I may never have stumbled across Tommy Walker’s music if it hadn’t been for my time in Los Angeles in the ’90s where every […]

Chaste Buddhist Intimacy at Home?

posted by Donna Freitas

The New York Times Home section runs every Thursday and occasionally they run a “Living Together” column. This week’s is more of a human (and spiritual) interest story than a story about interior design. In “Making Their Own Limits in […]

‘The Great Debaters': DVD Pick of the Week

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Revealing the true geek that I am, I must admit I’m always hoping that one day someone will make a truly great movie about the art form and rhetorical skills of debate. The teen comedy “Rocket Science” wasn’t it and […]

Don’t Fear ‘Reaper”

posted by Idol Chatter

In a television season stymied by the writers strike, “Reaper” emerged as a rare critical hit for The CW. “Reaper”‘s blend of comedy and demonology has echoes of cult hit, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” But despite rave reviews, “Reaper” remained […]

‘Prince Caspian': Christian Movies for Everyone?

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Don’t get me wrong, “Prince Caspian,” the second of Disney’s movie remakes of C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia novels is pure fun, an old-fashioned tale of a wicked uncle who usurps a throne, only to be overthrown by his goodly […]

Geri Halliwell ‘Spices’ Up the Bible?

posted by Ellen Leventry

“SHOCK! Geri Halliwell ‘rewrites the Bible’,” shrieked the headline accompanying a report in yesterday’s Now Magazine. “How terribly intersting,” I thought, “A member of the biggest-selling female UK group of all time taking on the best-selling book of all time.” […]

Ben Barnes: From Boy Band to ‘Prince Caspian’

posted by shuang

Who knew a Narnian prince was a triple threat? Before he landed his first Hollywood lead role, actor Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian in the new “Narnia” movie sequel) was singing and dancing in a British boy band called Hyrise. Performing […]

Enter to Win: Autographed ‘Prince Caspian’ Book

posted by dross

“Prince Caspian,” the sequel to 2005’s “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” hits theaters Friday, May 16th, and to celebrate we have three books to give away—”The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” (movie tie-in edition). One of these books, […]

How a Jew Becomes ‘Rapture Ready’

posted by Kris Rasmussen

It was just a few weeks ago that I blogged about the interesting piece Daniel Radosh wrote for the New York Times on what he thinks are the top ten Christian songs. Then I read a review of the self-proclaimed […]

James Frey Redeemed with ‘Bright Shiny Morning’?

posted by Donna Freitas

Just about everyone knows about James Frey’s fall from grace and off the best-seller list with his faux memoir “A Million Little Pieces.” A public reprimand on Oprah’s couch will do that to an author. (Or anyone for that matter.) […]

‘Surfwise': Family Mitzvah or Selfish Chutzpah?

posted by Todd Havens

Every parent wants a better life for their children, better than the one they had. It’d be pretty astounding to hear fledgling parents at a dinner party say, for example, that they’d like to put as many obstacles as possible […]

‘Grand Theft Auto IV’ May Be Robbing Us

posted by Douglas Howe

There’s a new release out that piled up well over $500 million—that’s “Fiiiive Hundred Meeeellion Dollarzzz”—in its first week of release, including a whopping $310 million in it’s opening day. What a blockbuster! But it wasn’t the new Indiana Jones […]

Mother’s Day for Jamie Lynn

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

Jamie Lynn’s been under the radar as her belly’s been expanding with the promise of new life, staying out of the eye of stalkerazzi, so we don’t have to be subjected to photos of her scarfing down Arby’s. But according […]

Without a Prayer: Muslims in ‘The Visitor’

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Laila Lalami, a novelist and literary blogger, has a review of the new indie film “The Visitor” in The Nation that serves as a mini-compendium of Muslim film, and how Hollywood has represented Islam since 9/11.

10 Greatest Spiritual Characters in Science Fiction

posted by Idol Chatter

This summer’s upcoming reboot of the “X-Files” franchise after more than six years of living in a Mulder and Scully-less world, rebirth of the “Star Wars” franchise in the form of a computer-animated feature film and television series, and retirement […]

Christian Filmmaker Makes Debut at Cannes This Week

posted by Kris Rasmussen

In addition to the typical big-name high profile movie fare that usually debuts at the Cannes Film Festival, Sean Penn, this year’s Cannes Jury President, has handpicked an unlikely documentary to also make its debut this week. “The Third Wave” […]

‘Twilight’ (The Movie) Trailer Releases

posted by Donna Freitas

For all you “Twilight” series fans (whether or not you prefer Edward or Jacob), if you haven’t seen it already, the first trailer for the movie from MTV films just released this week. Check it out here. As Time Magazine […]

Who Are the Most Memorable Christians on Reality TV?

posted by lmarcus

Check out our hot off the press list of Reality TV’s most memorable Christians. Do you agree with our selections? Disagree? Think we’re totally crazy? Leave your comments below. We want to know what you think!

‘Surfwise': A California Family of Jewish Surfers?

posted by Donna Freitas

Today, the documentary “Surfwise” releases, a film about a family with nine children, all-raised in a 24 foot camper, hippie-commune-style, parked along the best California surfing beaches. In the New York Times review, “A Family That Surfs To a Beat: […]

Deepak Chopra Presents ‘India Authentic’

posted by Idol Chatter

For me, it’s always been hard to picture the divine. Yeah, in Jewish tradition, there’s the story of Jacob wrestling hand-to-hand with a purported angel in the Book of Genesis. And, in Islam, the angel Gabriel visits Mohammed on more […]

6 Songs for Israel’s 60th

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

In a movie, whenever there’s a song associated with Israel or Jews, it’s automatically “Hava Nagila,” and I’m here to tell you it’s enough already. (It’s also enough with the Manischewitz jokes, but we’ll get to that at some future […]

Watch Clip: ‘Muslim-American Comics Come of Age’

posted by dali

From this Sunday’s (May 11th, 2008) episode, “Stand Up: Muslim-American Comics Come of Age,” part of the “America at a Crossroads” series on PBS:

Muslim-American Comics Get Their Humor On

posted by dali

Maysoon Zayid wants Dean Obeidallah to run for U.S. president–it’s a personal campaign for her. And if he were to run, he’d have my vote. And if not president, I’d nominate him for hottest (as in funny!) comic out there. […]

Top 10 TV Moms

posted by Ellen Leventry

Several years ago, I contributed a piece about the best small-screen mothers on American television to Beliefnet blogger Therese Borchard’s delightful book “I Love Being a Mom.” For the book, I tried to think of characters, who not only set […]

Obama’s Church Not the (Rev.) Wright Stuff for Oprah

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Newsweek reports this week that Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama share more than a wish to see him be president: Oprah attended Obama’s church when she first moved to Chicago, and both called the troublesome Rev. Jeremiah Wright their pastor. […]

P.O.D.: Pissing People Off, One Song at a Time

posted by nsymmonds

On their new release, “When Angels and Serpents Dance,” P.O.D. is in a tight spot: they’ve got a lot of people to please, and whatever they do is gonna piss somebody off. Having achieved a huge degree of success in […]

Oprah/Eckhart Class 10: ‘A New Earth’

posted by Todd Havens

Here we are at the final chapter and the final class, Gang! On Monday night, the Oprah and Eckhart “A New Earth” web event concluded with a special 2-hour finale. That class, based on Chapter 10 “A New Earth,” is […]

Science Meets Religion on ‘Numb3rs’

posted by Donna Freitas

There have been several Fridays home this past semester that have left me watching television all evening, and my newfound interest in “Ghost Whisperer” which is followed up by “Moonlight” has had me pulling a CBS all-nighter and watching “Numb3rs” […]

Celebrity Spiritual Diagnosis: Gwyneth is a Trascendentalist

posted by Paul O'Donnell

We know the convictions of Travolta and Tom, Madonna and Val Kilmer, but rank-and-file celebrities are so vague about their spiritual leanings it’s hard to know which faith we’d put them into, but comments by Gwyneth Paltrow to the British […]

Rocca and Gunn on Polygamist Fashion

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

When people think of Tim Gunn, they most often think of Project Runway, the popular reality TV show featuring aspiring designers in competition with each other to earn coveted spots with the fashion industry. On the other hand, when people […]

Top 10 Songs About Heaven

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Heaven, along with heart, may be the most overused word in the pop lexicon. What I’m after here is not the tunes that insist that kisses are heaven or that heaven only knows what’s going to happen to our love. […]

Oprah and Tom: Blind Faith or Blind Ambition?

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Because one hour of television devoted to Tom Cruise talking about himself just isn’t enough, today will mark the second half of Tom Cruise’s attempt at PR damage control by returning to the scene of his couch-jumping crime on “Oprah.” […]

Neil Diamond is Actually ‘Pretty Amazing’ This Time Out

posted by Douglas Howe

A friend and I were chatting last week about singers and songwriters who’ve managed to change and adapt, aging gracefully while writing relevantly. James Taylor is one. Sting is another. The Eagles and R.E.M. also come to mind, as does […]

Lewis Black: He of Funny Faith

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Lewis Black has founded his comedy career on his eruptions of screaming: the irrational outbursts of a rational man in a world gone mad. Religion is rich territory for his kind of humor, and as the title of his Comedy […]

Top 5 Love Song ‘Couples’

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

There are a lot of love songs out there. Some of them I love, no matter what my romantic status. And others make you want to re-enact all those scenes you see in movies, when the protagonist looks at himself […]

‘Jesus People’ Lacks Love for Its Subject

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Someday someone will make the Christian “Spinal Tap,” a brilliant satire of the Christian rock world. Until then, it’s worth checking out “Jesus People,” airing on the web-based Independent Comedy Channel. The mockumentary, about the founding of a Christian dance […]

Watch Clip: ‘Storm Over Everest’

posted by dross

Watch a video clip from the new documentary, “Storm Over Everest,” coming to PBS on May 13. The film tells the story of the 1996 blizzard that hit Mount Everest, trapping three climbing teams and killing eight climbers. Filmmaker David […]

‘Prince Caspian': Will this Sequel Be Better than “Wardrobe”?

posted by Kris Rasmussen

I can remember being somewhat overwhelmed with the amount of attention given to the big screen adaptation of “Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and I didn’t think it quite lived up to the hype. But […]

‘Baghdad Twist': One Family’s Story of Love and Loss in Iraq

posted by lmarcus

This week at the Tribeca Film Festival, I attended the premiere of Canadian filmmaker Joe Balass’ short film, “Baghdad Twist.” The movie tells the story of Balass’ family, Iraqi Jews who were forced to leave the country after the revolution […]

Watch Clip: ‘Iron Man’

posted by dross

Watch a clip from the new movie “Iron Man,” which hits theaters Friday, May 2. The film stars Robert Downey Jr. as the famous super hero, as well as Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, and Gwyneth Paltrow. embedVideo(1529427205);

Becoming Part of the Story: ‘Sita Sings the Blues’

posted by Idol Chatter

How does a journalist become a part of a story that he is covering? I first met filmmaker Nina Paley in 2005 when she and some of her friends were hosting an animation party on the roof top of her […]

Previous Posts

David Oyelowo Personally Greets Beliefnet Readers
David Oyelowo stars in the new thriller “Captive” based on a true story about faith, forgiveness, and redemption. Listen to what he wants to share with you. “Captive” opens in theaters on Sept. 18th. Don’t miss it. [jwvideo ...

posted 2:26:49pm Sep. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Driven Towards Unity
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xb8fhck0ks The film “Woodlawn” is based on the true story surrounding the Woodlawn High School football team in Birmingham, Alabama during the 1970s where racism was fluid. This changed through a young ...

posted 11:19:06am Sep. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Dancing With the Stars Kicks off Season 21
You may have seen the Nae-Nae celebration dances on the commercials announcing season 21 of Dancing With the Stars kicking off on Monday, September 14th 8 - 10 p.m. ET on ABC. This season, Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews will host the series. ...

posted 9:34:35am Sep. 02, 2015 | read full post »

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 »

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