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January 1970 Archives

HBO Still Pulling Out All the Stops for ‘True Blood’ Ad Campaign

posted by Donna Freitas

Wow. If you ever read my posts you already know that I have a thing for vampires–be they from “Buffy,” “Twilight,” or the old school “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” variety. But it appears that HBO is as excited about vampires as […]

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Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman Begin Tour

posted by Douglas Howe

Two of the most enduring and integrous Christian musicians of the last two decades are teaming up for what will no doubt be an inspiring and entertaining tour. And if your Christian faith is important to you, this will likely […]

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Richard Dutcher’s ‘Very Frustrating Enlightenment’

posted by Paul O'Donnell

When Richard Dutcher wrote and directed “God’s Army,” a 2001 movie about the struggles of idealistic LDS missionaries negotiating the reality of Los Angeles, he instantly became a Mormon hero. Dubbed “the father of modern Latter-day Saint cinema” after the […]

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Top 5 Back to School Movies

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Some students–and teachers–have already been forced to give up their fun in the sun and others will be forced back into the world of textbooks and tests next week. (On the other hand, the cheers you are hearing are from […]

CW: ‘Of Course We’ll Screen 90210 for Advertisers’

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

Despite initial reports, the CW will offer a glimpse of the new ‘90210’ to potential advertisers: While the CW will not make promotional discs containing individual episodes (also known as “screeners”) of its teen drama available to critics or media […]

Manufactured Muslim Outrage Over ‘The Jewel of Medina’

posted by dali

It wasn’t big news, but it was making headlines in the publishing world when a new book called “The Jewel of Medina” about Aisha, the last wife of The Prophet Muhammad, hit the stands and stoked some controversy–not because of […]

No-Go on ‘Covered Girls': Priest Calls off Nun Beauty Contest

posted by Ellen Leventry

Nuns, Father Antonio Rungi, Beauty Contest, Catholic Church

Is Buffy Turning Girls into Witches?

posted by Donna Freitas

We heard about it with Harry Potter in spades: that J.K. Rowling’s beloved series about witches and wizards would somehow corrupt the minds and religious practices of youth all over the world. We heard about it with Philip Pullman, too, […]

Watch Clip: An ‘Office’ Shunning

posted by dross

In this hilarious montage of clips from an episode of “The Office,” Dwight, played by Rainn Wilson, uses the Amish technique of shunning (other religions have versions of shunning as well), against a co-worker, Andy. Watch the video below.

Guglielmucci Not the First Christian Music Artist to Battle Porn Addiction

posted by dross

As you may have already heard from Gospel Soundcheck blogger Joanne Brokaw, pastor and Planetshakers band member Michael Guglielmucci, recently confessed to lying about battling terminal leukemia, duping his congregation, fans, and most shockingly, his wife and family. According to […]

Parents Coucil Says ‘OMG’ to ‘90210’ Reboot

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

Have New York’s Upper East Side rich kids set an impossibly high bar for titillation, or will their West Coast Beverly Hills-dwelling teen counterparts kick their six-packs and bikinis up a notch, making the new “90210” a real contender? When […]

Dave Freeman: A Life, and Death, That Reminds to Make the Most of Our Days

posted by Paul O'Donnell

In a bit of irony that one only hopes he’s enjoying in his latest destination somewhere beyond the stars, Dave Freeman, co-author of the groundbreaking 1999 travel book “100 Things to Do Before You Die,” passed away on Aug. 17 […]

Enter to Win: Lee Strobel’s ‘The Case for Faith’ DVD

posted by dross

Author and megachurch pastor Lee Strobel wasn’t always such a high profile Christian–he was actually a spiritual skeptic until the early 80s. However, after interviewing dozens of scientists for his books “The Case for Christ,” “The Case for a Creator,” […]

The Conventions: Life Imitates Art

posted by Douglas Howe

Did you watch the Democratic National Convention on TV Monday night? No. Neither did I. It made me think back to that “West Wing” episode of a few years ago, where the dramatic twist featured all three major television network […]

Watch Trailer: ‘Save Me’

posted by dross

“Save Me” stars 80s child star Chad Allen as a drug addicted man who is forced into a Christian-run ministry by his family. The ministry, led by a woman named Gayle (played by Judith Light), can “help cure young men […]

Am I the Only Person Who Liked ‘Breaking Dawn’?

posted by Donna Freitas

I think it’s safe to say that I’m Beliefnet’s resident obsessionado of all-things Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight Series.” And those of you who followed my posts leading up to the release of book four, “Breaking Dawn,” I was, um, kind of […]

Interview with The Little Mermaid: Jodi Benson

posted by Nell Minow

It was a great pleasure to speak again with Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel in “The Little Mermaid.” Jodi returns to the role for a new DVD called “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning,” in stores this week. Tell me […]

‘Blue Like Jazz’ Author Will Pray for the Democrats Tonight

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Though I utterly despise the political conventions of any party, I guess I am going to have to watch at least part of the Democratic National Convention tonight out of curiousity. It seems that Donald Miller, author of the spiritual […]

‘Hamlet 2′: To Laugh or Not to Laugh?

posted by Kris Rasmussen

A lively debate has been going on here between Idol Chatter readers about the controversial comedy “Hamlet 2.” In particular the movie’s big musical number “Rock Me Sexy Jesus” has raised concerns for its irreverent content. I promised I would […]

The S.S. Minnow is Back in Shipshape

posted by Nell Minow

Anyone for a 3-hour tour? If you get on the S.S. Minnow and the other passengers are a movie star, a professor, a millionaire and his wife, not to mention Mary Ann, you might want to check to make sure […]

My Super Sweet 16: ‘Exiled’ in Teenville

posted by Ellen Leventry

Many years ago, when the first episode of MTV’s “My Super Sweet Sixteen” aired, I thought that the network had taken a daring step by reflecting this generation’s craven consumerism and narcissism back at them with the depictions of half-a-million […]

Who Do You Think Has Been the Most Inspirational Person of 2008?

posted by dross

At the end of every year, Beliefnet selects, with help from our readers, a group of 10 individuals who have made a difference in the world for our Most Inspiring Person of the Year Award. Nominees include celebrities who use […]

The Gospel According to Oprah (Literally)

posted by Donna Freitas

It’s no secret (ha! I am already making puns) that Oprah Winfrey is many an American’s spiritual guide. There is even a book, “The Gospel According To Oprah” by Marcia Z. Nelson, that “praises Oprah for using her entertainment pulpit […]

Home Makeover: Faith Edition

posted by Paul O'Donnell

If Jesus came back today, which television show would be his favorite? A clue comes from Mike Zak, youth director at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in St. Charles, Ill. According to the Chicago Tribune, Zak, a fan of “Home […]

‘Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day': My DVD Pick of the Week

posted by Kris Rasmussen

If you are as saddened as I am by the waning days of summer, I have the perfect movie for you. It’s a gentle, breezy, frothy, old-fashioned story that celebrates all that was once great about the good ole’ days. […]

‘Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2′ Gains Stars, Loses Spark

posted by Donna Freitas

There is no shortage of girl-starpower fueling the “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” about four best girlfriends who find a pair of jeans that miraculously fit each of them perfectly and makes magic happen in their lives–or wait, […]

Who Should Be Offended by ‘Tropic Thunder?’

posted by Nell Minow

A coalition of disability group has called for a boycott of the R-rated satire “Tropic Thunder“. They are asking people not to see the movie because they say it demeans, insults, and harms individuals with intellectual disabilities by using the […]

Prayer Puts Olympic Commentator in a Twist

posted by Paul O'Donnell

I can forgive NBC’s commentators at the Olympic gymnastics competition, Tim Daggett and Elfi Schlegel, their complaints about the judging, and nagging negativity; they are, after a fashion, journalists and they have to call it like they see it. But […]

Top 10 Christian Songs I Hate to Love

posted by Kris Rasmussen

My friends and I have been having fun lately emailing a list back and forth of what are the best of the worst Christian songs we grew up listening to. You know, those songs that are enjoyable, with lyrics you […]

Sisterhoods and Bromances: Where are the Love Stories?

posted by Nell Minow

We have a lot of tender love stories in movies this year but they have mostly been about friendships. I can’t remember a time when there have been so few movies about falling in romantic love. What used to be […]

‘Gossip Girl’ Is Back and Badder Than Ever!

posted by Donna Freitas

Everyone’s favorite teen soap opera/guilty pleasure “Gossip Girl” is back, premiering on the CW September 1. And of course, its back with a, well, um, bang (so to speak). GG got itself in heaps of trouble last spring as it […]

Watch Clip: ‘Religulous’

posted by lmarcus

The title of Bill Maher’s controversial new documentary, “Religulous,” comes from combining the words “religious” and “ridiculous,” so it’s pretty clear where he stands on the issue of faith. In this clip, he quizzes a Senator who says he doesn’t […]

Enter to Win: Rebecca St James’ New Devotional

posted by dross

Christian pop star and author Rebecca St. James has a long history of promoting chastity, and modesty, in young women of faith. Her latest book, “Pure: A 90-Day Devotional for the Mind, the Body & the Spirit” will be released […]

‘Mad Men’s’ Catholic Confessions

posted by Kris Rasmussen

It might seem odd to have an episode focused on Easter when it’s August, but “Mad Men” is not exactly known for fitting the TV mold. The critically-acclaimed series set in the 60s advertising world usually revels, basks, and otherwise […]

David Byrne Talks Godhead

posted by Paul O'Donnell

You don’t think of former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne as an evangelist, except for those crazy Brazilian, African and Afro-Caribbean beats that practically broke poor drummer Chris Frantz’s wrists and led Byrne off to a solo career of promoting […]

Comedian John Oliver Talks Apocalyptic Books

posted by lmarcus

I love British comedian John Oliver on ‘The Daily Show’–he’s just the right mix of biting and dry humor. Now, in a video for Jbooks.com, Oliver hosts a “Literature Rodeo.” In this segment, he traces the history of Apocalyptic books, […]

A Love/Hate Relationship with the Jonas Brothers

posted by dross

If you’re like Gospel Soundcheck’s Joanne Brokaw, you may be conflicted about the hottest boy band of the moment, the Jonas Brothers. In her post, “5 Things I Hate About the Jonas Brothers,” Brokaw talks about the “bigger than oxygen” […]

At the Beijing Olympics, the Hijab Emerges

posted by dali

So far, the 2008 Olympics has been all Michael Phelps, Dara Torres, Chinese divers, Liu Xiang bowing out (gasp!), gymnastics, Usain Bolt, Redeem Team, U.S. men’s water polo, Kerry Walsh and Misty May-Trainer (this list is getting so long!) and […]

Are You a ‘Twilight’ Addict?

posted by lmarcus

From the mall to the multiplex to the New York Times best-seller list, Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” books are a huge phenomenon. Are you a “Twilight” fan? How do you think the books measure up to that other series, “Harry Potter”? […]

Grant 2.0?: Amy Grant’s Daughter’s Debut

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Earlier this week I ran into a huge Christian music fan in a coffeeshop in Hanover, N.H. (clue: his “Amy Grant & Friends” T-shirt) who had just returned from the second annual Smitty Cruise, Michael W. Smith’s waterborne jamboree that […]

When a Teen Girl Dreams of Being a Saint

posted by shuang

When you’re a 15-year-old girl, dealing with school, boys, and family is drama enough. When you’re a 15-year-old Catholic girl and your name is Antonia Lucia Labella, you not only deal with all three, you also pray to saints and […]

Most Uninspiring Olympic Moments

posted by dali

As I’m staying up late and watching coverage of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the spirit of the Games has once again taken hold over me: America’s Jason Lezak chasing down France’s Alain Bernard in the final leg of the […]

‘Please Vote For Me': My DVD Pick for the Week

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Because of the ongoing coverage of the Olympics in Bejing, I have to tell you about the best political movie in years, in stores next Tuesday, “Please Vote For Me.” The movie documents an experiment done with third graders in […]

Watch Video: Jesus in China

posted by shuang

A Frontline World news documentary takes a look at the rise of Christianity in China, from formal government-approved churches to exuberant underground worship houses. Watch the clip below to see how the Chinese are finding ways to praise and worship […]

Must-See TV: McCain and Obama at Saddleback Church

posted by Douglas Howe

Well, if you’re tiring of the Olympics, or can’t afford the gas to drive to a movie theatre, or can’t afford the popcorn after you buy the gas, there’ll be a relevant, interesting, and hopefully inspiring show that you can […]

Did Scientology Play a Role in Hayes’ Death?

posted by Ellen Leventry

It’s tragic enough that singer-songwriter Isaac Hayes died Sunday at the age of 65. But according to an article by Roger Friedman on Fox News.com, Scientology may have played a role in the singer’s death–which was just today ruled the […]

Save the Date for Billy Graham: The Movie

posted by Paul O'Donnell

It’s cause for wonder that a biopic of Billy Graham, “America’s pastor,” hasn’t been made before. And perhaps it’s a blessing too. As the national release date for “Billy: The Early Years” nears (Oct. 10, according to a press release), […]

Paul Newman: A True Hollywood Mensch

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Though most of the celebrity news over the weekend focused on two celebrities who died somewhat unexpectedly, I was saddened by another, far quieter, announcement about a celebrity’s health status last week. Movie legend and philanthropist Paul Newman has been […]

Watch Trailer: ‘The Longshots’

posted by lmarcus

In “The Longshots, which hits theaters August 22, Ice Cube plays a man who steps into the father role for his teenage niece, only to find that she has what it takes to become the first girl on her high […]

Olympics Bring Love to Countries at War

posted by Douglas Howe

Ah, finally, day 4, and the Olympics have finally officially started for me. Nope, the run-up and the hype didn’t do it. Every sports event this side of the World Poker Championships has a big build-up. No, the opening festivities–while, […]

Edwards’s Mistress Didn’t Like Wife’s ‘Energy’

posted by Kris Rasmussen

After roughly two weeks of virtually ignoring the National Enquirer’s breaking news of former presidential candidate John Edwards leaving a hotel after reportedly meeting with former employee Rielle Hunter– whom the magazine had previously claimed was having an affair with […]

Bernie Mac: Another ‘Done Too Soon’

posted by Douglas Howe

Add another one, Neil Diamond, to your “Done Too Soon” lyrics: Bernie Mac is gone at 50. Although he rose from a poor upbringing to become a household comedic name, there was always a sense that there was more genius […]

Steven Curtis Chapman Inspires on Larry King

posted by Douglas Howe

Earlier this summer, a celebrity’s son ran over his daughter in a car. The daughter was killed. The son had to deal with the guilt. And, the celebrity is a Christian singer who is gifted, beloved and above reproach, a […]

McCain and Obama’s Favorite Superheroes

posted by Douglas Howe

Presumed presidential nominees John McCain and Barack Obama have revealed their favorite pop culture icons, including superheroes, with McCain favoring Batman and Obama, Spider-Man and Batman, according to Reuters. I find myself asking two glaring questions: 1. Was this a […]

Idol Chatter Triva Answer For This Week

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Okay, I admit it, the answer to this week’s trivia is really just another chance for me to gush about the best discovery I made all summer long: the TV series “Slings and Arrows,” which is available on DVD. When […]

‘Hamlet 2′ Uses ‘Sexy Jesus’ for Promotion

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Some movie studios are wary of religious controversy hurting the promotion of their film, but Focus Features is doing everything it can to encourage that controversy when it comes to the comedy “Hamlet 2.” The movie has little to do […]

From ‘Office’ Temp to Tarantino’s ‘Bastard’?

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

As “The Office”‘s “Ryan the temp,” we loved him. (Although not as much or uncomfortably as Michael Scott did.) And when he was promoted to corporate, we watched as his confidence was revealed as insecurity. Now, the Hollywood Reporter learned […]

Closing the Ledger on Heath’s January Overdose

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

Earlier this week, we blogged about Mary-Kate Olsen, and the fact that she might receive an immunity deal in exchange for her knowledge about the late Heath Ledger’s drug use. But today, federal prosecutors are officially dropping the investigation into […]

Christina Applegate Fights Breast Cancer

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

Long an activist against breast cancer, Christina Applegate, 36, was recently diagnosed with the disease during a routine MRI. The cancer was discovered early, and doctors expect her to make a full recovery. Applegate, whose mother battled both breast and […]

My Indie Movie Picks from the Traverse City Film Festival

posted by Kris Rasmussen

I hate to admit I am feeling pretty beaten down and discouraged after this year’s trip to the Traverse City Film Festival, mainly because of the massive amounts of fear-mongering, condescending, political propaganda that, unlike other years, was everywhere I […]

Watch: Paris Hilton for President?

posted by dross

In response to John McCain’s unauthorized use of the celebutante in a new political ad attacking Barack Omaba, Paris “That’s Hot” Hilton has just released a video, announcing her presidential candidacy and offering a solution to the energy crisis.See Paris […]

Watch Trailer: ‘Fireproof’

posted by lmarcus

In Kirk Cameron’s new movie, “Fireproof,” he plays a hero firefighter who finds his relationship with his wife is more difficult to save than the people he pulls out of burning buildings. With a little help from his dad and […]

This Week’s Summer Movie Trivia Question

posted by Kris Rasmussen

This week’s question is going to be a little tough, but I think readers are up to the challenge. Name the TV angel/ghost (depends on your point of view in this case) who said this: “I know, I’ve been doing […]

Loving Thy Neighbor: ‘Henry Poole Is Here’

posted by Donna Freitas

I have a penchant for movies about survival–stories where the heroine or hero begins as down and out as a result of some loss, or setback, or even intense grief and despair, yet somehow, often rather a bit magically, we […]

Ex-Scientologist, Actor Jason Beghe to Idol Chatter: ‘Scientology is Not a Religion’

posted by Idol Chatter

Many of us here at Idol Chatter have been transfixed by the downward trajectory of Tom Cruises’ career since the Oprah couch jumping incident which coincided with his being more out about Scientology. But celebrity and Scientology have gone hand […]

Mary-Kate Olsen Demands Immunity for Heath Ledger Info

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

If you watch Law & Order, there’s a scene that you’re familiar with. The inadvertent accomplice in a crime is being interrogated by the detectives, and there’s a moment when they consider their options. Awareness flits across their faces, and […]

The Madg-ificent Premiere of Madonna’s ‘I Am Because We Are’

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Yes, almost the entire pop culture world turned its eyes last Saturday might to…Traverse City, Michigan as Madonna came to town to screen her documentary “I Am Because We Are.” That might be a slight exaggeration but it certainly didn’t […]

Morgan Freeman Hospitalized After Accident

posted by nsymmonds

Everyone’s favorite cinema god, Morgan Freeman, was in a car accident yesterday evening. The “Dark Knight” star and an unnamed female passenger were traveling east down the Mississippi Highway 32 when his 1997 Maxima car veered off the road. Freeman […]

Enter to Win: Relient K’s ‘The Bird and the Bee Sides’

posted by dross

Relient K is one of the few bands that have managed to crossover to mainstream radio after bring introduced and popularized on Christian radio. Their albums, 2004’s “Mmhmm” and 2007’s “Five Score and Seven Years Ago,” each debuted in the […]

Family Sees the Face of Jesus in Their Cat’s Fur!

posted by Donna Freitas

Um, this is not a joke–at least, not from the perspective of the Indiana family who believe that their cat, named Sissy, has fur in which Jesus’ face appears. Having just attended a screening of the movie “Henry Poole Is […]

A New Day Dawns for Twilight Fans!

posted by Donna Freitas

Hello all you excited Twilight fans! The moment has arrived…”Breaking Dawn” is available! Please check out my geekiest-ever report for Publishers Weekly on my night out with Stephenie Meyer, at the “Breaking Dawn” concert in New York City the night […]

Watch ‘Breaking Dawn’ Book Release Concert Live, Tonight!

posted by Donna Freitas

Words can’t express how excited I am to be going to the special New York City launch party for Stephenie Meyer’s “Breaking Dawn” tonight at the Nokia Theater in Times Sqaure. But if you can’t join the party…or you couldn’t […]

Stephenie Meyer: The Most Famous Author You’ve Never Heard Of?

posted by Donna Freitas

Well she is according to a major USA Today story anticipating the midnight madness about to befall us this evening when “Breaking Dawn,” Book 4 of the “Twilight Series” releases. And apparently, Stephenie Meyer is the world’s newest celebrity author […]

‘Frozen River': Life on Thin Ice

posted by Kris Rasmussen

So far my favorite movie–okay, actually the only movie I have really enjoyed so far here at the Traverse City Film Festival– has to be “Frozen River.” It was a prize winner at Sundance earlier this year (Grand Jury Prize: […]

This Week’s Idol Chatter Summer Movie Trivia Answer

posted by Kris Rasmussen

This week’s vampire themed question– in honor of this weekend’s release of “Breaking Dawn”– was: What two-time Oscar winner was originally supposed to play Lestat in “Interview with a Vampire”? Idol chatter readers were right when they named several A-list […]

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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 »

Blues Guitarist B.B. King Dead at 89
Legendary blues guitarist B.B. King died Thursday night at the age of 89 in a Las Vegas hospital. King was the son of a sharecropper, and was born on a plantation in Mississippi. He worked his way up from singing in church, performing on street ...

posted 9:27:21am May. 15, 2015 | read full post »

'Where Hope Grows' is a Much Watch
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L10tIzZZrA Kristoffer Polaha stars as a baseball slugger with Detroit Tigers who was forced to retire early due to panic attacks at the plate. Calvin Campbell struggles with alcoholism, depression, and battles ...

posted 8:58:33am May. 15, 2015 | read full post »

One Good Fella
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKjent3fFcs Jersey Girl, the Body Guard, and Goodfellas--Mike Starr always plays a wise guy. The graduate of Hofstra University’s latest role is the comedy Dancer and the Dame, a film about a police officer ...

posted 12:13:10pm May. 14, 2015 | read full post »

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