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January 1970 Archives

Super Bowl Ads — Not Family Friendly?

posted by Nell Minow

Many families have Super Bowl traditions as the generations gather around the television to watch the biggest football game of the year. It gives families a wonderful opportunity to share their interests and histories and to talk about the skill, […]

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‘The Deal': My DVD Pick of the Week

posted by Kris Rasmussen

I probably shouldn’t like the indie comedy “The Deal” as much as I do. There have been plenty of movies spoofing the bizarre wheelings and dealings of the filmmaking process, and many of them have been better than this screwball […]

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‘Sober House': Sobering Viewing

posted by Ellen Leventry

I thought I would never ever see a more horrifying example of addiction than “Grease’s” Jeff Conaway on “Celebrity Rehab, ” vacillating between mindlessly drooling on himself and screaming like a banshee at no one in particular while withdrawing from […]

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Hutt, Hutt, Hype!: The Best Ways to Enjoy Super Bowl Sunday

posted by Douglas Howe

Yes, the Super Bowl is here! That also means that the Super Bowl Ads are here, the Super Bowl halftime show is here, the extended Super Bowl pre-game and post-game shows are here and, thankfully, the Athletes in Action Super […]

Top ‘Haunting’ Moments in Film, Part 2

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Earlier this month I started a list of favorite “haunting” moments in film. Haunting moments aren’t necessarily inspiring in a feel-good, happy ending sense– though sometimes they can be. Instead they are those cinematic points in time that bring revelation […]

The Last Confederate of ‘Dunces’ Dies

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Les Phillabaum, the former editorial director at Louisiana State University Press, who took a chance to publish the unknown, deceased author John Kennedy Toole’s novel, “A Confederacy of Dunces” died on January 14th. With Phillabaum’s passing, the players who pulled […]

To Friend or Not to Friend the Pope on Facebook?

posted by Donna Freitas

Well, it’s official: the Pope (that’s PBXVI) is getting all tech savvy and into virtual profiles. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, “The Pope Embraces YouTube, Facebook,” reporter Marisa Taylor explains: “The Vatican announced last Friday that it […]

Watch Trailer: ‘Trouble the Water’

posted by dross

In the trailer for this Academy Award-nominated documentary, a couple from New Orleans’ Ninth Ward is trapped by Hurricane Katrina and struggles to survive. The film tries to portray that “Katrina is still going on” and that “it’s not about […]

‘New In Town': Good for Curing Mid-Winter Blues

posted by Donna Freitas

Full disclosure: I am a sap when it comes to romantic comedies, and, save “Last Chance Harvey,” it’s been quite a dry spell these last few months in the cinema for the genre. Therefore, I’m pleased to announce the arrival […]

The Oscars: More Than a Two-Horse Race

posted by Douglas Howe

This year’s Best Picture Oscar is a competitive field. The media likes to paint it as a two-person or two-film race in many categories, but it may be one of those years in which many films have a chance. Some […]

Watch Clip from ‘Doubt’

posted by dross

In this clip from “Doubt,” Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep), Sister James (Amy Adams) and Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman) discuss including a secular Christmas carol in their annual Church Christmas pageant.

A Lesson in Patience: VeggieTales’ ‘Abe and the Amazing Promise’

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Lately VeggieTales releases come in two kinds, the inspired and the merely inspiring. The latest VeggieTales release, “Abe and the Amazing Promise,” due out February 10, fulfills the promise of every VT production: to get some Bible knowledge into your […]

John Updike’s Passing

posted by Douglas Howe

Two wonders of literature passed away today and they will be missed. The first was John Updike, who succumbed to a long battle with lung cancer at 76. The second is the time in our history when authors represented the […]

Kirk Cameron’s 2008 Comeback: ‘Fireproof’ Is Big Indie Hit

posted by Donna Freitas

Okay, full disclosure: I did not actually see “Fireproof,” a film “about a Christian fire captain who recommits to his marriage,” as described by reporter Dale Buss in the Wall Street Journal article, “What Christians Watch” and my main interest […]

‘Fireproof': Not Exactly My DVD Pick of the Week

posted by Kris Rasmussen

The last time I wrote about the film “Fireproof” I had admittedly not seen it yet. But now that it has become the indie hit of 2008 and has been released on DVD, I have taken the time to watch […]

Moms Unite to Fight ‘Muslim Doll’

posted by Donna Freitas

Apparently, Mattel has put out a talking doll that whispers (very quietly) “Islam is the Light”–apparently, this was not one of the intended comments the doll is supposed to make–and moms are up in arms across the country, uniting to […]

My Top 12 Super Bowl Moments

posted by Douglas Howe

Next week’s Super Bowl marks what has become something of a national holiday. New TV sales go through the roof, parties are found on every other block and open seats are available on flights! Bruce Springsteen will perform. Alicia Keys […]

Are People Loving ‘Loving Leah’?

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

Before “Loving Leah” even Sunday night in California, the east coast calls began. The first call came from my parents. “I hope you’re watching this,” they said. I had plans, I told them, and wouldn’t be home for it. Then […]

$20 Million Travolta Extortion Mystery Continues

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

Late last week news broke that someone was trying to extort the Travolta family for $20 million, but no one seemed to know the details. Some thought that the extortion money was to suppress photos taken at the time of […]

S.A.G.’s Win in Award Show Race

posted by Douglas Howe

The Screen Actors Guild Awards are not the most popular nor are they the highest rated award shows to be broadcast on TV. The Golden Globes kick off the season and the Academy Awards bring the conclusion, as well as […]

Spiritual Redemption in ‘Waltz with Bashir’

posted by idol chatter

To say that most Israeli films are either about war or religion would be reductive, but not necessarily inaccurate. Even films seeking to be about, say, coming of age inevitably hit upon at least one of those essential themes of […]

The S.A.G. Tribute to Actors We Lost…

posted by Douglas Howe

The most spiritually compelling moment of the Screen Actors Guild Awards came when the Guild paid tribute to those who’d lost their lives since the last gathering. Susan Sarandon shared a very nice tribute to the actors who’ve passed, and […]

Bang-up ‘Battlestar': ‘Galactica’ Returns with Stellar Premiere

posted by Ellen Leventry

To say that the final season of “Battlestar Galactica” began with a bang is an understatement: the crew discovers that residual radiation from a nuclear holocaust makes Earth uninhabitable; despondent, Dee shoots herself; and Ellen Tigh is revealed to be […]

Sigourney Weaver Stars in ‘Prayers for Bobby’

posted by Donna Freitas

It’s not often that I am tempted to watch a Lifetime Original movie, but tomorrow night is the premier of “Prayers for Bobby“: “Sigourney Weaver stars in this emotional true story about a 1970s religious suburban housewife and mother who […]

‘FNL': The Best Feminist Drama on Television

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Sure, I have already written about the spiritual themes, the social issues, and the family values of NBC’s best drama, “Friday Night Lights.” But watching the season three premiere of the show last week, I had a small revelation: For […]

‘Lost’ Thoughts

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

As I watched the season premiere of “Lost” Wednesday night on ABC, it occurred to me that all of pop culture’s flash forwards and flashbacks (done masterfully here, in my opinion, as well as in “Damages” and other shows) owe […]

Mid-Sundance Roundup

posted by idol chatter

By Gareth Higgins As you may have read in my Idol Chatter post from earlier this week, I was very impressed the animated film “Mary and Max” and I’m hoping it will be the breakout hit of Sundance. Here are […]

Oscar Nominations and Omissions

posted by Douglas Howe

Oscar season has formally begun as the nominations were announced today by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The full line-up and more info can be found at at Oscars.com and commentary will be all over the Net. […]

‘Lost’ Season 5 Premiere: It’s (Not) All About Change

posted by shuang

Perhaps I have the presidential inauguration and President Obama on my mind, but the word “change” was easily the keyword of last night’s two-hour “Lost” premiere. For two hours, the stories shifted back-and-forth in time and locale, much the same […]

2009 Oscar Nomineess: A Few Thoughts and Predictions

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Well, today’s Oscar nominations have left a movie buff like me feeling a lot of mixed emotions. There weren’t too many surprises–movies that received Golden Globe nods, such as “Frost/Nixon,” “Doubt,” and “Slumdog Millionaire” received plenty of nominations from Oscar […]

‘Lost’ Is Back and I’m, Well, Lost

posted by Donna Freitas

So last season I stopped watching “Lost” a few episodes from the end because I got bored. I was especially tired of the flashbacks. (I was to the point where I’d just fast forward through them–am I alone on this […]

Harry Connick Jr. Talks to Idol Chatter About Faith and ‘New in Town’

posted by Donna Freitas

After seeing “New In Town,” the romantic comedy starring Harry Connick Jr. and Renée Zellweger that releases nationwide on January 30th, I was lucky enough to do a Q&A with the handsome crooner, himself, over the phone (his accent is […]

Watch Trailer: ‘Blessed Is the Match’

posted by dross

The new documentary “Blessed is the Match” tells the true story of Hannah Senesh, a Jewish woman who became a resistance fighter and paratrooper during World War II and helped save many lives.

Chile Outraged at ‘Virgin Mary’ Models

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

What is it about Latin American countries and the Blessed Virgin? First there was the Mexican Playboy featuring a sexy Mary on the cover. And now, according to Reuters, fashion designer Ricardo Oyarzun has “sparked outrage in Chile by dressing […]

The Spirit of Sundance

posted by idol chatter

By Gareth Higgins The Sundance film festival is in full swing, with the quaint and cold streets of tiny Park City, Utah swarming with movie fans, celebrities, and entertainment lawyers. Sundance is the world’s best known festival of independent film, […]

What, the Grammys?

posted by Douglas Howe

The poor Grammys have a tough road. (If you don’t know what the Grammys are, then that will prove my point even further!) January is a pop culture tour de force, complete with the Golden Globe Awards, the launch of […]

Spike Lee: God Wanted Obama to Be Prez

posted by Kris Rasmussen

I have no idea how I missed this tidbit of insight from a Hollywood celebrity. Spike Lee went on MSNBC a few days ago and made the declaration that God caused all of the economic woes we are experiencing just […]

Be Inspired by History TV

posted by Douglas Howe

If you’ve got some people together–or just have the TV on–and the Inauguration events are getting boring, check out “History in the Making Week” on The History Channel. If they’d have taught history like this in school, I’d have been […]

President Obama, the Rock Star!

posted by Douglas Howe

President Obama is a rock star! He and his family have shown up at more parties, events, gatherings, celebrations, fundraisers and other pre-Inauguration activities than movie stars on Oscar night. And the cameras have been there. Therefore, this may be […]

The Must-est ‘Must-See-TV’ Ever!

posted by Douglas Howe

From a television–and pop culture– point of view this has been one of the longest, dramatic, and most entertaining Presidential races of all time. And it comes to an end today with the swearing in of Barack H. Obama as […]

Top ‘Haunting’ Moments in Film, Part 1

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Because 2008 was a pretty lackluster year at the movies and because award season has kicked into high gear, I have been thinking about some of my favorite moments in film– more specifically, my favorite haunting moments. No, I’m not […]

Evangelical Minister Goes Hardcore in Seattle: Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill

posted by Donna Freitas

As a Catholic, the incredible variety and range evangelicals have to choose from among available worship communities simply amazes me–from the young and hip, left and funky, to the old school and liturgical, and the flat out cheesy. If you […]

Returning to the ‘Real World’

posted by Ellen Leventry

When I heard that there would be a “cool” Mormon house on the newest incarnation of MTV’s “The Real World” — “The Real World: Brooklyn“– I thought that the network theat brought us so many reality show cliches had finally […]

Watch Exclusive Clip: ‘New in Town’

posted by dross

In the new movie “New in Town”–which hits theaters January 30–Renee Zellweger plays a businesswoman adjusting to life in a small town. In this clip, a co-worker shares a special gift with her.

‘FNL’ Returns to Its Roots Friday on NBC

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Though it is extremely frustrating that the “Friday Night Lights” season finale has already aired this week on DirecTV, for the rest of us, the Dillon Panthers finally return to play football tomorrow night on NBC after too long of […]

Interview: Director Ed Zwick of ‘Defiance’

posted by Nell Minow

Edward Zwick, the director of the new Holocaust movie “Defiance,” is well-known for both historical dramas (“Glory”) and intimate personal stories (the television series “Thirtysomething”) – and for finding the small moments in big stories and the big emotions in […]

Watch Clip: ‘VeggieTales: Abe and the Amazing Promise’

posted by dross

In this clip from the new ‘VeggieTales’ DVD, out on DVD February 10, Bob the Tomato and Junior Asparagus talk about going back in time and making a movie about Abraham from the Bible.

‘American Idol’ Bikini Girl Edition

posted by nsymmonds

It was the moment millions of households had been waiting for. The moment when every Joe the Plumber and Jane Doe gets to play judge with the lives of people who are strangely certain that they are meant to be […]

Whopper Sacrifice: What Would You do For a Free Burger?

posted by Ellen Leventry

A reader accused me of excess political correctness for saying that I adored Burger King’s Whopper Virgins campaign for its ingenuity, but abhorred it for its nutritional irresponsibility. Well, it seems that I’m no longer in the politically correct camp […]

‘Blessed Is the Match': Holocaust Heroine’s Life, Through Her Mother’s Eyes

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

Sure, you’ve heard of Anne Frank. But what about Hannah Senesh? In 1944, Hungarian-born poet Hannah Senesh was safe in Palestine, working the land with a group of young Zionist immigrants, most of whom had fled European persecution. But when […]

Casting the Bible?

posted by Douglas Howe

If the Bible were being made into a movie, who would play the characters? Paul Asay has a piece on Beliefnet’s current homepage which poses some possibilities. Who would De Niro play? How ’bout Denzel? Adam Sandler? Glenn Close? How […]

‘Numb3rs': An FBI Procedural Explores Faith from Many Angles

posted by Donna Freitas

Lately, I’ve become addicted to the kind of television subgenre known as the “procedural”–which is basically a show like “NCIS,” “Criminal Minds,” and “Fringe,” that yes, has ongoing story arcs, but mainly turn on an episode by episode, crime-solving scenario. […]

Celebrity Coupling and Custody Roundup

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

It’s hard to keep track of what celebs are up to. Starting with the Jen-Brad-Angelina thing: In a recent interview, Jennifer Aniston called Angelina Jolie “uncool” for starting a relationship with her then-husband Brad Pitt. Now Pitt is setting the […]

Dating, Religion and ‘The Sopranos': Pop Culture: Lenses on Ourselves

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

I always wonder what new angle writers will take when tackling the complex issues involved in the dating scene, both in the fiction and non-fiction realms, and what their reasons are. I mean, the books pile up year after year: […]

Go India! ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ Cleans up at Golden Globes

posted by dali

If you turned to People magazine’s website immediately following the Golden Globes, you would’ve read about Kate Winslet’s fabulous two wins, about the late Heath Ledger’s victory, and numerous other highlights. But hardly a word about Danny Boyle’s makes you […]

’24’ is Back…Finally!

posted by Douglas Howe

“24’s” new season starts with two full-speed car crashes, the scary kidnapping of a dad in front of his daughter, Keifer Sutherland’s weathered but tan Jack Bauer on trial before Congress for his actions during the prior seasons, a heroic […]

Thoughts from The Golden Globes

posted by Douglas Howe

Fresh thoughts while my bride (of 23 years) and I watched the 65th Golden Globes, live from the same Beverly Hilton ballroom as our Senior Prom… The simple beauty of an awards show that sits friends with each other around […]

Thoughts from The Golden Globes Red Carpet

posted by Douglas Howe

Fresh thoughts while my family and I are watching these stars, fashions and Red Carpet interviews which have become the first part of the Golden Globe Awards’ Doubleheader… The pre-show is really as much of a show as the show; […]

Willie Aames Spills to Star on Depression, Divorce, Suicide Attempt

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

Whether you knew him as Tommy on “Eight is Enough,” Buddy Lembeck on “Charles in Charge,” “that guy who yelled at the cameraman” on “Celebrity Fit Club,” or even occasional alter ego Bibleman, Willie Aames has been in and out […]

Porn Industry Seeks Bailout — Are You Kidding Me?

posted by Douglas Howe

On a faith-based site such as Beliefnet.com, one wouldn’t expect to read much about the porn industry except perhaps for either a scandal plaguing some religious leader or some fire-and-brimstone preaching from perhaps even the same person. But some news […]

Travolta Tragedy: Don’t Blame L. Ron Hubbard

posted by Donna Freitas

I don’t normally write about celebrity scandal–it’s not my thing. But I came across this thoughtful article, “Travolta Tragedy: Don’t Blame L. Ron Hubbard,” by Kathryn Lofton on a new webzine, “Religion Dispatches,” that I like a lot (the articles […]

Disney: The Narnia Thing Gets Old

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Before pulling out of “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” just before Christmas, Walt Disney Pictures seemed the perfect partner for Walden Media in producing the Chronicles of Narnia series of movies. Family-oriented, fantasy-ready and unembarrassed by Walden’s Christian values, Disney […]

Anne Hathaway Questions Obama’s Rick Warren Pick

posted by dross

Anne Hathaway, star of the upcoming “Bride Wars,” was recently interviewed by E! Online and mentioned how peeved she is that president-elect Barack Obama has chosen pastor and “Purpose Driven Life” author Rick Warren to give the inauguration prayer. When […]

Patrick Swayze Talks About Cancer with Barbara Walters

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Early last year reports surfaced that Patrick Swayze may only have weeks to live. Now almost a year later, the actor opened up to Barbara Walters last night in a TV interview that was, at least for Swayze fans, riveting. […]

‘True Beauty’ a Tad Beastly

posted by Ellen Leventry

Maybe it’s the current melancholic climate in the country, but I found “Superstars of Dance,” NBC’s Eurovision-esque dance competition, to be far more engaging Monday night than the “inner beauty pageant” of “True Beauty.” Now I have nothing against the […]

Watch Exclusive ‘The Walton’s’ Clip: ‘What Would You Do?’

posted by dross

Watch this exclusive clip from “The Walton’s: Season 8″ DVD, where the narrator Earl Hamner, whose family the hit show was based on, talks about how the show celebrated values in American life.

Jon Voight on Israel

posted by dross

In this May 2008 interview, actor Jon Voight, a Catholic, talks about his support of Israel.

Brad Pitt Opens Up About Religion in Rolling Stone

posted by dross

In the new issue of Rolling Stone, writer Mark Binelli got a chance to sit down with Brad Pitt, currently starring in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” a movie anticipated to get its share of Oscar nods, to talk […]

Steve James of ‘At the Death House Door’

posted by Nell Minow

Last spring I wrote about the superb documentary At the Death House Door when I interviewed its subject, Pastor Carroll Pickett, who served 15 years as the death house chaplain to the infamous “Walls” prison unit in Huntsville. The film […]

Prayers for Travolta, Anger from Scientologists

posted by mkress

As a parent, it’s impossible not to feel the anguish that John Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston, are feeling right now as they mourn the death of their son, Jett. It makes you want to hug your kids a […]

The Death of Jett Travolta: What the Media Isn’t Asking

posted by Kris Rasmussen

The first tragic celebrity news of 2009 came way too early as reports quickly appeared on Friday that Jett Travolta, son of actor John Travolta and actress Kelly Preston, died in The Bahamas over the New Year’s holiday. Jett was […]

ABC Television’s ‘True Beauty’

posted by Ellen Leventry

Ahh, the new year! Time for new hopes, new resolutions and a whole new season of reality TV. I’ve already sampled VH-1’s “Confessions of a Teen Idol“–wherein former hearthrobs such as “Baywatch’s” David Chokachi and “The Blue Lagoon’s” Christopher Atkins […]

‘Home': My Top Spiritual Read of 2008

posted by Kris Rasmussen

I don’t find as much time as I used to for snuggling up with a good book, but when I do I relish the opportunity. One of the few fiction books I have had time to read in 2008 has […]

Obama’s Lucky Charms

posted by shuang

What do a Hindu monkey god, a Madonna and child, and a gambler’s chit have in common? They are just some of the tiny good luck trinkets that soon-to-be-president Barack Obama carries with him. They are charms that have been […]

The Palladia Channel: TV’s Best-Kept Secret

posted by Douglas Howe

One of the most raw and inspiring concert performers of our time is Bruce Springsteen, and one of the most recognizably tight bands of all time is his E Street Band. As such, tickets to the concerts are expensive and […]

Previous Posts

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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