Advertisement

Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

Bio

A “Fearless” Fighter’s Transformation

posted by

Jet Li’s “Fearless,” opening today and based on a true story, is a film about finding yourself. Jet Li’s character, Han Yaunjia, has one goal in life: to be the best fighter. And throughout the first half of the movie […]

Advertisement

Jon Stewart on the Pope Controversy

posted by

Advertisement

A Tribute to Ned Flanders

posted by

With the TV season back in gear, how about a tribute to American’s favorite television Christian?

Advertisement

The Truthiness Factor

posted by

Both Kris and Doug, in their own separate ways, downplay the controversy over ABC’s “The Path to 9/11” miniseries. Maybe it’s just that, unlike them, I am a stereotypical East Coast liberal, but I can’t dismiss Democrats’ complaints over the […]

Islam vs. Christianity: Carell vs. Colbert

posted by

Suri’s Appearance Day

posted by

Baby Suri is finally making her public debut. Check it out (and get to see a bit of Katie Couric on her debut day):

God, Emmy, & Hair Loss

posted by

In eschewing the usual “thank you to everyone I’ve ever come into contact with” speech at the Emmy’s last night, “My Name Is Earl” writer Greg Garcia decided to enumerate those for whom he did not feel any gratitude. Among […]

Colbert in a Foxhole (Reading Beliefnet)

posted by

Last night on The Colbert Report, host Stephen Colbert–in his phony pundit persona, of course– mentioned that he’d visited Beliefnet.com (where he goes, he said, “after sinning on other sites”) and found our Atheists in Foxholes article by Rebecca Phillips. […]

What Madonna Controversy?

posted by

I emailed with Liz Rosenberg, Madonna’s longtime publicist, seeking comment from the Material Girl about the brouhaha concerning her on-stage crucifixion. Here’s what she (Rosenberg, not, alas, Madonna herself) had to say about the act that has German authorities reportedly […]

Madonna on the Cross

posted by

Before we get a glimpse of Madonna in handcuffs for her on-stage mock-crucifixion scene–German authorities are threatening prosecution for mocking religion–take a look at the offending scene and judge for yourselves:

Adam Sandler Does His Part for the War Effort

posted by

As if he hasn’t already done enough good for the Jewish people by giving the world “The Hanukkah Song,” Adam Sandler is now donating 400 Sony Playstations to Israelis whose homes were damaged by missiles in the recent conflict with […]

One More on Mad Mel

posted by

I promised myself: No more Mel Gibson blog pieces. But I can’t resist sharing this thought, one insightful point in a long article full of insightful points, by Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman: WAS IT MEL’S RAGE, OR HIS BETTER ANGELS, […]

‘Mel Gibson Is a Very Spiritual Man': A Classic ‘South Park’ Moment

posted by

With Mel’s anti-Semitic antics making headlines, it seems like as good a time as any to revisit a classic “South Park” episode. Though, really, who needs an excuse? (Warning: It’s “South Park,” so there’s some bad language and other potentially […]

The ADL’s Passion for Mel

posted by

The Anti-Defamation League has formally accepted Mel Gibson’s apology for his anti-Semitic outburst last Friday. After calling Mel’s first attempt at apology “unremorseful,” the ADL has helpfully offered to take the “Passion of the Christ” creator up on his offer […]

Colbert vs. Donohue: Judge for Yourself

posted by

Last week, Donna blogged on Stephen Colbert’s interview of Bill Donahue, leader of the Catholic League. It’s now up on youtube.com, so you can judge for yourself: Click to watch.

A New Project for Jennifer Aniston

posted by

Why was Jennifer Aniston’s production partner, Kristin Hahn, visiting Ken Wilber, the founder of the Integral Institute, author, and Beliefnet columnist well known among people interested in integral spirituality and body-mind-spirit connection? Talking movies, according to Ken’s blog. Specifically, talking […]

Where In the World Is Suri Cruise (and Who Wants to Know)?

posted by

I understand the deep-seated need to see The Chosen One, baby Suri, the TomKat spawn. Really, I do. My life also is incomplete without a sighting of the little princess. I also am on board with the Tom-has-gone-nuts crowd, and […]

The Onion Snags a Star Writer

posted by

Editing a faith-focused website like Beliefnet, it’s hard not to dream of the star writers I wish we could get to write for us. And who is bigger than Jesus Christ himself? Alas, he hasn’t been on the freelance market […]

Superman Is Back!

posted by

Superman is back, and not a moment too soon. The world is falling apart, and now even Lex Luthor is being let out of jail. Does the world need a savior? That’s a question pondered by the characters of the […]

Make Your Own Family Tree (With Help From Madea)

posted by

Tyler Perry–and his large black-woman alter-ego, Madea–have conquered stage, screen, and more recently, page, with the best-selling “Dont Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings.” Now, to coincide with the DVD release of his “Madea’s Family Reunion,” the Hollywood […]

Superman’s Identity Crisis

posted by

Steve Skelton–an author and minister–has been going around telling anyone who’ll listen that Superman is a Christ figure. He’s got a good point, what with the whole “only son sent to earth as a savior” angle. Now The Advocate tells […]

Entertainment Weekly Tells the World: Read Idol Chatter!

posted by

Idol Chatter is humbled and just a little bit giddy at being named among Entertainment Weekly’s top 100 entertainment websites. In a feature titled, appropriately, “Bookmark This Page!” the magazine’s editors listed their favorite 25 sites, and asked the editors […]

“The Omen” of Satan

posted by

My wife couldn’t believe I was interested in attending a screening of “The Omen.” Perhaps being invited to a June 5 screening (as opposed to the 6-6-06 opening date) made me feel better about it. But I think I’d do […]

An “Average Joe” Wedding

posted by

A big Idol Chatter mazel-tov goes to Adam Mesh on his recent wedding! The charismatic, fan-favorite runner-up of NBC’s original “Average Joe” and its follow-up “Average Joe: Adam Returns” tied the knot May 28 with his girlfriend, Jessica Malca. (I […]

A Quarter Century of AIDS

posted by

Amidst the coverage of this week’s 25th anniversary of the identification of the disease that’s come to be known as AIDS, Idol Chatter would like to take a moment to remember the pop-culture figures who’ve been lost to the disease. […]

Where You Can Be Safe From ‘The Da Vinci Code’

posted by

It’s a good thing Idol Chatter didn’t wait until its long-awaited Solomon Islands vacation to see “The Da Vinci Code.” The N.Y. Times reports that the small Pacific nation plans to ban the controversial movie… even though there are no […]

Faith in “Doubt”

posted by

I heard a sermon on Broadway last night, and it wasn’t in the nearby Church of Scientology. It is the opening scene of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Doubt,” and it sets the tone for a powerful play that poses the questions: […]

Homer Simpson on the Jews (and Charlie Brown)

posted by

On last night’s “Simpsons” season finale, Homer had the following astute observation about his marriage to Marge: “We been through more hardships than the Jews and Charlie Brown put together.” So who did go through more challenges and troubles: The […]

The ‘Da Vinci’ Movie: As Good (or Bad) as the Book

posted by

“The Da Vinci Code” movie, like the novel it’s based on, is ridiculous, obvious, over-the-top–and yet oddly compelling, a guilty pleasure that wraps interesting pseudohistory and pseudotheology into a shoot-’em-up thriller. In other words, if you liked the book, you’ll […]

First ‘Da Vinci’ Reviews: Bad for the Film, Good for Its Opponents

posted by

The first reviews of “The Da Vinci Code” are out after its debut at Cannes. And the verdict, seemingly unanimous, is: thumbs down. One critic called it “an unwieldy, bloated puzzle,” and another said it is “a stodgy, grim thing.” […]

Saying Good-bye to a Great President

posted by

We knew this would happen. Every presidency must end. This Sunday, we’ll bid adieu to President Josiah Bartlett, his family, and the aides who worked tirelessly for him these past seven years on “The West Wing.” “The West Wing” was […]

Jesus Christ, Superstar/Director

posted by

What would Jesus direct? That was the provocative question debated at a panel discussion I attended as part of the Tribeca Film Festival here in New York. On the panel were four Hollywood insiders who are also Christian: the actor […]

A “United 93″ Meditation

posted by

In the debate over “United 93,” supporters and detractors of the Sept. 11 film tend to agree that Paul Greengrass has made a poweful and sensitive movie; disagreement has centered on whether it’s too soon for the country to re-encounter […]

The Greatest Movie You Don’t Want to See

posted by

I saw “United 93,” so you don’t have to. Which isn’t to say it’s a bad movie, because it’s excellent, maybe even great–original, innovative, riveting, heartbreaking, unforgettable. Many had feared that the film would be exploitative, but “United 93″ is […]

Spotlight on Walden Media

posted by

Kudos to Walden Media on its lengthy profile in this week’s Entertainment Weekly. Though not (yet) a household name, Walden is the company behind “The Chronicles of Narnia” movie, as well as “Holes,” “Because of Winn-Dixie,” and the upcoming “Hoot” […]

For God, for Scripture, and for Sushi

posted by

Aviad Cohen–you may know him as 50 Shekel, though then again, you probably don’t know of him at all–has found a new way to get the word out about his latest passions. He’s started a blog called Scripture & Sushi, […]

Phew! ‘Da Vinci Code’ Movie Can Proceed as Planned

posted by

At least one “Da Vinci Code” mystery has been solved… as far as the High Court in London is concerned. According to Reuters, the British court decided that “while Brown may have copied bits of the 1982 book ‘The Holy […]

The Softer Side of Jerry Jenkins

posted by

When you hear the name Jerry Jenkins, the first thing you think of probably is not “emotional love story.” But the king (or co-king, with Tim LaHaye) of Christian apocalyptic storytelling is much more than just “The Left Behind” series. […]

Don’t Miss a Day of Idol Chatter!

posted by

We’d like to take this opportunity for a quick and shameless public service announcement: Beliefnet is pleased to announce the launch of BeliefBuzz, a daily newsletter featuring the best of our entertainment and pop-culture content, including, of course, the latest […]

Happy Opening Day!

posted by

It’s common these days to refer to Super Bowl Sunday as a civic holiday, but to me there’s no more significant sports-oriented festival than baseball’s Opening Day–just as there is no more spiritual sport than baseball, with its focus on […]

Matisyahu: Too Big for Gratitude?

posted by

The Hasidic reggae singer Matisyahu is everywhere these days–Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, record store displays, iTunes most-downloaded lists–but the phenomenal, and surprising, success he’s found doesn’t seem to be enough for him. The New York Times reports that, on the […]

Fighting Evil (Nonviolently), One Player at a Time

posted by

It’s been blamed for sparking aggression and contributing to American kids’ obesity, but now the beleagured videogame is being given a higher purpose: Toppling dictatorships and spreading human rights through nonviolent struggle. No, “Doom” has not suddenly gone soft. This […]

How the Mighty Have Disappointed

posted by

I read with sadness about the death of Kirby Puckett, the charismatic former star of the Minnesota Twins baseball team. Dead after suffering a stroke Sunday, he was only 45. Hard working, charming, exhilarating, dedicated, Puckett was one of my […]

Idol Chatter’s Handy-Dandy Oscars Refresher

posted by

Now that the winners of the Beliefnet Film Awards have been announced (click here if you haven’t seen them yet), we can finally turn our attention wholeheartedly those other awards, which are being given out Sunday night. Since there’s not […]

A Martyr’s Death

posted by

I’d never heard of Sophie Scholl until last week, a fact I am embarrassed to admit, especially now that I’ve seen “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days,” an Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. Scholl is today a national […]

Forget the Oscars… Introducing the Beliefnet Film Awards

posted by

What was the best spiritual film of 2005? I’m not talking about the latest “Left Behind” flick, or even “The Gospel,” but rather: What big, mainstream film offered both the highest-quality filmmaking and a meaningful, thoughtful spiritual message? That’s the […]

The Bachelor: From Paris to the Lion’s Den

posted by

Last night’s “The Bachelor: Paris” had a truly jaw-dropping moment. For those of you who haven’t watched one of the last seven seasons, when the eponymous bachelor gets down to four ladies, he goes to spend some time with their […]

Who Would Jesus Root For?

posted by

In his book “Season to Season,” Joseph L. Price declares, that for Americans, “sports constitute a form of popular religion.” And while it can be argued that sporting spirituality is just as strong across the pond, there is perhaps no […]

Will and Dis-Grace-ful?

posted by

On an upcoming episode of “Will and Grace,” Jack’s “OutTV” network is bought by a Christian TV network… great idea. Casting Britney Spears as a conservative Christian who hosts a cooking segment on the new network… another great idea. Calling […]

‘The Aristocrats’ Faithfully Transmits the Faith

posted by

It may seem like a movie such as “The Aristocrats,” out this week on DVD, would hardly be fodder for a self-respecting spirituality blog like Idol Chatter, but My Friend the Rabbi offered up some wise insights about this film, […]

An American at Home in India: Sheetal Sheth in “Looking for Comedy”

posted by

Albert Brooks may be getting all the press for “Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World,” but his costar, Sheetal Sheth, deserves a moment in the spotlight, too. In the film, Sheth plays the young assistant hired to help Brooks […]

Superman Converts!

posted by

The much-anticipated “Superman Returns” won’t be released for several months, but the trailer is out and contains this shocker: He’s become a Christ figure. We’re used to thinking of Superman as something of a Jewish tale, but it seems like […]

Wanted: More Hate in “Munich”

posted by

I finally saw Steven Spielberg’s “Munich” yesterday, and I emerged–after a way-too-long 2 hours and 44 minutes–about as ambivalent about it as I was beforehand. Certainly, as a suspense-thriller flick, it works. The acting is top-notch, the production values strong, […]

Karma: The Newest Religion in the World!

posted by

“By next season we are going to start a religion. It’s going to be all over the world. Karma is taking over!” –“My Name is Earl” exec producer Greg Garcia, in Entertainment WeeklyGreat idea! Why has no one thought of […]

They Love Us in Allentown!

posted by

Idol Chatter and its editor are profiled in the Allentown, Pa., Morning Call newspaper by Jessica Berthold, who writes a column called “Bloggernaut.” Holding back tears, Idol Chatter would like to thank Jessica, the Morning Call, all our readers, our […]

Blog of Daniel

posted by

With NBC’s “The Book of Daniel” debuting tomorrow night, the Episcopal Church is weighing in on the drama–which centers around an Episcopal priest and his troubled family–via a blog of its own, cleverly titled “The Blog of Daniel.” Idol Chatter […]

ABC Rights the Wrongs of the Justice System

posted by

I caught the preview episode on Sunday night of ABC’s new “In Justice,” which will be airing on Friday nights, starting this week. If you like court shows, it’s worth a look-see. The series focuses on the lawyers of the […]

“Book of Daniel”: The Protests Start Early

posted by

You’ll have to wait for next week to see our full coverage of NBC’s “The Book of Daniel,” a drama premiering Jan. 6 about Daniel, an Epsicopal priest dealing with life at home and at his parish. But the inevitable […]

“The Office” Nails It, Week After Week

posted by

I’ve been waiting for an excuse to blog about “The Office,” some religion angle to rear its satiric head in the NBC sitcom that, like its British namesake, skewers the absurdities of the typical desk job. But aside from a […]

A Hip New Sound for Hanukkah

posted by

We Jews often whine about the supposed lack of good Hanukkah music. The Hanukkah songs most Jews learned as kids don’t hold a candle (so to speak) to such memorable tunes as “Little Drummer Boy” or “Santa Claus Is Coming […]

Bill O’Reilly Takes the Christ Out of Christmas!

posted by

I vowed not to wade into the so-called “War on Christmas,” given that (a) the whole idea of Christmas being under attack seems absurd to me aside from the occasional–and often laughably ridiculous–excesses by some people, and (b) even as […]

Springtime for Hitler

posted by

“The Producers,” the movie based on the Broadway musical based on the classic Mel Brooks movie, opens today in some cities, and that adds yet one more to my quickly accumulating list of must-see new films. The Broadway show was […]

Calling All Screenwriters of Faith

posted by

Hoping to get a push from the “Narnia” release, an Atlanta-based organization called Art Within is “looking for the next C.S. Lewis,” according to a press release. The 10-year-old group runs a year-long screenwriting fellowship program, “Art Within Labs,” that […]

Law & Order Goes to Shul

posted by

“Law & Order” takes such care to get New York right–its people, its cultures, its attitude–that I am always surprised when it messes up the small stuff. Last night’s episode revolved around a synagogue that couldn’t seem to decide whether […]

From “The Passion” to the Holocaust

posted by

So Mel Gibson is making a Holocaust movie. As the New York Times reports, Gibson’s production company is in the early stages of producing an ABC miniseries based on the memoirs of a Dutch Jew who was hidden and saved […]

Everything I Know About Christmas I Learned From Linus

posted by

This Jew’s second-favorite Christmas tradition is happening tonight: the Charlie Brown special. (My #1 favorite is Chinese food and a rented movie on Christmas eve.) It’s not an exaggeration to say that as a kid, the most meaningful lesson I […]

Is Narnia Red or Blue?

posted by

Peter Steinfels, in this week’s New York Times “Beliefs” column, writes of the latest Hollywood-induced skirmish in the culture wars: “Narnia, it seems, is in danger of becoming a red state.” That’s because evangelicals nationwide are seeing the film as […]

Disney’s ‘Blasphemy’?

posted by

To say the Christian world is excited about the ‘Narnia’ movie is an understatement. Churches are planning mass viewings of the movie, groups have created Narnia-pegged ‘outreach tools,’ and many Christians see the film as the greatest opportunity for evangelism […]

Ancient Chatter

posted by

Welcome to the newly formatted Idol Chatter! If you’re looking to read a whole lot more about the spirituality of your favorite shows and celebrities, have no fear; you can access the Idol Chatter archives by clicking here.

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 »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.