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Tag: Religion (41-48 of 48)

Quote of the Day: 'Style by Jury' Edition

"Looks like she might be a Mennonite." –The man cast as "Web designer" on a recent rerun of Canadian makeover series Style by Jury. (The show, my new all-out obsession, airs weekdays at noon on NBC in NYC.) Seriously, look it up and just watch the "jury" segments at the beginning of each episode. This show is going to be on my Must List forever.

Is Josh Groban in league with the Prince of Darkness?

Joshdevil_lAnd the biggest-selling CD of 2007 is…get ready…Josh Groban’s Noël?! Yep, the adult-contemporary milquetoast outsold everyone else this year — and what’s more, his inexplicable megasmash landed at number one on Billboard‘s albums chart again this week, which also makes it the first-ever Christmas album to top the chart for four straight weeks. Yeesh. High School Musical 2 would have been a way less embarrassing year-end champ.

How can this be? How on earth has Groban’s latest beverage-coaster managed to defy the CD market’s downward spiral? Well, let me put it this way. EW’s Chris Willman happened to notice that the thoroughly lame Noël sold exactly 669,000 CDs this week. That’s just one inverted digit away from, you guessed it, 666,000. As Dana Carvey’s Church Lady might say: Could Groban’s sales secret be…Satan?

I know some of you may think this is a bit of a stretch. But I’m standing behind this as the most important supernatural pop-culture revelation since PopWatch’s Jason Adams found Rachael Ray’s cookbooks in the “Occult” section (speaking of which, she’s been doing pretty well for herself this week, too!) and/or that guy on YouTube “proved” that all my favorite rappers were working for the infernal Illuminati. Who dares to disagree?

A Catholic critic might lose his job over 'The Golden Compass'

Goldenbear_lThe Golden Compass may have pleased neither general audiences nor fans of the Philip Pullman book nor the bean-counters at New Line — but the only person who may lose his job because of the movie is a critic who gave it a positive review. That would be Harry Forbes, who reviews movies for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and whose review found the movie an exciting children’s fantasy from which most of the anti-clerical content had been excised. "Is Pullman trying to undermine anyone’s belief in God? Leaving thebooks aside and focusing on what has ended up on screen, the script canreasonably be interpreted in the broadest sense as an appeal againstthe abuse of political power," the review read. This at a time when the Catholic League and other Christian protesters were warning that the movie would inspire kids to read Pullman’s His Dark Materials books and turn them into atheists. Forbes’ bosses responded by pulling the review from circulation, and now some Catholic leaders are calling for Forbes’ firing, noting that he also gave positive reviews to Brokeback Mountain and Rent, in which he cited those films’ artistic achievements while acknowledging that their gay content would likely offend many Catholic viewers.

Whether or not you agree with Forbes’ taste, you have to give him credit for understanding the nature of movies in a way that his detractors do not. Movies are not fortune cookies, easily cracked open to reveal a pithy and explicit message. They’re more like dreams, full of ideas and images that may contradict each other and that are subject to multiple interpretations. The best movies raise questions but don’t necessarily offer answers; they make you think but do not tell you what to think. They spark your imagination.


James Cameron, please get back to your day job

Speaking of the Oscar program, it’s nine years now since Titanic maestro James Cameron declared himself "the King of the World!" And while that distinction is still up for debate, there’s no denying that the director has done just about everything in the world during the past almost-decade — except make and release a feature film. He did do those giant-screen underwater documentaries, and a few weeks ago there was the big news that he’s finally putting together his long-awaited Avatar project. Yet now, just as I was starting to get psyched for that, he comes out with this Discovery Channel doc on Christ’s supposed tomb. It sounds interesting enough, and I don’t want to get into speculating whether having made Titanic exactly qualifies Cameron to get all historical and scientific over Jesus. (Actually, what the heck: it doesn’t.) But I can’t help but thinking that old J.C. (James Cameron, that is) is just spinning his wheels here, still not fully decided on what to do next or how to do it. Of course, I can’t blame him for having trouble following up the biggest movie of all time, but let me offer this kick in the knickers: James, baby, time to finish with the nature films already and get back to the blockbusters!

The 10 Commandments according to 'Grey's Anatomy'

Grey_lSo did you hear about the Atlanta-area church doing a five-part Sunday series on morality as it relates to Grey’s Anatomy? (If my hometown congregation were that hip, I might stop inciting my nieces and nephews to misbehave during holiday masses and pay attention for once!) "Even though I don’t like the show and don’t agree with the morals of some of the characters, it is the No. 1 show in that age group [18 to 35]," says Dr. Richard Hunter, pastor of Snellville United Methodist Church. "And if that many young people are watching it, I should be talking about the issues raised on the show." (Perhaps he means issues like personal hygiene, as addressed by McDreamy and Meredith in the photo at left.)

Now, heaven help Dr. Hunter if he’s looking to PopWatch for assistance with his sermons, but reading about his efforts to reach the highly coveted 18-35 demographic — by the way, does no one care about the 65-and-up set anymore? No? — gave me a flash of inspiration… to whip up an additional batch of 10 commandments, Grey’s style.

11. Thou shall not allow thy children (literal or figurative) to get out of hand. (Miranda Bailey)
12. Thou shall not committ adultery — short-term or long-term — with anyone who could be described as a McSteamy. (Addison Montgomery-Shepherd and Callie Torres)
13. Thou shall try not to be so consistently grating when providing thy voiceover commentaries. (Meredith Grey)
14. Thou shall not (temporarily) kill thy significant other — even if the end goal is to score him or her an organ transplant. (Izzie Stevens)
15. Though shall not bear false withness about thy palsied hand. (Preston Burke)
16. Thou shall stop being a workaholic. (Richard Webber)
17. Thou shall not covet thy recently bereaved ex. (Alex Karev)
18. Thou shall not use fried chicken to woo a woman. (George O’Malley)
19. Thou shall continue to amuse with thy patented brand of bitchery. (Cristina Yang)
20. Thou shall stop lurking in the elevators. (Derek Shepherd)

So there you have it, PopWatchers. Can any of you think of additional Grey’s commandments? And what other shows could pastors use to inspired their flocks? (See you in hell!)

addCredit(“Grey’s Anatomy: Karen Neal/ABC”)

I'm Probably Going to Hell for Saying This, Vol. 1

16120__black_lI’m probably going to hell for saying this, but I don’t see anything wrong with Santa Claus wanting to murder a bunch of Hollywood pretty people on Christmas day. Those damn kids were probably naughty this year, anyway!

In case you’re wondering if I drank too much eggnog at the PopWatch holiday party — er, that’s beside the point. Here’s my beef: On Dec. 25, the mischievous, twinkle-eyed filmmakers who brought you Final Destination will be stuffing our stockings with Black Christmas (pictured), a remake of the 1974 splatter flick in which a psycho dressed in a Santa suit preys on a bunch of sorority girls. But according to some outraged Christian groups, releasing Black Christmas on Jesus’ birthday isn’t exactly their idea of spreading "Joy to the World!" holiday cheer. Sample sentiment: "Our most sacred holiday, actually a holy day, is being assaulted," according to a spokesperson from Operation Just Say Merry Christmas.

As a Christian myself, I understand the complaint. And yet, at the risk of sounding like a heretic, I say "Bah, humbug!" to my people’s lack of imagination. Where’s their sense of humor? Some homicidal Ho! Ho! Ho! during the most wonderful time of the year — well, that’s just funny. That they can’t see that irks me so much, I kinda want to buy a ticket to this movie just to protest them. Moreover, I think these narrow-minded activists are missing their own point, which is actually this: the "reason for the season" — the birth of Jesus Christ some 2006 years ago — is being forgotten, and worse, increasingly replaced with a fantasy figure that has become our patron saint of Buying Stuff. Personally, I don’t understand why they wouldn’t be grateful for a movie that demonizes a dude that some zealous believers refer to as "Satan Claus." Here’s hoping on Christmas morning, these true believers will find a bottle of chill pills — and a box of cleverness — waiting for them next to the fireplace. As for me, I’ll be cheering on this Bad Santa — and then roasting like a chestnut in hell.

Snap Judgment: 'Dancing With the Stars' cast

10316__mario_lCheese aficionados, mark your calendars: We’re officially less than a month away from the Sept. 12 season premiere of Dancing With the Stars, and the cast for the show’s third installment got announced on today’s Good Morning America. The 11 folks who’ll straddle the tricky line between career rehabilitation and immolation include: Jerry Springer, Vivica A. Fox, MSNBC host Tucker Carlson (as Susman warned you Friday), Blossom‘s Joseph ”Joey” Lawrence, NFL star Emmit Smith, Saved by the Bell‘s Mario Lopez (pictured), one-hit wonder Willa ”I Wanna Be Bad” Ford, High School Musical‘s Monique Coleman, country star Sara Evans, Harry Hamlin (husband of the show’s new co-host, Lisa Rinna), and Shanna Moakler of Meet the Barkers.

Now seeing as former pop heartthrobs Joey McIntyre and Drew Lachey finished third and first respectively in DWTS‘ first two seasons, I’d say Lawrence has a good shot to go far this year, provided he brings what he brung to his super-dope video for 1993’s ”Nothin My Love Can’t Fix.” Ch-ch-check it.

That said, aren’t all these chumps really running for second money up against Copperhead? Seriously, the way Vivica A. Fox’s middle initial puts the "A" in ass-kicking, she could probably slay that bow-tied talking-head dude with a simple sideways glance, don’tcha think? Carrie Ann Inaaaahhhba, you’ve been warned.

addCredit(“Mario Lopez: Michael Buckner/Getty Images”)

What's Weirder? (Devotion Edition)

What’s weirder?

A. Michael Jackson is among the artists being considered to set some of the late Pope John Paul II’s prayers to music, according to Father Giuseppe Moscati, head of the group that organizes musical events at the Vatican.

B. B.B. King is offering an autographed ”Lucille” guitar as a reward for information that helps him find his missing 2-year-old Maltese, Lucille, who disappeared in West Hollywood last week.

C. British audiences have voted Homer Simpson the most romantic TV husband of all time.

D. Mariah Carey likes to eat in bed, and wear a bib while she’s doing it, she tells Marie Claire magazine.

E. Brian Boitano appreciates the way he’s parodied on South Park, and is negotiating to win the rights to sell T-shirts for charity emblazoned with his animated image from the Comedy Central series. (Thanks, TV Tattle, for the link!)

(Click the jump for Mike’s answer…)


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