Movies

By Brent Bozell | and By Tim Graham | April 26, 2014 | 8:03 AM EDT

The accountants in Hollywood don’t have to believe in Heaven to notice the box-office numbers on recent movies with religious themes. “Heaven Is For Real” opened in the days before Easter and grossed more than $22 million, coming in second for the weekend, just $3 million behind the latest “Captain America” blockbuster (in its third week). The movie‘s per-screen average — $8,895 — was far above the rest of the top five.

“Heaven Is For Real,” like many movies, is based on a best-selling book. It’s a real-life story about four-year-old Colton Burpo and his visions of Heaven after an emergency surgery in 2003. Within three weeks of its November 2010 release, the book debuted at number three on the New York Times bestseller list. Eventually it made its way to number one.

By Tim Graham | April 18, 2014 | 1:26 PM EDT

Ten years ago, Mel Gibson unveiled his massively successful movie The Passion of The Christ. It came out on Ash Wednesday (February 25, 2004), but is often re-viewed on Good Friday. It had a worldwide box-office gross of over $611 million.

In our Special Report on religion coverage that year, we explored how the TV networks attacked Gibson's movie as extreme, divisive, and potentially harmful  -- one CBS reporter even called it an "ecumenical suicide bomb" -- and how that differed from their fascination with theories in The DaVinci Code:

By Tim Graham | March 23, 2014 | 9:03 AM EDT

In the world of Hollywood politics, U.S. News & World Report is hyping "Peter Pan's Lily-White Tiger Lily Problem."  Warner Brothers is making a movie called "Pan" (due in July 2015), and the Indian princess Tiger Lily is being played by white actress Rooney Mara.

“This casting choice is particularly shameful for a children’s movie,” an outraged petition said. “Telling children their role models must all be white is unacceptable.” Tierney Sneed at U.S. News highlighted how this "stings" for the Native American actors:

By Matthew Philbin | March 12, 2014 | 8:32 AM EDT

So who ya gonna believe: Paramount or Director Darren Aronofsky?  Either “Noah” is sure to be a hit with the 86 percent of religious people who are aware of the film (Paramount), or it’s the “least Biblical Biblical film ever made” (Aronofsky).

It's all a bit confusing right now for the film whose ending has been reshot and recut, gone one way and another, signalled a Hollywood re-embrace of the Biblical epic or Hollywood imposing its values on the Good Book. Try to make sense of this March 11 paragraph from Huffpo:

By Brent Baker | March 9, 2014 | 12:48 AM EST

In a fun feature on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, “Lie Witness News,” he sends a camera crew out onto the streets of Los Angeles to ask pedestrians about events that have not happened. But the people are too embarrassed or ill-informed to realize the fake-out and offer their opinions on the non-existent premise.

Monday’s (March 3) Special Report with Bret Baier ended with an excerpt from an “Oscars Edition,” proving, Baier explained, how “the locals were not exactly well-versed on this year’s top flicks.” Painful hilarity ensues.

By Tim Graham | March 2, 2014 | 8:58 AM EST

In the Washington Post’s free commuter tabloid Express on Thursday, writer Kristen Page-Kirby wrote a little “Film Riffs” feature about Jesus movies headlined “Jesus Is Magic” (yep, also a title of a snide Sarah Silverman special).

Page-Kirby explained that “In ‘Son of God,’ out Friday, Diogo Morgado plays Jesus of Nazareth, a homeless rabbi who spent a chunk of his childhood as a refugee. Jesus can be quite the box-office draw.” She then listed five movies, none of which were the massive Mel Gibson box-office hit we all remember from 2004. Guess what topped the list instead?

By Mark Finkelstein | February 28, 2014 | 2:51 PM EST

Reading the transcript isn't enough. Roll the video, listen carefully, and at the end you'll catch Ronan Farrow's nervous little laugh as he asks an African-American guest whether, in assessing movie-industry diversity, it "matters" that Steve McQueen, the black director whose film has been nominated for an Oscar, is British.

Such are the PC pitfalls once one wades into the bog of diversity bean-counting.  But beyond the specific subject matter, Farrow's teensy twitter suggests, as other critics have noted, as here and here, how green and unsure of himself is the young man MSNBC hopes to make a star. View the video after the jump.

By Chuck Norris | February 25, 2014 | 9:27 AM EST

I don't have to explain to anyone how television is much more risque, with some programs being downright lewd, than it was decades ago. But I want to tell you about something that can change the course of values in television and movies.

Once upon a time, about as edgy as it got was Barbara Eden's "I Dream of Jeannie" character, who showed her trim tummy, and Elvis swinging his pelvis on "The Ed Sullivan Show" — though the broadcast screen only captured the upper half of his body as he did.

By Cal Thomas | February 5, 2014 | 7:30 PM EST

In a world where Woody Allen can get a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes at the same time his adopted daughter accuses him of sexually abusing her when she was a child (Allen has repeatedly denied it), and where a film "The Wolf of Wall Street" sets a record for use of the F-word, it is a wonderment that an obscure, low-budget film called "Alone Yet Not Alone" has had its Best Original Song Oscar nomination withdrawn for allegedly violating ethical rules. 

By Ken Shepherd | January 31, 2014 | 3:48 PM EST

Yesterday my colleague Scott Whitlock noted how the CBS This Morning program had sidestepped a controversy in Hollywood regarding the revocation of an Oscar nomination for a song featured in a Christian-produced motion picture titled Alone Yet Not Alone. Academy officials charge it was improperly promoted

But apparently not every liberal media outlet is ignoring the story. Some, like the Daily Beast are covering it in order to revel in the news and to smear the folks who produced the film.

By Mark Finkelstein | January 30, 2014 | 8:05 AM EST

Although to date there has been no evidence directly tying him to either matter, Chris Christie has been accused of playing politics with the GW bridge closure and the granting of hurricane-relief funds to Hoboken.  So naturally it's fair game to analogize Christie to the head of cinema's most infamous, murderous crime syndicate.

Fair game, if you're MSNBC that is.  Today's Morning Joe segment on Christie treated viewers to a 'Govfather' logo, based on the famous puppet-master logo from "The Godfather."  View the video and images of the original and MSNBC logos after the jump.

By Brent Bozell | January 21, 2014 | 10:48 PM EST

What happens when a teenager who came into the world as an unplanned teenage pregnancy ends up with an unplanned pregnancy of her own? Will she bend to all the “helpful” insistence that she needs to exercise her “right to choose” before she is, as one callous presidential contender put it, “punished with a baby”?

This is the plot of “Gimme Shelter,” a new movie that departs from the feminist pack mentality of Hollywood. Agnes “Apple” Bailey -- played in a breakout role by “High School Musical” star Vanessa Hudgens -- looks like a poster child for Planned Parenthood at the film’s beginning: sixteen years old, down and out after living in a series of foster homes, and now living with a drug-addicted mother who sometimes beats her.