As a subject matter Religion divides as much as it unifies...Read on as I underscore that idea for this latest edition of Cinema Stew:
World Entertainment News Network is first to stir the pot...
Christian Groups Fume Over Christmas Horror Film
Christian groups have slammed the remake of cult 1974 movie Black Christmas, because they find the horror movie "offensive."
The Glen Morgan-directed film stars Oliver Hudson, Katie Cassidy, Lacey Chabert and Michelle Trachtenberg and centers on a group of US college students who battle a slasher over the Christmas holidays. The movie will be released on Christmas Day in US cinemas, much to the horror of Christian groups.
Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, says, "To have a movie that emphasizes murder and mayhem at Christmas, a time of celebration and joy around the world seems to be ill founded."
Jennifer Giroux, co-founder of Operation Just Say Merry Christmas, adds, "The use of religious music 'Silent Night' and the nativity set on the front porch in one scene are insensitive to Christians. It's not enough to ignore and omit Christmas, but now it has to be offended, insulted and desecrated. Our most sacred holiday, actually a holy day, is being assaulted."
This groups are, of course entitled to be "outraged" but I'm afraid the idea of using Christmas as the backdrop for a horror film has been around for over thirty years--The original Black Christmas (1974), Silent Night, Deadly Night and Gremlins (1984)--to name a few...If you find the film offensive you have the right not to buy a ticket
Maybe all of those groups are just in a bad mood over this next item from Studio Briefing
Christian Group Regards 'Nativity' Flop As Setback
The disappointing box-office performance of The Nativity Story represents a "very serious setback" for people of faith who were hoping that Hollywood would produce more films for them, according to Ted Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission.
Baehr, who also writes film reviews for his self-published Movieguide, told the conservative WorldNetDaily that Hollywood generally makes "extremely bigoted, anti-Christian movies" because they do well at the box office. He cited such films as Borat and Jackass 2.
He blamed New Line marketers for failing to get the word out early to churches, pointing out that Mel Gibson had begun promoting The Passion of the Christ nine months before it was released and that Disney had distributed Chronicles of Narnia study guides to nearly ever church before that film opened.
As of Tuesday, The Nativity Story, which cost $35 million to make, had taken in only $25 million in ticket sales. Meanwhile, conservative Christian groups have launched a "Stand Up for Christmas" campaign to encourage churchgoers to support the film by going to see it this week.
It's as I've said before--You can't always blame the marketing of a movie for its failure...Ads for the film were everywhere. The push was definitely on prior to its release. Audiences know what they like--besides, the competition seems a bit more heavy this year--than it was when The Passion came along...
Be afraid, be very afraid if this two part story comes true:
Cruise Planning Scientology Movie Starring Ex-Spice Girl?
Tom Cruise may be planning to follow in the footsteps of John Travolta and make a movie based on the ideas of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
According to the London Daily Star, Cruise has already cast former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, the wife of soccer star David Beckham, to star in the movie, titled The Thetan in the role of an "alien bride."
In Hubbard's thinking, "the thetan" is the spiritual part of man that advances from one lifetime to the next, inhabiting the minds and bodies of generations of individuals.
According to the tabloid, Cruise is financing the movie on his own after the major studios rejected it. Travolta's $73-million movie based on Hubbard's sci-fi novel Battlefield Earth was a major flop, grossing just $21 million at the domestic box office.
No Denials From Tom or Posh About Reported Scientology Movie
Expected denials of British press reports that Tom Cruise was planning on funding a Scientology-influenced movie, The Thetan, and had cast Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham in the lead failed to materialize [this past] Tuesday, leading some to conclude that the seemingly unlikely project may in fact be in the works.
Spokespersons for Cruise and Beckham remained curiously silent about the report, which first appeared in the London tabloid, The Star.
If Cruise wants to make the film fine--but I would have thought he would have stayed away from the subject while still in career rehabilitation mode...Prediction the movie, if made, is gonna suck.
That wraps Stew for now...