Reuters reports that some British Muslims don’t seem to like how their faith and/or ethnicity is portrayed in the media:”There is no such thing as a Muslim good guy,” said Arzu Merali, co-author of a report by the Islamic Human Rights Commission that argued that movies played a crucial role in fostering a crude and exaggerated image.The commission’s study, based on soundings taken from almost 1,250 British Muslims, also found that 62 percent felt the media was “Islamophobic” and 14… Read more

My interview with Alex Kendrick, the director/co-writer/star of Facing the Giants, is now up at BC Christian News; a shorter version will run in the paper that comes out this weekend.And just for the record, I don’t think the film is as bad as some of the reviews south of the border led me to expect. In fact, I am rather impressed with it, on the level of “production values” at any rate, when I consider that it was produced… Read more

A LITTLE controversy can go a long way. Facing the Giants, a modest evangelical film made by a church in Georgia with a cast and crew made up almost entirely of volunteers and amateurs, got loads of free publicity last summer when it was rated PG for “thematic elements” — a rating that many pundits and politicians interpreted as a slam against Christianity. As a result, the movie — produced by Sherwood Baptist Church for a mere $100,000 and released… Read more

CanWest News Service, via the Ottawa Citizen and the Montreal Gazette, etc., has caught up to that two-week-old story about 20th Century Fox threatening to withhold its movies from Canadian theatres due to the rampant piracy in Montreal:As much as 50 per cent of the world’s pirated movies come from Canada, prompting the film industry to threaten to delay the release of new titles in this country.According to an investigation by Twentieth Century Fox, most of the illegal recording, or… Read more

Variety reports that September Dawn, starring Terence Stamp as Brigham Young and Jon Voight as a Mormon bishop, is due for a semi-wide release May 4. The film concerns the Mountain Meadows Massacre, which took place on September 11 (!), 1857:The massacre was the subject of 2004 docu “Burying the Past” from U. of Utah professor Brian Patrick. Over 100 pioneers who were traveling in a wagon train to California perished in the Mormon-directed attack; descendants of the victims assert… Read more

For what it’s worth, I have received official word that Epic Movie, which opens this Friday, will not be screened in advance of its release date at all. Ordinarily, I would shrug my shoulders and say who cares, but this particular parody takes aim at some of the franchises that I have been paying close attention to lately, so I kind of feel obliged to see it in a way that I never felt obliged to see Date Movie, Not… Read more

Congratulations to Deepa Mehta on becoming the first Canadian director whose name isn’t Denys Arcand to get nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Three of Arcand’s films — Decline of the American Empire (1986), Jesus of Montreal (1989) and The Barbarian Invasions (2003) — have been nominated over the years, and on the third try, he got lucky. But until Mehta’s Water (2005) was nominated this morning, no other director of a non-English film produced by… Read more

Whoa. I am so far behind on my blogging, what with my wife going back to work this week and me becoming the “primary caregiver” to the twins and all, but I really, really, really cannot pass up the opportunity to link to this story from the Hollywood Reporter:MGM has acquired North American distribution rights to “Myriam, Mother of the Christ,” the biblical story of Mary. The screenplay is written by Benedict Fitzgerald, who penned “The Passion of the Christ.”The… Read more

Here are the figures for the past weekend, arranged from those that owe the highest percentage of their take to the Canadian box office to those that owe the lowest.Blood Diamond — CDN $7,780,615 — N.AM $50,743,000 — 15.3%Children of Men — CDN $3,728,853 — N.AM $27,481,000 — 13.6%Alpha Dog — CDN $1,526,813 — N.AM $11,697,000 — 13.1%Arthur and the Invisibles — CDN $1,026,637 — N.AM $9,296,000 — 11.0%The Pursuit of Happyness — CDN $11,967,242 — N.AM $146,511,000 — 8.2%Pan’s… Read more

Ouch. Not only were the cartoons featured in the most recent Walt Disney Treasures sets badly framed, UltimateDisney.com is now reporting that the series may be discontinued altogether.The evidence for this is an e-mail purportedly written by Leonard Maltin, who has hosted all the installments of this DVD series:Hi… Thanks so much for your kind words; they’re very much appreciated. I have been told that there will be no more Treasures, and of course I’m disappointed. I have the exact… Read more

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