Friday, April 17, 2015

Video of the Day: Batman vs. Superman

So, the first teaser trailer finally comes out for this. I am sort of disappointed. How about you? And does Batman have to sound like he's been smoking cigarettes for 25 years?

Video of the Day: Dial a Prayer

Movie trailer for Dial a Prayer featuring Brittany Snow and William H. Macy.

'General Hospital's 10,000 Episode

"General Hospital" aired its 10,000th episode on April 17, 2002.
April 17, 2002
On this day in 2002, ABC aired the 10,000th episode of the soap opera, General Hospital, the longest-running program ever produced in Hollywood. The show included a storyline where Nurse Audrey received a medal commemorating her 10,000 day on the job. The show was created by Frank and Doris Hursley and premiered on April 1, 1963. At the time, it was set in the fictional town of Port Charles in New York and focused on the lives of those working at the “general hospital.” Ironically, on this same day, NBC launched the soap opera, The Doctors. The ratings for the show dropped significantly during the 1970’s but regained status as the #1 daytime drama in 1978. The most-watched event in soap opera history occurred in 1981 at the wedding of Luke and Laura. The show celebrated its 50th year on April 1, 2013 and is still churning out new episodes daily.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ben-Hur Actor Gets Blessed by Pope Francis

Actor Rodrigo Santoro was blessed by Pope Francis while filming "Ben-Hur."
Actor Rodrigo Santoro takes a break from filming BEN-HUR,
 which is currently in production in Rome, to attend the
 Papal Audience and meet Pope Francis. (MGM/Paramount)
Not your usual perk of the job. Yesterday, actor Rodrigo Santoro, who will play the role of Jesus in the new version of Ben-Hur, was blessed by Pope Francis at the Papal Audience at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.

Ben-Hur is the next production churning out from team Downey-Burnett which is set to hit theaters on February 26, 2016 and is probably their biggest project to date. The film is a partnership with MGM and Paramount Pictures. Depending on you ask, it may or may not be a remake of the 1959 film that starred Charlton Heston and was also produced by MGM. Roma Downey and Mark Burnett have been responsible for The Bible and A.D.: The Bible Continues mini-series.

Actress Nazanin Boniadi and actor Rodrigo Santoro of BEN-HUR
 in front of the Vatican for the Papal Audience visit. 

Based on Lew Wallace's novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, this new movie tells the story of Judah Ben-Hur (played by Jack Huston), who is a prince falsely accused of treason. His accuser? His brother Messala (Toby Kebbell) who is an officer with the Roma army. Hur is stripped of his title, taken away from his family and forced into slavery. As time goes on, so does the bitterness and when Hur is finally free to visit his homeland, he is out for blood.

Ben-Hur is directed by Timur Bekmambetov and also stars Nazanian Boniadi, Morgan Freeman, Rodrigo Santoro, Ayelet Zurer and Sofia Black D'Elia.

Video of the Day: Star Wars - The Force Awakens

Official teaser trailer #2 features Harrison Ford!

Charlie Chaplain's Birthday

Charlie Chaplain was born on April 16, 1889.
April 16, 1889
On this day in 1889, Charles Spencer Chaplin was born in London, England. When he was very young, Charlie and his brother danced on the streets to collect money. The two were sent to an orphanage and joined a children’s dance troupe. By age 17, Charlie created a trademark with a bowler hat, out-turned feet, mustache and walking cane. His first film was Making a Living where he played a villain and learned to direct on his 12th film. It is said that Chaplain resisted the arrival of sound movies. His 1931 City Lights only featured music and he didn’t speak on film until 1940’s The Great Dictator where he made fun of fascism. Chaplin never became a U.S. citizen. In fact, he, like many others in Hollywood, was accused of having communist ties (which he denied) and was detained while trying to re-enter the country after a vacation trip. He, his wife and eight children lived in Switzerland for 20 years before returning to America to accept a special Academy Award in 1972. He died in 1977.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Boy Choir, Libera, Presents New CD and DVD

Review of "Libera - Angels Sing: Libera in America."
Libera (Warner Classics)
In January of this year, the boy choir, Libera, recorded a live concert at Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. for the upcoming PBS special, Angels Sing: Libera in America. The soundtrack of the special is now available on DVD as well as CD.

Like Charlotte Church and The American Boychoir (who have sung with Michael W. Smith), Libera is, as the press release describes, a “celestial-sounding, chart-topping boy choir.” However, despite their polished performances and their angelic voices, they look more like Dennis the Menace in a choir robe. The cover of the both the DVD and CD feature the boys being boys with messy hair and dirty shoes. The DVD features both the television special as well as a “behind the scenes” short, which was a disappointment as it missed the opportunity to really show who these boys are when they are not performing. Instead, we just get a glimpse.

App of the Week: David vs. Goliath

David vs. Goliath is a new app for children by Righteous Games.
(Image: Righteous Tales)
A new Bible-based app for children, David vs. Goliath is now available by Righteous Tales. In the past, Christian families have complained that video games based on the Bible are lame, but this one looks different. For one, it doesn't take itself too seriously. The story is told like a modern cartoon with a lot of humor. Second, if features a lot of different levels to achieve and a bunch of mini-games. Third, while taking some liberties with hang-gliding sheep or other things, the story remains true to the Bible.

Righteous Tales is a Seattle-based company that believe that “more kids will know God if we put the greatest stories ever told in their language on their devices.” The downloadable apps are designed for children age 12 and younger, but I wouldn't be too surprised to see a few parents trying it out as well. To get a better idea on how the play, watch the video below: