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March 27, 2014 | By F. Kathleen Foley
First produced in 2000, Hugh Whitemore's “God Only Knows,” is receiving its belated American premiere at Theatre 40.  Certainly, Whitemore is a well-established playwright (“Breaking the Code,” “Pack of Lies.”) So why did it take well over a decade for “God” to reach American shores? After viewing the Theatre 40 production, the reason is obvious. Awkwardly straddling two genres, Whitemore's problematic play commences as a conspiracy whodunit, a la “The Da Vinci Code,” before seguing into a rant reminiscent of Bill Maher at his most irreligious.
March 22, 2014 | By Susan King
It's shaping up to be a year in which Hollywood finds religion, and the latest example, "God's Not Dead," a small Christian-themed drama, delivered that message powerfully at the box office. The film, which opened on just 780 screens nationwide, took in more than $2.8 million Friday. It's likely to be the No. 3 movie for the weekend, behind the bigger-budget, wider-released "Divergent" and "Muppets Most Wanted. " Released through Freestyle Releasing, the drama from the Christian movie studio Pure Flix Entertainment and the Red Entertainment Group was heavily marketed in churches, on the film's website and other Christian websites, as well as social media.
March 21, 2014 | By Meredith Blake
Thanks for the nightmares, Shonda Rhimes.  As alarmingly commonplace as murder is on “Scandal,” it's rarely ever depicted as gruesomely or disturbingly as it is in the closing minutes of Thursday's episode, “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.” Shot in the back as he runs away from Jake, James lies in the street experiencing what is very clearly a slow and painful death. But his assassin, rather than leaving him there to suffer alone, shows some mercy. Jake sits calmly by James' side, soothing him as he expires.
March 3, 2014 | By Alicia Banks
"Is this a church?" Sidonie Smith said as she stood outside Grant Elementary in Santa Monica. "I'm so excited about the impact it will have on our community. I've been praying for a church to come here for 40 years. " Not all residents share Smith's enthusiasm. Since late January, some neighbors have expressed dissatisfaction with the arrangement between City of God church and its landlord, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. Six district campuses allow larger churches to rent space when schools aren't in session.
March 2, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
Mid-flight thriller "Non-Stop," the latest action movie to star Liam Neeson, flew just higher than "Son of God" to top the box office over the Oscar weekend.  "Non-Stop" grossed a studio-estimated $30 million in ticket sales in the United States and Canada through Sunday, while the New Testament retelling took in $26.5 million. After three weeks at No. 1, "Lego Movie" landed in third place with $21 million in revenue. It has generated $209 million domestically so far.     Released in North America by Universal Pictures, "Non-Stop" stars Neeson as a federal air marshal trying to save a crowded airliner.
February 28, 2014 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before getting my boat out of the garage. The Skinny: Am I the only one disappointed (but not surprised) that Jay Leno couldn't go two weeks without popping back up on a late-night TV show? Maybe there is a 12-step program for him. Loving this rain but hope its gone by Sunday so my colleagues working the red carpet aren't drenched. Today's headlines include the box-office preview and, of course, more Oscar coverage. Daily Dose: Time Warner Cable feels so bad that some Los Angeles viewers had their Super Bowl disrupted by a brief outage that it is even sending gift cards to folks that are no longer customers of the pay-TV provider.
February 28, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
The release of the Christian film "Son of God" this weekend kicks off an unusually large slate of wide-release religious movies for 2014. Soon to come are "Noah" and "Exodus," followed by the Christian-themed "Heaven Is for Real. " Talk about a flood. "Son of God" comes a decade after the controversial hit "The Passion of the Christ," which generated more than $370 million in revenue at the domestic box office. The new film, culled from footage from the successful History channel "Bible" miniseries, is not expected to do as well, though it could open with up to $20 million in ticket sales in its first weekend, according to people who have seen pre-release audience surveys.  REVIEW: 'Son of God' takes on epic proportions effectively The gallery above gives a sampling of significant religious movies and their box office numbers of the past (using data from Rentrak and Box Office Mojo)
February 28, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
Adapted for the big screen from the History Channel miniseries "The Bible," the new film "Son of God" is essentially a feature-length recut of the second half of the series, based on the New Testament. The reedited nature of the movie, which tells the story of Jesus from his birth through his preaching, crucifixion and resurrection, might explain why many film critics are saying "Son of God" feels more like a greatest-hits compilation than a cohesive work. In a review for The Times, Martin Tsai writes , "to its credit, 'Son of God' proves more than a mere watered-down 'The Passion of the Christ.' The epic proportions of the miniseries hold up well on the big screen, save for the digitally composed establishing shots of Jerusalem.
February 27, 2014 | By Daniel Miller
Each week, thousands of Christians gather for prayer and discussion at Liberty University's cavernous Vines Center in Lynchburg, Va. One Monday morning in January, they listened to husband-and-wife film producing team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey pitch their new movie, "Son of God. " About 10,000 students and faculty members watched as the pair behind the hit History channel miniseries "The Bible" showed clips from the film and discussed its...
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