Friday, June 30, 2006

Anne Rice's next movie

Back in October, I reported here about Anne Rice's returning to her Catholic roots and changing her writing subjects from vampires to Jesus. In her most recent book, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, she covers the early years of Jesus' life, and wants to write 2 more sequels regarding other areas of His life. According to this report, as well as being confirmed by the Bible Films Blog and FilmChat, they are already planning to film a movie based on her Christ the Lord book:

LOS ANGELES, June 29 (UPI) -- Good News Holdings, a Los Angeles agency producing faith-based multimedia content, acquired film rights to Anne Rice's novel "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt."

After Rice returned to the Christian faith following a 38-year lapse, she traded writing stories about vampires for stories about Jesus. Her first effort, "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt" chronicles Jesus' early life, after he began to understand his destiny at age 7.

The film is being produced by Good News Holdings, a company founded in 2005 to produce faith-based content in multimedia formats. Good News is owned by George Barna, author and researcher of Christian trends; former Paramount President David Kirkpatrick; former Microsoft branding consultant Christopher Chisholm; former "Today" show producer Martha Cotton; former Barna Group partner Thom Black and former Silicon Valley chipmaker Rich Christopher, Daily Variety reported.

Rice had been very disappointed when Tom Cruise was cast for "Interview With the Vampire," but she is even more concerned about the production of this film. "Any agony or joy I suffered on 'Interview,' multiply it by 100 because it is just so crucial to me that this story get done right," Rice said.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Chinese-Princess Bride Connection

Every week I receive an e-mail with the Chinese word or phrase of the week, just out of curiosity. Today, the character I received is "jen ai," or "true love." Unsurprisingly, my first thoughts came from the classic movie "The Princess Bride." Allow me to illustrate (if you remember the Bishop who is to marry Prince Humperdinck and Buttercup):

"Mawwage. Mawwage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwage,
that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam....And wove, twue wove, wiww fowwow you fowevah--So tweasuwe youw wove..."

Well, perhaps that wouldn't be everyone's first association, but it certainly--and unexpectedly--brought a smile to my face this morning. :)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Harriet the Tortoise dies at 176 years old

One of the oldest animals in the world has died at the Australia Zoo, at the old age of 176, from heart failure. Harriet the Tortoise was born in 1830, and was originally brought to Britain from the Galapagos Islands when she was 5 years old. She stayed there until she moved to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens in the mid-1800's. She was later bought by the Australia Zoo in 1987.

Update: (9/4/06)
A couple of months after Harriet's death, her "daddy" and owner of the Australia Zoo, Steve Irwin died from a stingray wound to the chest on a diving documentary expedition. The naturalist field will not be the same without his trademark "Crikey!" as he brought the wild up close and personal. He leaves behind his wife, a daughter (8) and a son (2).

Monday, June 12, 2006

"Sequel" to "Passion of the Christ?"

According to this article, Sony plans to release a movie next Easter about Christ's Resurrection, essentially leaving off where "The Passion of the Christ" ended.

According to insiders, Sony's mid-budget Screen Gems division commissioned a script several months ago from Lionel Chetwynd, the veteran screenwriter, producer and director whose credits include the feature "The Hanoi Hilton" and the Emmy-nominated TV movie "Ike: Countdown to D-Day."[He has also written Biblical films for TV, including Moses, Joseph, and Jacob]..."This is not a fanciful rendering. It's a serious attempt to understand the Roman world in which Christ moved and the Christian era was born," a person familiar with the project said. [my comments in brackets]

They plan to pursue the 40 days that Jesus appeared to people after His resurrection through His ascension, as well as to consider the ramifications that made to the surrounding Roman Empire during the times of the 1st century church. Sounds like it could be a shorter version of the TV miniseries A.D.

It appears that after the hugely unexpected box office success of Mel Gibson's "Passion," Hollywood is trying to tap into the sizeable audience that appreciates reverently-approached religious material. Not only is this movie now on the radar, "Nativity," an upcoming Christmas movie about Mary, Joseph, and Jesus' birth is also being currently filmed, also using the Bible as its main source material.

Read here for another's commentary on the project.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

EW ranks "Passion" as #1 most controversial movie

According to the latest edition of Entertainment Weekly, where they ranked their top 25 films they felt had most shocked, disgusted, and divided moviegoers, "The Passion of the Christ" is the most controversial movie of all time. They claimed that Mel Gibson's graphic film about Jesus' crucifixion started "a culture-war firestorm unrivaled in Hollywood history."

Other films included in the top 25 were "A Clockwork Orange," "JFK," "Natural Born Killers," "The Da Vinci Code," "United 93," “Fahrenheit 9/11,” “Deep Throat,” “The Last Temptation of Christ,” “The Deer Hunter,” “Basic Instinct,” “Do the Right Thing” and “Kids.”

Friday, June 09, 2006

Indian woman gives birth to identical quadruplets

As reported by this article, a 26-year old woman from India gave birth to healthy female identical quadruplets.

Shruthi Vivekanandan, a software programmer from the southern city of Madras, delivered Aditi, Aakriti, Akshathi and Aapthi on April 25, Press Trust of India said. The babies were born 10 weeks early and weighed between 1.8 pounds and 2.2 pounds, said Dr. Meena Thiagarajan at Apollo Hospital, where the girls were born. Despite their premature birth, the babies are healthy and swiftly gaining weight, doctors said. Doctors have said there are fewer than 100 identical quadruplets in the world.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Day of the Antichrist?

Today is a day that comes only once every hundred years and is associated with the Antichrist because it is 06-06-06. People may be feeling a bit wary about today and are taking it as a day of the devil--even advancing or delaying the births of their babies with a June 6th due date.

Even though 666 is called
"the number of the Beast," it may be more on the superstitious side to fear another usual Tuesday of the week rather than trusting the One who made the day to be more powerful than any demonic association.

the number may have been miscalculated anyway. :)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Tencza Terrace Teardown

This morning, about 6:30, the Army imploded one of their high-rise buildings at Ft. Myer. After about 16 blasts, the building came right down.

~~ Click here to watch it from our balcony. ~~

Alien Life Rained to Earth?

According to Indian physicist Godfrey Louis, he believes that he may have found alien life in the red water that rained in India in 2001. According to this article:

For a two-month period, sporadic heavy downpours occurred in which the rain was red in color, often appearing like blood. The red color was due to small red particles held in suspension, initially theorized to be spores of a common lichen in India. Analysis of the isolated sediment, however, found the presence of aluminum – an element not usually found in living cells – and much lower levels of phosphorus than would be expected if the particles were biological in origin. Other theories have pointed to red dust picked up by winds crossing the Arabian peninsula and even a fine mist of blood cells produced by a meteor striking a flock of bats.

Louis argued none of these theories can explain what he's observed in the lab. Algae and fungus, which make up lichen, have DNA, Louis said, noting that his strange red "cells" do not. Further, blood cells have thin walls, unlike his microbes, and quickly die when exposed to water and air – and they are unable to replicate. Louis' particles thrive in water at temperatures approaching 600 degrees Fahrenheit – far beyond the 250 degrees known to be the upper limit for life – and they reproduce themselves. "We've already got some stunning pictures – transmission electron micrographs – of these cells sliced in the middle," astronomer Chandra Wickramasing, a scientist at Cardiff University in Wales who is attempting to replicate Louis' work, told Popular Science. "We see them budding, with little daughter cells inside the big cells."

In his journal article, Louis speculated the cell-like particles could be extraterrestrial bacteria transported to Earth on a comet or meteor that broke apart in the upper atmosphere and fell suspended in rain drops.

However, some British scientists have greater doubts to his theory, as they are also studying the strange particles:

Another British team is currently analyzing Louis' samples to confirm whether DNA is present or not. One preliminary test has returned positive. "Life as we know it must contain DNA, or it's not life," said University of Sheffield microbiologist Milton Wainwright. "But even if this organism proves to be an anomaly, the absence of DNA wouldn't necessarily mean it's extraterrestrial."