An Introduction to
The Entertainment Report
by Tom Allen
Allied Faith & Family serves at the juncture where the entertainment industry and the faithful interact and get to know each other. This dialogue has led to a renaissance of faith-based productions in Hollywood and on Broadway which is going on as we speak. At Allied Faith & Family, we find oursleves in the middle of all these exciting events, and this newsletter is our way of getting all the latest entertainment news to you as it is happening.

Tom Allen 
Allied Faith & Family
Praise from the Pews

"The Rise of the Guardians was great!!  It was, artistically, a beautiful film full of brilliant color.  Reminded me that God actively seeks to deliver us from darkness, and belief and hope in him are necessary for that to happen.  I will definitely recommend it to others." ~ Ben Govero - Archdiocese of St. Louis

"Rise of the Guardians is a film that awakens hope in the power of the light of Faith. It exposes the truth that fear is a lie and opens the heart to remember and believe with childlike wonder that we are all chosen by God to fulfill a specific mission. A mission that will bring His light to overcome this present darkness. " ~ Melissa Cervantes - ACTS Missions 
Faith in Film History:
Martin Scorsese
Martin ScorceseNinesteps.com - by Devon Wells
Men Of The Cloth, Men Of The Streets

Although considered a master stylist and storyteller who chiefly works in the crime and gangster genres, Martin Scorsese is also a uniquely religious filmmaker. Get to know a little more about the film great by checking out this insightful piece: Martin Scorsese
Faith & Family Market Factoids
  •  75-80% of adults in America identify themselves as Christian today, according to Pew Forum.
  • Americans' weekly church attendance in 2010 increased 2% to 43.1%, up from 42.1% in 2008, according to Gallup.
  • Approximately 20,000,000 Americans will go to a movie theater this weekend, according to the MPAA - but more than 128,000,000 will go to church (Pew).
Arts Quote


"Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."

- G.K. Chesterton



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The Top Ten Spiritually Provocative Films of 2012 

spiritually_Pro_L What really grabs an audience is the truth. That may seem odd considering that all of the films on this list are fiction films, not documentaries; however, all of these films represent aspects of spiritual, moral, or ethical truth that rings true with those who see them. Just to be clear, not all truth is beautiful truth - there are ugly truths in this world that serve as cautionary tales. This list runs the gamut from big to micro-budgets, from musicals to historical drama to science fiction to animation. But the one thing all of these films have in common is that they are spiritually provocative.
Tolstoy On The Big Screen - Anna Karenina  

Anna_Karenina Lavishly produced and beautifully shot, ANNA KARENINA, starring Kiera Knightly as the tragic anti-heroine, is a true feast for the eyes as well as for the soul.  Working from a script by playwright Tom Stoppard (Arcadia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead), this adaptation evokes the moral heart of the original novel.  Setting nearly the entire action within the confines of a working theatre, director Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement) explores how Anna's adultery destroys not only her world, but impacts the entirety of society.  From kisses stolen "in the wings" to the ousting of Anna's fall on-stage, the cast and crew examine the public nature of our private lives.  Themes of forgiveness, responsibility, and the beauty of fatherhood and family are reaffirmed by the supporting characters, often more profoundly than in Tolstoy's original work. Parents be warned: this is a movie for adults that doesn't shy away from the sensual nature of the story. But with this thoughtful and theatrical retelling, lovers of film and family are in for a cinematic and spiritual treat.
The Hobbit   

2013_Jan_Hobbit Ten years ago, J.R.R. Tolkein's THE LORD OF THE RINGS, as directed and adapted by Peter Jackson, swept us all into Middle Earth.  Now, Jackson and company return to that world in this first installment of Tolkein's first Middle Earth novel for children, THE HOBBIT: THERE AND BACK AGAIN.  Others have rightly pointed out that the source material is too slim to be divided into three separate installments (the next two movies are due out for Christmas 2013 and 2014), while others have mixed feelings about Jackson's padding the plot with stories taken from Tolkein's many appendices.  However, what Jackson adds to and dramatizes in THE HOBBIT is stellar: the dangers of force and ambition, the importance of everyday virtues, and most dramatically, the power of mercy.  Once again, Andy Serkis as Gollum is a stand-out, Martin Freeman makes a terrific Bilbo, Howard Shore's score sweeps with old and new themes, and the glimpses of Smaug the Dragon are sure to delight.  "I'm going on adventure!" Bilbo calls out near the beginning of the movie.  It's worth going along!
Hitchcock Returns 

2013_Jan_Hitchcock The current film "Hitchcock" (Fox Searchlight) is an engaging and mesmerizing biopic about the legendary Christian film director. The film concentrates on the period of Hitchcock's life during which he made his most successful film-his 1960 horror classic "Psycho."

This new film is an adaptation of Stephen Rebello's 1990 book, "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho" and is directed by Sacha Gervasi. Hitchcock himself is played by none other than Anthony Hopkins - nearly unrecognizable in this film under a fat suit.

The film portrays the famously corpulent director as a paranoid, obsessive-compulsive voyeur who fantasized about his leading ladies and terrorized his staff and his otherwise devoted wife, Alma (Helen Mirren). Despite the deep sadness of Hitchcock's life as portrayed in this film, his marriage to Alma is depicted as tempestuous but loving, and their partnership is what ultimately produced the brilliant film "Psycho." Hitchcock's professional life was a constant battle with Hollywood censors to allow a greater and unprecedented degree of explicitness, in part resulting in two significant "developments" in film: "Psycho," was the first mainstream film to depict an unmarried couple being intimate in bed, and, of course, the infamously bloody and violent shower scene.

Raised a Roman Catholic, Hitchcock lived away from his faith for most the of his adult life. He was, however, ultimately reconciled to his faith before his death in 1980.  
Vatican Stirred, Not Shaken By New Bond Film: 'Skyfall'   

2013_Jan_Skyfall L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's official newspaper, officially endorsed the newest installment of the Bond...James Bond franchise, "Skyfall."

Interestingly, despite the British lothario spy's otherwise hedonistic ways as he's portrayed in all of the previous Bond permutations, "Skyfall," Reviewer Gaetano Vallini describes Daniel Craig's character as being "less of a clich�, and less attracted by the pleasures of life." Vallini writes in his review for L'Osservatore Romano that the Bond character is "darker and more introspective" and that because of this, "he is more human, even able to be moved and cry."

Pope Benedict has pressed L'Osservatore Romano's editor-in-chief Gian Maria Vian to make the newspaper more attuned to pop culture in any of dozens of different forms.

The plot to "Skyfall" is a departure from the usual Bond fare. In this film, 007's loyalty to M (Judi Dench) is tested when her past dubious actions and scurrilous decisions come back to haunt her. Bond must track down and destroy the threat if MI6 is to be saved. Sam Mendes directs "Skyfall." His film has grossed more than $200 million to date. 
Le Cid - Storm Theatre - New York City  

2013_jan_leCid Storm Theatre, a New York-based off-Broadway house, has made a name for itself by choosing classic but rarely-performed works, and breathing in them new life.  Last season, they were lauded for their production of THE LONDON MERCHANT, a Restoration morality play, and this season they return with Pierre Corneille's Baroque drama, LE CID.  Based on the historical figure of "El Cid," a Spanish medieval knight who led supremely successful campaigns against the Moorish invasions, Corneille's play instead dramatizes the interior battles of the characters involved.  The Cid (Don Rodrigue) and his star-crossed love, Chim�ne, war over which holds stronger sway: their duties to their quarreling fathers, or their burgeoning love for one another.  Unlike another pair of star-crossed lovers, however, these main characters side initially with duty over desire...even if that means revenge.  Fans of verse drama, or those looking for an alternative to Shakespeare will enjoy LE CID, while those looking for thought-provoking plays, should definitely get a subscription to Storm Theatre.  

Visit The Storm Theatre online 
'Rise of the Guardians'-Not Naughty, Very Nice 

2013-jan-rise You better watch out. You better not cry. Better not pout. I'm telling you why. A reimagined Santa Claus and his friends are coming to town.

Just in time for the holidays, Rise of the Guardians unites the most famous fictional characters of childhood-Santa Claus (voiced by Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) and the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher)-on a wild adventure along with Jack Frost (Chris Pine) as the new guy in the group.

Loosely adapted from William Joyce's book series "The Guardians of Childhood," as well as from Joyce's short film The Man in the Moon, the animated film from DreamWorks Animation tells the story of a band of unlikely heroes-each with extraordinary abilities.

Read the full article in Charisma Magazine by Alan Mowbray and Eric Tiansay 
Playing God . . . and winning a DVD prize pack!



Films that depict Christ generally retain a reverential tone and a scriptural and theological accuracy but the same doesn't usually hold true for how the Father is depicted. There had always been an unspoken Judeo-Christian tradition of avoiding depicting the Creator in any art so it makes sense that filmmakers would avoid making "graven images" of Him in film. Oddly, while Jesus is always treated in dramatic films, God the Father is overwhelmingly depicted in comedies where His traditional attributes such as Creatorship, omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience and omnibenevolence are heterodoxically reinterpreted.


Here are a few movies we came up with which portray God the Father:

The Ten Commandments (1956)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974)
Oh God (1977)
Oh, God! Book II (1980)
Oh, God! You Devil! (1984)
Time Bandits (1981)
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991)
Dogma (1999)
Bedazzled (2000)
Bruce Almighty (2003)
Evan Almighty (2007) 


Did we miss any?  Email us at alliedfaithandfamily@alliedim.com for your chance to win a Faith DVD package.  Be sure to include  PLAYING GOD in the subject line and we will choose a  winner at random from the responses we receive.  Deadline to send your email is Feb 15th at 5pm EST.  Winner will be notified no later than Feb 18. 


All-in-all, the Creator has not been depicted correctly in film but rather, has had His attributes dissected usually for comical effect or for the sake of artistic license. Comedies are meant to be humorous so it is unrealistic to demand that they use completely accurate theology in developing the Creator's part. At the same time, the Faithful should come to know what is and what isn't in keeping with God's character lest they are swayed to believe something untenable and inaccurate. 

Faith & Family & Facebook



Allied Faith & Family has joined the world of Facebook! And we have built a beautiful and informative page there for you social media junkies. This blurb is the first time we have told anyone about it-so find us, be one of the first to LIKE us, and stay up to date on how Hollywood and the Entertainment Industry are responding to your desire to see more faith and family content in the arts.


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To bring you the most up-to-date info on good art and entertainment, Allied Faith & Family invites you to join us on Twitter. Follow AFF and be the first to know where you can expect to see the latest faith trends in entertainment, as well as get inspiring messages from our team! See you in Birdland!  


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New York Times features Allied Faith & Family

Allied Faith & Family's own Tom Allen made it to the front page of the Old Gray Lady on a past trip to New York City. At a VIP reception hosted by Allied Faith & Family at the legendary Sardi's restaurant, Tom was photographed for a front page feature on AFF's work on Broadway.   
The Cardinal and the Comedian


Cardinal and Colbert Comedian Stephen Colbert and Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, engaged in a night of reverent comedy on stage at the Rose Hill Gymnasium at Fordham University in the Bronx, New York. Colbert, a Sunday school teacher and the host of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," exchanged zingers and anecdotes with the high-profile prelate before an audience of 3000 attending the one-time show on Sept. 14. "The Cardinal and Colbert: Humor, Joy, and the Spiritual Life," was moderated by religious comedy author Father James Martin, S.J. and focused on-

you guessed it: humor, joy, and the spiritual life. The most serious people in the room turned out to be the audience members-go figure!-who were invited to tweet questions for the joyful duo to answer.


Read the full article at Fordham University 

2012's Most Redeeming Films 

2013_Jan_LesMes It is still not too late to make one more New Year's resolution! How about promising yourself to watch a few inspiring films with your family and friends. Here is a good top 10 list of redeeming films from 2012 put together by Christianity Today. Not surprisingly, Les Miserables tops the list, but there are some others here that you may not have heard of, and many are already available on DVD.

Here's to a another year of faith-inspired films from Hollywood-and we know that will cover just about any of them.

"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." ~ Ecclesiastes 1:9 

Christianity Today's List: The Most Redeeming Films of 2012 


Allied Faith & Family's Mission 


Allied Faith & Family's mission is to encourage and assist the entertainment community in promoting life-affirming messages that touch the heart and uplift the human spirit. We exist to build bridges between the faith and entertainment worlds and advance media that entertains, enlightens, inspires and endures.


This monthly newsletter is compiled by Allied Faith & Family. If you have any stories, comments, suggestions or wish to opt out, feel free to e-mail us at faithandfamily@alliedim.com.