- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
- CIA admits $3 billion intelligence operation was a flop
‘Passion’ critics retract reviews
Early detractors of Mel Gibson’s hit film, “The Passion of the Christ,” are backing away from their critical remarks after the movie grossed a record-setting $26.6 million on its opening day.
“The Passion,” which opened Wednesday on 4,643 screens at 3,006 theaters, set a record for the biggest opening day for a movie released outside the summer (May-August) and winter holiday months (November-December).
It came in third among all movies that have premiered on a Wednesday, bypassed only by “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” ($34.5 million) and “Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace” ($28.5 million), according to the movie tracking service Box Office Mojo.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) retracted critical remarks made about the film last April by its ecumenical and interreligious committee, which suggested that the film might be anti-Semitic.
In remarks released Wednesday on Catholic News Service, three staff members of the USCCB’s Office for Film and Broadcasting said the film might be overly violent but not anti-Semitic.
“Concerning the issue of anti-Semitism, the Jewish people are at no time blamed collectively for Jesus’ death,” said a review by Gerri Pare, David DiCerto and Anne Navarro. “Rather, Christ freely embraces his destiny.”
The reviewers went on to call the movie “an artistic achievement in terms of its textured cinematography, haunting atmospherics, lyrical editing, detailed production and soulful score.”
Hollywood film company Dreamworks also backed away from remarks published in yesterday’s New York Times suggesting that Hollywood producers will blacklist Mr. Gibson.
Quoting unnamed studio executives, the article said some of Hollywood’s biggest producers were angry over Mr. Gibson’s refusal to repudiate remarks by his father, Hutton Gibson, a Holocaust denier.
In a Feb. 16 ABC interview with Diane Sawyer, Mr. Gibson agreed that millions of Jews died in the Holocaust, but refused to condemn his father.
“He’s my father,” Mr. Gibson said. “Gotta leave it alone, Diane. Gotta leave it alone.”
A spokeswoman for Dreamworks founders Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen released this statement:
“Neither one of us has seen the movie yet, and as such, we have not yet formed an opinion, but we respect Mel Gibson’s rights as an artist to express his views,” it said. “After all, this is America.”
Mark Joseph, an entertainment executive in Los Angeles and author of the upcoming book “The Passion of Mel Gibson: The Story Behind the Most Controversial Film in Hollywood History,” said the film industry is in shock.
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
Let’s talk about everything, especially the absurdity of it all
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Never apologetic. Never afraid. Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West joins Communities to bring tales from the biggest Foxhole of them all, the one inside the Beltway.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow