First, sorry for the delay on this week's "Crossroads" podcast. We had some technical difficulties, which happens every now and then in the Tower of Babel environment that is the Internet. Every now and then the software gods just don't get along.
The topic of my chat this week with host Todd Wilken (click here to tune that in) was, on one level, the box-office problems of the latest version of "Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ." But my earlier post on this topic also focused on the ongoing interest, in the mainstream media, in Hollywood's quest to tap into the "Christian" movie market, in the wake of the $611 million box office haul taken in by Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ."
It's a great story and a very timely one. Basically, the folks behind the new Ben-Hur made a big-budget religion-niche movie, thinking that the young, male, action-movie demographic would show up for the chariot race scene.
What chariot race scene, you ask? Well, the one that movie scholars -- but not, it's safe to say, today's video-game fanatics -- remember with awe from the 1959 classic.
What were the producers of the new flick thinking?
That would be a great hard-news story, methinks, as opposed to a kind of no-sources analysis thumbsucker like the Atlantic piece I previously discussed.
Well, what do you know? The Los Angeles Times team produced a real news story about this bad, bad summer in Hollywood. The headline: "Hollywood's summer problem? Reboots people don't want."
The opening is pretty brutal: