There's a lot to be said for the pure pleasure of watching pompous, hateful jerks get skewered. It's a cheap pleasure and maybe not one to be proud of, but it's great fun. Bill Maher interviews some over-the-top religious figures who-it appears-are not used to being pinned down to a rational, question and answer format. There's the muslim rapper whose lyrics call for holy war and who defends his right to freedom of speech even as he endorses the fatwa calling for Salman Rushdie's death. There's the jewish guy who promotes inventions to get around the 'divine' regulations about keeping the sabbath and a few christian phonies who almost make televangelism look easy.
Of course, this isn't really a discourse against religion, it's just a send-up. Not withstanding Maher's plea for the earnest cultivation of doubt, there's no real argument here. At its heart, religion is an emotional matter and 'exposing' it to logic makes about as much sense as tried to assuage hunger by playing music. Religion is a matter of yearning, not thinking and if Maher had included buddhists in this documentary, he would probably have confronted that himself.
But movies, particularly comic ones aren't usually the place for subtlety.If you enjoy a good laugh at the expense of the hyper-serious, the pompous and the righteous, you'll love this little session of shooting fish in a barrel. I did.
I'm very happy that I've watched this film. Bill Maher is clearly an expert on religious dogma (spent a lot of time studying theology at Cornell). His discussions are clear, coherent, and well thought out. This is not a documentary in the pure sense. It's much more like a Micheal Moore film, where Maher has a particular idea he wishes to present and then builds a film with footage that look like a documentary. The camera work is decent, by documentary standards. By scripted … more
"Religulous" Irreverently Funny Amos Lassen Bill Maher takes on a tour of religion in his own unique way. He basically looks at Christians of all kinds, Jews and Muslims. This is a satirical look at religion that not only mocks itself but also shows the problems that religion causes. We go to a Creationist Museum in Kentucky that shows that people and dinosaurs lived together 5000 years ago. Maher takes us to a trucker's chapel … more
So finally I got to see Religulous, which was not playing theatrically anywhere near my apartment. And I gotta say, it was good! I like Bill Maher generally (though I think he's very wrong on certain issues), and I quite liked him in this movie. What I have here isn't so much as a review of the film, which is worth seeing, but just a list of my favorite moments and my thoughts on them. The truck stop church was great. Loved the one guy walking out cause … more
Bill Maher incurs the wrath of multiple religious zealots of myriad faiths inReligulous, a snarky but unexpectedly powerful documentary. Maher bluntly disputes the value of religion in a world made increasingly dangerous, on the one hand, by fanaticism of all kinds and the human race's environmental self-destructiveness on the other. No one is immune from Maher's dogged questions about the illogic and negative fallout of doctrines that advocate violence or shun scientific evidence or marginalize minorities or punish anyone who disagrees with any religion's extreme tenets. Maher takes his inquiries to the Vatican; to small, evangelical Christian churches; to Jerusalem; to Amsterdam (where elements of an increasingly vocal Muslim community have shown violence toward critics); to a large, African-American church in a big city; and to several bizarre theme parks celebrating creationism and the life of Jesus. Wherever he goes, Maher seeks to demonstrate that many of the world's major religions are rife with hypocrisy, completely self-referential, and destructive to the collective good. The fast-moving, globe-trotting film is full of highlights, including a great scene where Maher, in disguise, argues for the core beliefs of Scientology to a bemused crowd at Speaker's Corner in London's Hyde Park. There's also a wonderful moment where Maher, just having been thrown out of the Vatican, gets a terrific interview with a maverick priest. Raised Catholic but in reality half-Jewish, ...