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Religulous (2008)

As I was recently listening to the Slashfilm podcast about Prometheus, they mentioned an interview with Ridley Scott on movies.com (the following sentences contain some minor spoiler for the movie). Ridley Scott mentioned that their one of the considerations for the movie was that the reason the architects wanted to destroy the earth was because they sent and embassador who ended up being crucified around 2000 years ago. Had this idea been used in the movie I’m sure it would have been very controversial. This documentary makes fun of religion, which is controversial, and comedian Bill Maher goes head on, interviewing people about religion and not holding back in letting them know his own opinions about it.

review

Maher tells his own story of religion and his experiences growing up. He once was a religious man, but has left that all behind and seems to want to prove that he’s right. During this documentary he interviews people at a trucker church, a man who plays Jesus at a religious them park, Jews, Mormons and even a man who started his own religion having to do with weed. He doesn’t go into Buddhism or Hinduism (not clear why), but everything else is fair game to him. Whether it’s questioning a preacher about how he makes his money and why he is wearing gold to asking a man why he doesn’t kill himself if he believes he will go to a better place. There are a lot of funny moments and he makes some valid points.

This is a movie that will offend people though. Sometimes he makes fun of people by later adding text to the scene, editing out their responses or editing in awkward moments. It’s a way of showing things that reminded me a bit of the movies Sacha Baron Cohen has done, although he does asks questions that are a lot sharper and he doesn’t act like he doesn’t know. Not everyone will like this documentary, but I thought it was a very interesting watch. Sometimes it’s good if a movie questions things people take for granted. It has been the way forward in science, so why wouldn’t you be able to do the same for religion?

Score: 7

Category: Movies
  • vextrigger says:

    if you’re not extremely religious, the movie is very funny and very true

    June 19, 2012 at 11:30 am
    • Nostra says:

      Yeah, although I think if he didn’t make it as much of a joke it would probably would be more watchable if you are religious as I do think he asks some great questions.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:21 pm
      • sanclementejedi says:

        sadly most religions don’t want you to ask any questions as they want to be the ones to provide you with the answers.

        June 22, 2012 at 12:58 am
  • ruth says:

    Will never touch this one with a ten-foot pole, nor anything involviing Bill Maher for that matter. It’s one thing not to believe, it’s another to poke fun of those who do for monetary reasons.

    June 19, 2012 at 8:24 pm
    • Nostra says:

      I can understand that…

      June 19, 2012 at 9:22 pm
  • Ben says:

    I really liked this film but much preferred it when Bill Maher let the interviewee highlight their own ignorance about their beliefs or contradict themselves. I think the moments when he began his interviews with direct attacks on what they believe and why, is in poor taste and doesn’t really help him achieve what I think he wants to highlight.

    June 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Yeah exactly. I didn’t know Bill Maher, but it was a bit too much about him. Just seemed the balance was a bit off and like you say some of the stuff is in poor taste.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:08 pm
  • keith7198 says:

    Well written review! Bill Maher is one of those guys. I wouldn’t watch anything he’s attached to. He’s one of the most self-absorbed people and he’s more into his offensive gimmick than real conviction.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks Keith! I didn’t know the guy before this, so I had no preconceptions….

      June 21, 2012 at 2:09 pm
  • sanclementejedi says:

    I really liked this film. I don’t see why it’s seen as a bad thing to poke fun at people and their ludicrous belief systems, which they can’t explain, and don’t hold up to scientific inquiry?

    Bill Maher is a funny bastard and I enjoy the fact that his real time show has guests from all over the political spectrum. He has actually had on some people that I thought I would have nothing in common with and ended up having a lot more respect for them at the conclusion of the show.

    June 22, 2012 at 12:56 am
    • Nostra says:

      Well, there is a fine line between poking fun and disrespecting someone and I think he was doing the latter one.

      June 25, 2012 at 2:07 pm
      • sanclementejedi says:

        I would suggest it’s only disrespectful if one chooses to believe in fairy tales rather than logic and reason.
        Han Solo might have summed it up best “Kid, I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other, and I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen *anything* to make me believe that there’s one all-powerful Force controlling everything. ‘Cause no mystical energy field controls *my* destiny. It’s all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense”

        June 25, 2012 at 9:13 pm

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