“Religulous” Funny, Smart and Preachy
Genres: Documentary and Politics/Religion
Running Time: 1 hr. 41 min. Release Date: October 1st, 2008 (limited)
MPAA Rating: R for some language and sexual material.
Directed by: Larry Charles
JJ Rating: B+
Bill Maher doesn’t know. So he sets off to ask questions to religious persons so that he can know….or not. Religulous.
Bill Maher can be annoying with his opinions, but he said one thing that made me like him more than dislike him. He was on Larry King and Larry read an email question that asked him why did he not state ‘in my opinion’ before he stated his opinion? He said that he didn’t think he needed to state that what comes out of his mouth as opinion, one should already realize that what he says is a matter of opinion. I agree with that and therefore liked him more and had that to preface all I saw in this film.
There is a lot of funny moments in this film that are due to some people that just don’t have answers to some simple questions that come from Bill Maher who admits to not fully knowing. They either don’t know what they are talking about or their religion just doesn’t cut it, because the questions are fairly simple. It was not like he was asking mind blowing questions.
I did have a thought when he went to see the Mormons. I thought if he had dressed up like they do in a black suit he would have been able to stick around longer than he had. But I guess he may not have wanted to do that because he was truly just asking questions with no intent on mocking anyone, to a point.
The way the film was done was similar to Ben Stein’s No Intelligence Allowed in that he would have clips play between interviews that did a bit of jeering at who he was talking to. Either he used news clips, movie clips or cartoon clips. It’s an effective way of going about doing films like this because it adds to the entertainment of the film as well as gets people to remember certain things easier.
Religulous does raise some interesting questions about religion that most people cannot answer, not even those that profess to be of the highest minds of the religious community. He’s not afraid to ask questions or follow up questions that many people might be afraid to ask because of the intimidation of the person they were speaking to. Bill has no such fear.
The end has him speaking for about five minutes and it feels like he was preaching to me from a pulpit. That was my least favorite part of the whole film. I don’t need someone telling me what to think. Tell me the information you got and then I’ll decide if what you shared is interesting enough to warrant me to continue giving it any thought or credence for that matter. It ruined the film because even though he might have been trying to sum it all up it just felt like was demanding people to think just like him.
If you like Bill you’ll like this film, he’s entertaining and funny. If you are oversensitive, skip this film. Religilous is funny and clever. That’s great for a film, but it’s preachy and that’s the epic downfall. What could have ended on a high note ended on an ‘I’m no different than who I just jeered in this film’ note. As Bill Maher says, “Why trust a big guy on the screen?”---or was it sky?
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