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Top Customer Reviews
If you build a diorama with animatronic dinosaurs and children coexisting, it must be true.
Dialing a phone on Sabbath is forbidden, dialing a phone with a stylus on Sabbath is allowed.
You will learn all this and more from Bill Maher's hilarious mockumentary, Religulous.
It is not often that a movie is so subversive, funny and educational all at once. Bill Maher certainly has his fair share of ego, but he has the comic chops to support it. In some of his interviews I wish he had gone further, but to do that he would have to have been more serious, less funny and ultimately have made a different movie.
But the movie he makes is brilliant, it shines a spotlight on some of the serious questions and inconsitencies in religion that people allow themselves to ignore. And his ultimate message is one that everyone needs to hear; there are things in this world that are not explained, and that's OK! Not every gap in human knowledge is God-shaped. Doubt is good, doubt makes us ambitious and inquisitive and humble. And that's not a bad way to be.
Bill Maher has produced a very clever, very funny, and very well edited documentary that satirizes religions of all colors and stripes. He asks many questions and interacts (as only he can) with a wide, if not imbalanced range of religious people. During this exercise, Bill brings up and reveals many embarrassing issues and hard questions that all people of faith must ask themselves and struggle with in today's world, like: the problem of Evil, the relationship faith has with science, the evils of organized religion: violence, repression and discrimination, talking snakes and many more. And he makes us laugh out loud as we watch.
The most qualified person that he interviews is one of the first on the film. Bill talks with one of the world's greatest geneticists and avid defender of the Christian faith, Francis Collins. The interchange is disappointingly short and shallow, allowing Bill to get his two cents in while avoiding any real discussion. This interchange sets the standard for the rest of the movie. Bill is not going to deal with the intellectual field of religion, which is much larger and more mainstream than you'd ever gather from watching this feature. In fact besides the interview with with Dr. Collins, this film completely ignores philosophical-religion with its enormous history and focuses instead on the fundamentalist-inspired religious masses, which, bless their hearts, are mostly a product of a culturally-processed faith that has no tradition of serious thought. I'm not questioning the authenticity or depth of the faith of Bill's subjects, but there is no question that these adherents are not qualified to defend or in many cases even understand the details of their own religious systems.Read more ›
Highlights for me include parts like this one guy who claims he knows God because of the many, many miracles he has experienced; yet, when Bill asks him to give examples, the guy is unable to intially give any. In response, Bill questions how significant these miracles could've really been if the man is unable to recall even ONE when asked! When the man finally does come up with an example, it's incredibly laughable and you're left thinking, "wow, this guy should've kept his example to himself!" Granted, the man may have very well come up with his example just seconds after saying, "I don't know," but here again, the example he did give is preposterous.
Touching back on something I said in the first paragraph, this film also gave me permission to laugh at myself. Like many who lose their faith when they broaden their world view, this film was a resounding, "ahhhhh," when I realized issues like injustice and suffering don't fit in the equation of faith in the Judeo-Christian God for a reason.Read more ›
Religilous is a film tracking political comedian Bill Maher as he strolls about the country and world interviewing various people of faith in order to show how stupid and funny they are. I will say that the film is quite successful on both scores. The film has a very "Michael Moore"ish flavor to it, where the real delight comes from watching the interviewee's get skewered (while only a few seem to catch on that this is what Maher is doing, which makes it even funnier).
All of this is good and bad. As a non-believer, I have no problem with laughing at religious people and some of the whacky beliefs that they hold with a straight face. As one of moderate tempermant, however, I think that (a) Maher often picks easy targets (the anti-zionist Jew, the Trucker Christian Chapel). Secondly, after an hour and a half, Maher's interupting and coarse brand of interviewing becomes slightly less than charming if not, sometimes, simply abrasive. Much like Penn and Teller's Bullsh#t, the film is very funny for a while, but wears on you the more it plays on.
That accounts for one star. The next star deduction is because Maher's point - think Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens here - was very poorly made. Much of the film is a comedic laugh at religion only to suddenly turn very serioiusm cautioning about religion's detrimental effects and penchant for evil. The problem is that there is no build up from the first part (90 minutes) to the second part (20 minutes).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I used to be very religious, now I do not subscribe to any religion. Religulous is an insightful and exciting documentary. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Madison
Engaging, earnest in and in-between the comedy, and elucidatory. Religion is a messy, dubious endeavor; "Religulous" is a documentary for those who agree.Published 17 days ago by patrick rivas