Monday, September 29, 2008


From the average viewer's perspective, having watched Politically Incorrect all through HS and now Real Time, I think it's safe to say that Bill Maher is a cocky bastard. Cocky and most of the time right. Even when it's delivered in the most abrasive, offensive way possible. That being said, the documentary Religulous (not sure if I spelled that right) was predictable in that it was 100 minutes of Bill Maher telling us what we already know: that he thinks anyone who subscribes to any religion is a mentally ill, deluded asshole and that they are taking up all the air breathed by smart, rational, science loving people.

Because this is directed by Larry Charles, director of Borat, this premise is funny only halfway until you realize that without the one-liners being hurled, the religious freaks putting their foot in their mouths and the crazy, irreverent movie clips intercut between damn near every scene, you don't have much of an interesting film. With the exception of a few, the interviews seemed way too short and the cramming and bashing of every major religion, including Scientology seemed rushed.

The problem with Religulous is that it preaches to the converted. The only people that will probably see this are so called intellectuals, democrats, open-minded, free thinking people, in other words, the same people that watch his show. Even though there is nothing wrong with making a decidedly biased movie, it gets stale after a while when you realize that the joke ceases to be funny because you get it from the beginning. The lawsuits that will inevitably follow this film might be more interesting.

Granted, the nice touches are Maher's conversations with his now deceased mother, a cringe-inducing interview with a reformed heterosexual Christian and an utterly clueless politician who doesn't even to seem to know why he's religious. But unlike Borat, this isn't enough to carry the movie as Maher injects himself way too much into the film, especially at the end which is basically an extended version of his trademark rant at the end of Real Time. Religulous incites a few laughs and there are some genuinely entertaining moments but overall, it was way too scattered and even for yours truly, the converted, way too one sided.

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