Movie Review- Religulous (2008)

Posted: April 19, 2010 in Movie & TV Show Reviews and Thoughts, The Blog!

Religulous (2008)
A Documentary by Bill Maher
Directed by Larry Charles
Starring Bill Maher
Run Time: 101 min.

So about a month ago, due to a mistake on my cable bill, I was granted a few months of Showtime free. I was browsing the on-demand section and was thinking about hitting up Redbox to rent Religulous but than there it was, right in front of me, free for my viewing with the click of a button. I’ve wanted to see this movie for awhile since I love Bill Maher and so I started the film. Honestly, i’ll tell you off the bat that this film/documentary isn’t for everyone. If you are religious, get offended when facts are put in front of you or don’t like it when someone questions your beliefs than you probably will find this movie highly offensive. My self on the other hand, an open minded future film maker, watched this film with open arms. Bill Maher, a self proclaimed atheist, travels around the world to speak to members of many different religious groups to debate the concept of religion, god and the beginning of the world. The first stop was a southern trailer park, where they actually converted a trailer to be their very own church. Quickly one of the members gets up and leaves because he is uncomfortable with someone questioning “his god”. Another member says that he used to be a satanist priest and has been born again and could never be proven wrong. They all seem like really nice people, but when Maher throws actual facts out to these people, they seem very rattled and instead of debating back, they just say a little prayer for Maher who laughs it off respectfully. We learn that Maher was raised Catholic but that is mother was Jewish and when the church found out his parents used birth control they were frowned upon, ending any little chance Maher had at religion. We move on to see Maher interview a Minister, who had lived a gay lifestyle, and is now married to a former lesbian and devotes much of his time trying to convert gay people to become straight through the love of Jesus because it is sin that is causing them to be gay and that no one is actually born gay. I’m not joking here, this is serious as ridiculous as it sounds. We get a great laugh when the minister says with a straight face that most people actually leave still being gay, which Maher cackles back and says “because their gay!”. Maher visits the Holy Land life action experience in Orlando, FL where he wins a debate against the man playing Jesus, he visits and gets kicked out of the Vatican, talks to Jews, Jews for Jesus, Muslims and much more. The documentary isn’t a perfect one and it isn’t for everyone, however the only real gripe I had with the film is that I wish he would have talked to just one group of people who were more casual in the religious views to see why they did believe what they believe. For myself, I was raised what I call “Diet Christian”. I was told their was a god and about some of the stories in the bible, but never went to church outside of a few times for Easter or Christmas Eve over the years. My parents kinda showed me what they believed but let me be my own person and make my own decisions. I am grateful they did this and didn’t force anything down my throat. Over time since I have become a middle class father and husband, my interest in politics and religion has gotten much larger over time. If you have been reading this blog at all you know by now I am very liberal and a proud Democrat. I considered my self at once time a Christian, but after some time of getting into and reading more about evolution and seeing what religion preaches and promotes, I just don’t by it and don’t want any part of it. If I was to label myself as anything, it would be an Agnostic. I’m not saying that religion is necessarily a bad thing and that it doesn’t work for some people. Some people need it and that is fine as long as you don’t force it on other people and keep it to yourself. If it works for you, more power to you. In closing I’ll steal a quote from Bill Maher in Religulous, “not having faith is a luxury for those who don’t need faith to make it through the day”

Average Movie Ticket Price– $10
“Religulous” Ticket Price Worth– $8.75, a Medium Buttered Popcorn & Medium Diet Coke


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