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Bill Maher interviews some of religion's oddest adherents. Muslims, Jews and Christians of many kinds pass before his jaundiced eye. Maher goes to a Creationist Museum in Kentucky, which shows that dinosaurs and people lived at the same time 5000 years ago. He talks to truckers at a Truckers' Chapel. (Sign outside: "Jesus love you.") He goes to a theme park called Holy Land in Florida. He speaks to a rabbi in league with Holocaust deniers. He talks to a Muslim musician who preaches hatred of Jews. Maher finds the unlikeliest of believers and, in a certain Vatican priest, he even finds an unlikely skeptic. Written by
During the sequence set inside the Dome of the Rock, Bill Maher and his guide are approached by two men who speak in Arabic and are supposedly objecting to Maher's presence. In reality, what they are saying is "We don't normally hang out here..." and "The boss only gives us five minutes..." See more »
You know, Scientologists...
[sound of audience laughing]
And right, you're like, "Oh, yeah, that's some crazy shit. Okay." Jesus with the virgin birth and the dove and the snake who talked in the garden, that's cool. But the Scientologists, they're the crazy ones.
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After the credits, there is one last clip of Bill Maher with his mother and sister. He tells them "I'll see you in heaven", and they laugh. His mother says "who knows," and there is a title card "In loving memory of Julie Maher, 1919-2007". See more »
I watched Bill Maher's new movie, Religulous at it's world premiere at the Traverse City Film Festival. It was one of the first films to sell out at the festival, selling out in just the first couple days of sales.
Okay... now for the movie review: for those of you who thought that Dawkin's "Root of all evil" or "Jesus Camp" were powerful statements, then you might want to wear diapers because you might just crap yourself. Religulous doesn't take prisoners. It addresses Christianity, Scientology, Mormonism,Islam, and other religions. Bill Maher travels around the word, visiting the Wailing Wall, USA Bible Belt, Salt Lake City, and other locations while interviewing a wide range of religious leaders and followers.
Throughout the interviews, Bill throws out zingers and the joke timing is impeccable. Like the pro-creationist movie "Expelled", Religulous cuts to a variety of old film stock when making jokes. Although it fails at times, I would say the vast majority of the cuts connect and generates hearty laughs.
The first third of the film deals with Christianity and several offshoots of it. Here, the movie shines. It is hilarious! Poking jab after jab into insane ideas by asking simple questions.
Unfortunately, the move starts to slow down after he lampoons Scientology. Dressed as a vagrant, he appears in Hyde Park's Speaker's Corner and runs through Scientology's belief structure... appearing as a raving lunatic while accurately describing what that religion teaches.
By the time it deals with Islam, a lot of inertia has been lost. Although it still delivers some funny bits, the movie is much more subdued. Granted, anytime you are dealing with a subject so inflammatory that people have been killed over it, you tread lightly, but I think Christians will criticize the movie for being softer on Islam than on Christianity. The sad thing is that it's true. Being the more dangerous religion, people seem to be treating Islam with kid gloves. I wonder how long before other religions start adopting that tactic as they become threatened by critics? The ending is a fiery call to action for freethinkers. Rousing music & inflammatory speech hammer the dangers of religion into the audience. Propaganda techniques? Yes. Pretty heavy-handed about it too. However, I think it's needed. The flow of the movie needed something to bring things together and although thick with images and rhetoric... it is a solid ending.
Is it worth seeing? Hell yes! Will people be offended? Most definitely. Will there be protesters? There should be, this is far more blasphemous than "Dogma", "Passion of the Christ", or "The DeVinci Code".
Comparing "Expelled" to "Religulous", it's pretty quickly apparent that Religulous is the better movie. Bill Maher, with his previous experience doing standup and conducting interviews shames Ben Stein. Nicely done Bill!
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