Religulous

DVD Reviews | Feb 28th, 2009

Starring: Bill Maher, Larry Charles, Larry Charles’ Beard
Directed By: Larry Charles
Studio: Lionsgate
Buy On Amazon.com

This “documentary” will either be loved or hated by people. It’s an extremely hilarious and biased looked at religion and I think Bill Maher knocks one out of the park with this. As someone who has similar views as Bill Maher, I couldn’t wait for this to come out on DVD!

Religulous is a documentary that stars Bill Maher as he ventures across the world to get answers about religion. He travels to Jerusalem, The Vatican, Salt Lake City, Monsey NY, Miami, Orlando, Amsterdam and other religious places. Bill even travels to Hyde Park’s Speaker’s corner in London and pretends to be a Scientologist looney. In the documentary: Bill interviews a Senator who believes in creationism, a Vatican priest & scholar known for his common sense, an ex-homosexual who’s found God now, an anti-Zionist spokesman, a Muslim British rapper, and various Pastors and religious figures. Bill gets their take on what they believe and if they can back up their beliefs or not. He tries to hear their side of things, even though he questions everything they bring up. The main groups that Bill targets is: Christians, Catholics, Muslims, Mormons, Scientologists, Jews for Jesus, and Hasidic Jews. The whole point to this documentary is to back up Maher’s theory that if Atheists and Agnostics don’t start to come out of the closet, our world is going to be doomed. He may have a point.

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I love Bill Maher’s Real Time and his stand-up material as well. But what I love even more when he attacks religion so when I found out he was making this documentary, I wanted to see it the moment it was released in theaters. I thought this movie was excellent and really really funny the first time. I found it just as funny the second time. The way that Maher & Charles intertwine old religious footage & movies with what people were saying was genius. It reminded of the HBO series Dream On. If Maher says something insulting to a religious person, they show something like Jesus getting bitch slapped. Hilarious stuff! The song choices used in the movie were perfect. I just had a feeling they were going to use the The Doobie Brothers’ “Jesus Is Just Alright With Me.” It would have been awesome to hear some Stryper though.

I’m sure Bill wanted to focus mainly on Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam; but felt he could have went into a lot more religions. I’m hoping he makes a sequel and dives in deeper with more religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Rastafarianism. Even some of the religions he covers in the movie could have been explored even more. At this rate, Bill could make 20 movies on religion and still not run out of material. But the question would be, how does he go undetected and trick people into doing interviews? I’m sure he can find a way.

The Religulous DVD has a few bonus features on it. You can listen to audio commentary with Bill Maher and director Larry Charles, or watch some deleted scenes and various monologues by Bill across the globe. The deleted scenes and monologues were either extended scenes from the movie or ones that got cut out completely. Each section was about 18 minutes worth and both were worth watching. If you got the time, check them out.

If you’re a person of faith and doesn’t have a sense of humor, you’ll truly hate this film. After all, Maher will be making fun of your religion throughout Religulous. If you do have a sense of humor, and an open mind; perhaps this documentary will make you “see the light” and not follow crazy superstitions? I do know for a fact that if you like Bill Maher, you’ll absolutely love this documentary comedy! I just hope Maher and Larry Charles decide to make a sequel.

Features:
– Commentary with Bill Maher and Director Larry Charles
– Deleted Scenes
– Bill Maher Monologues from around the World

Video:
Widescreen 1.78:1 Color (Anamorphic)

Audio:
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo [CC]

Subtitles:
English, Spanish

Bottom Line: A hilarious documentary that bashes religion. You gotta love it!
Rating: R
Running Time: 101 mins
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating:

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