Sunday, October 5, 2008
I can't believe how freaking long it's been since I went to the movies. I don't know what the hell is going on. It's like everything coming out either looked bad or got shitty reviews.
This is essentially a Michael Moore-style movie about religion instead of politics: it's one-sided, unfair, self-important, prone to digression... but also pretty funny and entertaining in places. I must admit, although I object to parts of this film, I laughed enough that I had a good time.
Of course, not being particularly religious myself, my beliefs never get attacked during the movie. That makes it a little easier to enjoy.
Most of my complaints about Religulous are similar to my complaints about Borat, which had the same director. It places itself in an unassailable position and then doesn't give its (easy) targets a fair chance. It's like Funny Games: the rules are set so that the targets can't possibly win and the filmmakers can't possibly lose. I agree with most of Bill Maher's opinions in the film, but it would have been nice if he actually gave his subjects a chance instead of constantly cutting them off and then editing the interviews in such a way that makes himself look good. He even walks out on one interview, and I can't understand the point of leaving it in the film except to show what a great, moral guy Maher is.
Then, the movie gets way too serious in the finale and overestimates its own importance (again, shades of Michael Moore here). He goes on a long rant at the end of the movie that is deadly serious, and I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and for them to slip in one last punchline, but it never happens. Apparently they really want their message to be taken seriously, but I'd argue that they score more points with humor than they do with preaching.