Bill Maher's Religulous Documentary is Evidently 'Brilliant'
You might be asking why we're featuring seemingly random reviews for an upcoming movie, however, there's more to this story. Bill Maher's Religulous is a documentary following Maher's take on the current state of world religion. It's controversial, it could potentially cause protests, and it's "brilliant." In order to be eligible for an Oscar, the Academy's Rule 12 says that the film must play in a theater in Los Angeles and New York by August 31st this year. Thus, Lionsgate has decided to run the film in two very small art house theaters and some crafty journalists decided to catch the film in advance of its actual release. The response so far has been overwhelming, enough to actually cause me to write about it.
The two reviews were originally mentioned on Jeffrey Wells' Hollywood Elsewhere. The first comes from Robert Koehler at Variety, who says simply that the documentary is "brilliant, incendiary" and "primed for serious numbers in theatrical and vid heaven." Great praise this early, but Variety isn't exactly the best resource for opinions. The second review comes from Devin Faraci of CHUD, who I trust to give us a more solid opinion than Variety. His 9 out of 10 review also calls it "often brilliant" and "hilarious," but he wonders "if any minds will be changed" after watching it, citing "the final moments of the film aren't laugh out loud funny, but a parade of images of death and destruction. This, Bill Maher says, is what humanity is in for if it doesn't get rid of the nuerological disorder that is religion."
You're more than welcome to read both reviews, like I have, and determine whether Religulous is worth your time. Considering I was already interested based off of the trailer from June, these reviews have only help solidify my interest in the documentary. I'll eventually see it and when I do, I'm going to do my best to stay out of discussing the religious implications and look at it more as a film. For reference, it's actually directed by Larry Charles, the same guy who directed Borat from two years ago. Religulous will eventually show at the Toronto Film Festival next month in addition to showing in theaters starting on Octoberd 3rd. I'm already anxiously awaiting my chance to catch Religulous and provide my own response. It's these kind of controversial and yet "brilliant" films that always get me excited - and I can't wait to see this one.