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Movie Review: Religulous

Alternate Title: Doubting Thomas (or in this case, Bill).

Story: The gospel, according to Bill Maher, is a bunch of made up stories that just might end up to be self fulfilling prophesies that cause the end times with mushroom shaped clouds instead of the much prayed for salvation.Religulous is 90 minutes of shtick written by and starring the always irreverent Bill Maher and directed by Larry Charles (Borat and Curb Your Enthusiasm).

If you are familiar with Maher's condescending approach to most things that he does not agree with you are half way to enjoying the film. If you also bring with you a sense of humor about religion - you will have a lot of belly laughs and many giggles.

He crisscrosses the world in search of answers to why people believe the preposterous stuff about religion. He spends much of the film on Evangelical Christianity and the Catholic Church. He dips his feet into Judaism and Islam and also skewers Mormonism and Scientology. He did not touch at all upon Hinduism or Buddhism or many of the other 'isms' but we get the point very quickly. All religion to Bill Maher is a crock of crap, dangerous and will ultimately cause the doomed scenario that many of the religions preach.

My favorite parts were the inserted movie and video clips he used to make his point while doing his interviews. For a dose of funny, go see the film.

Watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Gxc0XEoQpQ

Acting: Lots of wackos doing their thing in the name of religion.

Trivia: Bill Maher was born in NYC and grew up in River Vale, NJ. His father was Irish Catholic and was a news editor for NBC News. His mother was Jewish. Maher was raised in the Catholic faith but left the church at age 13 and never looked back. While attending Cornell, he decided to try stand-up comedy. He supported Ralph Nader in 2000, John Kerry in 2004 and supports Barack Obama in 2008.

Predilection: I like Bill Maher

Critters: Most of the critters, horses, sea monsters and whales are seen in the vintage clips.

Sex Spectrum: No sex - but some talk about rape and homosexuality.

Blatant Product Placement: None of the churches come out looking good at all. One of Maher's premises is that these churches sell an invisible product.

Soundtrack: Terrific music to enhance the segues.

Opening Titles: A montage of his travels to seek answers to his quest.

Theater Audience: About a dozen other people. I went with my lapsed Catholic friend and we both had many laughs.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: I get very squirmy when I see these zealots speaking in tongues and talking about the rapture. Oy!

Drift Factor: I did not drift but it could have been even shorter and tighter.

Oscar Worthy: no

Big Screen or Rental: It is going to be interesting to see how this film does in the general marketplace. Rental would be a fine option.

Length: A bit over 90 minutes.