Good God: Review for “ Religulous”

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They say there are three subjects you should never speak of in public or with strangers: religion, sex, or politics. Religulous, the new documentary from the director of Borat, is about the first of the three taboos, as you can tell by its almost-at-first-glance-unpronounceable title. Bill Maher, a self-proclaimed non-believer/atheist/comedian hails the documentary with quick wittedness. They go from place to place interviewing people on religion. Their religion, the religion of others, crazy religions, irrational terms that people use in religion, and even a marihuana religion. Luckily, our host isn’t some weirdo going out of his way to offend people without knowing what he’s talking about. At least he’s read his stuff. Not only do they talk about what may be assumed as the main target of Christianity, but he also has discussions with Muslims. He can be a little rough and make jokes that you will undoubtedly frown or wince at, but by the next interview you’re laughing too hard to remember why you were offended. It is enjoyable, albeit a little mean to watch people flabbergasted by the questions put for this by the guy. And sometimes, when they spot who Mr. Maher actually is, the people will throw him out. Why? Probably because they’re too afraid to defend their religion. It’s a very interesting and funny documentary. The one problem is that anyone who sees this and actually knows what it’s about is already, for lack of a better word, “converted”. I do wish that some of my overly zealous friends watch this documentary with an open mind. Do I agree with everything Bill Maher says in this feature? No, but what I believe is irrelovant. Bill Maher isn’t really telling us to leave our religion; he’s merely bringing up questions that could in turn inspire a very passionate conversation…if people were secure enough to discuss it without acting as rashly as some have. He’s also asking us to wise up and notice the flaws of man. The film, an enjoyable hour and forty minutes, ends on a low note. This is not a bad low note, but note as high and as light hearted as the film had been. But the end result is rather satisfying. It will offend you but if you’re smart enough, you’ll engage in a conversation with someone soon as to why they are so faithful to who ever they worship.

Grade: B+

Something “Evil” This Way Comes: Review for “Deliver Us From Evil”

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Evil. What is evil? Is it an act or a feeling? Is anyone truly evil? In an uncomfortable to watch documentary, Deliver Us From Evil gives us a good idea what a truly evil person might look, act, talk, and think like. The scariest thing is that that person was not only in a position of power, but also of trust. Father Oliver O’Grady sexually molested hundreds of children between 1973 and 2006. The documentary, part intervention and part interviews with the victim, creates an extremely disturbing portrait of what a person might have in his closet. Father O’ Grady, aging but still vigorous, talks about his evil beginnings quite calmly. His voice doesn’t tremble, his face doesn’t really scowl, his eyes don’t shed a tear. This, I think, is true evil. He talks of his crimes in a completely unremorseful tone of, not only voice, but also of character.  The film goes on to concentrate on three of his victims, each case which they have filed against him. The Catholic Church ignores the claims against the priest and goes on. Doubtful? The documentary also explores the cover ups. According to the film, the Catholic Church has spent over $10 million covering up claims of priests abusing children. While the film itself is extremely well made, it is not one to actually watch. It is disturbing, unsettling, and depressing. Amy Berg’s excellent film was nominated for Best Documentary in 2006 at the Academy Awards. An exceptional film not to be watched unless for informational use. However, if you plan to see Doubt with Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman, I do advise you watch the this full before you go see it. Facts before fiction.

Grade: A