Friday, October 9, 2009

[review] Religulous

wow ... #3

no, not another jr. gopher!

There are very, very few movies I’ve ever despised enough to walk out of. Boogie Nights was repugnant. The only reason I didn’t walk out was because I was @ the theater with a friend. Afterwards, we walked out in silence. Eventually I asked in an odd tone of voice, “so, what did you think?” We both vowed never to sit through another movie so god awful horrible, even if it meant leaving the other one in the theater.

Pulp Fiction: yup, I must be the only person in America who thought the movie sucked. I can’t tell you why. Nothing specific struck me, just the awful movie. I don’t want to watch it again to figure it out.

And now .... (drum roll, please) ...

Religulous: you have got to be kidding. This should have been called Ridiculous. Because, while Mahr might be funny, this wasn’t. If someone had just told me that it was a 2 hour effort to ridicule and despise people for their religious beliefs, I wouldn’t have bothered. Well, I only bothered with the first 30 min.

Mahr’s claim that he wanted to understand this bizarre phenomenon of deism was a self-serving lie - he didn’t want to and didn’t bother to try. The note on IMdB reads: "Bill Maher's take on the current state of world religion." It isn't. He just runs around pondering with this smirk on his face "I don't understand ..." There was no effort to understand.

Strangely, he interviewed quite a diverse group of people in 30 min.:
  • a bunch of truckers who have a chapel at a truck stop in a converted (of course) tractor-trailer.
  • a minister who is a recovered homosexual married to a recovered lesbian whose mission in life is to convert the rest of Gay America to the wonders of a life with Jesus.
  • the head of the National Academy for the Advancement of Science
  • a former Motown star who epitomizes the "Jim Baker send me your money for God" type of evangelical preacher

There was no effort to solicit anything truly intelligent or articulate from them. Nope, just asking questions to elicit a previously determined answer. Come on - the fellow from the NAAS was articulate.

If they had only a) made an effort to be funny/satirical or b) not tried to pretend to be a documentary ... well, I might have been more likely to at least watch the whole thing. A review stated: It's not what the movie is about, it's how it's about it. If so, Mahr totally failed by losing my interest 30 min. into the movie.

Gopher Movie Rating:
Go floss your teeth.


I understand the appeal of wanting to understand why people believe what they do. (Mahr doesn't, but that's okay.) I would really have been interested in this as a serious movie.

I never asked my friend the Nuclear Physicist and devout Catholic why he, as a scientist, believes in a divine God. One would assueme a man who spends his time trying to observe the bizarre mysteries of the unseen and uncertain wouldn’t have so much difficulty believing in God, rather than neutrinos.

I suppose I could ask Mr.Gopher, another physicist and devout Catholic why he believes in God. It seems an incredibly personal question, even for one’s spouse. (A truly insane confluence of talking about sex yes, but not Faith?) Well, something to talk about besides our taxes Friday when we play hookie together.

I’m a scientist. Although I’m not a physicist, and not always so sure about the devout Catholic. I think like many, part of my justification for this belief is not discussed publicaly. Mystics make most American Catholics uncomfortable. We tend to accept the mysticism of saints and messiahs, but not ourselves.

And, apparently unlike some, science doesn’t threaten my faith. The more I studied physical chemistry, the more convinced I was that there was a god. How could so much of the universe be described by mathematics without something behind it? I cannot imagine any scientific finding capable of repudiating the existance of God. I can only imagine the more knowledge we have of the natural world simply reaffirming this.

A naval pilot once stated that after a night-time instrument-only bad-weather landing on an aircraft carrier, he had no problem believing in what one cannot see.

1 comment:

ccyager said...

I thought Pulp Fiction was interesting purely from a structural point of view. Tarantino wrote it non-linearly and made it work. It'll be studied in screenwriting classes because of that. As for the story and characters, I think it is totally a "guy" movie. Haven't seen the 2 "Kill Bill" movies. I plan to rent "Inglourious Basterds."


I've not walked out of any movies and only 2 concerts. I have watched other people walk out -- Fellini's "Satyricon" after the first 5 minutes which are quite brutal -- even a play at the Guthrie -- "The Duchess of Malfi" which is about sibling incest. They should have stayed for the second half,though, to see the 2 brothers get their total punishment....