In between the hit success of Borat and the unexpected disappointment of Bruno director Larry Charles directed Religulous, with comedian Bill Maher. Religulous (whose title is a mixture of Religion and ridiculous) is a documentary and Bill Maher goes around the world examining religion and for most part, mocking it.
The film actually shares more in common with Charles' Borat than expected, the interviewees don't realise what they are a part of (the producers referred to the movie as 'A Spiritual Journey' when obtaining interviews and Bill Maher also has the ability to make his interviewees just as uncomfortable as Borat.
Throughout the movie Bill looks at a variety of different opinions and viewpoints in Religulous and in this respect he doesn't discriminate, he has interviews with his family, Christians, a Satanist, a senator, a Catholic, a Rabbi, a Muslim and plenty, plenty more. Bill Maher himself also knows a lot about religion and the bible, so he is able to quickly question his interviewees and rebutt some of their arguments.
Religulous also goes far to show you some of the extreme lengths that religion goes to at times, Billy Maher visits Holy Land, he speaks to a pastor who 'overcame' homosexuality and he visits a gay bar for muslims, in Amsterdam.
Bill Maher visits lots of different locations and they look beautiful in Blu-Ray, but this isn't really a film that is going to show off your home theatre system visually primarily due to the filming techniques of only having a couple of Panasonic AJ-HDX900 cameras on set at any time. The video bitrate tended to bounce from 20Mbps to 35Mbps, which is inconsistent, but for this documentary it isn't really a huge deal.
It's also worth noting that a lot of the interviews are done using small microphones attached to Maher and his interviewees, so while the audio is acceptable and it's great we've been given a lossless track, it's a bit underutilised in a movie such as this. The disc also includes an English subtitle track for those that require it.
There are no extras included on the Religulous disk at all, which is a severe disappointment. In America the DVD release of Religulous includes deleted scenes, a monologue and a commentary with Bill Maher and Larry Charles, to miss out on all of this is disappointing.
Review By: Luke Van Leuveren