My esteemed friend and colleague Rob Kendt has something interesting, slightly chastising and admirably concise to say about the end of this review in Time Out New York. Now, I am loathe to criticize my fellow critics, especially those that are very intelligent, often thoughtful, well-educated, and not given to fits or fusillades of unnecessary vituperation. But in this particular case, not only is the phrase “religion is bad theater for stupid people” blisteringly…well, stupid, but it is also incalculably reductive and dismissive and selfishly agenda-driven and pissily caustic and megalomaniacal. And it is also — all right, here I’m probably going to get into trouble — a kind of super-supercilious demand for attention; it’s a baby-at-the-hi-chair statement that screams and caterwauls like a needy 2-year-old: “Look at me! Look at me! Pay attention to me!” Now, you just go ahead and shoot me if you don’t like my characterization — especially in light of some of the things I’ve said about the religious right in some of the posts down below — but to diss religion is, I feel, as egregious and inherently immoral and ultimately pompous as to believe that religion should be used to malign and hijack our cherished American freedoms. If Stewie Griffin was a theatre critic, “religion is bad theater for stupid people” is the kind of statement he would make, except that it probably wouldn’t be funny (heheheheheh, Lois). I also do not believe Stewie would have placed that statement at the end of the review, where it might not necessarily be read or fully digested, but would have had the temerity to put it up top where it could defended — if you assume it really could be.
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Vox's film critic joins CFR's Sean Douglass and Jose Solís to review their "favourite" movies of the year.