Expelled — rounding up some odds’n’ends


Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, a documentary on the Intelligent Design movement and the opposition it faces from evolutionary scientists and the academic establishment, was originally going to open in February, on Charles Darwin’s 199th birthday.

The release date has since been postponed to April 18, and both the filmmakers and their opponents are using the extra time to raise awareness of the film, whether intentionally or otherwise; Variety was already reporting on the movie’s promotional efforts almost a month ago, and both SlashFilm and Paste magazine have noted that the new release date puts the movie out there about two months before Bill Maher’s religion-mocking documentary Religulous, which will presumably have a similar “guerrilla vérité” style but from a completely opposite ideological point of view.

Today, the New York Times reported that Orlando Sentinel critic Roger Moore caused a stir recently by giving the film a negative review at his blog. Leonard Pierce at The Screengrab has also written a scathing review, though the film’s fans don’t appear to have noticed it yet. In the meantime, the film has had glowing endorsements from Tom Bethell of the American Spectator and Jack Cashill of WorldNetDaily, and a more balanced assessment from my colleague Brett McCracken. Moore has been criticized for failing to sign and then follow a non-disclosure agreement, but McCracken says there was no such form to sign at the screening he attended; it is not clear whether Pierce, Bethell or Cashill were asked to honour any embargoes before writing their own commentaries.

Ben Stein, who narrates the film and stars in it, has spent the past few months drumming up interest in it, starring in trailers and doing interviews and so forth and so on. My own interview with him will appear at CT Movies closer to the film’s release date.

For now, here is the extended trailer, which includes a nod to Ben Stein’s cameo in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986):

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And here is Ben Stein being interviewed by R.C. Sproul:

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About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00975695604400974378 Benjamin Franklin

    For those of you reading this blog who think that Ben Stein was in any way the motivating force behind this movie, please reconsider.

    From the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Texan interview with Logan Craft (executive producer of Expelled):

    http://www.sbtexan.com/default.asp?action=article&aid;=5533&issue;=2/4/2008

    TEXAN: How did Ben Stein come to be involved in the film?

    CRAFT: Well, John (Sullivan, producer of Expelled) had a real insight, we believe, into the necessity to have a person, first of all, who wasn’t overtly Christian or overtly religious…

    Ben Stein is a hack!

    This film is a manufactured argument, cleverly crafted to advance a conservative christian agenda. ID at this point, after almost 20 years and millions of dollars tossed at it by the Discovery Institute, is still merely a vague idea. It has not yet even been fleshed out into a valid scientific hypothesis, and certainly hasn’t developed into a viable or testable theory.

    So at this point, the ID/creationist movement is merely a well-funded public relations effort trying to rally public support promoting “science/evolution = atheists = Naziism”, rather than offering any positive evidence of the “designer”, or “design”.

    To see what people who have seen the movie are saying, go to

    http://www.expelledexposed.com

    “Tens of millions of Americans, who neither know nor understand the actual arguments for or even against evolution, march in the army of the night with their Bibles held high. And they are a strong and frightening force, impervious to, and immunized against, the feeble lance of mere reason.”
    —Isaac Asimov


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