Friday, April 11, 2008


Loser Pic Stinky Trick

It's been a hectic, hectic day so I'll just offer for your consideration this review of Expurgated from Variety. It starts out badly enough by proclaiming that "There's an intelligent case to be made for intelligent design" but notes the film is "a flimsy attempt to discredit Darwinist theory as the cornerstone of modern biology." It gets some things right:

But as its awkward title suggests, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" is more interested in portraying its subjects as victims than in rigorously examining and defending what they have to say. An open-minded viewer wants more than just sob stories and conspiracy theories; one hopes to hear conventional wisdom challenged and little-known facts brought to light. ...

[I]t's easier to critique evolution (oddly, the gaps in the fossil record, which even biologists concede, are never addressed) than to mount evidence for intelligent design, and the filmmakers' failure to offer even a working definition of the term leaves them open to the common charge that it's all unprovable, faith-based pseudo-science.
After noting the film's use of black-and-white film clips as comic punctuation (big "haha" coming from film of a guillotine to cap news of a supposed firing of a professor) the reviewer says:

In addition to being just plain irritating, this jittery style seems to reinforce the perception of the pic's target audience as a bunch of intellectual lightweights.
No! Really?

Then comes the bottom line:

Even more offensive is the film's attempt to link Darwin's "survival of the fittest" ideas and Hitler's master-race ambitions (when in doubt, invoke the Holocaust), complete with solemnly scored footage of the experimentation labs at Dachau. Evocations of the Berlin Wall, treated as a symbol of a bullheaded scientific establishment on the verge of collapse, are equally fatuous.

Heavily sampling footage from classic films (including "Inherit the Wind," natch), "Expelled" is technically well-mounted, though its aesthetics trump its ideas at every turn. If evolution is worth debating, it's worth debating well, and by a more intelligently designed film than this one.
Too bad there is nobody in the ID camp that can mount a better argument.

There is talk that Christians will flock to this movie and it will be as big as Passion of the Christ. I don’t think so. In fact I can imagine that the turn out will be so small that “that” will be the news.

When Passion of the Christ came out, churches were buying up the seats for a entire showing, they were having ‘bring an unbeliever’ night and churches talked about it and it was a big thing. You heard nothing but Passion of the Christ on Christian Radio. You hear none of that about Expelled.

I don’t think you will find any school age children that have even heard about Expelled. You don’t hear the churches talking about it. Find someone that attends a more fundamental church and you they won’t even know what your talking about.

So here a couple of good Christian kids on a Friday night…. …So, um, you want to go see this movie where…like um, like scientist disagree, and um, and there is like some conspiracy with, like God or something and science…or…umm, do you want to go see, Horton hears a Who?

Anyone want to guess which movie they go to? Anyone?
I think it would thoroughly deserved if this movie crashed and burned on top of the producers. And as a "documentary," I doubt it could ever be as big as Passion. But if only 10 people (especially kids) see it who don't have the critical skills and/or the information to see through the deception, it will have done damage enough.
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