Mickey O'Hara is a committed IRA member but his days of freedom fighting are long gone, leaving him peddling drugs and disenchanted with "the cause." When a deal goes wrong, things take a ... See full summary »
Richard Dawkins' highly critical documentary attacks the pulsing heart of all mainstream religion- faith; with special focus on Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Contains repeated ... See full summary »
Academic freedom is being suppressed, says Ben Stein. He contends that professors from around the United States are being fired from their jobs for promoting, or even exploring the possibility of, intelligent design as an alternative to Darwinism. Stein interviews the expelled academics and other supporters of intelligent design. He also interviews the scientists in the mainstream, who support Darwinism. Stein links Darwinism to Nazism, Communism, eugenics and abortion. Vintage clips of educational films and Hollywood movies are used to illustrate points in a satirical way. Written by
The Anti-Defamation League has condemned the film for its linking of evolutionary theory and the Holocaust: "Using the Holocaust in order to tarnish those who promote the theory of evolution is outrageous and trivializes the complex factors that led to the mass extermination of European Jewry." Promoting the movie in Canada, Stein told the Vancouver Sun that "It's none of their [expletive] business". See more »
During an interview (at about 27 minutes), the drink on the far right is half full, and then appears completely full in the next shot. See more »
We are losing our freedom in one of the most important sectors of society: science. I have always assumed that scientists were free to ask any question, to pursue any line of inquiry, without fear of reprisal. But recently I've been alarmed to discover that this is not the case.
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If I.D. proponents were hoping to look smart by making this movie, boy are they crazy!
It's common knowledge that actor and game show host Ben Stein was a speechwriter for President Richard Nixon, but does anyone know if he was a good speechwriter? Judging from his new documentary, Expelled, which argues that the discussion of intelligent design is barred from academia, Stein couldn't hold an argument with a mute clown. The film jumps all over the place with its ideas, setting up and knocking down the most obvious of strawmen and making leaps of logic, making him about as coherent as a schizophrenic homeless man. And, man, is he obnoxious about it. Imagine Michael Moore with a megaphone, pressed against your ear. Stein questions his allies with faux disbelief, and his foes with raging cynicism. The film begins with a montage of professors, academics and journalists who claim to have been fired for their belief in intelligent design. What evidence does Stein have? Their word, and that's all he needs to believe them. To make it look more official in the film, there have been documents typed up giving reasons, but these are pretty clearly unofficial documents, not the actual pink slips, and we're only shown selected, highlighted words from them anyway, so there's no way to judge for ourselves. The I.D. proponents claim vehemently that their purpose is not to insert religion into scientific discussions, but Stein harps on the atheism of his enemies, and even goes so far as to point out the word "Creator" in the preamble of the Constitution. In other segments, Stein interviews evolutionary biologists, asks them leading questions and gives each of them a total of about 20 seconds of screen time to answer while Stein sits there widening his eyes at them in fake disbelief. Not once does he bring together an I.D. supporter and an accredited scientist and have them discuss the subject at any length. The only scientist who gets any more than a moment of screen time is the infamous Richard Dawkins. Yeah, we all know he is kind of a jerk. Purportedly the filmmakers had to cut his interview to pieces to make him look worse, or so Dawkins claims. You have to believe him, considering how much the rest of the film cheats. To add insult to injury, Stein comes to the conclusion that Charles Darwin and those who uphold his theories are the reason the Holocaust happened. He's quite far off by this point, if you couldn't tell. His original premise is that I.D. proponents had been expelled from academia. That may be true. If he had asked one of the evolutionary scientists why that was and let him answer without interrupting, they would have basically concluded that I.D. is not worth discussing because it does not provide an argument. Expelled itself provides no real argument, either, and should definitely be expelled from the ranks of cinema. There is no competition for the worst movie of 2008.
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