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Expelled DVD # 1 in documentaries, #11 in DVDs


The Expelled DVD was released October 21, distributed by Vivendi. When I checked early that morning (around 3:30 am), it was doing well for a documentary about the intelligent design guys that almost every legacy film pundit knew he had a duty to trash – if he was going to eat lunch again in Shallow Waters.

By then, there were 241 reviews, and the vast majority of the ones I scrolled through were attacks, voted up by hundreds of people. But the film was also #30 in DVDs Amazon. (Note: As of October 22, 2008, at 6:30 am EST it was #14*, with 256 reviews.)

As I now write this (October 23, 2008 about 7:30 EST), Expelled is

Amazon.com Sales Rank: #11 in Movies & TV

Popular in these categories:

#1 in Movies & TV > Documentary
#2 in Movies & TV > Comedy
#4 in Movies & TV > Kids & Family

And there are now 260 reviews. More of the reviews I am seeing are not just Darwin cultists venting auto-hate. They include non-cultists engaging with the subject.

But, clearly, even if all the reviews were from Darwin cultists on autopilot hate, the message is clear. Amazon customers are just letting the rant boys rant – while they themselves buy the film and move on.

Lesley Burbridge-Bates of Motive Entertainment Partnership/L.A.B. Media, the publicity firm, tells us,

It opened in the Top 10, achieving the #5 position on a per-screen average. It has already made its place in history as the #12 Top Grossing Documentary of all time and the #1 Conservative Documentary. The initial buzz about the film was so intense that it became the #1 most popular blog on the Internet (3/24/08), the #6 Top search on Yahoo (4/8/08), and received over 2 million web hits, more than any other movie’s website during this time.

Part of that was Yoko Ono’s doing, to be sure. Her lawsuit over the use of a couple of bars from the late John Lennon’s song Imagine resulted in millions of people learning about the film who had never been remotely interested in the intelligent design controversy.

That’s quite significant. The single biggest problem for anyone introducing a new idea is to get recognition from peoplew ho are not already interested. The legal trouble with Yoko Ono was very expensive for the Expelled producers, but they couldn’t have bought the resulting publicity breakthrough at any price.

Eventually, Ono dropped the case, the producers dropped Imagine from the DVD. But her suit provides an excellent illustration of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

*Note: A friend wrote [October 22, 2008] to say, “I just checked and it’s listed as #14 in movies and TV. HOWEVER, I looked at the listings page and a number of the top 13 are duplicates, that is, two listings for the same movie depending on format (e.g., Blu-ray or standard DVD), so Expelled is actually #8 in terms of titles. (as of 2:36 pm EST).”

Rush out and rent it! I'll admit, I was a little unwilling to see it. I was excited about it when it first came out, until tepid reviews from would-be Dr. Johnsons on this very site made me fearful that it might not be as good as I wanted it to be (op cit). It's as good. It's better. The dog will have his day, but Ben Stein has accomplished something magnificent here, and no amount of insolent yelping can take it away from him. This is a motivational film that succeeds brilliantly at what it is trying to do: motivate. First, Stein is tireless. He did not go half way. He not only got most of the main ID guys on camera, but he even went out and got the most vocal and influential critics. Net-net? The ID guys look sane, relaxed, reasonable, good-humored, while the critics look uncomfortable and shrill. Look, cavilers, you're missing the point. Stein doesn't have to sell ID to his audience. ID is a slam dunk to anyone who has his eyes open. "The fool says in his heart: there is no God." At this point, design is as obvious as the fact that the earth is round. It was obvious before to those who had not hardened their hearts, who were not "wise in their own imaginations," but molecular biology makes it a virtual necessity. The argument makes itself. What is left for a filmmaker is to give encouragement to those who are willing to resist the oppressive materialism of the age. No more encouragement is needed than the infinitely precious stumbling of Dawkins captured forever on film, or Stein's brave attempt to repress a smirk during the invocation of "crystals." No more encouragement is needed than the reminder of what materialism can lead to and did lead to when the superman came into being in Hitler. By all means, rent this movie. Then buy it. Then take it to your church and show it to your friends. Then buy them copies so they can show it to their friends. They won't let us talk about ID in the schools that we pay for with our own tax money, but there's nothing they can do about the grass-roots. allanius
Expelled is #22 on the Netflix Instant Watch Top 50! EndoplasmicMessenger
It's a good film overall. But a few observations: 1) Stein needs more pictograms explaining FIRST the orthodox Darwinian view. And THEN the findings of ID in same manner. Behe makes use of such Rube-Goldberg complexity pictograms, say, the blood clotting story of Behe fame. (and speaking of that, where was Behe in this film? Did he get...EXPELLED?) I realize the film is for the Everyman. Still, more on both Darwin and ID needs to have been more carefully and fully developed. The film assumes most people are even familiar with the terms from either side. They are only partially aware, at most. 2) Stop it with all the gloomy music. A few quiet moments. Please. 3) Stop it with all the Hillstreet Blues-styled camera shifts. I'd like to see some more faces n' places before shifting back and forth between Berlinski and the pictures on his Paris apartment wall over an over, or for that matter shifts between speakers and the thematic black and white elements of 60 year old films. These films have their place. But not in between someone's words before he/she even gets to finish the sentence. Grief. 4) Develope the Nazi thing a little better rather than showing bodies and then visiting the statue of Darwin in London and pondering somberly the fate of mankind and eugenics. A case can be made here, and has, but the connection is ideolgically thin if all you have is imagery. Sam Harris is more than happy to point out that politics, and the mythology of Hitler's Teutonic Knights and fair haired warriors finding an easy scapegoat is a better measure of Hitler's insanity more than Charles Darwin's notations in books. Having said all this, the black and whites of mortor being plunked down to build the Berlin Wall and its later destruction in a true spirit of openness was refreshing. Good connection. Walls of separation, from people, from freedom, from truth, from other insights, are always dangerous. Good show. S Wakefield Tolbert
lol^ Frost122585
Thanks for reminding Ben Stein and company that lying is breaking the 8th commandment despite the fact that most are not Christians. == Strange, I don't see the irony there. I could have sworn that Old Testament thing and the Ten Commandments had something to do with the Jews. Bueller_007
Hi Gang, My copy of Expelled arrived yesterday from Amazon. But for those that want to view before they buy, it appears that Expelled now is available for instant viewing on Netflix. I would have never expected that! EndoplasmicMessenger
After a while of reading internet hate comments they all mash into one. It used to intimidate me but I don't even bother discussing anymore when the same old drivel gets knocked out. 1. I know you think I'm an IDiot! 2. Oh really? You're the first person to tell me that ID isn't science. 3. Yes, of course ID is the first step on the road to a theocracy. What else could it be? 4. Thanks for reminding Ben Stein and company that lying is breaking the 8th commandment despite the fact that most are not Christians. 5. What's that? ID is creationism in drag? 6. Thanks for recommending Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennet and Christopher Hitchens...again. 7. You don't believe in the God for the same reasons that you don't believe in the tooth fairy? Because when you were 6 your mum told you she'd made it up? reluctantfundie
The amazing thing is that all the trashers are actually proving the film is presenting the truth. As noted here in the irony of denouncing expelledI think these Darwinists have inherited the Ernest P. Worrell curse - "stupider and stupider with each new generation". Borne
I had hoped the DVD would have the "Imagine" clip because it was absent in the theatre version released in Canada. Now I'm still out of luck! Any bootleg copies out there? (JUST JOKING) SCheesman
Some friends of mine were planing to get it through a popular mail order DVD rental business. Good that those gaming the review system (dare I say libturds) are not affecting sales too much. William Wallace

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