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Expelled Impressions

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I’m opening a thread for those who would like to report their impressions of seeing the movie Expelled as well the numbers of viewers and their reactions to the movie.

Here is my report:

Location: Memphis, TN Stage 13 Cinema, just north of Cordova Tennessee
2:00 PM Friday Showing

I expected to see only 3 people at the 2PM showing, but there were 60 people! I asked what people thought, they said they would recommend the movie to their friends. They braved bad weather to get here.

The ticket manager said she had a steady stream of positive comments from the movie goers.

The audience was laughing at Richard Dawkins. They seemed in awe of the cellular animation, and they gasped at the images of the Nazi death camps.

In the movie, Uta George, the director of the Hadamar Gas Chamber Memorial explicitly said that the Nazis drew inspiration from Darwin. Darwinism was associated with atheism, eugenics — along with various macabre images. ID was associated with freedom, morality, and heroism. That went over well with the audience….

Will Provine’s interview was very noteworthy. Provine is a good friend of Phil Johnson, and has shown himself to be honorable in treatment of pro-ID students even though Provine himself rejects ID. Some of his statements brought a chill. He said that life has no meaning, no free will, no morality. He said he may put a gun to his head one day because he faces the possibility of terminal illness. I was very sorry to hear this. Up until today, I was not sure that part of Will’s interview would air….

You’ll see Will at the end of the movie saying he applauds students who, after weighing the evidence, decide to become creationists. Thus, Will came across as the most honorable of the non-ID side. In contrast, Dawkins looked like a buffoon. When Berlinski called Dawkins a “reptile” the audience was in stitches laughing….

I also attended the later 4:50 showing, and about 70 people were there.

I asked people what they thought and how they heard about the movie. Much of the word spread through the churches and radio. The negative reviews such as USA Today were ignored by those buying tickets….

It is hard to say whether what is happening here in Memphis can be extrapolated anywhere else. So I hope some of you from other parts of the world will report. My thanks in advance to those providing reports….

Here is Rob Crowther's collection of reports:
Expelled Posts 3rd Best Never mind the critics — people are giving the movie thumbs up with their wallets. Here's just a few of the comments from viewers that I received in e-mail this weekend. One theatre in Clark County, WA presented "Expelled". It seats 321 (I asked) and I estimate there were no more than 10 or 15 empty seats. We attended a 7:00 Friday night showing in the San Diego area. The three-hundred-seat Edwards Cinema was almost completely full and the film received enthusiastic sustained applause at the end. Overall, I'm pleased with the finished product. This morning, some friends told us they saw "Expelled" yesterday (Sat.) afternoon at 1:30 at the same theater--300 or so seats. They said the house was 2/3 - 3/4 full and the film received warm applause at its conclusion. I saw the movie at a 6:30 pm showing in a Kerasotes theatre in Skokie, IL, a northern suburb of Chicago -- the showing wasn't full, but was well-attended (most of the seats were filled, with significant applause at the end) Northern California, 7:15 pm showing, looked sold out or practically sold out. One guy was handing out Darwin $10,000 bills. The audience was audibly impressed. I thought it was really good and could hardly restrain myself during the cell video portion and Dr. Axe's excellent explanations. Big kudos to everybody. We went to the opening last night in Independence, OR which is about 15 minutes southwest of Salem. Our little town theater was packed for the opening night of this movie. Young and old alike were present. Everybody clapped at the conclusion. I took a couple of friends to the 9:15 showing of Expelled at Bellevue's (WA) Lincoln Center last night. The theater was more than half full (pretty good, I thought) and the crowd was friendly — even applauding at the end of the film. Haven't gotten to the theater yet (will do so tonight), but by sending hoards of our students, greedy for bonus points, we made a big showing at 5:30, sold out at 7:45, and almost certainly sold out 10 (tickets for that show were going fast at 7:30!). I expect more of the same Saturday. I took friends to the 7:40 showing but it was sold out. Only one theater in town had it on the schedule. We had about 45 people in a theater that holds 4-5x as many, but we too had applause at the end. Note Eugene (OR) likens itself to a Berkley of the Northwest and that might be a massive turn out for us. We were not sold out (north of Houston), but we went to a late night showing due to time schedule constraints. San Bernardino, California: It's nice to know that I am living in the deep south, according to the various critics of this movie. Not sold out, but very full on a Friday evening when our baseball team was playing rival High Desert Mavericks on 50cent Fridays. I have offered my students extra credit if they go see it. When I went last night I found about 70 - 100 people in my showing (which is only 1 of three theaters in the Lexington, KY area that are showing it. And I was pleased to say that only 1 of the other attendees was one of my students (I had feared that my students would make up half or more of the audiences). I saw the movie yesterday — it was awesome! (Knoxville, Tn) The theater here in Ontario (Calif.) was near to full at the Friday night 7:40pm showing. The audience seemed to really enjoy the film and applauded at the end.
Granville @65 The real measure of a work of art is what is left out of it. In the realm of communication, the theme is what provides the power and the persuasion. If the producers had cluttered up the theme of injustice by introducing extraneous intellectual material, it would have ruined the effect. As an analogy, consider Martin Luther King's speech "I have a dream." Now picture him reserving a section for commenting on trickle down economics and imagine what happens to the inspirational tone of the address. StephenB
Submitted to scordova: 5-STAR! I went with my son and a friend to a 10 p.m. showing on the 18th in Fayetteville, NC. Only about 20 or so there at that late hour. The movie is GREAT! Stein and producers have a knack at keeping the action flow lively so it is not just a series of boring interviews, but should have an appeal to a much wider audience than solely science and/or religion aficionados. The juxtaposition of old movie footage interspersed throughout drove home key points being made and provided some creative humor interlude. All was done respectfully enough, it should be noted, and not in the sarcastic and profane way that so much of this has been done in similar contexts by the evolutionists. It was made clrearer than ever through the on-site interviews at the death camps with Uta George and Dr, Weikhart that Nazism and the horrors of the Holocaust WERE justified ultimately by the irreligious spirit pervading Germany at the time which emanated from the German academy. There is plenty of history available to corroborate this and its open-handed discussion should be undertaken in our schools today as a fair warning to our children. The connections between the eugenicists and Planned Parenthood were noted and are obviously quite ominous in our day as PPH is the recipient of hundreds of millions of dollars of government largess. (I was expecting to see a picture of Terry Schiavo flash across the screen when euthanasia was mentioned, but time or taste apparently did not allow for this) I couldn't help but smile when I saw a colored push pin protruding clearly from the heart of Cumberland County, NC, on Eugenie Scott's Hot-spot U. S. map of "creationist" uprisings for which she had been called to assist in suppressing! This was our doing not too long ago. Ben Stein was so calm and collected through the whole set of interviews and it was amazing how he had Dawkins, P.Z. Meyers, and others confessing to ulterior (sociological/political) motivations and implications of their grand Neo-Darwinian programme. Don't expect rave reviews in secular media. Mostly they will attempt to ignore it and hope it "goes away" and is soon forgotten. But it is timeless in content and should be promoted via DVDs in every school in America as well as shown on television wherever this can be arranged. jeff long
I saw it Friday in Ventura, CA. (near Santa Barbara). The room was half-full---more than I'm used to for name-brand features. The movie was well-received, with applause at the end. I know that some have complained that the movie didn't focus more on ID as science, but my deep impression was that this film indeed was a documentary: documenting Ben Stein's odyssey searching for the real answer as to whether or not academia was silencing debate. If you look at each vignette, it builds on the prior ones as Stein comes to the realization that ID is not bogus science, and that Darwinism is indeed like a religion. The objective nature of this odyssey gives the movie its strength. So, I, for one, am happy with its composition. I think it accomplishes what it sets out to do: document Darwinian bigotry and idealogy. PaV
I saw the movie Friday at 7 pm. There was some speaker malfunction, but most of the film was intelligible. Not a full house, but a fair number of people nonetheless. There was actually a full-fledged scientific/philosophic debate afterwards; someone down in front asked for reactions to the film, and most of us were happy to talk. We actually had a couple of atheists in the crowd who readily admitted that "certain mistakes in Academia have been made", although they didn't care to elaborate on the precise nature of those mistakes. Ah well. I think that the connection between Darwinism and Nazism was fair in the context used. The point was to draw to attention the fact that Darwinism is an ideology, and like any ideology it can be twisted or misinterpreted with truly horrifying consequences. I approved of the acknowledgement that Hitler truly believed that he was doing the right thing, at least when it came to the slaughter of people with disabilities and ethnic cleansing. He truly thought he could create a "perfect" race. Nazism is a deadly mixture of misinformation, self-righteousness, and extreme Darwinism. That is undeniable. I'm an agnostic myself, and I have no quarrel with those who draw attention to atrocities commited "In the Name of God". But say that Darwinism is incapable of begetting evil, to say that organized religion exclusively a source of corruption... that is simply absurd. Humans have always lived, died, and killed for causes. At the end of the day, Darwinism is just another cause, an old cause that's started to crumble. And the purpose of this film was to expose the oppression suffered by those who oppose it. Zakrzewski
It made 3 million yesterday so it's at about 5 million so far. This is pretty remarkable for a documentry film. deadfishes
Scottsdale, AZ Desert Ridge Harkins. Sold out a very big theatre. Much laughter at Dawkins and others. 30 secs or more applause at the end. They loved that Dawkins made a fool of himself. golfsullivan
I went to the showing 9:30 Friday at the multiplex in the Greenway Plaza district of Houston a couple of blocks away from the former Summit, now the giant Lakewood Church. About 30 attended. I bought tickets for Dr. R. P. who came to Houston to found the Pain Management Center at M.D. Anderson Clinic, and his wife. I loved the film and thought it very emotional, seemed to communicate a sense of gravity regarding what has happened to Western Civilization. Dr. P said he resented the film. However, his wife and I laughed uproariously at Dawkins at the end, as did others in the theater not including Dr. P. who by the way is not a materialist. groovamos
Re my post above: The showing I went to was on Friday. jstanley01
Grapevine, Texas (near DFW airport): Approx 50 attendees at 5:40 Friday showing. My wife and son went. Applause afterword. Great movie. I would have preffered more actual science/math evidence supporting ID. I just sent in my donation to the Discovery Institute. I want them to be able to buy the whole building. Denyse, today I noticed in the entertainment section of the Dallas Morning News it had the EXPELLED movie ad almost hidden. It was one page after the rest of the movie ads, all by itself, and away from the movie listings. What are the odds of that "coincidence"? Smurf pilotfo64
At the 4:50 pm showing at the Embassy in San Antonio, there were 20-30 people. Dawkins drew the strongest audible reaction during the film, in the form of laughter. At the end, the audience applauded. I was surprised by the film's emotional impact. Among the poinient moments, Stein facing down the statue of Darwin brought a lump to my throat. I agree with Granville Sewell @ 65. What I found myself wishing for, sitting in the theater, was more exposition of what ID is about. Answers by the interviewees, from both sides, to the Journalism 101 question "What is the ID?" would have been interesting to hear. I think that the film, as a documentary, would have benefited from thumbnail sketches of the concepts such IC, DI, NFL and the fine-tuned universe. Seeing such common-sense ideas being supressed by mainstream science would have made the plight of the expelled scientists that much more reprehensible. It was great to see faces put on some of the names I've heard for years, Berlinski and Provine especially. But Behe was sorely missed. jstanley01
Well, of course Expelled gave a far more fair and accurate picture of ID than any previous documentary, so I guess I was expecting too much, but I came away somewhat disappointed. Here's why: if there really is no evidence for Intelligent Design, the other side has every right to expell it from the science classroom, and virtually none was presented in the film. Of course, for most people, the evidence is so obvious and overwhelming that no one would ever believe something as counter-intuitive as Darwinism unless they were constantly told that ALL scientists believe it, then they start to think, maybe they know something I don't--hence the need for the constant intimidation and repression of dissent that the film is really about. So all they need is to know that there are a few good scientists who doubt it, and they will revert back to common sense. Still, it would have been nice to see some discussion of the "scientific" evidence, so academic types who aren't able to see what the rest of the world sees, couldn't come away still thinking, there isn't any evidence for ID, so why shouldn't it be expelled from the science classroom? Behe could have at least been included, with a short discussion of irreducible complexity. (For crl529 and other newcomers who want a short summary of the evidence, I suggest you go here or here ). All in all, a very good movie, I think I was just expecting the film to bring down the Berlin wall itself, it clearly won't. Maybe if the producers make a sequel some evidence will be presented; then I'll probably still find something to complain about, I'm afraid I'm a tough reviewer. Granville Sewell
I saw it in Maple Grove, Minnesota on Friday at 2:50pm. I thought there were about 20 people in the cinema, mostly older and retired people. The reaction seemed somewhat muted. Personally, I thought the film was beautifully done. I disagree with whoever it was that said there was too much intercutting of old footage: all of that worked very well, in my view, to give the movie a distinctive momentum, and kept it from becoming dull. The movie brought home the point that the ID hypothesis is not stupid or crazy or anything like that. Its supporters are credentialed, sophisticated, and intelligent. It is enough that even Richard Dawkins called it an "intriguing possibility" towards the end of the film. The persecution of ID supporters is obviously shown to be the result of a religious (or anti-religious) agenda, witnessed by P.Z. Myers' dream of pusng religion onto the periphery. Leo Hales
Apr. 19, 2:25 PM Torrance, CA 40-50 people, apparently pleased - they applauded afterward. I enjoyed it very much. Jack Golightly
Here is Dr. John West's account of ISU Showing
The movie theater screening Expelled in the home town of Iowa State University (ISU) apparently couldn't handle all the people who showed up last night, and the audience responded with a standing ovation for ISU astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, who was denied tenure by ISU because of his pro-ID views. According to The Ames Tribune,
A line for the 7:10 p.m. premiere showing of "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" at the Varsity II theater on Lincoln Way stretched back five storefronts to the Bali Satay House Friday... Those who made it into the theater before it filled up generally responded positively to the film. They greeted the ending credits with applause and, after Gonzalez wrapped up a brief discussion following the film, treated him with a standing ovation.
I bought 10 tickets for Boise ID showing -- should have bought 20 as the people who wanted to go came out of the woodwork. I work with youth in the 12-18 age range. This movie had a MAJOR impact on the youth that went with me, and after seeing it I am certain that the younger audience was the prime target. The motivation it caused in those youth with me was exceptional. I think this is why the details of the science was downplayed. The purpose was creating awareness -- as one of my Juniors so astutely pointed out. After you create the awareness, you can get people to listen to the shop talk. SpitfireIXA
Around 30 people at 2:30 (Sat Apr 19) at the only theater on Maui showing Expelled, which is pretty good for a weekend daytime show for anything other then a kids movie since most people are at the beach or various parties and get-togethers on the weekends here. I'm sure it will be packed in the evening. Great movie, really funny. Don't be discouraged by the reviews, it's what we expected, they aren't reviewing the movie as a piece of cinematic art as they would other movies, they are making it known that they are not "fooled" by "creationist propaganda", they are "too clever to be brainwashed" and therefore will pan the movie even though it's very entertaining and well made and truthful. Plus this movie is critic proof. Almost no one is going to go to the movie or not go to the movie based upon the critics. If they are interested in the topic they will go, if they are not they won't. Simple as that. mentok
We went to the film last night in Raleigh, NC for a 6:30 showing. There were probably about 80 people in the theater. My kids (ages 12 and 14) and I went dressed ala Ben Stein in a trailer we saw with white shirts, jackets, ties, shorts, black socks, and sneakers. We have been talking about it ever since. We loved the movie and have been talking about what kind of educational preparation one would need to participate in the debate, Nazism, the evil of Planned Parenthood, and the arrogance of the evolution lobby. Dawkins and Myers vigor in preventing I.D. from having a place at the table was especially insightful. Eugenie Scott seemed just creepy, too. chapman55k
Steve Peterman is a design engineer holding several patents. Like Steve, I was personally negative on the film. However, I've learned as a rule we engineers don't necessarily see things as others do, and for sure my taste in movies would be a horrible barometer for what will be received enthusiastically by general audiences. The motive marketing employees I was coordinating with told me that premise media used lots of focus group pre-screenings to actually shape the movie content. Apparently de-emphasis on the science was what came out of focus group meetings. So now that the film is out, I actually like it more because it is reaching the kinds of people which ID could not reach with technical literature. C'mon, how many people could really wade though Michael Denton's book? Not many! So here is my revised prediction. The viral marketing has only begun. Unlike The Passion of Christ, the plot line and content of Expelled was totally unknown. It was hard to get the laity or clergy in the chruches to be enthusiatic about a film which they had no knowledge of. In my conversations with Motive, I warned them that they'll get a lukewarm reception in many places that were enthusiastic about The Passion of Christ. And sure enough, Motive related the response the got from Young Life to the effect, "Young Life does not want to give the impression that one has to support ID in order to accept Christ...so Young Life cannot officially be involved with promoting the movie." The response from Young Life is typical of the lukewarm reception ID gets. It was the same attitude I got from the Inter-Varsity Director at James Madison University and at Longwood/Hampden Sydney. "We don't want to side with ID because we don't want people to think you have to accept ID in order to be a Christian". I have to try hard to contain the steam that's about to explode out of my ears when I hear such brush offs. Of course someone can be a Christian and accept Darwinain evolution. Someone can believe in phologiston and be a Christian. The point however is that if Darwinism is eroding someone's faith, wouldn't it be good to explore the possibility that Darwinism is false, and thus the compatibility of Darwinism and faith becomes a moot point? The movie finally might break the barriers in the Evangelical community from touching these divisive issues. The Darwinsits have done a good job suggesting the Evangelicals are behind ID. That is not true. Anyone working in the trenches where there are upstanding Evangelical Christians like Francis Collins in the congregations knows this is not true.... Expelled will encourage discussions which many churches would not touch with a ten foot pole... The reports in this thread are telling me the viral marketing has only begun. Unlike marketing of The Passion of Christ where the most successful viral marketing happened before the premier, I think Expelled viral model will be most effective after the premier. Furthermore, it will be marketed by the laity and not the clergy. Finally this movie will appeal to many of the young who are tired of having their view denigrated in the classroom by the Larry Moran's of the world. The movie has given them a voice. Professors of all varities are attacking the values and beliefs of their students. This movie will give them a voice... scordova
23 people at the 1:35 showing in Bowling Green, Kentucky. About the same number as were attending the other 9 shows at the complex. Light applause at the end. I thought the film interesting, entertaining, and effective. Excellent. Ten out of ten stars. Gerry Rzeppa
Here at the AMC 30 in Olathe, KS, about 40 people attended the 10 a.m. showing on Saturday. I thought the movie did a great job of highlighting the “monolithic big science” vs. “tiny little ID” playing field on which everyone is a player, including mainline media, courts, etc. Our crowd also snickered at Berlinski’s “reptilian” comment and applauded at the end. I noticed that the movie tended to pull the applause by picturing the Berlin wall coming down toward the conclusion. Still, I read the applause as an indication that the audience got the film’s point. It was great to see many of the people who’ve been discussed and who’ve made comments on the blogs I’ve been following for the past two years! One unexpected detail caught my attention. During his initial interview with Ben Stein, Bruce Chapman seemed somewhat apprehensive and maybe a little anxious. It occurred to me that he had agreed to this interview, and was being filmed without knowing fully what spin might be put on the final product. Entering the offices of the Discovery Institute, the camera crew caught several employees stealing furtive glances from behind semi-closed office doors. A lot of nervousness was evident. These people had learned to distrust cameras and microphones, just as the “big science” interviewees had learned to trust. But this time, the tables were turned. Recalling that the film project initially had another name (“Crossroads”), I realized that at the outset none of the people involved could have predicted how the film was going to come out. The interviews were all unscripted, and they could have turned out very differently, which would have absolutely affected the plot and narrative of the film. The producers must have been delighted with the turn things took—and so they were able to give the project the spin and title they did. I thought Chapman did a great job, in that he quickly “got out of the way” and turned the camera and microphone over to the scientists who are moving the ball forward. And then they moved it forward for the audience as well. (Score!) Lutepisc
Thanks for the suggestions DaveScot! I will definitely be reading some books to learn more. Whenever I read about ID I find it incredibly intellectually stimulating and not at all like the propaganda people make it out be. I'm a senior in high school taking AP Biology now, and we've just started learning about evolution. I feel like we're missing out on so much by not getting to debate both sides at school, but hopefully Expelled will help change the tides! crl529
Dawkins made himself seem a little silly, he had soo much zeal it was just absurd in reference to the question of God "Well I'd say I'm 99% sure" Stein "Why 99 instead of 98 or 97?" Dawkins " well I can't put a number on it but I'm fairly confident, certainly over 50%" Stein "How do you know it's over 50%?" Dawkins "well I don't but.." It's a shame someone could be so smart but so lacking in the way of control. I also recall the beginning of the film where they were showing the one man... I can't recall his name he appears twice.. "ID Is just sooo boring, boring, boring!!" lol I feel bad for someone who claims to not believe in any point to life, yet clings to romantic thoughts of something elegant. It must be hard to be a living contradiction. Stone
crl529 Lot's of books on ID at Amazon. The Design of Life by Bill Dembski covers most of the bases for a broad overview without a lot of math. Mike Behe's Edge of Evolution is more focused on observation and experiment with rapidly reproducing species and is a must read. Mike Gene's The Design Matrix is a really different take on it from an engineering POV. You'll learn a lot of biology from all three. Probably more than you ever wanted to know. Behe and Gene both accept an old earth and common descent at face value so you won't find any vestiges of "creation science" in them. Creation science, which isn't ID proper, doesn't accept an old earth or common descent. ID itself doesn't speak directly to either the age of the earth or common descent. Strictly speaking all ID purports to do is differentiate between natural and artficial, between chance and design. It can be applied to all kinds of things where discriminating between accident and design is important. DaveScot
Houston TX Update I just went to a 4:30PM showing with about 60 people. Applause afterword and lots of cackling thoughout - entertaining yet disturbing. Wow what a movie. I think the final version is just outstanding. Every individual, believer or not, should care about the issues in this movie. It really is about the basic freedoms we cherish. All in all we thoroughly enjoyed it. The implications for the scientific establishment in other endeavors are interesting - global warming, breast implants, asbestos, etc. etc. I hope there are more sequels to come. Dawkins and PZ probably won't sign up for the next one though. pluribus
Upright Biped We've been getting spammed to the breaking point of our spam filter since about when Myers made the news at the MN screening. Pretty much when the blogpulse on expelled spikes we get spiked with spam. My guess is spammers are sophisticated enough to follow the traffic wherever it goes. Interesting that the Arbor showings were sold out. I had no idea which way it would go but figured lunchtime on Friday would be the fewest. I was surprised it was at the Arbor as that's a mainstream theater as opposed to those that cater to indy flicks. DaveScot
Austin, TX, April 19th, 2:50 PM This is my first time reading/posting on this blog. :) There were maybe 20-30 people watching. As a layman who is totally new to ID, I was disappointed that there was not a more detailed analysis of what ID is and the flaws in Darwinism that it addresses. I recently attended a lecture by Kenneth Miller, and though he took several cheap shots at calling ID creationism, I liked how he used scientific arguments to justify his hardline opposition to teaching ID and how tried to reconcile faith with science. While the movie showed the foolishness of people like Dawkins, I was hoping for more scientific information to distinguish ID from people like Kenneth Miller and Francis Collins who believe that religion is compatible with Darwinian evolution, and say that ID is widely shunned in academia because it has no scientific basis. I also felt that the Nazi imagery, though valid, was a bit excessive because it deviated too far from arguments about science and the academic community. With that said, I was thoroughly entertained by the movie and loved how there were interviews of so many of the leading atheists. I thought the interview of Dawkins at the end hilariously and pointedly exposed how his opposition to ID was solely on the basis of his atheism and not any scientific data against the possibility of an intelligent creator. I also loved the part showing his trip to the Discovery Institute. For all the hype that people give it, it was just a little office building! The look on everyone's face when Ben Stein entered the room was priceless. Overall, I thought Expelled was definitely worth my money and time, and I'm very excited that there is a voice of opposition in the media to the slick materialism and atheism rampant in today's society. :) crl529
deadfishes, thanks for the link. I loved the "grade breakdown" Seems that people love or hate this flick: As 64.5% Bs 3.9% Cs zero Ds zero Fs 31.6% Pretty much as expected, huh. bFast
I'm not sure that the Nazi allusions in the movie are helpful. The Wehrmacht, after all, had the slogan "GOTT MIT UNS" on their belt buckles. Booker
According to boxofficemojo.com it came in at number 8 and made about 1.2 million yesterday. This means it has surpassed "an inconvenient truth", "sicko" and is gunning for Fahrenheit 9/11 as the top grossing documentry opening weekend ever. deadfishes
Elkhart Indiana April 19th. 3:15 pm 19 people at the show. I found the movie a very powerful challenge to uphold freedom against the Darwinian totalitarianism that is encroaching through Science into society. Juxtaposing black and white images of Hitler and the Berlin Wall versus modern interviews was an effective symbolism. The controversial segment of John Lennon's "Imagine" was very short. It appeared to me to be in keeping with fair use. The cell animation following lightning and mud was a dramatic example of showing the appearance of design. Ben's sneakers provides a light comic undercurrent of incongruity while connecting to the trailers - helpful while confronting the gas chambers. David Berlinski in Paris explains the historical connection between Darwin and Hitler. He observes that Darwin's ideas were "necessary" but "not sufficient" for Hitler's actions. I found Stein's theme of upholding freedom to be affective, especially when contrasted with the horrors of totalitarian governments applying Darwinism this last century. The present academic discrimination almost seems trivial by contrast. Such discrimination sows the seeds for the resulting totalitarian government oppression. So yes, it is vital to address it here and now where it has become entrenched in science, academia and education. PS mohammed.husain at 44. We join with you in appealing for and upholding freedom of religion, speech and academic inquiry. DLH
Thank you Mohammed. Given that Ben Stein, David Berlinski, and Gerald Schroeder are Jewish, I appreciate your comment all the more. scordova
I just saw the movie last night in Simi Valley, California. For those of you not from California, Simi Valley is somewhat close to Los Angeles. I saw the movie with six Muslim friends of mine that have not really been introduced to the ID debate. They all really liked it, much more than I even expected. All of them are college graduates from very respectable universities (UCLA and other UC schools), and they all made comments about how intelligent and rational the ID guys in the film were, and how biased and emotional their opponents were at times. I think prior to the film their impression were largely formed by the media, they expected the ID guys to be "religious nut cases" more or less, and their perception was dramatically changed. Some of my friends drew parallels after watching the scene with Stephen Meyer and the reporter between the way ID is dealt with in media and also the way Islam is dealt with in the media. We are sort of backed into a corner and expected to agree with whatever accusations made against us, without giving a legitimate attempt to explain ourselves. I really think that this film could be a way of building bridges between our respective faith communities; A way of peace-building and furthering mutual understanding, something much needed in our world so filled with violence, hatred and misunderstanding. I would be certain that the Muslim community in the states would welcome this film warmly and I'm personally making an effort to tell my friends about it. I am certain that there is a great deal of good that can come from such an interfaith encounter. mohammed.husain
7:15 showing, Arbor at Great Hills, Austin, TX. (Hi DaveScot and UB.) The showing was sold out. The audience seemed to consist of a lot of church-goers and older couples. There were also some families who brought their kids. The audience seemed very responsive throughout the showing often laughing outright and clapping at the end. I really liked the film. I was often surprised at how direct Ben Stein was with his questioning of proponents on both sides of the issue. I daresay that some of the ID crowd seemed caught off-guard at times by his frank interogations. (i.e. Newton and Darwin are interred in the "genious corner" at Westminster Abbey. Who are you to question them?) In other words, he didn't seem to be lobbing soft balls at one side. Although the film didn't go as deep into ID as it could have, I think it might have been a wise choice to keep it focused on giving Darwinists enough rope to hang themselves. An ID proponent can be dismissed as simply spouting ID "rhetoric," but it is hard to argue against the words coming out of the Darwinists' own mouths. I think that Dawkins was especially damning to his own cause, especially with the panspermia stuff at the end. To me, this revealed unequivically that Dawkins' true commitment is to atheism, not Darwinism. It seemed very much like he was hedging his atheistic bets as if he knew that ID might eventually win the day. And Ruse? "I already told you how life began." On crystals. Right. Priceless. Phinehas
To: the director of Campus Crusade at George Mason University. Yeah, because it's not like Jesus was ever divisive. Oh wait... Gods iPod
No problem Sal, thanks for the apology. It wasn't too important of a post. I just basically wrote that at the 8PM showing here in Riverside, CA the theater was full and people has to sit up front. I thought it would be empty, so that was a pleasant surprise. Also, everyone started clapping at the end, which I didn't expect. Good for them. Atom
Of the top thirteen movies for April 18th, Expelled had the eighth highest revenues, even though it opened at the smallest number of theaters (13th at 1,052). Consequently, at $1,141/theater, Expelled had fourth highest revenue per theater of the top thirteen movies of April 18th. It was exceeded only by The Forbidden Kingdom ($2396), Forgetting Sarah Marshall ($2,116), and Prom Night (2008) ($1,278). This might persuade more theaters to carry it. Tell this to your local theater and ask them to add Expelled. DLH
45 minutes south of the space shuttle launch pad in Florida 9:45pm about 25 people 1. Darwinism has logical but not absolutely necessary implications--eugenic, etc. being one of them. I felt they spent too much time on that topic. After the showing a friend stated he felt that Nazi section was "dishonest". I didn't get a chance to discuss his reasoning behind that statement. The connection was factual; various Nazi propaganda clips and the museum guide made that clear. He probably meant he didn't like how it was crafted to appeal to people's emotions. 2. No Behe? 3. I liked how they made the limited scope of ID fairly clear. One ID proponent quickly outlined ID. But otherwise I was disappointed that more of the science wasn't explored. 4. An assertion was made that ID proponents don't produce peer-reviewed literature. That was never adequately responded to: http://www.discovery.org/a/2640 5. Dawkins statement shouldn't be so surprising. At the various OOL conferences there's been a decided shift toward astrobiology since Earth-based scenarios have been found to be increasingly implausible based upon evidence. Delivery by meteorites has mostly been ruled out. Circularly polarized UV light only produces a 17% excess and such selective destruction of organics require monochromatic light (which isn't known to occur naturally). So directed panspermia is their last resort. 6. Dembski was briefly shown, but I'm surprised the events at Baylor weren't mentioned. Marks was in the Expelled showcase, which makes sense since it occurred more recently, but Bill's connection to Bob wasn't mentioned either. Patrick
To be honest I was disappointed with the movie. The basic message of freedom of inquiry was a good one, but I didn't think it was all that well written, directed or edited. The constant switching to old clips was, in my opinion, unnecessary and got old. Also the background music was distraction, not sure why they felt the need for it. I also think they tried to cover too many issues and as a result the thread of thought seemed muddled. Berlinski was a highlight. (BTW, I highly recommend his "Devil's Delusion". His adept use of simile is so funny). Dawkins and Ruse came off as buffoons. While the movie should enlighten teleological adherents to the situtation, I don't think I'd recommend the movie to agnostics or those on the fence. I had hoped it would be better but that's how I saw it. Steve Petermann
Thank you all for the reports around the country. I must again take a break from administering this thread and so there will be delays or accidental deletions of the reports you all are providing. Please be patient and persistent. Save copies of your reports. UD is under a very heavy spam attack at this time. I'm purging almost 100 messages every minute from akismet spam buffer and some of your comments may end up the spam buffer by mistake. If so, it stays there for a while until it either gets released or accidentally deleted.... Thank you again for the reports! scordova
Why do my comments keep disappearing? Mods? Upright BiPed
Fri 9:30p Arbor Cinema in Austin Tx The theater told me the 12:20 show had roughly 60 people, as did the 2:20p showing. The 5:05 showing was a virtual sell-out, and the 7:30 show was a sell-out. The 9:30p showing, from what I could tell was a sell-out as well. Excellent results I would say, and a very well done movie. As Dave Scot mentioned at his showing, there was a nice applause at the end of the film. Upright BiPed
Went and saw the movie yesterday. Very fair, very honest on the contest between worldviews -- no obvious strawmen. Saw the first show in Anchorage, the theater was about half full. The Berlin Wall arc was keen -- an ideological wall designed to keep ideas out. The public criticism over the film's handling of the Nazi/Eugenics is overblown -- surprise!! -- they explicitly state that Darwin was not a _cause._ wnelson
Box Office Mojo for April 18, 2008 lists:
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed Documentary Rocky Mountain Pictures 1,052
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed at Box Office Mojo ------------------------------------ PS This opening of 1,052 theaters for Expelled is apparently the largest ever for a documentary movie. By contrast: "VINCE VAUGHN'S WILD WEST COMEDY SHOW:" opened in 962 theaters. Fahrenheit 911 by Michael Moore opened at 868 theaters and had a widest release of 2,011 theaters. An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore opened in 4 theaters and had a widest release of 587 theaters. DLH
I am a creationist but I have no problem with the intelligent design movement. I think that intelligent design is better for the general public. Creationism does require for the practitioner to interpret the data in favor of his or her favorite creation story. With intelligent design we are able to steer away from nileism, nazism and other philosophies that spring from Darwinism while maintaining religous freedoms. Even if atheist want to believe it was aliens (panspermia) over some sort of being that transcends the physical world, I think they should be allowed to. Once we get it on the table that they want to believe aliens did it and others want to believe that Brama, Vishnu, Jesus, Mohammad, or Yud Hey Vav Hey ... it will show them how.. biasd these people are towards philosophies of different religons. deadfishes
I was also very concerned that creationists would be negative on the movie because non-Creationist, non-Evangelicals were prominently featured in the movie (most notably David Berlinski). Caroline Crocker hereself has been univited to several churches because she does not consider herself a creationist. She leaves the issue open for others to decide, she explicitly said, "I won't even go there [into that topic]...." So again, I'm glad the movie is getting support from the creationist community. I'm glad that a movie that is not explicitly a gospel message is being supported by the churches [at the lay level, not at the clergy level]. As I said before, the perception was that the churches would be enthusistic about the movie. Not so. Even Caroline's own church is not officially endorsing the movie...and some evangelical churches will not open their doors to her visit.... scordova
Saw the 4:25 show in Fairfax, VA. There were a few folks in front of me, and as I was walking out after the credits, there were probably about a dozen behind me. I guess there may have been more during the movie itself. I will probably bring my family to see it, but it got pretty intense there for a few minutes during the scenes of concentration camps, and I am concerned about my younger (8-year-old) daughter. But I think everyone needs to see it, even if it requires some explaining afterwards. I think it is worth clarifying the Eastern Germany suffered under both Nazi oppression and Communist oppression. Many in the general public may not appreciate the distinction. EndoplasmicMessenger
Wierd things are happening. I didn't delete it, but there are other mods here. However, I can't imagine you'd say anything worthy of deletion. So it must have been a glitch. Sorry for the trouble. You may want to save a copy of your post before you post. Please accept my apologies for technical difficulties. Sal scordova
That's weird, my comment disappeared after I thought I saw it posted. Mods? Atom
I just got an e-mail from the director of Campus Crusade at George Mason University. Now you all might presume the ID movement got whole hearted enthusiastic support from the evangelical community. Not so [just think of Wheaton, Baylor, SMU] I've been quite discouraged that at Caroline Crocker's own school the Evangelicals were not supportive initially of the Expelled Movie. I say, "ID", and they essentially respond with confused looks or inability to grasp the relevance.... Even in Caroline Crocker's own conservative church, endorsements for "Expelled" will not be forthcoming. There are several prominent Darwinsts in her congregation. It would be politically divisive for the pastors at her church to come out in favor of the movie (at least officially). But now that the leadership in places like GMU Campus Crusade has actually even taken the time to see the movie, they like it and started showing trailers in their large group meetings. It's been like pulling teeth to get the campus evangelical communities to support ID efforts. I've been brushed off by two Inter-Varsity campus groups....(yes this is the same Intervarsity organization that also published ID books by Dembski and Johnson). So this is welcome news that the marketing efforts are breaking through the barriers. I had given up hope anyone but a few people would care about the movie. I was reluctant to express my pessimism until now, because I had held out hope the movie would succeed. But the movie apparently will succeed and my initial pessimism will turn out to be wrong. The right people just had to get a taste of ID, and then they'll like it! Even if most pastors in the land will be neutral to the issue (which is appropriate in many cases), their parishioners will market the movie enthusiastically. The parishionners in turn will market it to their non-church going friends and colleagues. That is exactly how the viral marketing model should work. scordova
Was good, One of the friends I took didn't like it. He didn't think it talked enough about the arguments for intelligent design. We both have watched very science oriented intelligent design documentaries before. I have to agree it would of been better to have added some more science for it as I believe that this movie will be the first and probably last exposure they have to the intelligent design debate. I do think the movie did what it was supposed to do very well. It made it as obvious as the nose on anyone's face the bias towards traditional ideas of "God". The fact that Dawkens admitted he also subscribed to intelligent but he thinks aliens did it just shows how vile and prejudiced these people are. Applied Darwinism IS Nazism deadfishes
I'm afraid I have to leave this thread for a bit, and that means I can't unlock most of the comments from the askimet spam buffer related to this thread until I return (unless one of the mods frees them up). All the comments to this thread are ending up in the askimet spam buffer including DaveScots last comments. Apparently we are under a heavy spam attack. I'm seeing 70 spam messages every five-minutes and I simply don't have the time to keep up. Soooo, if some of your theater reports don't show up, save them for later. It could be that they got trapped or accidentally deleted. scordova
While exiting the theater (one of the smaller of an eighteen screen mega-plex with only one exit) everyone got jammed up behind an elderly gentleman (probably in his eighties) shuffling along and being aided by a younger couple who seemed to perhaps be related to him. As I was nearest to them I could overhear snippets of conversation as he related to them that he had studied biology when he was younger and since then, he has always struggled with it. I assume he meant that he has struggled for some sixty odd years with reconciling the implications of his faith with the implications of Darwinism. I thought then and hope now that if a two hour investment helped a sixty year struggle… CatSlinger
Sal re; Behe Right. That's a bit odd, isn't it? DaveScot
ok, that is a wrap as of April 19th at 8:46 in the morning........ i will try to keep up. interested
It was nice to see Walter Bradley in the movie. He was one of the the forgotten founders of the ID movement. Bradely's 1984 book Mystery of Life's Origin has been viewed as some as the birth of modern ID. But the one person who was notably NOT in the movie was Michael Behe! scordova
hypocrite: Expelled: "...raises some interesting questions about evolutionary theory, but does so in such a smug, disingenuous and self-serving manner it's hard to take the movie seriously. Full Review | Comment 04/18/08 11:33 AM Josh Larsen LarsenOnFilm Farenheit 911: If many of Moore's points are valid...his methods still have a tinge of madness. Full Review | Comment 06/25/04 12:13 PM Josh Larsen Sun Publications (Chicago, IL) interested
this guy is consistent: expelled: For a film about American freedom of expression and the necessity for open dialogue, it's hard to imagine Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed being more one-sided, narrow-minded, and intellectually dishonest. Full Review | Comment 04/16/08 06:26 AM Nick Schager Slant Magazine Farenheit 911: Fair and balanced, as Fox News might say, this is not. Full Review | Comment 05/03/05 06:40 PM Nick Schager Lessons of Darkness interested
ouch: expelled: [T]he No. 1 agenda [here] has much less to do with academic freedom than with political ideology. Full Review | Comment 04/16/08 08:30 PM Andy Klein Los Angeles CityBeat Farenheit 911: ...a terrific film that smacks you upside the head. Full Review | Comment 06/23/04 09:36 PM Andy Klein Los Angeles CityBeat interested
another ridiculous one: Expelled: [I]n a saner universe... you could scoff at Stein and dismiss him and not give this propagandistic nonsense another thought. But... [y]ou need to see this movie because these people are not going away... Full Review | Comment 04/16/08 10:11 AM MaryAnn Johanson Flick Filosopher Farenheit 911: [W]onderful, messy, angry, bitter, funny, glorious... The film is loud and opinionated and even crude sometimes, and thank god for that. Full Review | Comment 06/24/04 08:44 AM MaryAnn Johanson Flick Filosopher interested
here is another amusing bit of hypocritical reviewing: Expelled: This is propaganda, a political rant disguised as a serious commentary on stifled freedom of inquiry. Full Review | Comment 04/18/08 12:22 PM Claudia Puig USA Today Top Critic Farenheit 911: The documentary's scathing attack on the war in Iraq and George W. Bush's presidency is informative, provocative, frightening, compelling, funny, manipulative and, most of all, entertaining. Full Review | Comment 06/24/04 04:54 PM Claudia Puig USA Today Top Critic interested
this one is consistent: The prospect of a pro-Intelligent Design documentary sounded so batsh** crazy,it had to be awesome, watching intellectuals spin a story about how they're persecuted for their beliefs.Not to say I didn't give it a fair chance,but they made it really easy. Full Review | Comment 04/18/08 10:45 PM Fred Topel Can Magazine vs Moore has resorted to showing us stuff that The Daily Show covers all the time. Did you really need this film to tell you that war is bad? Full Review | Comment 06/23/04 11:12 PM Fred Topel About.com interested
this could be fun.....let's find scathing reviews on rotten tomatoes and then compare them to what the SAME reviewer said about Farenheit 911........here's one: The movie itself is an example of design by faith and emotion rather than intelligence, defined as rationality grounded in proof. Full Review | Comment 04/18/08 05:07 AM Nell Minow Chicago Sun-Times Top Critic An unabashedly partisan challenge both to the administration and to all who accept what they are told without questioning...If this be treason, make the most of it! Full Review | Comment 06/25/04 06:33 PM Nell Minow Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies interested
By the way, here is a link to Jack Kreb's impressions in Lawrence Kansas. Some Expelled News from Kansas scordova
Apologies to the commenters in advance for the delays in posting your responses. The spam filter is set very high as UD is under intense spam attacks at this time. Thank you in advance for your patience. scordova
Two major concerns have been alleviated at for the time being: 1. the movie would have only two or three people showing up to each showing 2. the movie would not be liked by those in attendance When they had the screening of Expelled at McLean Bible Church in Mclean Virginia, the reaction was lukewarm. ID and intellectual type issues have been a hard sell to evangelistic organizations. I warned Motive marketing that they would not exactly get the welcoming arms that the Darwinists have suggested they would. Evangelical churches have about 10-20% Darwinists like Francis Collins. Even a pro-ID pastor is not exactly eager to bring division to his congregation knowing he has upstanding citizens like Collins in his congregation...(by the way, it is rumored Caroline Crocker is scheduled to speak at Collin's church about the movie...yikes!) And myself, since there was not as much novelty about ID, was not as enamored with the movie as those new to the movement. And I hoped that my feelings would not be representative of how others would react. So, when I saw the good attendance and the enthusiastic reactions I was much relieved. The viral marketing has really only begun. People will be telling their friends and theater managers will see this movie translates into $$$ for them. I do not think many pastors wish to sponsor the movie officially for the reasons I mentioned, however, their congregations will. I have no doubt of that now that I've seen that people really like the movie... Finally, I have to address the usual garbage that Jack Krebs puts forward in his opening day impression at PT:
It seems to me that Expelled has blown the last vestiges of the ID movement’s attempt to pretend that they are just about science,
1. The ID movment is not all about science, and they never said so. That is a Darwinist Strawman. ID theory is not the same as the ID movement. The ID movement is about academic freedom and the rights of scientists, teachers, and students to have their legal and ethical rights restored to them which the Darwinists are depriving them of. The ID movement is about helping restore integrity to the institutions and processes of science and restoring dignity and value to human life which the Darwinsits have devalued as evidenced by Eugenics and the Nazi death camps. The ID movement is about allowing citizens (in places like the USA where their founding documents speak of a Creator) the right to pursue the study the works of that Creator. The Darwinists say the Creator does not exist. That is at variance with very foundations of the law of the land... 2. ID as a theory (not as a movement) is a scientific hypothesis that design can be identified. The laws of thermodynamics tells us that the universe had a beginning. Thermodynamics also tells us the physics have a begining(John Wheeler's argument, laws of physics are not from everlasting to everlasting). But a beginning of the universe and the laws of physics have theological impications. Thus the laws of thermodynamics, though purely scientific, have theological implications. The same is true of ID. And if ID can be successfully framed in terms of a 4th law of thermodynamics, then it deserves a place as a scientific theory, even though it has tremendous theological implications. As the 2nd law of thermodynamcis has theological implications, so does the 4th law... So Jack is resorting to a strawman argument by distorting the meaning of what ID proponents have put on the table. scordova
I was concerned that the Nazi connection would be overplayed. It was not. The central theme was the Berlin Wall. I thought it worked quite well. The reviews have been unfair and out of touch. Here is my shameless plug. bevets
I saw it a few hours ago, Boulder, CO, 4:45pm session. About 30 people. I was surprised by the ending drawing the lines between Hitler and Darwin. I thought it was unnecessary, perhaps. And then, perhaps it's time to really slap the Darwinists about a bit. I took a Catholic girl to watch the movie, she liked it too. A few chuckles, which I sort of lead :) Gods iPod
10:20am showing at Loews Jersey Gardens near Newark, NJ. Six people for this early bird first showing. However, my parents in Scottsdale, AZ said the theater was full at the 12:30 pm showing, probably because of heavy promotion in churches there. The area where I saw the film is mostly lower to lower middle class and recent immigrant communities, which probably isn't the best demographic for this type of film, IMHO. Great movie, but my skeptical friend slept through half of it (he's 70, and a regular napper). russ
I saw the first showing today. There were about 30 people in the theater, most of whom seemed to enjoy it quite a bit. I quite liked it. It was an interesting combination of whacky and deadly serious. At one point I was afraid that it would remain very goofballish and a bit shallow, but I was surprised by how heavy it became for a stretch (and necessarily so). I highly recommend it. I find it amusing that it is just a nine at rottentomatoes. 18 out of 20 reviewers seem constitutionally afraid of sticking their necks out and expressing the slightest approval for anything coming from the hated "creationists". I guess they want to hold on to their careers (and prejudices) or something. These are no doubt the same folks who wholeheartedly approve of propagandistic schlock from Morgan Spurlock or Michael Moore. But no one gets in any trouble for cheering that stuff. Matteo
Thank you all for the initial reports. The 7:10 showing in Memphis was sold out!!! scordova
Blogpulse for Expelled Stein already shows a 1000% increase. Blogpulse for Expelled shows a similar 500% increase over the last month. DLH
12:05pm Hurst, Texas First showing, maybe a dozen people, mostly middle-aged couples. There were audible chuckles during the Dawkins interviews as well as Berlinki's 'reptile' comment (one of them was mine). The Provine interview was somewhat odd and sad at the same time. I was impressed that the interviews seemed equally weighted to each side. Much has been said about the Darwin/Nazi connection in the movie, but it seemed contextually appropriate and handled respectfully. This ought to be merely the first of many well crafted excursions into the mainstream with ID. With such a small crowd, I was struck to hear sustained applause, that's rare. CatSlinger
For those of you in the Chicago area, I'm running an event Monday at 5:45 PM at the Regal Cinemas Lincolnshire 20 with Dr. Paul Nelson, who appears in the film. The event is sponsored by the Truth Seekers club I run at Stevenson High School. We have a contract with the theater to show "Expelled," and then Dr. Nelson will run a Q&A for 1-hour afterwards. If you're nearby and you want to bring someone you think would have some tough questions for Dr. Nelson, then you're welcome to come. Buy tickets online at https://blackboard1.district125.k12.il.us/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_id=_8_1 Look for "Ben Stein Movie" link on the left. Neal nroys
There aren't any local showings near me, otherwise I would check it out. I tried looking at rottentomatoes.com to see the reviews. So far it's getting a 9 on the T meter. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/expelled_no_intelligence_allowed/ Fross
12:20pm Arbor - Great Hills, Austin 70 people Some laughter, not a lot. Some groaning at the gratuitous God bashing, not a lot. Loud applause lasting about 1 minute from most of the audience at the conclusion. DaveScot

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