Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed not a hit with Canadian reviewers

Canada’s Family Action Coalition director Brian Rushfeldt (Is that Dr. Brian Rushfeldt?) is not happy with The National Post review on the creationist movie: Expelled No Intelligence Allowed.

Expelled reviews were overwhelming thumbs down in the US. Along with The National Post, The Globe and Mail wasn’t impressed either.
Canada isn’t engaged in political/religious/philosophical debate (Americans call it part of their ‘culture war’) that has been creationism, but since we don’t hear much about what is now re-labelled ID (Intelligent Design) by US advocates, I don’t know if special interest groups are pushing for creationism being put into Canadian school curriculums. (as an aside Louisiana voted today for introducing creationism into public school science classes under their wedge issue of academic freedom)

The film is opening in Canada, Dr. John Stackhouse, who has former students who worked on the film received comp tickets and asked for help on his blog:

What’s the best stuff you’ve read, online or otherwise, on “Expelled: The Movie” or on the Intelligent Design movement it represents? Don’t upload whole bibliographies, please! But give us one or two (or three) of the most helpful links or references. And these can be critical items, too: I want to read the finest writing I can find on the subject.

He received a good range of responses. I wondered if he had an obligation to write something about this film, given he knows some of the production people and had taken the comps; it turns out he couldn’t make it. He says he plans to watch it at some stage, post on his blog, and mentions some of the better informational links his readers provided in his thank you to readers.

I agree with Dr. Stackhouse this has been the best one I’ve seen so far, and will appeal to the readership of academics, students John Stackhouse attracts.
The piece was written by Jeffrey Schloss Professor of biology at the Center for Faith Ethics and Life Sciences of Westmont College.

The film’s Canadian connection’s at Canadian Christianity

CanWest review
Macleans gave it a few sentences
The Vancouver Sun wasn’t highly complimentary either

The producers plan to make money in DVD sales and DVD followups. It will be interesting to see the Canadian box office figures.

Update: Box office. Not so good. 36 theatres $24,374.00.
36/3 showings/3 days= 324 showings.
That’s about 72 people per theatre, which works out to 7-8 people, give or take a person per showing.
Compare to the opening weekend in the US.

About Bene Diction

Have courage for the great sorrows, And patience for the small ones. And when you have laboriously accomplished your tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
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8 Responses to Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed not a hit with Canadian reviewers

  1. Bene Diction says:

    I’ve softballed it.
    John Stackhouse is incredibly ethical and a strong voice for evangelicals in Canada and since he writes for US publications I can appreciate he feels an obligation to former students.

    Apart from that, this isn’t a strong interest of mine. I’ve certainly followed some of the screw ups the PR company for this film got themselves into, but truth is, there are far better Cdn bloggers able to tackle this topic.

    I honestly don’t know what inroads The Discovery Institute have made in Canada, what corresponding Canadian groups may be lobbying to get creationism into our schools, again, it’s not my area of expertise.
    Other than Charles McVety and Maurice Vellacott sending out invites to MP’s the Senate and staffers, I’ve not heard any other lobbying attempts.

    I question the claim in Walt Ruloff made in the Chattaway interview that 50 people showed up for the ROM protest: http://www.straight.com/article-151149/is-it-science-friction?#

    Maybe they did get 50, but Ruloff is selling his product, why let facts get in the way?

    A Halifax writer played the anti-American card in the Stein promotional tour, it’s Stein’s job to sell the product. http://www.thecoast.ca/Articles-i-2008-06-26-152339.113118_Ben_Steins_artificial_intelligence.html

    It’s a long weekend here, I think other things will capture the Canadian public interest.

  2. David Toronto says:

    Seventeen hours and only two comments–save this one.

    Shows how little interest there is in this film or how much
    a failure the whole endeavour is with a Canadian audience.

    In over two months’ of playing in the US, it has grossed
    less than $8 million. Wonder if anyone’s taken a bath on
    this thing and where that would be. Certainly not Missouri
    where teaching evolution is illegal.

    And where did the 100 Huntley Street Mainse sons study?
    In Missouri, natch.

  3. Bene D says:

    I counted 34 Cdn theatres running Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

    I didn’t count Canadian reviews…

    Windsor Star, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, NatPo, Globe and Mail, Macleans, The Hour CBC, Montreal Mirror, Halifax Coast, Ottawa Citizen, Straight.com, Montreal Gazette, Edmonton Sun.

    That’s off the top of my head, pretty much covers the areas it opened. The producers and marketers can’t complain about coverage.

    Top Docs box office receipts:

    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/genres/chart/?id=documentary.htm

    I don’t think international audiences are going to get too worked up over this one.

  4. Mark Byron says:

    As I understand it, the ID take tries to put a scientific spin on the creation issue, focusing on the complexity of life such that it’s too complex to have happened via random mutations; the odds round to zero. That takes away having to go with a particular idea about God, but that some designer had to behind the process.

    That’s not passed muster in the US courts to this point; the Dover, PA case is the main one in the system, which had ID tossed out as warmed-over creationism. The Supreme Court hasn’t ruled on ID as of yet, however; Anthony Kennedy might think that ID is religiously-neutral enough to be OK.

    If a reviewer is hostile towards religion, they’ll not like Expelled. The reviewer in our paper gave it both barrels, but he seemed to be predisposed to dislike a conservative take on the issue.

    The people I know who saw it liked it, but they’re hard-core pro-creationists who are one of the target audiences.

  5. Bene Diction says:

    I’m not seeing hostile reacts to religion here Mark although there may be a few…I counted 35 reviews.
    Even sites like Canadian Christianity didn’t give it a pass.

    Peter Chattaway’s blog is interesting.
    http://filmchatblog.blogspot.com/search?q=Expelled

    Taxpayers were on the hook for a million dollars in the DI legal fees for Dover and now educators in Louisiana will have to deal with creationism under the pretentious label of ‘religious freedom.’ There are hard working good people in the state education system that are going to be over another barrel.

    I don’t care if someone chooses to be a six day creationist, I’d care if they tried to teach their belief in science class to the nephews and neices.

    The Discovery Institute is set up to exploit a policial wedge issue, going full tilt with the either/or religious spin. It’s creationism repackaged.

    Haven’t found the Cdn box office receipts yet for Expelled, I think if Premise Media going to make money in Canada, UK, Australia etc it will do so in DVD sales for the target audience.

  6. toujoursdan says:

    I usually have CBC Newsworld on while I work from home. The promo for this film is playing at nearly ever commercial break. If the film continues to bomb it isn’t because of lack of trying – or making the promo look like a Ben Stein comedy.

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