Springtime for Ben Stein

UPDATE: I actually hope the same number of people who bothered to read this post will go to see the movie in question. In other words, no one.

Just saw the television ad for Expelled for the first time last night. As promotional spots go, it was as bland as a communion wafer and flat as Matzo. It didn’t inspire me in the slightest to go see the film – and that wasn’t just because I think Expelled deserves to fail miserably at the box office. The TV ad simply didn’t try. It was almost as if the producers want their movie to fall on its face…

…even their ridiculous actions at every turn of the promotional crank would seem to indicate as much…

…and that sounds vaguely familiar.

Consider (from a COMPLETELY HYPOTHETICAL point of view):

Ben Stein is sitting around flipping through cable channels looking for something to ease his perpetual doldrum (seriously, doesn’t every facet of his personality just moan tedium and languor?). He happens to stop on a showing of Mel Brooks’s masterpiece The Producers. He can’t help but keep watching, especially when the name Hitler starts being tossed around. And by the time he loses interest, Stein has managed to squeeze out a brilliant idea: steal a brilliant idea from Mel Brooks!

So Stein adopts the business model employed by Max and Leo knowing full well that 1) it would be tremendously easy to suck gobs of money out of rich right-wingers to promote the pro-ID agenda and 2) it would be even easier to make a pro-ID movie that utterly bombed. He pushes the idea to a bunch of wealthy Christian fundamentalists and dupes noted scientists into participating. He misconstrues what the scientists say to push an idea so spectacularly insane that no reasonable person would buy it. He even goes so far as to make Hitler a major factor in the film’s assertions.

Then the producer, Mark Mathis, ironically expels one of the scientists from a screening (but not the other, more famous one), causing an Internet backlash that eventually results in the closing of subsequent screenings, including those here in Seattle. But he makes sure the film is seen and reviewed by certain figures he knows will trash it, such as Scientific American.

It would seem, though, that ol' Ben couldn't sit through the entire Mel Brooks classic. He and Mathis, following my analogy, will lose their silly little minds when the movie opens this Friday and actually does well. Not well enough to pay all the investors back, mind you, but well enough to be held accountable to them.

Almost as funny as the original.

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About kirkstarr

I draw pictures for a living.
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