Ben Stein

Ben Stein

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Ben Stein at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Ben Stein - Former speechwriter for US presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford Ben Stein at Los Angeles International Airport wearing a blue shirt and suit - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 3rd September 2014

Ben Stein
Ben Stein
Ben Stein
Ben Stein
Ben Stein

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed Review


Grim
Who would have thought that Ben Stein, the game show host and famously drab economics teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, would one day become the leading apologist for the theory of intelligent design? Not me. But that's life for you -- a surprise around every corner. Stein is the central figure in the new film, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, a fire-bomb documentary meant to burn down the house of "Big Science," whose members, according to the film, have silenced all dissent from the theory of evolution and are actively engaged in the persecution of anyone who doesn't toe the party line.

Expelled works in much the same way as a Michael Moore documentary -- a raft of provocation and very little persuasion. It starts out by serving up a few case histories of scientists who publicly declared their sympathy for intelligent design. In each case, five in all, reaction from the scientific establishment was swift. Tenure was denied, contracts weren't renewed, websites were taken down, etc. Expelled would have you believe that these cases represent instances of grave injustice and the contravention of academic freedom, but it's poorly argued and lacks evidence. Tenure is often denied. Contracts frequently aren't renewed. That's life, especially in academia. More evidence is required to build a compelling case, and the makers of Expelled don't want to get bogged down in chronicling academic intrigues. Can't say I blame them, but their lack of rigor doesn't help their cause.

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Family Research Council Washington briefing held at the

Ben Stein - Ben Stein (comic, former presidential speech writer) Washington Hilton hotel Washington DC, USA - Family Research Council Washington briefing held at the Friday 19th October 2007

Ben Stein
Ben Stein
Ben Stein
Ben Stein
Ben Stein

Your Mommy Kills Animals Review


Good
In the first few minutes of the shrewdly named Your Mommy Kills Animals, we're told the U.S. government named the animal rights movement the #1 domestic terrorist threat in 2005. We spend the rest of the documentary determining whether that's a legitimate assessment or a desperate strategy.

If you've never pegged the animal rights universe as painfully complicated, think again. Director Curt Johnson, Oscar-winning producer of the 2002 short Thoth, stirs a whirlwind of history, opinions, and first-person footage that's the most accessible, thorough chronicle of animal rights ever put to film.

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Fired! Review


Weak
My wife put it pretty aptly when we were watching Fired!: Annabelle Gurwitch must think getting fired is a whole lot more interesting than it really is.

Fired! sounds like a decent enough idea: After being fired from a Woody Allen play (poor baby!), Gurwitch found herself despairing to the point where she had to write a book about it. I guess if Woody Allen said my acting was on par with being "retarded," I'd be bummed too.

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Ferris Bueller's Day Off Review


Essential
One hell of a classic. A defining film for every single star in the list to your right -- hell, Ben Stein built a career out of one word ("Bueller?") here. It's amazing that Broderick is the only one who really hit it big after Bueller, but we'll always have video.

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Planes, Trains & Automobiles Review


Essential
In 1987 John Hughes took a huge risk. The man who had spent three years profiling the lives of teenagers did the unthinkable: He wrote and directed two movies featuring adults: She's Having a Baby and Planes, Trains & Automobiles.

She's Having a Baby is a pleasant comedy, but PTA is an absolute gem and one of the 1980s' most overlooked movies, a mixture of human drama and dizzying goofiness that qualifies it for timeless status. I should know. A co-worker and I continually quote lines from this 17-year-old movie. At this point we could audition for a remake.

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Son of the Mask Review


Unbearable
You may have read about film critics who quit because they just can't tolerate the poor quality of the movies they're watching. I'm willing to bet more than a few threw down their notepads, cursed their career choice, and considered graduate school options after watching Son of the Mask.

The long-delayed sequel to the 1994 Jim Carrey hit is a terrible movie. Let's not mince words. It's an awful, unoriginal, infuriating, and endless mess. The always likeable Jamie Kennedy stars as Tom Avery, a struggling animator whose life is in flux. His wife, Tonya (Traylor Howard from TV's Monk), wants a baby badly, but the immature Tom doesn't want that responsibility. He's content to play with his precocious dog, Otis, draw on his sketch pad, and kid around with his tolerant wife.

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Ben Stein

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