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Al Franken - God Spoke
Al Franken - God Spoke
Actors: Al Franken, Franni Bryson, Katherine Lanpher, Billy Kimball, Ben Wikler
Directors: Chris Hegedus, Nick Doob
Genres: Documentary
NR     2007     1hr 30min

An intimate & hilarious behind-the-scenes look at the life of the former saturday night live comedian turned author radio host & political satirist. Studio: New Video Group Release Date: 04/24/2007 Run time: 84 minutes


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Movie Details

Actors: Al Franken, Franni Bryson, Katherine Lanpher, Billy Kimball, Ben Wikler
Directors: Chris Hegedus, Nick Doob
Creators: D.A. Pennebaker, Frazer Pennebaker, Nick Fraser, Rebecca Marshall, Walker Lamond, Wendy Ettinger
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: African American Heritage, Comedy, Politics, Politics
Studio: Docurama
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 04/24/2007
Original Release Date: 04/24/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

I wish I could give it more stars
s001 | Sydney, Australia | 05/03/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I feel as though I must start this review by saying that I am not American. I am Australian, a Democrat supporter (or should that be, a Bush basher?), and love reading or watching evidence which shows your current Administration in their true light. That is, liars, self serving, incompetant, embarrassing and arrogant.

I am a fan of Franken, and as we also receive the Fox News channel down here, I have come to despise O'Reilly, Hannity, Coulter, and company. This is why I was hoping I could highly rate this DVD.

I found it extremelly slow and at times, simply boring. I have laughed with delight at Franken's books, together with an array of his TV and audio commentaries.

The official Amazon review states, "The filmmakers, longtime associates of cinéma verité pioneer DA Pennebaker, take a fly-on-the-wall approach towards Franken's activities around the time of the 2004 presidential election and afterwards as he explores a run for the US Senate in 2008."

True. However, when I think "fly on the wall" approach, I usually think about interesting items which the public don't usually get to see, and which help to show the true nature of a person or situation. It seems their version of this simply means following Al around with a camera and recording nothing of any great value.

One of the main selling points of this DVD for me, was this line. "They look at the (unsuccessful) lawsuit Fox News filed against him for swiping their tagline." I would have loved to have seen the true story behind this, however it was simply mentioned, not discussed at length.

Also, "and his dust-ups with Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Michael Medved, and Bill O'Reilly, who describes him as a vile human being." Disappointed again. Anyone who is a fan of Al, or indeed a fan of the other players mentioned, would already know about the fueding. Although I learnt nothing new, it confirmed to me that O'Reilly and Hannity are annoying, insignificant pests, and that Coulter indeed belongs in an institution. I was reminded a couple of times during this film how disturbed Coulter is. If she was not a 'long legged blonde', would anyone even listen to her?

Although warned in the review, "... there isn't a ton of new material here, but this "fair and balanced" profile represents an entertaining introduction to a multi-talented individual." I was still disappointed. Not so much at the lack of new material, but really at the lack of anything.

24 hours later and I am still waiting for a light bulb to shine over my head, and to realise what I have missed. So far, nothing.

Keep up the great work Al, I'll forgive you for this one."
A great look into Al Franken's life.
Keith Dow | Folsom, CA USA | 04/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This movie captures Al Franken during some of his more interesting moments; for example:

1. Fighting with Bill O'Reilly.
2. Arguing with Sean Hannity.
3. Helping to start Air America.
4. Entertaining the troops in Iraq.
5. Arguing with Michael Medved.
6. Talking with Ann Coulter.
7. Covering the Republican convention while being blocked by goons.
8. Meeting enemies at a conservative party.

It is well made and gives an interesting insight.

Al Franken's On a Mission
Grinndigo | 05/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This was very funny; it begins with a whole bit at the front about how God spoke to him. Although it is really a documentary about the evolution of Al Franken specifically the why and how of his journey from writer and sketch comedian on SNL to humorous political pundit and satirist.

It shows his mission to give the voice of liberal dissent an outlet via Air America Radio and his contemplation of running for the senate in '04 after the death of Paul Wellstone. What was interesting for me was the glimpse into conservative radio and TV personalities and by that I do mean personalities not broadcast journalists including Hannity, O'Reilly, Michael Medvid (former movie critic) and Neal Boortz (contender for the title of Right Wing Megalomaniac). Then there is Ann Coulter, the Heidi Fleiss of the right; too bad All Franken did not know at the time she plagerized her columns and book or it would have been a more intense encounter.

This was fun and revealing because you get a glimpse in to Franken's private life and meet his wife and get to see him in his off time. If you are a Franken fan and want a humorous glimpse in to his life this is for you.
I'm being a bit generous.
P. Oski | Canada | 05/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"In my rating system, this should be 3 and 1/2, stars, but I gave it four because I think Franken is a necessary counterbalance to the propagandists he debunks. It's a bit shallow and feels more like an extended campaign ad for his (I hope successful) Senate bid.
The Buddy Hackett joke was the high point for me, but his deconstruction Brit Hume's lying abuse of statistics for some high-schoolers is a wonderful illustration of why an educated electorate is necessary for a functioning democracy.

A political aside: as a non-American, I have no trouble in recognizing that the invasion of Iraq is "the supreme war crime", as unprovoked wars of aggression were described by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, and am always amused and a little dismayed at how this fact is always outside the acceptable limits of opposition to the current Occupation, even among "liberal" Americans like Franken. Political expediency, I suppose.

Franken's fans will enjoy this light-weight documentary and get a few chuckles from it. It's a user-friendly introduction to the man for those who don't know him. People who don't understand the term "oxymoron", particularly as it applies to Fox News, will hate it and those looking for an in-depth examination of Franken's politics, the nature of his Senate run or the travails of Air America radio will find nothing of substance."