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Al Franken - God Spoke (2007)

Al Franken , Franni Bryson , Chris Hegedus , Nick Doob  |  NR |  DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Al Franken, Franni Bryson, Katherine Lanpher, Billy Kimball, Ben Wikler
  • Directors: Chris Hegedus, Nick Doob
  • Producers: D.A. Pennebaker, Frazer Pennebaker, Nick Fraser, Rebecca Marshall, Walker Lamond
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: April 24, 2007
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NDIAP6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,209 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Al Franken - God Spoke" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

In God Spoke, Nick Doob and Chris Hegedus (The War Room) shine a light on political satirist Al Franken. The "flaming sword of justice" explains his left-leaning career like this, "They [right-wing pundits] say something ridiculous, and then I subject them to scorn and ridicule." 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. They look at the (unsuccessful) lawsuit Fox News filed against him for swiping their tagline, his involvement in the upstart Air America network, and his dust-ups with Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Michael Medved, and Bill O'Reilly, who describes him as "a vile human being." Along the way, they follow the Minnesota-born comedian on book tours and speaking engagements, occasionally flashing back to his two-decade long stint on Saturday Night Live. God Spoke is an expansion of the Sundance Channel short The First Amendment Project: Fox vs. Franken and covers some of the same ground as HBO's America Undercover: Left of the Dial. In other words, there isn't a ton of new material here, but this "fair and balanced" profile represents an entertaining introduction to a multi-talented individual. Without Franken, it's hard to imagine a place in the world for The Daily Show and other media designed to expose "lies and the lying liars who tell them," as his 2003 bestseller would have it. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

Political satirist Al Franken follows up his best-selling book LIES AND THE LYING LIARS WHO TELL THEM with this feature film. AL FRANKEN: GOD SPOKE follows the inimitable figure over a two-year period in which he campaigns against George W. Bush's reelection and takes well-aimed swipes at a number of big political targets.Runtime: 84 minutesFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: DOCUMENTARIES/MISC. Rating: NR UPC: 767685989531 Manufacturer No: NVG-9895

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Al Franken's On a Mission May 9, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I wish I could give it more stars May 2, 2007
By Scott K
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tireless liberal with a brilliant sense of humor. October 12, 2007
I chuckled through this entire documentary - which was simply a couple cameras following him around on his book tours, during the launch of Air America, at debates with Ann Coulter, and interspersed with archival footage of his Saturday Night Live days. But beyond his comedic genius, is his concern for justice. He not only defends the middle class, but the poor as well, from the endless propaganda of those who are serving power and privilege - Bush, Cheney, Rush, Sean Hannity, Neal Boortz and others.
I also appreciate his emotional honesty. When he's angry, it's a righteous indignation. And he doesn't mask his sorrow when speaking about the loss of his father, or facing the re-election of Bush in 2004.
Few people in politics or show business will let a camera into their lives during such vulnerable moments. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

Franken's book Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot was a desperately needed counter-shot to the PR machine that is Limbaugh. And his tireless touring for that book, and the books that have followed, have lifted the spirits of many liberals who were feeling isolated by the Wizards of our corporate media Oz.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm being a bit generous. May 14, 2007
By P. Oski
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.
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