Al Franken - God Spoke
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Did he win? We'll just have to wait for part two to find out!
Along with most Dan Aykroyd sketches my favorite segment on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE was "The Franken and Davis Show," featuring Franken and the late Tom Davis. Of all the S.N.L. skits that became movies, Franken's funny and heartwarming STUART SAVES HIS FAMILY is the best I've seen.
The Al Franken book LIES AND THE LYING LIARS WHO TELL THEM, which exposes the Republican noise machine, "Saved my life," according to someone who told me she started reading it after a distressing day on the job and laughed so much she was able to get the night's sleep she thought she would miss.
Al Franken was the cornerstone of Air America radio, where his talent lost no punch in the theater of the mind. As a bonus, I discovered Thom Hartmann, who replaced Franken when he left to run for the Senate and has become one of my favorite talk show hosts.
Some of the above is in AL FRANKEN: GOD SPOKE and some isn't. I realize I'm reviewing Al Franken's career as much as this documentary but the film ties it together neatly for me because watching it, I realize the man's done everything he's tried well. How many others can claim success as an actor, author, radio commentator and politician? (Okay, I ruined the surprise of part two if it's ever made; Al Franken won the election!)
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was cool to see the behind-the-scenes video from events, but it would have been REALLY nice to see his campaign for MN Senate race.Published on October 16, 2012 by Mateo Schlo
After hearing all the press about Al Franken, I thought this would be an interesting and insightful movie to watch. Read morePublished on April 6, 2011 by Ty Pike
On behalf of hearing-impaired people I give this DVD a big ZERO. It is a totally useless product to us. Thanks for nothing Docurama! Read morePublished on December 1, 2008 by Jake O'Donnell
This video makes Al Franken out to be a bumbling loser. His "Liars" book was great! What happened here? Does Al Franken really endorse this documentary? Read morePublished on February 2, 2008 by A. Stefan Sommer
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... Read morePublished on October 12, 2007 by Preston C. Enright
As a big fan of Al Franken & Air America (I still listen every day), this was a great look into how he changed from simply a comedian to a real viable candidate for Senate. Read morePublished on August 4, 2007 by Girlskin