The Movie Binge

Review: Al Franken: God Spoke

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Al Franken is a funny man. As a writer and performer on Saturday Night Live for many years, he knows how to put an audience into stitches with his dead on impressions and characters. But in the last few years, the funny guy has transformed into the guy with the political conscience, taking his comic timing and well placed zingers into the political commentary arena. The new documentary, Al Franken: God Spoke follows this transformation from the first days of Franken's contribution to the liberal radio channel, Air America through to the crushing defeat of the Democrats in the 2004 election. This is a movie that shows explicitly what happens when someone who's spent most of his career entertaining people decides to use his access to the public to do more.

I suspect however, that most of the people who'd be buying a ticket to see this movie will be in the "preaching to the choir" section of the political spectrum. They're probably also the folks who listen to Air America in the first place, not those who chuckle gleefully when the Drudge Report says that AA is about to declare bankruptcy. Sadly, this seems to be the whole problem with the left in America these days, they spend a lot of time listening to what the right says and thoughtfully trying to refute it, while the right just continues on blithely with its own agenda. In the documentary, Franken spends a lot of time taking well aimed and witty pot shots at Conservative mouth pieces like Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter, but where does that get him? Sure, my New York media elite audience thought the movie was funny but is Franken converting any actual undecided hearts and minds?

Political agendas aside, God Spoke is a well made documentary, though you'd hardly expect any less from the team involved. Directors Chris Hegedus and Nick Doob along with producer D.A. Pennebaker have made some really excellent non fiction films in the past, like The War Room and Startup.com. I just hope that their track record of capturing American zeitgeist moments with their cameras transfers that level of importance to Franken's quest. As the film ends, it seems that he has intentions to move out of show business and into elected politics. Might I suggest a Franken/Jon Stewart ticket for maximum pop culture effectiveness?

Comments

There's a reason why no one listened to Air America.

Al Franken has republicans running in fear since they can't deal with the facts. Go see this movie.

Republicans running in fear because of Al Franken? That's about as likely as Howard Dean forming a coherent sentence.

The bottom line is that these liberals on the fringe hate America. The only way Democrats can gain now is for something bad to happen to America. They don't want Iraq to improve, they don't want the stock market to go higher, they don't want unemployment to go down, they don't want gas prices to continue to drop. All of these things are good for America, and the Democrats can't stand it. The Dems are searching and hoping for a good all-American disaster to make the headlines now, so they can blame it on conservatives. What patriots.

I don't think Republicans fear Franken, but they should. Nor do I think Democrats hate America - that is just an imbicilic thing to say. Of course Democrats want prosperity. Let's see, the last time we had gas less than a buck a gallon, a blossoming stock market, high GDP growth, federal surpluses, and peace was when, gosh golly gee, we had a Democrat for President and a Democratic congress.

Wake up. Republicans = war mongering and fiscal irresponsibilty. Democrats = peace and prosperity.

Franken is all about the TRUTH.

Smart Guy,

You're an idiot. Do you simply parrot back what your party wants you to say without checking out anything for yourself? Congratulations. You just joined the 35 percent who will vote for the Republican Party NO MATTER WHAT it does.

It's time people in this country started calling Republicans on their lies. Smart guy, you're a liar who doesn't care about the facts. And if you truly believe what you are saying, you're an unbelievable idiot, too.

Al Fraken does'nt stick their foot in their mouths. It is simply SHOW AND TELL. If I could'nt laugh I would cry.

To Seekthetruth:

WoW - perhaps it is you who parrots your party's venacular. Stupid, idiot, nice words from a person, who supports politicians who would kill an innocent unborn child - while trying to say they have compassion by supporting a bill to rescue dogs from hurricans. Who is the stupid party. Just read, just read.

For the record, I am not a Republican or Democrat. I honestly don't see a lot of difference between the two these days. Both are filled with bureaucrats who do nothing and screw the public, at the public's expense.

However, the terrorism issue trumps all others, and the Democrats continue to offer nothing more than platitudes and "let's just talk to them to they won't hurt us anymore" strategies. At least Bush is taking them on. I just wish he would grow a spine about the illegals crossing the border so easily. It is his JOB.

Yes You poor fooled Americans, this is the level Youre at (and this is the level Youre going to stay in, if You do not go down) keep on sending in Your comments about Bush,elephants,Donkeys and what not. Do not for a second think that Youre NOT monitored from abroad (it is the rest of the planet) and are We havin fun? well I would be laughing if it wasnt 4 the fact that the US of A is problaby taking Us all down. So just keep flushing down Your turds with freshwater and fire up Youre SUV's to go down to the Burgerplace . . .

These comments are a strong argument for eliminating comment sections. Let's see who can call who and idiot. Too bad you can't shout louder over the internet, maybe that would settle the question. Thanks everyone it was really useful.

To think that Republicans fear Al Franken is laughable. Just as laughable is the assertion here that liberals hate America. But what is inarguable is that there are a helluva lot more people in the world who hate America today that did not feel that way about 5 years ago. As citizens of America, I think it is fair to examine why that is.

Republicans "fear" Franken. I have tried to listen to him and "get the other side" but it is just too difficult. No policy, no plans just constant bashing of all things American. He used to at least be funny.

Since when is bashing a criminal and liar in the White House the same as bashing America? Bush and his crew are the greatest threat America and the world face today..yes even greater than OBL since OBL destroyed some buildings but Bush is destroying our soul. The evidence is plain but not to those who choose not to see..

Why is it that a Democrat/Liberal/Socialist/Progressive/Leftie can't create a coherent argument? All they can do is call people names or insult people. Why would I vote for someone who denigrates the President? Disagree with him all you want, but calling him criminal/idiot/chimp is only reflecting what you see in the mirror every morning. Let's discuss policy, let's debate laws, let's comprimise, consensus, caucus, let's solve the nation's problems, all I see coming out of Democrats is what they're against. If you're against everything, how can you be for anything. This is probably the 40th comment section where I've asked this question: What is the Democrats' plan for terrorism, the war in Iraq, the economy, and Iran? Nobody's answered that queston yet.

Have a nice day, and remember: God loves you!

I LOL whenenver the chimp comparison to W comes up -- have you SEEN Franken's face? My God, people are laughing before he even says anything. He works it good. He cracks me up. He's a political retard. But he's funny. *shrug*

Lifer presents probably the most logical, neutral comment thus far. It is imperative we begin to examine the truth that we as a nation are hated more then we were a few years ago.

My spouses boss recently returned from a trip abroad. He said the anti-american sentiment was very disconcerning. He takes these particular trips every couple of years, and said he noticed a marked difference in people's attitudes towards the states.

Right after 9/11, I began asking what we had done--what policies had our government enforced--that would allow such an act of hate. Of course this was before I began to examine the details of that day--when I believed our government's version of the truth. Anyway, I was verbally attacked by untold numbers of people, including some members of my own family, for even hinting at the idea that America was in any way responsible.

It is time for us to re-examine many of those values we hold as Americans, most importantly the concepts of capitalism and individualism.

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