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Al Franken: God Spoke Review


Good
In the world of fastidious liberalism, Al Franken has the considerable pleasure of being one of the group's most charismatic spokesmen. His work on SNL and in a few films opens up to a larger audience than Michael Moore and his floundering Air America radio station makes him an underdog hero to many left-wingers. Documentary filmmakers Nick Doob and Chris Hegedus felt there was just cause for a film to be made about Franken and his anti-Bush, anti-right-wing push during the last election, amongst other things.

The film covers a lot of ground in its modest runtime. It starts with the promotional run of Franken's best-seller Lies and The Lying Liars Who Tell Them and moves to the launch of Air America and its subsequent slide downward, ending a little after the 2004 elections. In addition to all this, you're spending most of the time with a somewhat bull-headed, no-less charming entertainer with a nasally voice that's a few pitches below Chief Wiggum.

Continue reading: Al Franken: God Spoke Review

The First Amendment Project Review


Good
Purportedly an insightful look into how the First Amendment is being trampled by the conservatives in power, this triptych of 20-minute short films comes off as a brief primer on civil rights and little else.

The three stories start strong and quickly peter out. The first, and by far the most interesting, follows Al Franken's experience as the butt of a lawsuit from Fox News, after Franken put a photo of Fox star Bill O'Reilly on his book and used Fox catchphrase "fair and balanced" on the cover. O'Reilly and Franken got into a screaming match, and Fox went to court. Fox lost, dismally, and Franken earned national notoriety with a bestseller. The lessons -- about what is protected speech and what is not -- are interesting and important.

Continue reading: The First Amendment Project Review

The War Room Review


Excellent
Favorite thing about this classic Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker documentary about the 1992 Clinton campaign: Listening to James Carville's Louisiana twang for two hours. The pair of documentarians (who offer no commentary at all; the film speaks for itself entirely) gain amazing insight into the political process, the minutiae of how the campaigners attempt to build stories for the press, how speeches are written, and how genuinely hateful the opposing parties are against each other. Fortunately for Carville and company, their man Clinton won the day; this would have been a savage film if it hadn't panned out. I'm apolitical and despise politics -- but looking back at this campaign 12 years after the fact is actually a little nostalgic and surprisingly fun. Now gimme more Carville!
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Dev Patel Is A Lost Boy In Touching True Story Drama 'Lion'

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There's already an Oscars buzz surrounding this movie.

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