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DVD Releases Feburary 13, 2007

The U.S. vs John LennonReview by Bryan NewburyReview yourselfPurchase at – Though certain reviewers have called comparisons to the antiwar movement during the Nixon administration to that of today’s tumult, one would need blinders fitted for a thoroughbred to avoid obvious parallels. The U.S. vs. John Lennon begins with an archetypal image of the scene in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. A concert is being held for jailed MC5 manager and marijuana legalization activist John Sinclair. Sinclair’s offense? Offering two joints to an undercover agent. His sentence? Ten years maximum security.

Enter a cast of fellow musicians and activists. At center stage is John Lennon, armed with National Resophonic guitar and his wife Yoko. We are to find out that the simple act of singing on Sinclair’s behalf coincided with the Michigan Supreme Court summarily overturning the conviction they’d recently upheld. Maybe there’s something to this whole rock ‘n roll thing.

The U.S. vs. John Lennon follows this scene with a bit of exposition. Much of it isn’t altogether necessary to fans of Lennon. For that matter, fans of popular culture in the second half of the twentieth century. It does, however, serve to build the foundation for a narrative pacing that is commendable in documentary filmmaking.

So Goes The NationReviewPurchase at – As John Kerry presidential campaign volunteer Miles Gerety puts it, “As goes Ohio, so goes the nation.” Directors Adam Del Deo and James D. Stern, who were behind The Year of the Yao (about NBA superstar Yao Ming), attempt to get a handle on the 2004 presidential election by focusing on this swing state in the weeks before the big day. Senator Kerry and President George W. Bush staffers recount their experiences in trying to win the White House. Speakers include everyone from door-to-door campaigners to Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe and RNC chairman Ed Gillespie. Even some of Kerry’s most dedicated followers admit that there were times their man let them down, like his failure to take a more aggressive stance against the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. On the other hand, at least one Bush staffer feels that her candidate made too big a deal about same-sex marriage. As longtime Republican Leslie Ghiz remarks about his campaign promises, “Notice there’s [been] no marriage amendment.”

F**KReviewPurchase at – This challenging and provocative documentary takes a look on all sides of the infamous F-word. Its taboo,obscene and controversial, yet somehow seems to permeate every single aspect of our culture-from Hollywood, to the schoolyard to the Senate floor in Washington D.C. It’s the word at the very center of the debate on Free Speech – and everyone seems to have an opinion. F*** will exam how the word is impacting our world today thru interviews, film and television clips, music, and original animation by Oscar nominee Bill Plympton. Scholars and linguists will examine the long history of f***. Comedians, actors, and writers who have charted and popularized the upward course of f*** will be heard from, often while defending the Constitutional Right of Free Speech, all the way to the Supreme Court. F*** will visit with those who actually f*** for a living. We’ll hear from advocates who oppose f*** and it’s infringement into our everyday lives. We’ll watch some of the most famous and infamous film and television clips that feature f***, we’ll hear some of the most famous f***s ever uttered and we’ll feel the impact of f*** on our everyday lives.

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