April 13, 2006

Holy Thursday, Batman!

That's right, dear readers - today is Holy Thursday. For those in the Christian faith, this signifies the evening when Jesus Christ had the last supper with his apostles. On Good Friday, He was tried and sentenced to death on the cross, and in our faith, he was laid to rest to rise again on the third day...and if He saw his shadow, he went back in and we had six more weeks of Lent.

OK, I'm burning in the underworld for that joke, but you're all probably wondering, "While I'm waiting out until Easter Sunday, what kind of cool movies can I be watching?"

I'm sure you've already done so, but catch Good Night and Good Luck on DVD. Telling the historic tale of Edward R. Murrow and Joe McCarthy, this is a crisp step above your normal made-for-movies historical drama. George Clooney proves that Confessions of a Dangerous Mind was no one movie deal - David Straithairn does a glorious job as Murrow, and by weaving in actual footage of McCarthy, shows how the politics of division eventually play themselves out. The photography is crisp, the script simply smashing, and it's enough to tick off conservatives. (The holier-than-thou kind, not the actually-believes-what-they're-talking-about kind)

Now, imagine a similar movie written by Andy Martello and directed by Dave "Bears on a Sub"Campbell, and you get a sense of the tone of Thank You For Smoking . It's a dark, cynical look at politics, spin, and culture, featuring one of the most likeable - yet cynical - characters ever created: the inimitable Nick Naylor (played by Aaron Eckhart, seemingly playing his character from In the Company of Men for laughs). This is one of the few movies that 1) I wish was longer, and 2) actually makes me want to seek out Christopher Buckley's novel. (The only weak link in the film - the future Mrs. Tom Cruise and mother of his space baby). See this movie. Now.

Finally, be sure to catch all three seasons of Titus, the short-lived sitcom that put the "fun" in dysfunctional. (Actually, 54 episodes in three seasons is quite a lot of show). If you find yourself wanting to smack Stuart Smalley (or even Al Franken), then this is the show you need to watch. You'll laugh yourself sick. Sharp, dark writing, excellent performances, and some really daring episodes equal a warm, wonderful time for the family. Bring the kids!

And finally, to paraphrase Ken Titus (actually, Stacy Keach, who looks eerily like my dad)....

"Don't be a wussy! Have a happy Easter! Save some beer for me, though"

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