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Screening Liberally Watch of the Day II

BREAKING NEWS: Alan Colmes Awakes From Slumber and Takes Action! Watch it:

Screening Liberally Watch of the Day

Today, John McCain is holding a major fund raiser with his good friend Ralph Reed:

Strictly Business

Judd Apatow has done it again. He's really done it. Pineapple Express is downright awesome.

I wouldn't call it a game changer like say The 40 Year Old Virgin, it's not going to spawn a whole new genre of films. But it's a rock-solid movie, and a great combination of classic Apatowian comedy and some pretty great ashtray-flinging fight scenes, foot through-the-windshield car chases, and a great bromantic escape sequence. Everyone, the writers, actors, directors, special effects dudes, I mean everyone does a really excellent job.

In short, Pineapple Express is a strictly business kind of movie. No visionary new ideas. Just a get-in, get-out solid genre film.

This "strictly business" attitude is key issue that the film deals with. When we first meet Seth Rogen's character Dale Denton, he is calling into a talk-radio show about how drugs should be legal because dealing with skeezy drug dealers is really really awkward. This awkwardness is exemplified in his relationship with his own dealer Saul Silver, played brilliantly by James Franco.

Dale is mildly entertained by Saul but for the most part wants to keep their relationship strictly business. As the movie goes on, and as their adventure escalates, they find that their relationship is more than just about a business deal. It's about friendship, love and making sure they don't get killed by vicious drug lords and their henchmen.

There are many places in our lives where we'd like to keep things strictly business. Whether it's at the store, the office, or the world of politics. We like to keep these situations and the relationships developed within these situations out of our personal lives, but in reality, they can't be separated.

This is a core part of what it means to Live Liberally, to recognize that politics and policy have a huge affect on our everyday lives. It affects our healthcare, taxes and even where we're allowed to dance. And for that reason, we don't push politics outside of our daily lives. We bring it in.

We bring politics to bars, book clubs and even prayer communities, because politics, and the policies that come from it, already affect nearly every part of our lives.

And, as Dale learns through the course of the movie, as you navigate these issues of politics, business or even dangerous escapes from armed thugs, it's nice to have a few good friends standing by your side.

Screening Liberally Watches of the Day

Penn Jillette makes his endorsement... shirtless:

From Crackle: Penn Says: Bob Barr

The newest Batman trailer:

The Obama Promise

This is awesome:

h/t Oliver Willis

Screening Liberally Watch of the Day

The truth behind the decreased violence in Iraq. Twenty miles of concrete have turned Baghdad into "A City of Walls"

Let’s Ask Marion: Does Popcorn Deserve A Pass To The Movies?

(With a click of her mouse, EatingLiberally’s kat corners Dr. Marion Nestle, NYU professor of nutrition and author of Food Politics and What to Eat:)

Kat: My Screening Liberally colleagues have asked me to recommend "a nutritious alternative to popcorn" that Screening Liberally chapters could serve at their film screenings. But is popcorn itself really such a terrible snack? Obviously, if you drench it in butter or oil, it becomes a fat bomb, and then there's diacetyl--the "butter" flavored chemical that gives the workers exposed to it the debilitating illness called "popcorn lung." But if you start with non-GMO, organic popcorn, say, and you pop it in just a wee bit of canola oil and sprinkle it with nutritional yeast, the way they do in those hipster indie movie houses, haven't you got yourself a pretty healthy snack, provided you don't consume a Paul Bunyon-sized tub of it?

Dr. Nestle: Hey--this sounds like my new column in the San Francisco Chronicle in which I discussed, of all things, pizza. The editors wanted to know whether pizza could ever be healthy? Of course it can. Popcorn too. Popcorn has the benefit of being mostly air (it's popped, right?). Air has no calories. So a cup of popcorn is just 30 calories. Air doesn't have much in the way of nutrients either, so that cup of popcorn has a few minerals, a gram of protein, and a teaspoon of starch. Not much good, but no harm done either. BUT: nobody has just a cup and nobody just eats popcorn. Every tablespoon of fat--butter or oil--adds at least 100 calories and throw sugar on top of it and you've added some more. It's still a lot better than most things you get in movie theaters, but I want real butter on mine, not that phony stuff.

Screening Liberally Watch of the Day

Paris Hilton responds to McCain's celebrity ad. It's a real hard-hitter. Brace yourself.

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Screening Liberally Watches of the Day

Chet Edwards tricks House Republicans into booing Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Markos likes Mentos (and Ned Lamont).

Get Your War On, 23/6's new animated series debuts with an awesome episode on the now million-member terrorist watch list.

Follow the Dark Knight

I don’t even like action movies. Or at least, not any of the recent ones. I walked out of Casino Royale. I hated Ironman. I don’t even want to see the trailer for Saw II. Too many blood, bros, and bimbos and it all starts feeling like the same rehashed plot. Given my recent history with action movies, I was prepared to be seriously let down by Dark Knight.

I was fully enthralled. Dark Knight is life boiled down to a damn operatic game of chess. Scene by scene its one calculated action after another as Batman and Joker fight to check the other’s king.

Dark Knight just remade the superhero genre. It will transform superhero films like the Matrix transformed action films. Dark Knight is the ultimate superhero film because it managed to sum up all the superhero film that came before it. In a sense, its the superhero film to end all superhero films. Therefore, if the next superhero film wants to be original it will have to square itself with the message of Dark Knight and then take that message farther.

As The Joker says, its not about the money, its about the message.

The message: Follow the Dark Knight.