Potato Chamber

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Right now, Ken Starr's probably wringing his hands and wondering whether anyone else has noticed that these days, when it comes to Truth, Justice and the American Way, Justice -- as in the Juducial Branch -- seems to be doing most of the talking. Well, Ken, it was the Supreme Court who brought you Monica, and Judge Johnson who let you get all the way up the ladder with Bruce Lindsey and the Secret Service. But SCOTUS giveth, and SCOTUS taketh away. As one lucky criminal (not a President) says with heavy irony in The Star Chamber (1983), "God bless f---ing America."

To which Judge Hal Holbrook correctly responds (later on), "The law? We are the law." OK, so this movie, which was made in 1983 but belongs with the conscience-heavy movies of the late 1970's, paints with some pretty broad strokes. And it's plenty dated, given that you don't hear much of the vile-criminal-gets-off-on-technicality outrage anymore. Has it stopped happening? CP doesn't know.

But the movie still packs a good old-fashioned ideological punch. And it's peppered with familiar faces; you'll spot Cagney, Frank Fontana, and the guy who stole the raisins on Seinfeld; points for Doogie Howser's father and Otis Day from "Animal House," and a BRAND NEW CAR for anyone who recognizes Bud Bundy before the credits roll. Give it a day in court.

Oh yeah, other movies. Well, just because Bob Hope turned out not to be dead doesn't mean you can't pay the man a rental's worth of appreciation. This week's pick: My Favorite Brunette (1947). Dorothy Lamour, Peter Lorre, a cameo by Bing, and some of Hope's finest and most cowardly comic double takes. Come on. He needs the royalties.