Roadhouse Potatoes

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Put the pedal to the metal, Martha -- CP has been cooped up all winter, springtime is just around the corner and we're hitting the open road. And with gasoline cheaper than water at the local 7-Eleven, it's time to roll down those highways jammed with working-class heroes in one of the big boys, like Ford's new giga-SUV.

Or Preston Tucker's Tucker. Francis Ford Coppola's 1988 retelling of the true story of WWII plane manufacturer Preston Tucker's dream of delivering safe, full-featured cars to the average American (check out that third headlight) is like the car itself: Glitzy, well-made, but with an old chassis underneath. In this case, the old parts come from Citizen Kane, and from Coppola's own back story: Driven man takes on the establishment and gets squashed.

Getting squashed is the least of your worries if you get Christine on your bad side. John Carpenter's supremely goofy adaptation of the merely goofy Stephen King book (The killer car is a 1957 Plymouth Fury -- get it?) is saved only by the fact that it's not the worst King auto-da-farce -- that would be the 1986 stinker Maximum Overdrive.

Whew. After all that, we're feeling more than a little dirty, which means it's time to pull into the Car Wash for some good clean weekend fun -- you'll be singing that song for weeks to come. Point to ponder: This happy movie was written by Joel Schumacher, the same guy who punished us with the last two "Batman" films. Would whoever finds his sense of humor please return it before he makes another. And as you return to the road, remember to buckle up, and remember to rewind.