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V for Vendetta (2005)

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This pairing is dedicated to the work of Eisner, Jack Kirby, and Hugo Award-winning author Alan Moore. First up, the film Jeff states is his favorite from all of film, a story of a dystopian future that seemed to question not one, but two modern U.S. presidents, 2005's "V for Vendetta!" Directed by James McTeigue and adapted for the screen by Lilly and Lana Wachowski, the film follows young TV production assistant Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman) who is rescued from an alley attack by a masked vigilante called "V" (Hugo Weaving). V then takes Evey along to witness an act of civic destruction as he destroys the central criminal court of England and Wales, making her a part of his plot. The High Chancellor, Adam Sutler (the late, great John Hurt) tasks his inner council, including secret police head Mr. Creedy (Tim Pigott-Smith) and London Police Inspector Finch (Stephen Rea) with tracking down and capturing the terrorist. After an attack on the British Television Network (BTN) studios Evey works at, and after she assist him in escaping from the police, V takes her to his home and tells her she must remain there with him until his plot is concluded a year from then. Thus begins V's revenge on the fascist government that has taken control of England, Evey's quest for freedom, and Finch's realization of the truth behind the government's propaganda in a story that, while based on Moore's graphic novel, transforms the story into more of a political thriller than an anarchy vs. fascism narrative. Also starring Rupert Graves, Stephen Fry, Roger Allam, Ben Miles, Sinead Cusack, and Natasha Wightman.



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25th Hour (2002)

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Our second film for Thanksgiving, and our salute to New York City, looks at life immediately post-9/11, and how 24 hours can change a person's life. Director Spike Lee and writer David Benioff (of "Game of Thrones" fame) spin the tale of Monty Brogan (Edward Norton), a drug dealer whose life is turned upside down after he's betrayed to the DEA. The film spans the final 24 hours in Monty's life before he begins a seven-year prison sentence. His girlfriend Naturelle (Rosario Dawson), along with his two best friends Frank (Barry Pepper) and Jacob (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) are going with him to a party thrown by his boss, Uncle Nikolai (Levani). During these last 24 hours, all four of the friends find themselves questioning their paths, doing things they never saw themselves doing, and ultimately preparing for the separation from Monty they all know is inevitable. Also starring Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, and Tony Siragusa. Plus, the trio unveil their next pairing of amazing films which the author of the source material despises!



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Taxi Driver (1976)Watch the trailer!

For Thanksgiving, a uniquely American holiday, we turn to two films about a uniquely American location: New York City! First up, it's director Martin Scorcese and writer Paul Schrader's ode to the largest city in the United States, and how even in such a massive collection of people, loneliness can still drive a person slowly insane. The film "Taxi Driver" follows Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), a vietnam veteran who can't sleep, so he decides to put his insomnia to work and takes a job as a taxi driver. On his travels, he runs across two very different ladies and has two very different reactions to them. First is Betsy (Cybil Shepherd), a campaign worker for presidential-hopeful Senator Charles Palantine (Leonard Harris), who he attempts to woo despite his very pronounced social awkwardness. The second, however, is still a girl, 12-year-old Iris (Jodie Foster), a streetwalker who Travis decides he needs to rescue. Intertwined throughout his relationships with the two ladies, Travis tries to find purpose amidst the dirty and garbage-strewn streets of New York. Also starring Albert Brooks, Harvey Keitel, and Peter Boyle.



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The Manchurian CandidateWatch the trailer!

Our second "In Memorium" film in this pairing pays tributed to an actor who turned in such a masterful performance, she's listed as AFI's #5 villain of all times. Louise Fletcher passed away on September 23rd, 2022, so in honor of her amazing performance as Nurse Ratched, we're looking at her Academy Award-winning performance in 1975's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." Directed by Milos Forman, this film features performances from a veritable cavalcade of future stars! R. P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) has been placed in a mental ward, a clever dodge to get out of a work camp. There, he meets a group of patients who become his community, including Martini (Danny DeVito), Cheswick (Sydney Lassick), Taber (Christopher Lloyd), Billy Bibbit (Brad Dourif), Frederickson (Vincent Schiavelli), Harding (William Redfield), Ellsworth (Dwight Marfield), Chief (Will Sampson), and several others, all of whom are under the thumb of the evil Nurse Ratched. When McMurphy gains the trust of the rest of the group, and begins to encourage them to break away from Ratched's scheduled life, a battle of wills between a free-wheeling radical and a controlling sociopath for the future of the lives of every man on the ward! Plus, the trio reveal which two films, set in New York, will make up this year's Thanksgiving pairing!



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The Manchurian CandidateWatch the trailer!

The world has lost two amazing actors over the last two months, so this pairing is an "In Memorium" for each. For our first film, we pay tribute to Angela Lansbury, who passed away on October 11th, 2022, by taking a look at the third film to net her an Academy Award nomination, 1962's "The Manchurian Candidate." Directed by John Frankenheimer, this film follows a group of Korean War soldiers who've returned to the U.S. after their tour of duty. One soldier in particular, Major Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra) is having recurring, disturbing nightmares of fellow soldier Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) having done unspeakable things to members of their unit. While he tries to come to grips with the nightmare's meaning, Shaw himself is trying to deal with life stateside, a horrible stepfather in Senator John Iselin (James Gregory) and a domineer and manipulative mother, Eleanor Iselin (Angela Lansbury). As Marco sorts out his issues, Senator Iselin is starting a witch-hunt for communists working for the Defense Department, a hunt his wife Eleanor is spearheading. As the two veterans begin to sort out the truth of their lifes, the film takes a turn into true political thriller territory and twists and winds its way to a surprising and sudden ending! Also starring Henry Silva, Leslie Parrish, and Janet Leigh.



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