I've feeling pretty crappy, so this one will be straight and dry.
This puzzle, by Ross Trudeau, has an impressively clever theme. The themed answers are lines from movies, and their clues are the movie titles. However, linked to those theme answers are hint clues, taking the form "[actor's name] line." This creates some puns which also serve as hints to the movie quote answers.
For example: "The Lion King" is the clue, HANKUNA MATATA is the answer, and the hint clue is "pool divider," or LANE LINE. Get it?! Then there's "Jerry Maguire," the clue for the answer SHOW ME THE MONEY. The hint for this answer is "Carnival," which is a... CRUISE LINE. Ha! One more: "The Dark Knight" is WHY SO SERIOUS, and the hint clue is "musical score marking," or LEDGER LINE. Okay? OK.
I thought "canine supporters" might be *PAWS, but it's GUMS.
For "judge's seat" I didn't know why "bench" didn't fit, but it's the term of art BANC.
"Neural conductor" is AXON. All I could think of was "ganglion."
"Hockey feint" is DEKE. It is an abbreviation of the word decoy.
I have never heard of Jose, Bengie, and Yadler MOLINA, "catcher brothers with five World Series rings between them."
"The Merry Drinker painter" is HALS, as in Frans Hals, a Dutch painter from Haarlem. He is also famous for Jester with a Lute and for many portraits of people sitting down with the arm over the back of the chair.
LEHI, "where Samson slew the Philistines," famously with the jawbone of an ass. Not to be confused with EL-HI, a way of referring to K-12 education that absolutely no one ever says.
An AD VALOREM tax (which I first erroneously spelled *AD VALORUM) is a tax levied "according to value" of the goods in question.
The SAN Gabriel Mountains are in California. Fun fact: the highest peak in the range is Mount San Antonio, which you and I know as Mount Baldy.
I knew that the Uzi was named for its Israeli designer, but I did not know it was a diminutive of his first name, nor that his last name was Gal: UZI GAL.
Metathesiophobia is the fear of CHANGE, which I had as *CHANCE until I realized that grad schools probably want your GRE SCORES, not your *CRE SCORES.
I've never heard of jazz pianist McCoy TYNER, but I'm sure he's quite good.
GESSO returns, this time clued as "artist's base" rather than "artist's surface." A-ha!
SLR in camera lingo is "single-lens reflex," which a mirror and lens show the photographer the exact image being captured.
And I'VE reached the end. Maybe tomorrow I will RYES to the occasion and be less boring.