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Issue of 2/20/2008


Cover Story:



Royalty up in this bitch
by Khary Kimani Turner and Rebecca Mazzei
Hip-hop celebs get graceful makeovers from an international art star

Features:

After the fire by Sandra Svoboda
Apartment building tragedy sparks community response

Dead set by Cole Haddon
George Romero talks about his new film and looks back on his zombie franchise

Master of the universe by Hobey Echlin
Rapping's an adventure, and it's taken One Be Lo all the way to Egypt

Masterworks by Jeff Meyers
Remembering author-turned-director Ousmane Sembene

Queer bait by Matt Fortuna
Oscar Wilde classic gets a gender switch.

Sound passion by Chris Handyside
Trimpin's as easy to nail down as liquid

We are family by Detroitblogger John
A real mom-and-pop music shop

Columns:

Comics (Comics)

Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
Full plates for local foodies.

Stirring the pot by Jeff Broder (Grilled)
Zoup!'s Eric Ersher on serving up soup.

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times staff (Letters to the Editor)

Jeffrey Morganís Media Blackout by Jeffrey Morgan (Media Blackout)
Speed guide to the week's top discs.

Hip-hop twist by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Rap artist takes aim at Kwame.

Lobby overdose by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Fight continues over state law granting virtual immunity to drug manufacturers.

Night and Day by Meghana Keshavan (Night and Day)

The real GOP by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
State Republicans: Bust unions, outlaw abortion.

Curve balls by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Read the questions that stumped Savage ó and readers' answers

Lock and key by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Chastity belt has mate fit to be tied.

The vicious circle by Walter Wasacz (The Subterraneans)
Detroit techno artists keep inventing, innovating ... and doing it 'one more time'

Reviews:

Music/Books:

Lucky - Nada Surf Reviewed by Chris Parker (Record)

Odelay - Deluxe Edition - Beck Reviewed by Tim Grierson (Record)

Power of the Damager - Prong Reviewed by Serene Dominic (Record)

District Line - Bob Mould Reviewed by Rob O'Connor (Record)

Brighter Than Creation's Dark - Drive-By Truckers Reviewed by Mike Villano (Record)

Western Sides - American Mars Reviewed by Daniel Johnson (Record)

Jesus of Cool: 30th Anniversary Edition - Nick Lowe Reviewed by Bill Holdship (Record)

Movies:

Jumper Reviewed by Cole Haddon (Movie)
David Rice (Hayden Christensen) — a guy who can teleport anywhere in the world — isn't really much of a hero at all. In fact, despite the movie's suggestions that Rice might develop a conscience — he lives a self-serving life of leisure financed by the banks he robs — he never rises up to do anything honorable except rescue the woman he loves (Rachel Bilson) from a vague organization of religious zealots led by Roland (a white-haired, familiarly menacing Samuel L. Jackson).

The Spiderwick Chronicles Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Mark Water's film has two things going for it: a laudable degree of craftsmanship and the promise of no sequels. Condensing five short juvenile novels into a single 90-minute film, the screenwriters (including indie director John Sayles) have done a decent job of constructing a tale that will entertain tots without insulting parents' intelligence. Separated from her husband, Helen Grace (Mary-Louise Parker) moves her kids from New York City to decrepit Spiderwick mansion, which hides a powerful secret that angry young Jared (Freddie Highmore) stumbles across. Suddenly, the kids are deep in the intrigues of a fantastical world that lives invisibly alongside our own.

In Bruges Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
A pair of hit men are ordered to cool their heels in the fairytale-like city of Bruges after a job goes terribly wrong. Whatever happened isnít at first clear, but young Ray (Colin Farrell) is clearly worse for the wear. Twitchy and haunted, he hates the idyllic Belgian town and ends up picking fights with tourists and desperately trying to befriend a dwarf film actor. In contrast, Rayís more experienced partner Ken (Brendan Gleeson) is determined to enjoy their unexpected R & R, embracing Brugeís quaint mediaeval sights and his role as a tourist. But the longer these misfits stick around, the more complicated things get. Ray turns suicidal, and the duoís boss, Harry (Ralph Fiennes), calls to give Ken an impossible order. Guns are drawn, tears are dropped and nothing goes the way itís supposed to. As with all road movies, it all comes down to chemistry, and almost every character in In Bruges convincingly connects, selling the storyís absurd twists and turns.

Definitely, Maybe Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Young dad Will (Ryan Reynolds), on the evening of a divorce, recounts for his daughter (Abigail Breslin) the story of how he met her mommy in the first place. It's framed as a race between three likely suspects from his past, Emily (Elizabeth Banks), April (Isla Fisher) and Summer (Rachel Weisz). Then it's time for flashbacks to the era of Kurt Cobain, brick-sized cell phones, and the halcyon days of the Clinton campaign ó you know, the first one.

The Signal Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
A weird, unexplained psychedelic pulse just starts droning out of TVs and radios, and pretty soon most of the residents of fictional Terminus City turn into erratic, homicidal savages, making this an ostensible zombie movie without any supernatural baggage. Itís also a pretty canny mash-up of dozens of genre movie plots, all reduced to a funky, high-energy, postmodern apocalypse. Cute adulterous hipsters Mya (Anessa Ramsey) and Ben (Justin Wellborn) awaking after a night of stolen passion to find that the world has gone bat-shit crazy without them. And things get graphically gory in a hurry.

Steep Reviewed by Serena Donadoni (Movie)
With jaw-dropping visuals, this documentary is a spectacular introduction to the death-defying extreme sport of big-mountain skiing. The skiers, interviewed by director Mark Obenhaus, describe a spiritual connection to the wild peaks they descend in language thatís echoed in the way surfers talk about riding waves. And when you come down to it, it's all about the gravitational pull.

Diary of the Dead Reviewed by Paul Knoll (Movie)
The film begins with a small crew of college film students and their boozy professor, shooting a horror film in the Pennsylvania woods. Their shooting is cut short when they start hearing news stories on the radio about the dead coming back to life. Some of them are skeptical ó who the hell believes the news these days? Still, they pack up their Winnebago and hit the road hoping to find loved ones safe at home. What they find is something wholly different, captured by student director Jason (Josh Close), who tellingly observes, ďIf itís not on camera, itís not like it really happened.Ē Romero exploits this film-within-a-film, life-imitating-art device well.

Restaurants/Places:

Culinary Studies Institute at Oakland Community College Reviewed by Jane Slaughter (Restaurant)
The Culinary Studies Institute at Oakland Community College is turning out aspiring chefs while offering the lunch-loving public bargain meals that will effectively derail productivity for the rest of the afternoon. If you can adapt your schedule to the Instituteís limited hours of operation and tolerate its plasticware, you can sample both contemporary dishes and some old favorites dressed up for extra credit.

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