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Issue of 3/17/2010


Cover Story:



Sharp young things
by Michael Jackman
Meet Detroit dining's new breed of chef: They're twentysomething, tattooed and hang like rockstars

Features:

Motor City's greatest 'bar band' ever? by Brett Callwood
The Hell Drivers may be a Detroit revue show ... but it's one helluva Detroit revue show

Murder case curveball by Sandra Svoboda
Prosecutor wants to question law students who worked on defense

Pucker up by Norene Smith
The best and latest affordable new pigment brighteners for stink bombs, couture fops, dreamers and beyond

Squeezeboxin' by Amy Elliott
Due to a long history and love affair with the instrument, the Motor City might really be the eye of the accordion storm

The delicious dozen by Michael Jackman
Dishing it about 12 of our readers' favorite local menu items

The Metro Times Dining Guide by Metro Times food staff
A tasty breakdown of more than 100 metro Detroit restaurants

Welcome back, sorta by Travis R. Wright
Nearly 30 Detroit ex-pat artists living in NYC tell us to stay put

Columns:

Cheat Code by Bryant Franks (Cheat Code)
Down with Dante; Bioshock's new worlds

Comics (Comics)

HereSay by W. Kim Heron (HereSay)
Chatting with Tower of Power saxman (and native Detroiter) Emilio Castillo

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
Readers sound off on what's in our pages

Metro Retro by Metro Times staff (Metro Retro)
Looking back on 30 years of MT

Lakes' law by News Hits staff (News Hits)
New head for Great Lakes environmental group

Unseen hands by News Hits staff (News Hits)
About those vandalized atheist ads

Night and Day by Megan O'Neil (Night and Day)

Independents day? by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
Don't think the governor should be your best buddy? Here's your man.

Happy feet by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Gym shoes make my hubby sweat, and I'm jealous!

Reviews:

Music/Books:

The Calcination of Scout Niblett - Scout Niblett Reviewed by Aaron Shaul (Record)

Movies:

The Ghost Writer Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Filmmaker Roman Polanski, who brings such a masterly touch to The Ghost Writer, despite its predictable story and timid cast. Hired to ghost-write the memoir of a Tony Blair-like British prime minister (Pierce Brosnan), a nameless writer (get it?) played by Ewan McGregor is sucked into political and domestic intrigue. The PM is accused by the Hague of human rights violation with his war-on-terror tactics, his frosty wife starts to thaw around McGregor, and suspicious details emerge about the supposed suicide of the previous ghost writer.

Green Zone Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Teaming up again with his Bourne series star, Matt Damon, director Paul Greengrass tries to graft a ’70s-style conspiracy thriller onto a breakneck action flick while critiquing the incompetence and corruption of Bush’s policies in Iraq. Very “loosely” based on Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s terrific nonfiction book Imperial Life in the Emerald City, Green Zone takes place early in the Iraq War, as chief warrant officer Roy Miller (Damon) searches for Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction. What the patriotic soldier finds instead, however, is a whole lot of false intel. And it makes him mad. So mad he goes off-mission to follow a lead fed to him by an Iraqi informer. Baathist bigwigs are meeting in a nearby house, and he comes close to capturing General Al Rawi, an Iraqi WMD expert (aka the Jack of Clubs). But something’s fishy: An ideological bureaucrat (Greg Kinnear channeling Paul Bremer) has Miller roughed up by Special Forces and his sole witness is taken to Abu Ghraib before any useful information can be learned. Soon Miller is working with a CIA maverick (Brendan Gleeson) who questions the administration’s tactics, and exchanging info with a hack journalist (Amy Ryan) — who bears more than a passing resemblance to New York Times war cheerleader Judith Miller. Of course, both sides are in a race to snag Al Rawi in order to find and suppress the truth.

Our Family Wedding Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Welcome to the new post-racial America, where at long last African-Americans and Latinos can star together in a major studio movie every bit as crappy as anything white people have ever done. Our Family Wedding is a minor milestone in the march of cultural progress, and a huge regression in the art of screen comedy, a viewing experience both heartening and totally mortifying. It’s also an utterly witless exercise in genre recycling. In fact, the film is notable only for the racial composition of the cast. Forest Whittaker and Carlos Mencia star as dads sparring because their grown children are in love, getting engaged, and didn’t bother to consult their blowhard daddies first. The resulting "comedy" is execrable.

Remember Me Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Robert Pattinson throws all his thousand-yard stares and brooding energy into the role of Tyler, an early twentysomething bad boy charging fast in no particular direction, a poor little rich boy seething with equal parts resentment and pomposity. You can tell he’s a maverick through his immaculate two-day stubble growth, chain smoking habit, affection for poetry, and propensity to solve problems with his fists. One post-bar altercation earns him a clink sleepover, but not for brawling as much as mouthing off to a bitter detective played by the great Chris Cooper. As the movie’s fates decree, that cop has a lovely, spirited eccentric daughter, Allie (Emilie de Ravin), who happens to be in a class he’s involved in at New York University. At the suggestion of his wise-cracking roommate, Tyler asks her out, and soon they’re going to carnivals, having water fights and playing kissy in the shower. This doomed romance is interrupted by spats with their respective parents, her controlling pop, and his distant, dictatorial, corporate dad, played by Pierce Brosnan with the worst excuse for a New York accent heard in years.

She's Out of My League Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Jay Baruchel (Undeclared, Tropic Thunder) is a sweet-natured everydude, working for the TSA at the Pittsburgh airport, killing time with his foul-mouthed buddies, and pining for his selfish twit of an ex-girlfriend. When a chance encounter with overachieving Aryan goddess Alice Eve (a “rock hard 10,” his friends sputter) develops into an unlikely romance, Baruchel gets overcome with insecurity. As everyone in his life explains, he’s a “5 … a 6 at best.” Will Jay overcome his self-esteem issues and keep his stone-cold fox of a girlfriend? Will extreme humiliation and jokes involving bodily functions make it that much harder? Clearly you’ve been living under a rock if those questions prove too daunting to answer.

Red Riding Trilogy Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
For most of the Red Riding trilogy, the filmmakers plunge you into 1970s and ’80s-era Yorkshire, England. Constructed like a jigsaw puzzle of societal decay and corruption, Red Riding’s three films — originally created for BBC television — are steeped in the same murky, soul-rotting noir that permeates James Ellroy’s work. Based on a series of crime novels by David Peace, this movie triptych is inspired by real events that took place between 1974 and 1983. Each film is penned by screenwriter Tony Grisoni (Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas) but helmed by different directors, delivering an impressively detailed yet convoluted chronicle of child abduction, murder, police corruption, shady land deals and the hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper. Don’t let the three-film marathon scare you off. Though each can stand on its own, taken together the narrative becomes a cinematic novel, revealing deeper layers of truth while intensifying its pitch-black themes. Though Red Riding occasionally comes off as the kind of police procedural the BBC excels at (Prime Suspect, Touching Evil), the three films are actually after bigger game. Its view of Yorkshire, and by extension British culture, is an indictment against a society contaminated by pernicious corruption, fascistic rule and moral decay. At almost every turn, its plot goes rancid, dashing your hopes for redemption or decency. It’s an exhausting, haunting yet compelling way to confront the seemingly unending cycle of violence that devours both innocence and justice. And though every frame is steeped in sordid immorality, the darkness draws you in, creating an unsettlingly rich experience that despairs as much as it rewarding.

Trunk Show Reviewed by Bill Holdship (Movie)
Trunk Show is another Neil Young live performance filmed by Jonathan Demme, (who also shot 2006’s Nashville-based Heart of Gold); this one's taken from the Chrome Dreams II tour’s stop at the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, Pa. How one reacts to it will be based entirely on how one reacts to this particular musical facet of Young’s oeuvre. Basically, with the exception of a few rather narcissistic backstage moments (Young getting his finger mended by a physician, for instance), this is a film of Neil on acoustic guitar, on piano, on banjo, or rockin’ out with his band. The cinematography is fine — but the songs are mostly long, although “No Hidden Path,” featuring a long extended jam, and Young at his Phenobarbital-meets-pyrotechnics riffing best is pretty damn terrific. In some ways, Trunk Show almost seems pointless. Neil fanatics may consider it Grade-A. But for the rest of us, it’s, at best, a DVD rental.

The T.A.M.I. Show: Collector's Edition Reviewed by Bill Holdship (Movie)

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