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Issue of 3/31/2010

Cover Story:

Opera made to look easy
by Travis R. Wright
The rise, fall and proud return of a Detroit diva


A Hard Day's Night by Melissa Giannini
It's still a 9-to-5 world for a host of Detroit's rock 'n' roll stars

Funny bridge business by Curt Guyette
Moroun claims conspiracy to block him

Funny bridge business, part II by Sandra Svoboda
Committee halted then restored public span

Life on (or with) Mars by Brett Callwood
Marco Polio & the New Vaccines are intent on bringing 'unhinged psychosis' back to Detroit music

Nothing but a G-string by Detroitblogger John
Jay Thunderbolt boasts his very own strip club ... in his house


Cheat Code by Bryant Franks (Cheat Code)
Pitting one game against another, and a game that's a 'thriller'

Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
Tidbits on area food happenings

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
MT readers sound off on what's in the paper

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

Motor City Cribs by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
The Southwest Detroit home of Wolf Eyes' Nate Young

Blogger says: Got'cha by News Hits staff (News Hits)
City clerk caught using city car when she shouldn't

Provience's providence by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Man whose innocence was proved is now a free man

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

Grand Ol' Party of hate by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
In the 1960s, at least mainstream liberal Democrats did not egg on the violent left

Escorted out by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Or why you shouldn't do sex work without telling your man

Easter eggs by Metro Times food staff (Short Order)
A shortlist of spots for excellent morning egg-fests

Twins on twins by D'Anne and Laura Witkowski (Wonder Twins)
The Wonder Twins’ hot, desperate night with Tegan and Sara


 No Reviews


Chloe Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
In this case a modernist glass-walled yuppie cube in a fancy section of Toronto, the wintry air mirrors the icy relationship status of David (Liam Neeson) and wife Catherine Stewart (Julianne Moore). She’s is a doctor, and he’s some sort of academic rock star, jet-setting the continent, from campus to campus, as nubile coeds hang on his every word. Of course, all this gallivanting makes Stewart do the logical thing, and hire a top-notch prostitute Chloe (Amanda Seyfried) to catch David in the act. In the Bad Idea Hall of Fame, this ranks with New Coke and the Ford Edsel. Soon the plot unravels, but not how you’d expect.

How to Train Your Dragon Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
While it doesn’t have the heart, charm and wit of Kung Fu Panda (nor the replay staying power), How to Train Your Dragon has enough of each to complement its noisy, eye-popping visual wonders. Dragon is the story of Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel), the wussy teenage Viking who’s better at inventing cool gadgets than he is at slaying dragons. His dad, Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler), is the island kingdom’s kickass leader, who views the giant flying serpents who steal the tribe’s livestock as mortal enemies. Cue the son-tries-to-impress-dad storyline. Determined to prove himself, Hiccup takes down the dreaded and never-seen “Night Fury” dragon with a net-shooting catapult. Only no one sees him do it. This leads the teen to search for his downed adversary. Cue the budding-friendship-between-misunderstood-enemies plot line. Not only do the two become best buds, the boy discovers dragons are like overgrown puppy dogs, puppy dogs ruled by a fearsome Godzilla-like king. Will Hiccup earn the respect and understanding of his people? Will the dragons be freed from the tyrannical ruler? Can Vikings and dragons just get along? How many ways can you spell yes?

The Yellow Handkerchief Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
William Hurt is Brett, a newly freed convict carrying a mountain of buried guilt. For contrast, he’s paired with the avatar of gawky teen insecurity, Kristen Stewart, who continues to fumble her way toward respectability, a path which could quickly open as soon as she quits biting her lower lip and shoe-gazing through scenes. As interesting as these performers are, they get upstaged by youthful Eddie Redmayne, who makes lemonade out an unlikable lemon of a character; a twitchy weirdo named Gordy, who claims to be a Native American despite having more freckles than Conan O’Brien’s kid brother. Why these three misfits end up in a classic convertible together is as arbitrary as their destination, a Katrina-ravaged New Orleans used strictly as pointless seasoning for a flavorless script.

Vincere Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
This grandly ambitious movie tells the story of a woman swept up in the young revolutionary’s mighty wake, and then is washed away like flotsam when his power became complete. When we first see him, Mussolini (Filippo Timi) is a fiery socialist radical whose idea of an effective debate tactic against the clergy is to wind a stopwatch and challenge God to strike him down right there before the timer ends. Such histrionics earn him headlines, and draw the attention of a lovely young beautician named Ida Dasler (Giovanna Mezzogiorno), who becomes his lover, confidante and benefactor. Their affair is tempestuous, full of fights and reconciliations, eventually leading to private wedding (though the historical records of this are slim) and the birth of a son, Benito Jr. Unbeknownst to Ida, there was another woman all along, and, due to some arcane emotional and political calculus that we’re never privy to, this other woman became the rising leader’s “official” wife. When Benito went to fight in World War I, Ida and son were shuffled off to the margins. She would not go quietly, never giving up on her claims of legitimacy, and never relenting in her quest for dignity, even when she was dragged to mental hospital, where she would spend the next decade.

A Prophet Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
When Malik (Tahar Rahim), an illiterate 19-year-old of Arabic and Corsican descent, begins serving a six-year sentence for attacking a police officer (the details are never revealed), we quickly fear he won’t last a week. Cornered by the sinister Cesar (Niels Arestrup), the aging boss of a Corsican gang, he’s forced to assassinate Reyeb, a Muslim informer the gang can’t reach. For the next two hours, A Prophet charts Malik’s dark evolution from the Corsican’s “dirty Arab” servant into a cunning, resilient and violently resourceful operator who outfoxes both his fellow inmates and the authorities. It’s a tangled and sprawling plot that smartly keeps the focus on its protagonist’s troubling transformation.

Hot Tub Time Machine Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
This farce about three ageing buds and a young sidekick getting sucked through a mystical Jacuzzi wormhole back to the ultimate ski party rager of ’86 is itself a loving tribute to the lost epoch of legwarmers, break dancing and teen sex comedies. Every minute is loaded with winks and nods spanning the whole genre both popular and obscure, from Meatballs to Hot Dog: The Movie.


Seva Reviewed by Jane Slaughter (Restaurant)
You don’t have to be a health nut to enjoy Seva. Seva uses Avalon breads, from ciabatta to multigrain, trucked in daily. Entrées range around the world for their influences, without attempting to hit on dead-ringer authenticity; whole-wheat tortillas abound. There’s a North African couscous with tempeh, a sweet potato quesadilla, a spinach ravioli dish, and penne with portabellas and soy sausage. Sandwiches, soups and salads claim such inspirations as California, Thailand, Spain, the Mediterranean, tacos and the BLT (in this case, a tempeh-LT). Breakfast is served all day, using organic eggs. They make an expert omelet with feta, spinach and tomato, preserving skillfully the freshness of the folded-in ingredients, a must for a successful omelet. There are plenty of liquid reasons to visit Seva too.