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Issue of 4/2/2008

Cover Story:

The big burn
by Curt Guyette
America's largest garbage incinerator and the movement to shut it down


Girl Friday by Cole Haddon
Renee Zellweger talks celebrity "journalism," her new movie, and shouts out to her Detroit coffee pals

In praise of paint by Rebecca Mazzei
Extolling the pleasures of the canvas

More power pop action by Bill Holdship
Finding the musical style where you'd least expect it

Powers of 10 by Vince Frederick
Vince Frederick's top 10 power pop tracks

Shake some action by Bill Holdship
How the Singles jangle and riff on a power-pop panacea

Wild and weird by W. Kim Heron
The Fringe Festival takes over Detroit's Music Hall.

You'll never wank alone by Detroitblogger John
Mom-and-pop sex shop feels like home


Comics (Comics)

Couch Trip by Metro Times film writers (Couch Trip)
Two overlooked fright-fests that you shouldn't overlook — and Jeff Bridges makes a porno

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

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

Jeffrey Morgan’s Media Blackout by Jeffrey Morgan (Media Blackout)
Phantom of the outré: Nash the Slash is back.

Motor City Rides by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
Marvwon's 2007 Chevrolet Impala

Justice done, election law undone by News Hits staff (News Hits)
ACLU prevails in suit over voter rolls

Night and Day by Meghana Keshavan (Night and Day)

Dr. K's bad idea by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
Why Jack Kevorkian shouldn't run for office.

Couples' night by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Some things are too much for these twosomes.

He's the boob by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Readers write in about man who misses his cancer-stricken wife's breasts



Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets - Sudhir Venkatesh Reviewed by Raymond Cummings (Book)

Living Through the Hoop: High School Basketball, Race and the American Dream - Reuben A. Buford May Reviewed by Raymond Cummings (Book)

Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings - Counting Crows Reviewed by Rob O'Connor (Record)

Assemblage 1998-2008 - Various Artists Reviewed by W. Kim Heron (Record)

Real Emotional Trash - Stephen Malkmus Reviewed by Tim Grierson (Record)

Ego Trippin' - Snoop Dogg Reviewed by Marisa Brown (Record)

Retribution Gospel Choir - Retribution Gospel Choir Reviewed by Aaron Shaul (Record)

Gea - Mia Doi Todd Reviewed by Rob O'Connor (Record)

Consolers of the Lonely - The Raconteurs Reviewed by Bill Holdship (Record)


Run, Fat Boy, Run Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
The pairing of Simon Pegg and Thandie Newton truly boggles the mind. Newton is Terrence Howard’s hot wife in Crash and Simon Pegg is … well, the pasty-skinned little guy in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. As it is, Run, Fat Boy, Run is so clumsy and bland that it’s almost pointless to recount the plot specifics because it’s all too conventional: irresponsible man-child (Pegg) who left his one true love (Newton) at the alter fights to get her back when she falls for a slick, rich dude (Hank Azaria) — who is actually a grade-A dick. From the droll, scene-stealing best friend to Pegg’s limping attempt to finish a marathon — captured on local TV and cheered on by crowds, no less — we’ve seen almost every plot turn done better somewhere else.

Flawless Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Demi Moore plays Laura Quinn, the lone female exec at a major London diamond broker, who discovers that nasty internal politics are about to ruin her and she hasn’t a pillow soft enough to cushion the blow. Enter Caine’s Mr. Hobbs. He’s the night janitor — a dog track-loving cockney widower with a hidden agenda and nearly unfettered access to the company’s vault. Soon, these strange bedfellows embark on the most low-tech heist imaginable while trying to keep their own shaky partnership from toppling. Director Michael Radford (Il Postino) adds classy sheen with a sleek chrome-and-marble look, but he’s also responsible for allowing the pacing to slide and the ending to mush.

21 Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
In translating to the screen Ben Mezrich’s bestseller, Hollywood egregiously transforms a gaggle of nerdy Asian MIT students into young, mostly white, OC clones. But what’s more disappointing is how writers Peter Steinfield and Allan Loeblet let blackjack, rather than poker, be their guide. There’s Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess), the scruffy-handsome genius who’s good enough to get into Harvard Med but too poor to cough up the tuition. Enter Mickey Rosa (Spacey), the darkly charismatic mentor, who invites Ben to join his posse of card-counting students in a plot to walk away with Vegas blackjack booty. There’s the slim-bodied hottie (Kate Bosworth), who seduces Ben into enlisting then quickly falls for his earnest but soon-to-be corrupted demeanor. Still, in all of its predictable and soulless glitz, the film still isn’t terrible.

Stop Loss Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
The story centers on a U.S. hero of Iraq and Afghanistan who’s forced to return to combat after thinking he’d done his duty — so he goes AWOL. It becomes a road trip, not to safety or salvation, but to a string of metaphoric scenarios, from a V.A. hospital full of shattered warriors to slums filled with domestic wreckage. The further AWOL Sgt. Brandon King (Ryan Phillipe) gets from home and family, the more the movie drifts into a no-man’s-land of clichéd scenarios and stock characters standing in for societal ills like stunt doubles. It does have the good fortune to be anchored by Phillipe, shaking off any last pretty-boyish vestiges to claim the equity he’s been building up in quality movies. The other actors show mixed results.

The Duchess of Langeais Reviewed by Serena Donadoni (Movie)
Antoinette de Langeais (Jeanne Balibar) enjoys the title and wealth provided by her absent husband, and she frequents Parisian soirees, enjoying the company of the newly resurgent French aristocracy. When she encounters Armand de Montriveau (Guillaume Depardieu), a morose army general scarred from defending the Empire in far-away battles, she senses his immediate interest and begins to amuse herself by encouraging his affections. What initially seems like a teasing courtship soon becomes something more insidious and disturbing. Antoinette sternly refuses to become his lover while taunting him with coquettish displays of her sexuality, which inflames and allures Armand, who doesn’t give up without a fight. Known for employing very long takes and glacial pacing that make his films feel much longer than their running times, director Jacques Rivette actually keeps things moving along here, aided by enough intertitles to rival a silent movie. What Rivette achieves is sadomasochism without any actual sex, creating a contained frenzy of polite brutality.

The Willow Tree Reviewed by Serena Donadoni (Movie)
When we first see Youssef (Parvis Parastui), he’s a man immersed in a world of words and thoughts of the divine. He teaches the work of the Sufi poet Rumi, and his home office is filled with volumes of scholarship typed in Braille by his devoted wife, Roya (Roya Taymourian). At once, in his life and outside of it, Youssef ruminates about his fate as he plays with his daughter, who’s so lively and optimistic at the same age when he lost his sight. A health scare sends Youssef to a specialized eye clinic in Paris, and he receives a diagnosis he’d long ago thought impossible — with a cornea transplant, he’ll again be able to see. Youssef greets the news with a mixture of hope and trepidation, and the night before he’s set to get his bandages removed, he’s overwhelmed with anxious anticipation and slowly undoes them himself. The remarkable Parastui is so raw here that watching him is almost embarrassing, but his expression of unabashed rapture and terror is key to the ensuing dissolution.


Fiddleheads (closed) Reviewed by Jane Slaughter (Restaurant)
Fiddleheads is one big room with well-spaced tables and floor-to-ceiling windows. Their "contemporary" menu puts forward a dozen entrees with such dishes as bobwhite quail and apple-port stuffing with toasted almond risotto; mussels in a hot and sour broth; smoked trout, and squash soup. At the same time, there's a reassuring rib-eye steak with mashed potatoes for the less adventurous.