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Issue of 5/7/2008

Cover Story:

On with the show
by Bill Holdship
Motown blues survivors the Muggs have one of the most inspiring stories in Detroit rock 'n' roll history


Art Detroit wow by Rebecca Mazzei
3 days of screen-painting the town

Growing up onstage by Norene Cashen
How Mosiac Youth Theatre connects young Detroiters to a bigger world through acting

Madonna vs. Mariah ... or all about diva! by Serene Dominic
With new albums released a week apart, pop's reigning tarts fasten their seat belts for a bumpy night

Smart kid lit by Glen Mannisto
It's a dog's life — an allegorical dog's life for our times.


Comics (Comics)

Couch Trip by Metro Times film writers (Couch Trip)
From good-old capitalistic Yankee nostalgia to drive-by Pakistani history lessons

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)
Burns faster than a line of hillbilly cyrstal meth!

Motor City Cribs by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
Country comforts: Why emcee/producer 14KT gives up the gold

Dow and dirty by News Hits staff (News Hits)
A key EPA administrator is out; environmentalists are up in arms.

Fashion police? by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Cops fear zipping up can lead to sticking up.

Water fight by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Truth commission holds hearings in Highland Park.

Night and Day by Metro Times staff (Night and Day)

On the Download by Chris Handyside (On the Download)
Ear-popping songs from the Motor City fringes.

Getting jacked, again by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
Why those green energy bills are a sham.

Bound for trouble by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Accidents will happen — consider the risks.

Do the twist by Larry Gabriel (Stir It Up)
The mayor's contradictions and evasions.



Lyrics Born - Everywhere at Once Reviewed by Tim Grierson (Record)

Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles Reviewed by Marisa Brown (Record)

American Scream - PJ Olsson Reviewed by Hobey Echlin (Record)

Devotion - Beach House Reviewed by Aaron Shaul (Record)


The Life Before Her Eyes Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Bouncing between two timelines, The Life Before Her Eyes labors mightily to interlock imagery and narratives set 15 years apart as emotionally damaged Diana (Uma Thurman), on the anniversary of her high school’s worst tragedy, relives the fateful weeks beforehand for her 17-year-old self (Evan Rachel Wood) and best friend Maureen (Eva Amurri). What starts with bathroom badinage about dating boys and longing for their lives “to begin” quickly twists into Columbine-like horror as mop-headed weirdo Michael (John Meguro) bursts in on the girls after massacring a dozen or so students and teachers. Unfortunately, Director Vadim Perelman indulges in, rather than examines, the pain, mourning and violence in his story. The carnage is lovingly rendered in meticulously composed images. There’s no getting around that The Life Before Her Eyes shamelessly cashes in on high school gun violence to give its subject undeserved weight. All the tasteful compositions and “meaningful” exchanges in the world can’t compensate for the bad taste of ghoulishly exploiting real-life tragedy for a gimmicky plot twist.

Made of Honor Reviewed by Serena Donadoni (Movie)
Can a prick be a romantic comedy hero? Even with his woo-meter on high (and often into the shrill range), star Patrick Dempsey can’t redeem the preening selfishness of his confirmed bachelor in this charmless reworking of My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997). Dempsey’s man-child Tom belongs to a particular breed of romantic antihero, forced out of narcissistic solitude by unexpected love. This scenario works — see Hugh Grant in About a Boy (2002) or even Mel Gibson in What Women Want (2000) — when adults actually choose to grow-up, which is never Tom’s goal. Like Julia Roberts in Wedding, he accepts a key role in the nuptials of his best friend, Hannah (Michelle Monaghan), in order to stop the marriage. After a decade of being everything to each other but lovers, Tom realizes the depth of his feelings for her, just as Hannah announces she’s marrying Colin (Kevin McKidd) after a fairytale courtship. Mirthless and slipshod, Made of Honor is unrelentingly puerile despite the engaging Monaghan. Her accomplished Hannah is frozen in idiosyncratic habits (and a Tom-centered routine) when she suddenly blooms in the warm heat of a whirlwind romance. As her impressive Scottish fiancé, McKidd is magnetic despite being more ideal than real. Like Monaghan, and unlike Dempsey (who’s lost all of his Enchanted sparkle), McKidd retains his dignity when Made turns truly McStinky.

Iron Man Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Director Jon Favreau has every rivet in place; with a fine script, solid production design and a winning cast that delivers the goods and never gets lost in the spectacle. Leading the way is the inspired choice of Robert Downey Jr. as millionaire playboy-hero Tony Stark, he’s the prefect actor to play a man caught between massive talent and harmful appetites. Stark’s a playboy capitalist and arms manufacturer whose astounding scientific talents are equal to building about anything he can imagine. His ethical apathy is abruptly shattered on a promotional tour in Afghanistan. His military convoy is destroyed with his own arms, and he’s abducted by nasty terrorists who want him to build bigger and better killing machines. Stark turns his hand to building his super suit and escaping his captors and Iron Man is born. Once safely stateside, Stark’s a changed man — much to the horror of his brooding bald business partner (Jeff Bridges) — and he announces that Stark Industries will no longer be building weapons. He begins taking a serious second look at his long-suffering assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), who might be the right gal to save what’s left of his soul.


Zaccaro's Market (closed) Reviewed by Jane Slaughter (Restaurant)
Downtown Detroit (finally) gets a high-end grocer (with a café).