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Issue of 6/11/2008

Cover Story:

Summer Guide 2008
by Metro Times staff
8 destinations and more than 1000 things to do!


Blight buster by Curt Guyette
John George's 20 years of tearing down and building up

Cabela's big game by Michael Jackman
Where the great outdoors is stuffed, mounted and displayed indoors

Down the lazy river by Curt Guyette
Kayaking in St. Clair County

Faces and their places by Curt Guyette
New book depicts homes of famous Detroiters

Flipping out at Cedar Point by W. Kim Heron
Up and down 400 feet in 19 seconds

Hard day's night by Brian Smith
24 hours in a far-off land known as Flint

Home = heart by Bill Holdship
Finding ghosts of a history reclaimed in Bad Axe

Hooking up by Detroitblogger John
Detroiters return to the river for the reel thing

Love, hate and then there's ... by Bill Holdship
The Von Bondies' Jason Stollsteimer talks frankly about Detroit, Jack White, true love, Sire Records and the new album and lineup

Penal grandeur by Rebecca Mazzei
Artists are the new guard in Jackson

Scores and more by W. Kim Heron
DSO's "8 Days in June" fest offers feast for the ears.

Summer Festivals by Megan O'Neil
Our ultimate listings of what's hot out there this summer

Take the bait by Detroitblogger John
Fishing for those great hole-in-the-wall supply shops

Truckin' by Tim Caldwell
Trailin' tasty treats 'n' art in the hoods


Comics (Comics)

Couch Trip by Metro Times film writers (Couch Trip)
Why Seagal still rules, a Tarantino knock-off, a Cinéma du look trailblazer, and D ASS!

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

In the Flesh by Bill Holdship (In The Flesh)
The Raconteurs at the Fillmore, Detroit, Sunday, June 8, 2008

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

Jeffrey Morgan’s Media Blackout by Jeffrey Morgan (Media Blackout)
Quick rock criticism with a greasy grin

Motor City Rides by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
Cetan Clawson and his utilitarian 2001 Ford Escape

Book report by News Hits staff (News Hits)
John Conyers invites Scott McClellan to testify.

Unsafe sex by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Michigan's HIV numbers show young African-Americans hit disproportionately hard.

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

From now on by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
Forget post-9/11! Get ready for the post-Obama era.

Rules of the game by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Want a terrible, confusing threesome? Set no ground rules.

To dump or not to dump? by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Readers offer more advice on college boy and his problematic partner

The tipping point for public transit by Robert B. Reich (Visiting view)
As gas prices soar, motorists are becoming straphangers again.


 No Reviews


Reprise Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
After a witty opening where would-be novelists and BFF’s Philip (Anders Danielsen Lie) and Erik (Espen Klouman-Høiner) drop their manuscripts into the mail, we’re treated to fantastical imaginings of their impending success (riots in Africa, the despair of religious leaders), reality settles in to chart the real-world fits and starts of their budding careers. When the story jumps ahead six months, we learn that Erik’s work was rejected while Philip’s novel became an underground hit, which drove him into an obsessive love affair, an attempted suicide and residence at the local mental institution. Recovering from his imploded romance and dulled by anti-psychotics, he watches Erik’s career suddenly blossom. But just as fortunes can turn, so can happiness flip. The two friends struggle to find their peace — one as an artist, the other as a functioning human — while fighting off the inevitable gloom of their Nordic surroundings. Their final destinations are empathetic and surprising but hardly compelling.

You Don't Mess with the Zohan Reviewed by Serena Donadoni (Movie)
Adam Sandler may not actually wear a costume in You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, but his Israeli commando is a superhero nonetheless, albeit a comic one. Gifted with superhuman speed, agility and strength — the ability to leap down small buildings, and stop a bullet with his nostril — Zohan Dvir is as weary of his responsibilities as Spider-Man, and decides he wants Peter Parker’s life instead. So he heads to New York City, his well-worn 1987 Paul Mitchell book in hand, to become a hair stylist.

The Foot Fist Way Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Teaching the Korean Martial art of tae kwan do, instructor Fred Simmons (Danny Mcbride) treats every aspect of his life as if it were mortal combat. This petty, macho blowhard is still dining out on an early ’90s championship, growing flabby and pathetic. When he learns about the shenanigans of his trophy wife (Mary Jane Bostic), he explodes into a full-fledged personal meltdown. Much like Will Ferrell’s fatuous, know-nothing characters, but with a pronounced mean streak, Fred Simmons’ efforts to sort through his mid-life crisis go from amusing diversion to squirm-in-your-seat agony. That seems to be what writer-director was aiming for, and it’s sort of admirable see a movie that never backs down or surrenders its principles, no matter how dumb or painful.

A Man Named Pearl Reviewed by Serena Donadoni (Movie)
Pearl Fryar makes the case that gardening isn’t solely the bastion of the wealthy. With a boundless energy that belies his age (he’s now 68), this blue-collar, self-taught artist has created a three-acre topiary garden so extraordinary that its presence has put the small town of Bishopville, S.C., on the map. The son of sharecroppers who passed on their work ethic and unwavering religious faith, Pearl was looking to buy his first house when the casual racism of a potential neighbor — “black people don’t keep up their yards” — inspired him to transform his outdoor property into something spectacular. So began a 30-year commitment to an evergreen sanctuary where the words “Peace Love & Goodwill” welcome visitors from around the world — all in his own back yard.

Mister Lonely Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
A community of whacked-out celeb impersonators form a community in a remote Scottish enclave, and dream of putting on the world’s greatest show. Our main faker is Michael (Diego Luna), a cipher who’s scratching out a living playing the King of Pop for spare change, until he meets a fetching Marilyn Monroe (the splendid Samantha Morton) look-alike on the streets of Paris, who invites him to join her “family” and answer a higher calling. Among this bizarre fiefdom of outcasts are stand-ins for Abraham Lincoln, the Pope, Queen Elizabeth (Onetime Rolling Stones muse Anita Pallenberg) Madonna, Sammy Davis Jr., and Marilyn’s abusive husband Charlie Chaplin (Denis Lavant) who’s more of a great dictator than a little tramp. Predictably, romantic tensions develop, as Michael and Marilyn’s mutual attraction gives them something to cling to, as their respective tethers to reality continue to fray. Meanwhile, there’s a subplot from a seemingly unrelated movie, featuring prickly director Werner Herzog as missionary priest leading a pack of divine nuns who skydive without parachutes. This outburst of whimsy is rather unexpected from a guy who created some sordid, provocative and grueling pictures.

Kung Fu Panda Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Though it boasts a calculated, standard-issue plotline about achieving whatever you want as long as you believe in yourself, Kung Fu Panda is hugely entertaining, gorgeously animated and expertly cast, with Jack Black and Dustin Hoffman doing some of their best work in recent memory (no joke). A delightfully drowsy Black voices potbellied Po, the panda who works at his Dad’s noodle shop while dreaming of someday fighting alongside China’s “awesomest” kung fu warriors, the Furious Five. In the mountain temple that looms above his town, Zen-master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim) has a vision that the evil snow leopard Tai Lung (Ian McShane) will escape from his impenetrable prison and wreak havoc, so he summons kung fu master Shifu (Hoffman) and his warrior students — Crane (David Cross), Viper (Lucy Liu), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Tigress (Angelina Jolie) and Monkey (Jackie Chan) — to choose the Dragon Warrior who will defend them. As you might guess, fate intervenes and Po is accidentally selected. Shifu is instructed to prepare the portly panda for the coming battle and it’s soon discovered that Po’s profound ineptitude is only outdone by his bottomless resilience. Beneath the fat and fur beats the heart of a true warrior, if only the kung fu masters would see.


Baker's Keyboard Lounge Reviewed by Mel Small (Restaurant)
At Baker's, most of the dinners, which include two substantial sides, range in price from $9 to $12. Baker’s fried chicken is unusually light and crisp on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside. The same holds true for the signature catfish dinner. Moving away from fried fare, the old-fashioned turkey dinner may a bit healthier, although the accompanying rich stuffing is calorie-laden. One of the best parts of a meal at Baker’s is trying to determine what two sides to order among a host of winners. Considering that American jazz is of Southern origin, it makes a good deal of sense for the kitchen at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge to present the perfect accompaniment to help transport patrons to the Delta. And even without the music, its well-prepared dishes can accomplish that task on their own.