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Issue of 6/17/2009


Cover Story:



Enjoy your staycation
by Metro Times staff
In search of good times on a hard-times budget

Features:

Bash and pop by Laura Witkowski
After a decade, the Prime Ministers have learned it's better to bend than to break

In Memoriam by Corey Hall
Eddie Murphy's Film Career, 1982-2009

Meditate on flutter-bys by W. Kim Heron
Appreciating smaller denizens at the zoo

Over easy by Jeff Meyers
Dave Eggers on Away We Go and how novels trump films every time

Race (out of) the toilet by Brian Smith
Take that outhouse and run for your life!

Rent summer fun by the hour by Travis R. Wright
Taking a no-tell motel midnight vacay

Right place, weird time by Rebecca Mazzei
Showing us our city, through their eyes

Robert Bobb's state of emergency by Sandra Svoboda
The DPS deficit could top $400 million, millions in contracts are under scrutiny, prosecutions loom ... and there are students to educate

Rolling on the Riverwalk by Sandra Svoboda
A brand-new park along a reinvented riverfront

Summer sugar by Metro Times staff
Pointing out the treats and sweet spots of the season

Taking cold comfort by Michael Jackman
Instead of birdsongs, listen for the ice cream truck

That summer feeling by Bill Holdship
Ten summer songs that belong in every iPod

The handmade's tale by Travis R. Wright
Lish Dorset's dish towels are a mother of pop invention

Try the windshield theater by Michael Jackman
On kicking it truck-style at the drive-in

Columns:

Comic (Comics)

Comics (Comics)

Couch Trip by Metro Times film writers (Couch Trip)
An epic of Dostoyevskian proportions and an eco-savvy slasher flick

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

Life-altaring TV by Jim McFarlin (Idiot Boxing)
A Detroit couple’s wedding-day jitters debuts on national TV

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

Jeffrey Morgan’s Media Stupe-out by Jeffrey Morgan (Media Blackout)
Slinging slang and seeing you ... always seeing you

Motor City Cribs by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
Northwest Detroit's Lafayette Watson can pimp out your Olds

Bridge buster by News Hits staff (News Hits)
U.S. Coast Guard halts permits for new Ambassador Bridge span

Tents and tense times by News Hits staff (News Hits)
While business honchos meet in Detroit, protesters stake out their own space

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

Mixed-up priorities by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
Why should the state fund preventative care when it can pay for emergencies instead?

Love Hurts by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Can you break up with somebody without hurting them?

Nice dreams by Metro Times food staff (Short Order)
Gelato joints, roadside stands, custard counters and other ice cream stops

The stadium's last gasp by Larry Gabriel (Stir It Up)
... and other musings on the state of Detroit

Sweet ride by D'Anne and Laura Witkowski (Wonder Twins)
The Wonder Twins manage to connect rock stars, cars and guitars to a marginal hair-metal band

Reviews:

Music/Books:

Watercolor Ghost Town - The Blueflowers Reviewed by Brett Callwood (Record)

Moondagger - Deastro Reviewed by Travis R. Wright (Record)

Movies:

Imagine that Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Here, Eddie Murphy is Evan, an ambitious investment broker who’s got no time for his cute little moppet of a daughter Olivia (Yara Shahidi), until the imaginary friends under her security blanket begin to offer up amazingly accurate stock tips. This is just the edge he needs to finally beat out his competition inside the firm, Johnny Whitefeather (Thomas Haden Church), a blowhard who mixes big doses of phony new age shamanism with his portfolio creations. It’s an arms race of crazy financial gimmicks, but will Evan’s success replace all the respect he’s lost from his child and from his ex-wife, (Nicole Ari Parker, who looks like the love child of Halle Berry and Kristen Wiig)? If you’ve never seen a movie before, you may be in suspense.

The Taking of Pelham 123 Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Tony Scott’s whipping, zooming, totally unnecessary remake brings a spastic ADD approach to what is, at its heart, an over-the-radio radio showdown between John Travolta’s frothing villain and Denzel Washington’s decent but ethically compromised MTA desk jockey. You see, Travolta seizes a subway car and demands $10 million from the city of New York. Washington is the unfortunate schmoe who answers his ransom call. An hour of stalling maneuvers and colorful monologues later, Pelham launches into standard action-movie territory as we learn how the robbers intend to escape from the subway tunnels with their ill-gotten gain. What starts as a taut war of wits between the two charismatic actors ends up exploding into a moronic and clichéd final act filled with car crashes, generic gun duels and a climax that fizzles instead of pops. There’s no getting around the fact Tony Scott’s the wrong director for this, as he desperately fills the screen with his usual bag of visual tricks: freeze frames, fancy angles, fast edits and speed shifts.

Restaurants/Places:

Luciano's Reviewed by Mel Small (Restaurant)
Located in the prosaic Gar-Pointe strip mall, Luciano’s, which seats 200, is opulently decorated with elaborately carved pillars and arches, an artificial palm tree, and white-clothed tables and elevated booths in the main room and two private curtained booths in the bar. These surroundings, the Italian pop music that blares through the speakers, the liveried servers, and a festive air suggest that diners are attending a wedding. Pasta specialties, which average around $16, come with soup or salad. The other entrées, most of which go for $20, are accompanied by soup and salad, a welcome pasta side, and vegetables, which, alas, are not al dente. Although the portions are large and Luciano’s admirable garlic bread (along with incongruously inelegant foil-wrapped butter patties) is filling, the attractive array of appetizers is worth sampling. The char-broiled seafood platter ($22.95), which can satisfy four or more, includes an especially lively marinated octopus salad with tomatoes, scallions, onions and red peppers, as well as crunchy char-broiled shrimp and tender calamari pieces. Another winner would be the Neapolitan mussels Possilipo ($11.95), a generous bowlful of the little mollusks covered with tomatoes, and seasoned with basil, oil, garlic and white wine. Luciano prepares steak seven ways, with family competition between his (sliced char-broiled New York strip with “special” dressing and spices) and hers (“Rosa” style, pan-fried breaded steak filled with cheese, prosciutto and tomato). A mix of Italian and New World vintages, the respectable wine list is a bit pricey with not many selections under $30. The house-made desserts are anchored by a luscious strawberry cheesecake and a gossamer tiramisu.

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