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Issue of 7/8/2009


Cover Story:



Clicking and streaming
by Lee Gardner
Home entertainment stumbles and searches for its digital future

Features:

Fat-fighting man by Detroitblogger John
Meet Burrell Solomon, the superhero of fitness!

High flutin' by Charles L. Latimer
Alexander Zonjic's musical journey — and why he says purists are too hard on smooth jazz

Too soon? by Serene Dominic
Recalling the 10 times the 'King of Pop' sent unwanted shivers up our spines

Top of the pop by Amy Yokin
From the King to the Kings of Leon, no one escapes the rule of Tom Jones

Smoke gets in our eyes by News Hits staff
Will back-room deals keep the incinerator burning?

Columns:

Cheat Code by Bryant Franks (Cheat Code)
When an alien armada attacks Manhattan, it's cool to be a mutant

Comics (Comics)

Couch Trip by Metro Times film writers (Couch Trip)
The killer film villain you've never seen and where Ingmar Bergman is overrated

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

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
Thoughts on Michael Jackson, corn syrup and — surprise, surprise — Mitch Albom

Jeffrey Morgan’s Media Blackoot by Jeffrey Morgan (Media Blackout)
The music column with a hot, throbbing organ

Motor City Cribs by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
Inside Mike Emmett's Depot Town tattoo parlor

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

Stuck in phone hell by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
When telecom companies can't even install a phone line, something's wrong

Backing it up by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Foxy Frenchman wants to fly me in, but I'm a bit leery

Short Order by Metro Times food staff (Short Order)
A roundup of vegetarian restaurants with full flavor

Boho like you by Travis R. Wright (Sketches in Grit)
He translates Rimbaud, DJs and publishes a Livonia bus driver. Sometimes he makes cars crash.

Reviews:

Music/Books:

Dirty Girl - The Strange Reviewed by Brett Callwood (Record)

Jay $tay Paid - J Dilla Reviewed by William E. Ketchum III (Record)

21st Century Breakdown - Green Day Reviewed by Bill Holdship (Record)

Movies:

Moon Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
In Moon, directed by Duncan Jones (aka Zowie Bowie, son of David), you get a double-dip of the talents of unconventional actor Sam Rockwell. Working from a script by Nathan Parker and a well-spent budget of $5 million, Jones taps into the panicky, paranoid sci-fi of the ’70s to meditate on personal identity, corporate greed and the evolving relationship between man and machine. Though Rockwell probably won’t be considered at Oscar time, the actor gracefully captures both the defeated melancholy and indomitable fire of the human spirit.

Tetro Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
This florid melodrama is filled with smoldering passions and deeply buried family secrets. Vincent Gallo is perfectly cast as the title’s seething, bitterly stifled artist, haunted by his shadowy past and the notion that he’s never quite lived up to his potential. He’s been in semi-exile for a decade, hiding away in a funky Buenos Aires neighborhood far away from his posh New York family, until his much younger kid brother (exceptional newcomer Alden Ehrenreich) comes calling unannounced. Together these two begin to explore their dark, fractured history and the world of eccentric artists around them, including a Pauline Kael-like literary critic who holds the key to Tetro’s creative revival.

Whatever Works Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Once a Nobel Prize candidate, Boris (Larry David) now spends days teaching chess to spoiled nitwits and shambling around the Lower East Side grumbling about inescapable entropy, rap music and the general pointlessness of human life. He’s jolted out of melancholy when a bubbly Southern-fried naïf appears with a name as silly as her demeanor, Melody St. Ann Celestine (Evan Rachel Wood). Instead of a vaguely charming May-December romance we get a full-on creepfest, with sixtysomething David drooling over twentysomething Wood, and, while the sex is off-screen, one Viagra joke is one too many. Equally troubling is that the ladies are either icy manipulators or bubbleheads waiting to be taught like Eliza Doolittle.

Public Enemies Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Director Michael Mann brings his visual A-game to Dillinger’s legendary heists and escapes. But, for all its gorgeous imagery, Public Enemies disappoints for this very reason. Covering only the last 14 months of the cat-and-mouse showdown between John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) and G-man Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale), the film promises to be a meaty exploration of the myth and manipulation of celebrity set against a backdrop of socioeconomic upheaval. Instead, it becomes a jumbled mix of well-crafted docudrama, sketchy social history and clichéd Hollywood-style romance. Mann is too in love with the textures and aesthetics of the time period, presenting a visual grandeur that undermines an attempt to depict a society desperate for an anti-hero to strike back at the banking system that so callously failed them. Given the current state of the nation, to say that this is a missed opportunity for cultural relevance is an understatement.

Restaurants/Places:

Forty-Two Degrees North Reviewed by Jane Slaughter (Restaurant)
The views are striking through the floor-to-ceiling windows on the third floor of the Ren Cen (though I would give a lot to expunge Caesars from the Windsor skyline). Outdoor seating exists, and that might forgive almost any other flaws, but we were driven inside by the wind, and our server told us the terrace was always too gusty to enjoy. A restaurant has to be pretty spectacular to warrant charging $28 for meatloaf and $36 for rib-eye. Some dishes deserve to be praised to the skies, such as the crab cakes ($12), so scrumptious and elegantly dressed that two felt like plenty. It was on the entrées that Forty-Two Degrees North fell down. Perhaps we simply chose the wrong dishes or went on the wrong night, but the butternut squash ravioli came with a one-note cider sauce and some still-dried apple slices, a huge, chewy prime rib was singularly lacking in flavor, and chicken Marsala was just as disappointing, with a sauce that wouldn’t have been out of place in a school cafeteria. At lunchtime, Forty-Two Degrees North offers a $12 buffet. Wednesday is Italian; Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday are Southern; and Monday circles the Mediterranean. The restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.

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