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Issue of 8/27/2008

Cover Story:

The City Has Moved Too Close to the Sun
by M.L. Liebler
A Detroit Cento Cut-Up poem


A bass supreme by Charles L. Latimer
How Christian McBride rose to the top

Daddy Plays Old-Time New Orleans Jazz by Larry Gabriel
Chapter 1: Things Daddy told me

Foreclosure front by Curt Guyette
One victory in a growing battle

Golson's golden era by W. Kim Heron
A jazz legend on the creative process ... and Japanese fans!

Jazz aficionado highlights by W. Kim Heron
Greats grouped by genre, so you won't run yourself ragged

Poet Index by M.L. Liebler

Room with a view by Norene Cashen
Detroit's African-American writers, playwrights and poets, past and present, get a space of their own

Ross the boss by Jonathan Cunningham
Miami rap star Rick Ross hits Sterling Heights.

Sisterly love by Bill Holdship
Not the latest, Dee Dee Sharp's still one of the greatest

Wail of two cities by W. Kim Heron
Why Detroit and Philly are joined at their hipness


Comics (Comics)

Couch Trip by Metro Times film writers (Couch Trip)
Softcore sex and bloody surgical procedures, going postal, and a black president as science fiction

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

Feeding growth by Jeff Broder (Grilled)
How Southwest Detroit is nourished by its dining scene

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

Jeffrey Morgan’s Media Blackout by Jeffrey Morgan (Media Blackout)
Speed reviews from the man with the Midas touch

Motor City Cribs by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
Legendary artist Hermon Weems' west side home

Good news, bad news by News Hits staff (News Hits)
On the plus side, at least Detroit's inflation is low

Rape match? by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Suspect found in crime that put wrong man behind bars for years

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

On the Download by Chris Handyside (On the Download)
The N'Awlins-Detroit connection ...

Obama's hurdles by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
How can bright, literate Americans still believe he's a radical muslim?

Outed online by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
When private peccadilloes make people pariahs

Lost in Paradise by Larry Gabriel (Stir It Up)
For Harmonie Park, it's all plans and no vision



Bitter Company - Love Meets Lust Reviewed by Laura Witkowski (Record)

Let the Sunshine Out - Sugar High Reviewed by Brian Smith (Record)


The Longshots Reviewed by Serena Donadoni (Movie)
The impetus for Longshots was the 2003 national Pop Warner football tournament, featuring the Harvey Colts from Illinois. What made it a national news story was the appearance of 11-year-old Jasmine Plummer, the first female quarterback in the tournament’s 56-year history. What the filmmakers made of this story is both less and more: for dramatic effect, they have transformed the confident, gifted athlete into an uncertain 13-year-old social outcast in a dying industrial town. The shy, bookish Jasmine (Keke Palmer) has vague dreams of being the next Tyra Banks, longs for her absent father, and is mortified when her concerned mother (Tasha Smith) hires her aimless uncle as a babysitter. The resentment felt by frequently intoxicated former football star Curtis Plummer (Ice Cube) at being stuck in small, dead-end Illinois town is palpable, and his disconnect from the introverted Jasmine deep. That’s until he sees his niece throw a football. It’s a simple moment, but the effect is profound. What distinguishes this film is its low-key style, with widescreen visuals that hark back to the grainy naturalism of the 1970s. And Keke Palmer is The Longshots’ MVP, using the intelligence and stubborn perseverance she displayed as the spelling phenom in Akeelah and the Bee (2006) and taking it up a notch.

Traitor Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Traitor has so much going for it — decent story, great cast, terrific production values — it’s almost criminal that its virtues are undone by a first-time writer-director who neuters his own political thriller of any thrills. Don Cheadle plays Samir Horn — a Sudanese-born U.S. operative and devout Muslim — who goes into deep cover to infiltrate an Islamic terrorist cell. Befriending one of its leaders (The Kite Runner’s Saïd Taghmaoui), Samir struggles to prove himself to his enemies while preventing their plans for catastrophic violence. Unfortunately, his assignment requires him to facilitate the very carnage he’s attempting to thwart. Worse, because his only outside connection is a CIA contractor named Carter (Jeff Daniels), he draws the attention of two FBI agents (Guy Pierce and Neal McDonough) who may, in their quest to bring him to justice, compromise his mission. All the elements are in place for a terrific little thriller with a healthy dose of moral and political complexity. The original story, which was created by Steve Martin (yup, that Steve Martin), presents some ingenious and intelligent dilemmas for its heroes. Too bad the script from director Jeffrey Nachmanoff (who penned The Day After Tomorrow) is filled with inscrutably shallow characters and dreadfully uneven dialogue. Tragically, his direction is listless and unfocused, cribbing its mournful world music, political posturing, and globetrotting locales from better films like Syriana and the Bourne series. None of which hides the fact Nachmanoff is unable to establish the most important ingredient in any suspenser: a sense of urgency.

Hamlet 2 Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Steve Coogan plays a rather ambiguously named Dana, an enthusiastic, daft and questionably swishy Tucson, Ariz., high school drama coach, desperate to reverse his flagging fortunes by putting on an original hit show. Essentially the same plot as Christopher Guest's "Waiting for Guffman," the kooky conceits leading up to the big show don't generate big laughs, including extraneous subplots that fall flat. The play itself, a fairly solid knockoff of today’s overblown Broadway spectaculars, is amusing enough, involving the Bard’s great Dane traveling back in time to erase that “bummer ending” with the help of a tank-top-wearing hunky Jesus, some pyrotechnics, wire work and a laser sword battle.

Death Race Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
The original Death Race 2000 was a wickedly dark satire of plummeting media values, soulless politicians and the degraded public that let them get away with it. The new Death Race is a lackluster chase movie. Still, Jason Statham, with his steely gaze and Cockney Bruce Willis delivery, is compulsively watchable, even as the movie falls apart around him. Hack director Paul W.S Anderson keeps rubbing his incompetence in the audience’s collective face, with shapeless, excessively loud actions scenes that bleed into one long, screeching bore. More often Death Race takes itself too seriously, and lacks the wit and excitement it needs.


Mudgie's Reviewed by Jane Slaughter (Restaurant)
A pleasant 12-table lunch spot on the Corktown site formerly known as Eph McNally’s. Exceptionally friendly waitstaff, with delicious house-made quality and solid local products. The 24 sandwich selections include every good thing you can think of, including design-your-own options. Though the bread could be better, the salads are loaded but still green. You can also get an ice cream float with rich premium vanilla from Calder’s Dairy in Lincoln Park.