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Issue of 10/28/2009

Cover Story:

The new raconteurs
by Travis R. Wright
The Moth flies with a hip pocket full in Detroit


Groovy! by Corey Hall
A musical version of Sam Raimi's sidesplitting horror flick bathes Ferndale in blood

He has never been here before ... by Bill Holdship
The legendary Roky Erickson finally hits Detroit

Keepin' in stride by Charles L. Latimer
Pianist Taslimah Bey's ragtime crusade

Land of the lost by Detroitblogger John
An old-school Cass Corridor diner finds it's a center of unwanted attention

Now that's creepy by John Thomason
The most frightening moments in recent movies that weren't even meant to be frightening!

Tale of two homicides by Sandra Svoboda
Questions about conduct of Wayne County Prosecutor's Office being raised


Comics (Comics)

Screaming bloody mess by Paul Knoll (Couch Trip)
Horror raver Paul Knoll offers his most hallowed of '09

Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
Black wines at Vinology, the new Majestic Cafe, and more ...

In the Midnight Hour by Jim McFarlin (Idiot Boxing)
A real Detroit horror anthology with a Rod Serling doppelgänger! Plus, some recommended frights in the night

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
Our readers sound off on Jack, Michael Moore and, um, Jack

Motor City Rides by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
Honky-tonkin': Whitey Morgan and the 78s tour in Econoline style

River talk by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Milliken dedication reprises environmental and urban themes

Slinging it early by News Hits staff (News Hits)
State dems canvass voters for building a better mudpie

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

Make them fix it by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)

Too weird to believe by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Online courting includes demands too odd even for Dan

Fall into the season by Metro Times food staff (Short Order)
A quick guide to seasonal dining — and beer

Boo! by Walter Wasacz (The Subterraneans)
The dance-floor spirits are preppin' for D-Town's Devil’s Night

Creeps and crawlers by D'Anne and Laura Witkowski (Wonder Twins)
The Wonder Twins do the haunted house freak-out



We Call It Soul - Wiley & the Checkmates Reviewed by Michael Hurtt (Record)

So Obscene - Friendly Foes Reviewed by Chris Handyside (Record)


Astro Boy Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
A note of caution: Astroboy kills a kid in its first reel. It’s as bloodless a scene as you can get, but the fact remains: A child dies. And that’s about the most original moment in this beautifully animated, moderately entertaining robot adventure. Mixing Eastern and Western animation styles to Tezuka Osamu’s 1950s manga (and the ’60s cartoon series that begat modern anime), this Astroboy reboot assembles its repurposed parts to emulate the styles of both Pixar and Hayao Miyazaki — which are not bad examples to follow. Nevertheless, for all its vitality, competence and craft, the film rarely surprises, relying on tried and true narrative ticks. It also helps that the film’s vocal talent, including Eugene Levy, Kirsten Bell, Nathan Lane, Bill Nighy and Samuel Jackson, is all first-rate, bringing life to otherwise predictable characters. Similarly impressive are the vigorous atomic age visuals and cartoon kinetics, which, at their best, capture the ecstatic joy of flight or the explosive impact of superhero combat. —Jeff Meyers

Amelia Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Amelia is a handsome, dull and utterly banal biography. The shallow, simple-minded script works overtime on its period lingo while skipping such trivialities as character, drama, thematic focus or historic context. Even its Depression-era setting is reduced to a car window shots of artfully composed bread lines while Amelia pines, “Why have I been so lucky?” Suffering acknowledged. Let’s move on.

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Hollywood is committed to adapting tween lit involving wizards or vampires, regardless of quality, popularity or even sanity. Based on the allegedly popular Cirque du Freak books, which no one older than 16 has ever heard of, Vampire’s Assistant serves as sort of anti-Twilight, more concerned with the pure wish-fulfillment kicks of supernatural powers than the romance of forbidden and eternal love. Aimed at young guys, the film dabbles in satire and gross-out creepiness, really wants to be an action thrill-ride, yet plays like a bad sketch in the last half hour of SNL.

Laila's Birthday Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Abu Laila (Mohamed Bakri) is a decent, if uptight man. A former judge, he has been forced to drive a taxi for his brother-in-law to make ends meet. While he never loses faith that one day he’ll return to his job at the Ministry of Justice, this film offers a front seat tour of Abu Laila’s day, one filled with endless frustrations and annoyances, Masharawi takes the pulse of a city struggling under occupancy and chaotic self-rule. Abu Laila, who can barely contain his outrage and exasperation, falls victim to the casual absurdities of Ramallah’s malfunctioning society, where something as simple as turning a lost cell phone into the police can result in hours of bureaucratic detention. The eccentric, tragic or hapless passengers who stumble into his cab — thwarting his attempts to buy a birthday present for his young daughter, Laila — are equally vexing. An old woman can’t decide whether to visit the cemetery or hospital first. A jovial man with a machine gun mocks Abu Laila for refusing him service. A cop pulls the cabbie over then offers to buy his cab. Life, in all its turmoil, folly, pettiness and surprising decency, imposes itself on this man who desires only order and civility.

Good Hair Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
When Rock’s 4-year-old daughter Lola asks: “Daddy, why don’t I have good hair?” the comedian is both floored and intrigued. What is it about the business and culture of black hair that inspires so many women (and some men) to endure torturous treatments in order to look more “European” (i.e. white)? Good Hair is Rock’s informative, scattered and always-entertaining attempt to answer that question. Traveling the globe and combing through the billion-dollar black hair industry, the comedian examines the complex and potentially volatile topic in his typically glib fashion.


Parrot Cove Yacht Club Reviewed by Mel Small (Restaurant)
The Parrot Cove Yacht Club has huge servings of solid bar food in its raffish but homey clubhouse. The Cove Platter, at $8.50, is a steal. The substantial sampler overflows with deep-fried chunks of crisp and tender chicken fingers, comparably crisp onion rings, breaded mozzarella sticks and, least crisp of the four, somewhat soggy stuffed potato skins. These irresistible artery-cloggers come with three dipping sauces. Parrot Cove flaunts seven burger variations that can also be constructed with ground turkey. The Cove Burger ($5.50), a made-to-order patty topped with provolone cheese, sautéed mushrooms and lettuce and tomatoes, and accompanied by fries and slaw, is an attractive combination.