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Issue of 11/19/2008

Cover Story:

People got the power
by Metro Times music staff
The quick dope on the musicians, producers and promoters who keep the Detroit music scene hot


In and out by Detroitblogger John
No-tell motel caters to customers' strict desires

Looking for balance by Sandra Svoboda
Why phys ed isn't what it used to be


Comics (Comics)

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

Politically (in)correct by Jim McFarlin (Idiot Boxing)
Tim Reid's still making race relations funny

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

Lit up by Metro Times critics (Lit Up)
Anne Rice comes home, Klosterman writes a novel, a queer porn tell-all and more

Jeffrey Morgan’s Media Blackout by Jeffrey Morgan (Media Blackout)
Like liner notes written on a grain of rice — but faster!

Motor City Cribs by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
Tim Vulgar's Hamtramck pad is an explosion of creativity

For a great America ... by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Martin Luther King III speaks at the Voices for Action Poverty Summit

Reporter under fire by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Police arrest Diane Bukowski, erase her photos of suspicious crash

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

Crisis and corruption by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
Unless the feds bail out General Motors, here's what we kiss goodbye

Topping from below by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Please, let your Dom do Her job

End is near by Larry Gabriel (Stir It Up)
The final days of white supremacy in America


 No Reviews


The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
In creating a fable about the Holocaust this question rises: Is this a topic that really needs further simplification? With The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, it’s hard to figure out just what the movie thinks it’s offering beyond the simple conclusion that Hitler and the Holocaust represent humankind at its worst. The story is told from the viewpoint of 8-year-old Bruno (Asa Butterfield), the son of a Nazi commander (David Thewlis) assigned to run Auschwitz. Sheltered from the brutal realities of his father’s position, lonely Bruno believes that their beautiful country manor sits beside a strange “farm.” Until one day he sneaks out and encounters Shmuel (Jack Scanlon), a scrawny boy on the other side of an electrified fence. Meanwhile, back at home, Bruno’s mother (Vera Farminga) discovers the awful scope of what’s going on at the camp and slowly descends into depression, while Bruno’s older sister Gretel (Amber Beattie) turns her schoolgirl crush for a handsome soldier into a full-blooded embrace of Nazi fascism. Based on a children’s novel by John Boyne (who also scripted), it’s unlikely that parents will drag their kids to this self-described fable.

Days and Clouds Reviewed by Serena Donadoni (Movie)
Elsa (Margherita Buy) has always relied upon her even-keeled husband Michele (Antonio Albanese) to chart a steady course for their family. As she finishes the requirements for a long-deferred art history degree, he throws an extravagant surprise party in their sizable Genoa apartment, where giddy well-wishers heap praise on her accomplishments. With a few quick strokes, Italian filmmaker Silvio Soldini paints Elsa and Michele as prosperous and generous, worldly and sophisticated. They’re none too pleased that only daughter Alice (Alba Rohrwacher) has forgone college to open a restaurant, and has moved in with her working-class boyfriend. That solid self-image begins to crack the morning after the party, when Michele confesses that he’s been out of work for two months; squeezed out of the shipping company he founded 20 years ago. Horrified by his lies, Elsa nonetheless helps him deceive their friends, even as she fears they’ll go broke before Michele finds another job. They also choose not to tell Alice, picking fights with her rather than admitting to any failures. The resigned Elsa and hesitant Michele begin to restructure, but even as they confront a steep financial decline, they can’t grasp the idea of diminished expectations.

I've Loved You So Long Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
The elegant Kristen Scott Thomas is Juliette, a former doctor newly released after a lengthy stay in prison for an unspeakable crime. The details of that crime get doled out cautiously, like tiny nibbles on a scone over a long brunch, but, in true French fashion, the film is about feeling and not incident. Juliette’s younger sister Lea (Elsa Zylberstein) is eager to welcome home the woman she no longer knows but has idealized and feared for many years. Her family is a little less enthused, from her reticent husband (Serge Hazanavicius) to her adorable adopted Vietnamese daughters, who don’t know quite what to make of their sullen “auntie.” She’s not sure what to make of herself, so beaten down and shameful from isolation she can’t even begin to understand what feeling normal again would mean, or if she has a right to such a thing. But try as she might to punish herself, life’s tiny pleasures start to erode her walls, a cup of coffee, a relaxing swim, the energy of her little nieces, and the smiles of men who notice her beautiful features even if she’s forgotten her own face.

My Name is Bruce Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
The always-game star directs himself as a loutish, self-centered B-movie actor named Bruce Campbell, doomed to keep grinding out schlock monster movies just to maintain his small fame, his booze supply and his hefty alimony payments. In a plot that’s equal parts Three Amigos and Scooby Doo, the professional faker gets enlisted to do battle with a real ghoul, the vengeful ancient Chinese spirit Guan-Di, who’s also the patron saint of bean curd. After some horny Goth teens disrupt his resting place, the goofy, glow-eyed specter begins twirling his long white mustache and hacking heads off residents of a remote mining town, which is, of course, the perfect milieu for redneck gags, Asian stereotypes and an embarrassing Brokeback Mountain joke. Unfortunately, this intentionally crummy movie spoofing even lamer ones, slyly lampooning the whole notion of spoofs, is too much for even Campbell to pull off.

Quantum of Solace Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
The Bond of our youth is gone. Daniel Craig’s 007 is all lethal, all the time, a relentless killing machine. In the series’ first direct sequel, picking up shortly after Casino Royale’s bloody conclusion. Double-O is in a rage after the loss of his love, Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), and he opts to mask his pain the only way he knows how; wasting enemy goons and an expensive precision automobile. His boss, Judi Dench’s refined M, needs his head in the game because an enemy agent has put fear into the oaken halls of MI6. So it’s off on a global mole hunt, with stops in Italy, France, Haiti and La Paz, Bolivia, with enough jumps to give a GPS nervous fits. It’s all exciting as hell, but somehow the aggressively bleak paranoia of this new guy is already sooo Nov. 3, 2008.


Polish Village Cafe Reviewed by Todd Abrams (Restaurant)
Digging into a big plate at Hamtramck’s Polish Village Café might have you suppose you’re eating food prepared by somebody’s Polish mother. That’s because, essentially, you are. During peak dining hours there’s a steady flow of waiting customers first lining up at the bar and sometimes winding up the stairs and out the door. Most entrées run around $8 — a trifle when you consider the asking price for a dreary meal at the corner suburban strip mall chain. In a space with old-style character, with a full bar, this Hamtramck staple serves a few pages of meat-and-potatoes Polish dishes and their accompanying sides. Impressive soups, Polish standards, "city chicken," Hungarian pancakes, mushroom crêpes, boiled ribs, fresh sausage in beer sauce, pan-fried chicken livers — plus a whole other menu page of such daily specials as stuffed green peppers and sauerkraut in crusty dough. Smoking permitted; cash only.