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Issue of 12/3/2008

Cover Story:

Bush's war, our refugees
by Sandra Svoboda
Michigan expects more than 2,000 Iraqis this year; here are some of their stories


Brothers in arms by Detroitblogger John
Detroit's last gun shop barrels on, despite wayward groin shots and a sting operation

Close-up by Jeff Meyers
Director Danny Boyle talks Bollywood and industrial cities

Modern communication by Laura Witkowski
A new lineup and album introduce a 'kinder, gentler' New Grenada

Serious comedy by Corey Hall
Ferndale improvisers ditch the script and just go with it

Sound & glory by Ryan Allen
Why that guy behind the mixing desk is the most important person in the club

Time Lapse News by Mike Yonker
We went to the Thanksgiving Day Parade festivities, so you didn't have to

What price Milk? by Cole Haddon
Gus Van Sant talks human rights and film


Comics (Comics)

Merry XXXmas by Fern LaBott (Couch Trip)
Stocking, uh, stuffers from Johnny Wadd, Tera Patrick and Jules Jordan

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

No small beer by Jeff Broder (Grilled)
Bastone's brewmaster talks serious suds

Blue dot days by Jim McFarlin (Idiot Boxing)
A thankful list of troubled TV in troubled times

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

Jeffrey Morgan's Media Bailout by Jeffrey Morgan (Media Blackout)
A yuletide romp through the cut-out bin — and beyond

Motor City Crashes by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
Hotshot emcee Danny Brown finds inspiration and repose

Bah & humbug by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Do those toys contain harmful substances?

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

On the Download by Chris Handyside (On the Download)
Or OTD for the ADD-addled!

Getting to work by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
A bailout is needed, but a new New Deal would be better

Make like a tree by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Man gets wood over lumber; lit class discusses

Hope lives here by Larry Gabriel (Stir It Up)
As the bad times hit the country at large, Detroit must look within for the answers



National Ghost Reviewed by Eric Harabadian (Record)

Old Patterns - Alan Scheurman Reviewed by Lee DeVito (Record)

Fragments of the Universe Nurse - Human Eye Reviewed by Brett Callwood (Record)


Beauty in Trouble Reviewed by Serena Donadoni (Movie)
Several years after the 2002 flood that devastated Prague, Marcela (Ana Geislerova) and her family are still sorting through the rubble. With no insurance, their ramshackle house is in disrepair and full of mold, while her mechanic husband Jarda (Roman Luknar) has turned the adjacent garage into a chop shop for stolen cars. Fed up with her circumstances, Marcela decides to leave Jarda, but not before some volcanic, hair-pulling sex that leaves their embarrassed kids covering their ears in the next room. Cramped into an apartment with her passive mother Zdena (Jana Brejchova) and loathsome stepfather Risa (Jiri Schmitzer), Marcela doesn’t notice the distrust and resentment building in her children; she’s too busy reliving the upheavals of her own adolescent psychodrama. Meanwhile, Benes (Josef Abrham) also finds himself in the midst of an awkward homecoming. An émigré who lives in Italy, he’s received his Prague family home in a court settlement, only to find the current occupant is caring for her dying mother.

Slumdog Millionaire Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Danny Boyle’s gritty, multilingual fairytale is an intoxicating brew of exotic locales, harrowing thrills, affecting romance and social consciousness. Dickensian in spirit but structured like The Usual Suspects, Slumdog chronicles the incredible twists of fate that lead uneducated street rat Jamal (Dev Patel) from the garbage-strewn alleys of Mumbai to the set of India’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, one question away from the ultimate prize. Accused of cheating, barely educated Jamal is brutally interrogated by police the night before he’s to tackle the final question. As he explains to the inspector (Irfan Khan) how he knew the answers to each of the game show’s queries, the film launches into elaborate flashback sequences, each illustrating the alternately horrific and joyous circumstances that lead to the answers. Still, as unapologetically entertaining as Boyle’s winking tale about fate is, it brings with it recognition of India’s worst social ills.


Forest Grill Reviewed by Mel Small (Restaurant)
Brian Polcyn’s stylish bistro, situated on the unlikely east side of Woodward Avenue, is on the ground floor of a new multi-use, especially “green,” three-story building created by prize-winning architect Victor Saroki. The handsome, long, narrow room, with huge windows and a bustling open kitchen, seats only 65 at its white-clothed tables and lively bar. Starters include a hearty bowl of French onion soup ($8), thick with onions and melted cheese, and the charcuterie du jour platter ($18), with exquisite smoked meats, sturdy housemade mustard, and three choice mini-salads. The mains, most of which hover around $28, are anchored by an admirable steak-frites platter, with a thick strip rather than hanger or flat-iron steak, plus abundant skinny, crunchy fries. Another pleasing dish is the Berkshire pork loin, thin slices of meat, perhaps a little fatty, but nicely adorned with warm green apples and red cabbage, along with a cippolini onion, all of which rests gently in a subtle port-wine reduction. A mecca for oenophiles, almost all of the wines are not only available by the 5-ounce glass but also by the 2-ounce taste, which permits a good deal of experimentation, even for those doing the driving. As for dessert, it is difficult to pass up the warm chocolate cake, stuffed with chocolate mousse, which comes with contrapuntally cool vanilla-bean ice cream, pistachios and cherries.