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Issue of 12/9/2009

Cover Story:

She comes in colors
by Brett Callwood
Sexy and stories, Niagara's tale is pure Detroit


Blond ambition by Brett Callwood
Vivian George isn't another hard luck story

High profiling by Charles L. Latimer
Meet Ralphe Armstrong, sideman to the stars

Hush by Travis R. Wright
PostSecret's Frank Warren on online anonymity, Oprah and when a secret is no longer a secret

Made in Detroit by Corey Hall
You Can't Rent Here Anymore

Not so pretty in pink by Barbara Ehrenreich
How once-powerful sisterhood became a droopy ribbon

Where the auction is by Detroitblogger John
Friday nights are showtime at this Detroit resale spot


Cheat Code by Bryant Franks (Cheat Code)
Zombies can run? We are so fucked ...

Comics (Comics)

Couch Trip by Metro Times film writers (Couch Trip)
Robert Redford's badass antihero and Tian Yuan's Chinese hooker; plus, Up, Lost and Monsters in glorious Blu-ray

Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
Santa mingles, carriage rides beckon, barbecue deals and more

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
From the mailbag: Our readers sound off

Motor City Rides by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
The makers and their cupcake car

Seasonal celebration by News Hits staff (News Hits)

Swift sentences by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Men who kidnapped exonerated prisoner are sentenced

Troops down, fears up by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Bill seeks to protect Iraqis from sectarian violence when U.S. withdraws

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

SOS: Save our state by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
You think things are bad now ...

Their sole issue by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
If I can't love her feet, is that a deal-breaker?

Oakland bounty! by Metro Times food staff (Short Order)
Notable eateries in Birmingham, Troy and the Bloomfields



Pus Pustules - Cotton Museum Reviewed by Walter Wasacz (Record)

All the Way from Michigan Not Mars (DVD+LP) - Rosie Thomas (with Denison Witmer and Sufjan Stevens) Reviewed by Melissa Giannini (Record)

Early Seger, Vol. 1 - Bob Seger Reviewed by Bill Holdship (Record)


Everybody's Fine Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Robert De Niro is the broken-down patriarch Frank, a humble widower with fading health. His four grown children are scattered across the country, and each has an excuse for skipping a family get-together. Since they won’t come to him, Frank sets out to visit his wayward children, riding a Greyhound all the way from New York to Chicago, Denver and Las Vegas, never bothering to call ahead. None of them is as happy as they lead Dad to believe. Yuppie advertising exec Kate Beckinsale is covering up a disintegrating marriage. Sam Rockwell has sold pops the notion that he’s a conductor even though he’s just the drummer, excuse me, “percussionist” in the back of the orchestra. Drew Barrymore is just a mess, and a fourth unseen brother is in really dire straights.

The Strip Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
The Strip almost exclusively centers on the sad sack, misfit twentysomethings who work at EletriCity, a poor man’s version of RadioShack. There’s the dim-witted slacker, the awkward Indian immigrant, the manager going through a middle-aged crisis (The Kids in the Hall’s Dave Foley), the wannabe actor, Rick, who has delusions of grandeur about his talents and masculinity, and our college-educated protagonist, Kyle, who’s oh-so Zach Braff-esque in his desire to please Dad (the store’s owner) while trying to “find” himself. As you might expect, the dudes shun all semblance of adult behavior.

Me and Orson Welles Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
It’s 1937, and Welles is in the process of mounting his audaciously pruned version of Julius Caesar, staged in modern fascist dress. Starring as Brutus, directing the action, sleeping with a long list of actresses and ingénues, hogging the limelight and feuding with his partner John Houseman (Eddie Marsan), Linklater captures the mad energy and constant brink of collapse Orson cultivated with his outsized ego and genius. Enter Richard Samuels (Efron), a not untalented 17-year-old who gets caught up in this strange and thrilling new world. Cast in a minor role, befriending Joseph Cotton (dead ringer James Tupper) and flirting with sexy Sonja Jones (lovely Claire Danes), he becomes our passive protagonist tour guide to the world of backstage politics and blossoming celebrity. It’s a device that didn’t really work in Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous, nor this summer’s The Great Buck Howard. And it doesn’t work here. Efron’s likable enough, but hardly a character worth caring about.


Bistro 222 Reviewed by Mel Small (Restaurant)
Bistro 222's reasonable prices and stylishly retrofitted space are complemented by imaginative Californian-Italian cuisine. Starters ($6-$8) are highlighted by “April’s crispy calamari,” a mess of little cephalopod rings accompanied by a marinara sauce enlivened with red peppers, olives and garlic. Much of the fare is assertively spiced, such as the zesty and generous portion of bruschetta topped with tomatoes, onions and peppers, and small scallops sautéed in a tangy lemon-garlic sauce and artfully presented in three scallop shells. Lunchgoers can keep their meals relatively light by choosing among five individual pizzas, a dozen sandwiches with potatoes and salad ($6.95-$8.95) featuring the curious, patented ground shrimp burger on ciabatta, and several entrée-sized salads. As for dinner, if you are going to pass on pasta for a main, you might consider one or two of the six variations ($11.95-$14.95) for your tablemates to share as an intermediate course, or primi piatti. Most of the entrées are $15 or $16, a surprisingly low price considering the quality of the ingredients and the careful thought that has gone into their creation and presentation. All of the desserts, except for the ethereal, ultra-light house-made tiramisu, come from the respectable outside supplier, Sweet Street Desserts.