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Issue of 2/17/2010


Cover Story:



Street fightin' man
by Detroitblogger John
A Detroit neighborhood fights for its life, and an ex-cop leads the way

Features:

Blowing again by Charles L. Latimer
Saxophonist Scott Petersen rebuilt his chops - after getting his new lungs

Cut across shorty by Jeff Meyers
2009 short film Oscar nods telegraph deadpan geeks, corporate satire, social commentary and more

Dead head by Jim McFarlin
Psychic Rebecca Rosen hits Detroit and talks to the 'happy' deceased. No, really.

Mastering social justice by Sandra Svoboda
Marygrove program takes aim at societal inequality

Promises fulfilled by Bill Holdship
Patti Smith's fascinating new memoir captures what it was to be young, free and artistic in a New York now lost to the ages

Rip a new ... by Corey Hall
Joel Hodgson talks Mystery Science Theatre 3000 and its new live spinoff

Columns:

Comics (Comics)

Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
Art on display, new hot dogs, Monday blues and more

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
ACORN, Kerouac memories and more

Metro Retro by Metro Times staff (Metro Retro)
Looking back on what was in Metro Times this week

Motor City Cribs by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
Scott and Laurie Sellwood's Ann Arbor pied-a-terre

Master of the obvious by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Deep-pocketed venture capitalist wants to be your governor; says so in TV ad

Schoolhouse divided by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Bedlam reigns at teachers' union meetings

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

Too little, too late? by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
Granholm's leadership should have come sooner and stronger

A real potty-mouth by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Should I ask my lover to forbid his slave from cleaning his toilet with a toothbrush?

On the Asian tip by Metro Times food staff (Short Order)
Places serving Asian (or Asian-influenced) fare

V power! by D'Anne and Laura Witkowski (Wonder Twins)
The Wonder Twins celebrate chicks

Reviews:

Music/Books:

Soldier of Love - Sade Reviewed by Hobey Echlin (Record)

Villa Manifesto EP - Slum Village Reviewed by William E. Ketchum III (Record)

Movies:

Valentine's Day Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Valentine’s Day is a rom-com designed for mass appeal, and it’d be totally flavorless if not for a layer of cloying sweetness strong enough to rot out your teeth. Featuring a cast of thousands, it’s an overlapping day-in-the-life muddle, like Robert Altman plotting a Lifetime movie, with a host of photogenic singles and couples colliding all over a sun-soaked L.A. The parade of mugs include Jennifer Garner, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Patrick Dempsey, Queen Latifah, Jessica Biel, George Lopez, Bradley Cooper and pretty much the rest of showbiz. Hacky grandpa Garry Marshall doesn’t direct so much as play a sleepy traffic cop, scooting the players along every few minutes. The film is so overstuffed with plotlines that new characters are still being introduced nearly an hour in, and most get lost in the shuffle for long stretches.

The Wolfman Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
It’s been nearly 30 years since we’ve gotten decent werewolf film. Now, nearly 70 years after the The Wolf Man (1941) first hit the screen, Universal has decided to revive its creature feature as a moody period piece set in Victorian England. Returning home to his childhood mansion after his brother’s grisly and mysterious death, Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) investigates a nearby gypsy encampment, only to be attacked by a vicious monster. Nurtured back to health by his brother’s widow, Gwen (Emily Blunt) — who looks an awful lot like his mother — an understated attraction blossoms. Is it connected to his half-remembered dreams of Daddy (Anthony Hopkins) cradling his dead mom after she committed suicide by slitting her own throat? You think? It hardly matters, since the movie’s too impatient to get to predictable chase sequences through the cobbled streets of London or fog-blanketed English forests. After an intriguing setup, The Wolfman awkwardly barrels from one set piece to the next, never connecting them with meaningful characters or emotions.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Based on the Rick Riordan’s fantasy novel, The Lightning Thief introduces us to the troubled teen Percy Jackson (Logan Lermann). He’s dyslexic, has an abusive stepdad and can hold his breath underwater for impossible lengths of time. With those facts barely penciled in, the movie hurls Percy and his best-buddy Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) into otherworldly danger. He’s attacked by a demon, learns he’s the son of the Greek God Poseidon (Kevin McKidd), is attacked again by a minotaur and escapes to Hogwarts … er, Camp Half Blood. There he learns Grover is actually a satyr and his professor (Pierce Brosnan) is a Dumbledore-like Centaur. Still with me? This is just the first 30 minutes. The upshot is Zeus (Sean Bean) is about to wage war on his brother Poseidon because he’s convinced (for reasons never explained) Percy stole his super-powered lightning bolt. But before the teenage demigod can deal with all that, he’s got to go on a cross-country road trip with Grover and the daughter of Athena (Alexandra Daddario) to gather a trio of magic marbles so he can enter the underworld and rescue his mom from the evil Hades (a squandered Steve Coogan).

Restaurants/Places:

Dick O'Dow's Irish Public House Reviewed by Mel Small (Restaurant)
For more than a decade, Dick O’Dow’s has been Birmingham’s most popular unpretentious watering hole. The dimly lit pub, graced with simple wooden tables and chairs, faded wall murals from the Book of Kells, agricultural paraphernalia and a wide variety of Irish kitsch, is a surprisingly accurate recreation of a rural local in the Ould Sod. With music, several TVs, and often a large crowd of more than a hundred tipplers, the front room dominated by the bar can get a bit boisterous. Guinness at $5.50 for an imperial (20-ounce) pint is de rigueur, of course, but there are 14 other beers on tap as well. Although Ireland does not produce wine, a handful of varietals from several other countries are available, most of which are less than $30. The menu is expansive with such bar food as pizza, burgers, sliders, wings, ribs, mac ’n’ cheese, ahi tuna and the like appealing to those not interested in sampling the Irish fare. Among the mains, the “Irish Classics” ($11.99-$15.99) are the best place to linger. Here one finds boxty, a unique dish whose foundation consists of two thick, slightly charred potato pancakes, garnished with baby asparagus and topped with beef chunks, onions and leeks, all of which is awash in a brown gravy. Guinness-battered cod and chips with an admirable creamy coleslaw, corned beef with carrots and parsnips (when’s the last time you saw parsnips on a menu?), wild Irish salmon with a Jameson’s glaze, and stuffed chicken round out the Irish entrées. O’Dow’s boasts live music seven nights a week, including traditional Irish on Tuesdays.

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