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Issue of 2/4/2009

Cover Story:

Shut down
by Detroitblogger John
A shooting kills one employee, the bakery at which he worked, and leaves a survivor in hiding


Brother in Shaw by Bill Holdship
Motor city rock 'n' roll cognoscenti rally around one of their own

Incoming by Sandra Svoboda
Obama's immigration policy challenges

The gospel according to Prussia by Laura Witkowski
The power and glory of darker psych pop

When books could change your life by Tim Kreider
Why what we soak up at 12 may be the most important reading we ever do


Comics (Comics)

Couch Trip by Metro Times film writers (Couch Trip)
A crime-fighting hairpiece, a hookin' housewife or two, and 546 minutes (yes, 546) of TV Rossellini!

Great game by Jeff Broder (Grilled)
Cooking up everything from muskrat to African lion with 'Dixie' Dave Minar

Art imitates life, again by Jim McFarlin (Idiot Boxing)
Bennie Carson's Detroit life makes eye-popping TV fodder

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

Motor City Cribs by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
Tony Moran's souped-up living space

Flip-flop flap by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Wayne County judge recuses himself from shooting case

Hither tether by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Man suspected in rape now at home with mother

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

On the Download by Chris Handyside (On the Download)
Junior league

Coulda been me by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
About that body trapped in ice at the bottom of an elevator shaft ...

Comfortably numb by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Why you probably shouldn't put oral analgesics down there



Merriweather Post Pavilion - Animal Collective Reviewed by Tim Grierson (Record)

Cherish the Day - Mae Day Reviewed by William E. Ketchum III (Record)

Working on a Dream - Bruce Springsteen Reviewed by Bill Holdship (Record)


New in Town Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
This soggy lutefisk out-of-water tale finds Renee Zellweger’s spunky corporate shark Lucy exiled from Miami to dinky, snow-bound New Ulm, Minn., where she’s hired to “modernize” a dairy processing plant, mainly through downsizing the workforce. The quirky townsfolk are on to her true intentions, but they’re such sweater-clad, “Minnesota nice” church folk that they attempt to extend a congenial mitten of friendship before stabbing her in the back. Cheerful town gossip Blanche (Siobhan Fallon Hogan) even invites Lucy over for a bit of meatloaf and matchmaking with snowplow-driving roughneck Ted (Harry Connick Jr., looking dumpy). They clash, of course, especially because he’s the local union rep. But faster than you can say cliché, the two begin sucking face like two carp fighting for the same corn bit at river bottom, planning an end-around on the suits to save the factory.

The Uninvited Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
This, the inevitable American bastardization of a profoundly creepy and visually lush Korean horror gem, offers slightly more brain food than the average rampaging-madman-with-a-power-tool fare. The story’s your basic wicked stepmother, obsessed stalker scenario set within a haunted house. Emily Browning stars as the gamine Anna, newly released from the psych ward and trying to adjust to being back in her family’s tony New England beach house. Dad (David Strathairn) is a successful author, now shacked up with Rachel (Elizabeth Banks), the pretty young nurse who Anna suspects had a hand in her ill mother’s “accidental” death. Of course, it’s not just a hunch, since ghosts keep popping out of the shadows to spell out the problem for her. Anna is still coltish and shy, but her older sister Alex (Arielle Kebbel) is in full-on rebellious-bitch mode, and begins taking steps to oust the blond interloper who has roosted in their once cozy nest.

Taken Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Liam Neeson’s black-ops super warrior Bryan Mills is in uneasy retirement to be closer to Kim, the teen daughter (Maggie Grace) he has neglected for years. He takes a security gig guarding a pop princess for the easy money and to get career tips to help his daughter’s singing dreams, and just maybe get back in the graces of his remarried ex, Famke Janssen. To help build goodwill, Bryan signs off on Kim’s summer romp in Paris, despite his protests about how dangerous the big scary world can be. After that embarrassingly clunky setup, Kim and pal are abducted almost as soon as their plane lands. The girls have fallen victim to a nasty Albanian gang that specializes in auctioning off virgins to evil Sheiks and other oily plutocrats. But they're all about to fall victim to one pissed-off and ruthless papa. The plot runs on autopilot, but the fun is in watching Neeson dismantle a small army of thugs, creeps and corrupt French cops who get in his way, with a bag of dirty tricks that’d give Anne Coulter a boner.

2008 Academy Award-Nominated Short Films Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
A strong slate of live-act ion nominees mostly avoids the surprise-ending crutch, but two likely contenders for the statuette are "New Boy," which is based on a Roddy Doyle short story, is a poignant and humorous tale of a 9-year-old African boy’s first day at a Scottish elementary school, and Jochen Freydank’s "Toyland," with its Holocaust trappings, however, will probably walk away with the prize. The animated shorts include Pixar's "Presto," French film school Gobelin' s "Oktapodi," and Kunio Kato’s lyrical "Le Maison en Petits Cubes," which, despite its title, hails from Japan.


Tasca de Plata Tapas Bar & Restaurant Reviewed by Jane Slaughter (Restaurant)
Owner José Montes has done his best to give this former diner a Spanish feel by arranging shawls on the windows and decorating it with blue-and-yellow tiles, not to mention having flamenco dance on Friday and Saturday nights. That convivial feeling charms diners, who can choose from a menu with significant accommodations to middle-American sensibilities. Nearly everybody seems to order paellas and tapas, which encompass about 30 items, with both hot and cold selections. Entrées include lamb chops, grilled chicken, shrimp, salmon and lobster. The inexpensive wine list is mostly Spanish and has some good finds.