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Issue of 3/24/2010


Cover Story:



The big push
by Curt Guyette
A planned 'compassion center' could test medical pot law

Features:

Black noise by Kent Alexander
Darkred is determined to bring shoegazer psych into the modern age

Cinefeast! by Jeff Meyers
The Ann Arbor Film Festival: Bringing indie film to Mitten masses for 48 years

Petal pushers by Detroitblogger John
Old-fashioned florist counts the days ... until the end

White lies by Khary Kimani Turner
It's merely a question of color

Columns:

Comics (Comics)

Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
Info bites for hungry readers

Toast master by Jeff Broder (Grilled)
Chef Jeff Rose on how to learn and rise in the kitchen and more

Follow the columnist by Jim McFarlin (Idiot Boxing)
10 shows that he has to see

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
Our readers sound off on our Hell Drivers piece

Metro Retro by Metro Times staff (Metro Retro)
Looking back on what was in MT this week over the past 30 years

Motor City Cribs by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
Home base for the band of bros that is Big Mess

Basement banishment by News Hits staff (News Hits)
At City Hall, Bing administration moves press room underground

Young vs. "the Coal Man" by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Getting Coleman's legacy right hasn't gotten easier

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

Victory for all by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
No, the health insurance reform isn't perfect. But it is better than what we've had.

Fantasy dilemmas by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
I worry that the explosive secret I shared will come back to haunt me

Tough talk for city by Larry Gabriel (Stir It Up)
Without Detroiters' feedback, even good plans won't get the buy-in they need

Hello, darkness by Walter Wasacz (The Subterraneans)
Kode9 and Flying Lotus bring loads of 'sick vibes'

Reviews:

Music/Books:

Pick of the Litter - Was (Not Was) Reviewed by Bill Holdship (Record)

XXXX - You Say Party! We Say Die! Reviewed by Celeste Moure (Record)

It's a 1derful Life (Hosted By DJ Rhettmatic) - Buff1 Reviewed by William E. Ketchum III (Record)

Teen Dream - Beach House Reviewed by Aaron Shaul (Record)

Movies:

The Bounty Hunter Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Gerard Butler plays Milo, a former cop turned struggling bail bondsman, given the dream job of hauling in his ex-wife, Nicole (Jennifer Aniston), a pushy careerist reporter with a Lois Lane complex. In the midst of their love spat, they’re caught in the gun sights of a drug gang, and proceed to cause massive property damage to a vintage convertible, a golf cart, a pedicab, a quaint bed-and-breakfast and downtown Atlantic City.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
On his first day of junior high, Greg (Zachary Gordon) is warned by his unrelentingly obnoxious older brother Roderick (Devon Bostick) how easy it is to become a social outcast. The next 90 minutes of Jackie and Jeff Filgo’s scattershot screenplay dutifully chronicles how the diminutive tween becomes just that. He’s beaten up by a girl, defeated in wrestling by the geekiest kid in school, hunted by teenagers whose truck he accidentally scratched on Halloween, and ruins the school play. And then there’s the slice of festering cheese on the school playground; to touch it is to become the ultimate pariah. Will our hero cross the threshold into ultimate loserdom?

Formosa Betrayed Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Set in the mid-’80s, at the tail end of Taiwan’s White Terror period of martial law, the film’s supposedly inspired by the real-life murders of two pro-independence activists. James Van Der Beek plays an FBI agent sent to the island formerly known as Formosa to observe and assist in the investigation of an assassinated Taiwanese-American professor. Instead of justice, however, he encounters secretive government officials determined to thwart his efforts to find the killers. In true American-movie fashion, Van Der Beek oversteps his authority in an attempt to reveal a government conspiracy and ends up implicating American interests. (In case you miss the point, we see several photos of Mao and Nixon shaking hands.)

Repo Men Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
A jet-black comedy about the high wages of mercenary medicine, the film features Jude Law and Forest Whitaker as a death panel on wheels — a two-man team of collection agents specializing in recovering human organs. In this vaguely near, dystopian future, the insurance industry is even more unscrupulous than today, pushing artificial organ “upgrades” on an unsuspecting populace that can’t seem to keep up with the payments. That’s where our boys come in, armed with Tasers, scalpels and the usual piles of paperwork, in duplicate of course, ready to retrieve the company’s property by any means necessary. This questionable line of work gives Law’s character only brief food for thought, until a botched job leaves him with an artificial ticker of his own, and a swiftly growing pile of bills. Faced with his own repossession, he goes rogue, turning the tables on his corrupt bosses and his borderline psycho best pal, played with Whitaker’s trademark weird intensity.

44 Inch Chest Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
A heartsick London gangster, Colin (Winstone), finds out his longtime wife (Joanne Whalley) has been having an affair with a younger man. In a display of loyalty and twisted sympathy, Colin’s best mates abduct the young lothario, toss him in a van and drag him to a safe house, where he’ll be anything but. These nasty blokes brim with ill intentions, and they take turns venting lifetimes of frustration on the poor, scared bastard, who sits trembling in silence waiting for a violent end that seems inevitable. They cuss and spit and howl, and smoke countless cigarettes, and, between threats, occasionally hit on a profundity or two about love, friendship and dignity.

Greenberg Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Roger Greenberg is a real piece of work. When a long-suffering friend offers the cozy old chestnut that “Youth is wasted on the young,” Roger snaps, “Life is wasted on people.” He should know; he has spent years tossing his in the waste bin. Freshly out of an extended stay in a New York mental ward and now house-sitting his brother’s L.A mansion, he’s a misanthropic mess of a man, at war with nearly everyone and everything crossing his path. These are but small distractions until he meets his brother’s lovely young assistant Florence (Greta Gerwig), who might be the lighthouse that pierces his terminal cloud of self-absorption.

Terribly Happy Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Jakob Cedergren plays Robert, a policemen given a rehab assignment in tiny village, after suffering an emotional meltdown in Copenhagen. At first glance this sleepy hamlet is the prefect tonic for his rattled nerves, but appearances make quick work of fools in pictures like this. Indeed something is rotten in Denmark (forgive me), and soon the marshall is hip deep in a domestic dispute as dirty as the thick bog nearby. The town’s worst-kept secret is that brutish Jorgen regularly abuses his hot-tomato wife Ingeise (Lene Maria Christensen), and she wastes no time coming to the new guy for help, and a little more. He resists her advances for awhile, but as is the way of all patsies, he succumbs, and things begin spiraling out of control. Pretty soon there’s a murder, a cover-up, and the threat that even more bodies will vanish.

Restaurants/Places:

Bucharest Grill Reviewed by Todd Abrams (Restaurant)
The minimal and inexpensive menu is a loose blend of Eastern European and Middle Eastern, with an emphasis on ground pork dishes. In fact, more than half of the menu items contain ground pork in some form or another. But for a little more than $4, order chicken, beef or vegetarian shawarma wrapped in a pita. A few cents more buy you the enormous Bucharest shawarma, swollen with chicken, cabbage, pickles, tomato and fries, dripping with a delicious garlic sauce. It’s a triple-napkin wrap. Bring a pocketful of breath mints if you’re club-hopping afterward. An extra $2 gets you that mound of fries. One section of the menu is dedicated to “gourmet dogs.” Then there is the ground pork patty sandwich served open-faced over a fried egg and Muenster cheese! Open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday-Saturday. Carry-out, limited delivery.

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