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Issue of 4/22/2009

Cover Story:

Night Life - Reader Picks
by Metro Times readers
The music venues and watering holes our readers love the most

Best of Detroit 2009
by Metro Times staff
Bet on it: The MT Stimulus Package II


Best Hot News Anchor: Carmen Harlan by Jim McFarlin
With apologies to Tom Jones, our paean to Carmen

Best of Detroit 2009 by Metro Times staff
Bet on it: The MT Stimulus Package II

Best way to cure the blues by Metro Times readers
From the sane to the silly, our readers sound off on bringing the good times back

Big dreams have led him to a big band by Charles L. Latimer
How Scott Gwinnell got his orchestra

Editorial by Metro Times editorial staff
On keeping Ken

Home rules by Sandra Svoboda
As economy slides, state legislatures eye curbs on illegal immigrants

Kung fu fighting by Detroitblogger John
Detroit karate school mixes street smarts and martial arts

Night Life - Staff Picks by Metro Times staff
From upscale cocktails to rawk 'n' roll, our fave nocturnal haunts

Nutritional Value - Reader Picks by Metro Times readers
Our readers pick the best places to snarf, nosh, tipple and dine

Nutritional Value - Staff Picks by Metro Times staff
From style to fare to special dishes, our staff picks what's best

Our best news by W. Kim Heron
MT wins prizes in journalism competition

Public Square - Reader Picks by Metro Times readers
Our local treasures, from media to politics to architecture, as judged by our readers

Public Square - Staff Picks by Metro Times staff
Super people, places and things, picked by our team of writers

Simply the best by Metro Times food staff
Skimming the cream of the crop

The Real Deals - Reader Picks by Metro Times readers
Paper or plastic, our readers pick out the top of the shops

The Real Deals - Staff Picks by Metro Times staff
Our staff counters with our own favorite places to plunk it down

Tops at 20 by Kent Alexander
Showtime Clothing enters its third decade of decking us out


Comics (Comics)

Couch Trip by Metro Times film writers (Couch Trip)
Shimizu's genius, and memory-implant shenanigans

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

Drunk drunk drunk by Brian Smith (Lit Up)
A poetic memoir haunts the gardens and the graves

Jeffrey Morgan's Media Blackout by Jeffrey Morgan (Media Blackout)
A passel of previews and the best wrestling DVD ever

Motor City Cribs by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
Chris Pottinger's Royal Oak pad

Grow green or else by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Other countries race ahead toward green economy

The F-word by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Out-of-ideas right-wingers sling the slime

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

Best and the rest by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
Good times, bad times — and then there's Jenny

Translation: Asshole by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
When your friends says you're 'intense,' they probably mean ...

Get it right by Larry Gabriel (Stir It Up)
The many paths to district elections for City Council

Activate! by D'Anne and Laura Witkowski (Wonder Twins)
The Wonder Twins do the DMAs: Crossbows, Christianity, bluegrass kids ... and the Nuge


 No Reviews


State of Play Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Russell Crowe is Cal McAffrey, the romantic stereotype of a rumpled, hard-drinking, morally flexible but still noble investigative reporter, the one every keyboard news jockey secretly imagines themselves to be. He’s up to his Chee-tos-stained beard in dirt, digging into a mysterious D.C. double homicide that turns into a juicy political scandal when a pretty young congressional aide has a nasty run-in with a speeding Metro train. Trouble is, the dead girl was the lead researcher in an idealistic congressman’s probe of a paramilitary outfit’s Pentagon contracts (Blackwater-style), and she was also his mistress. Congressman (Ben Affleck) is also Cal’s old college buddy who once had a fling with his wife (Robin Wright Penn). Worse, Cal’s forced to share a byline with a motivated but still-green blogger (Rachel McAdams), and squeezed by a (Helen Mirren) boss more concerned with shrinking revenues and impatient corporate owners than with getting the story right.

Tokyo! Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Invited to offer their view of Tokyo, Michel Gondry, Léos Carax and Bong Joon-ho have created a triptych of exaggerated urban alienation and estrangement. First up is Michel Gondry’s “Interior Design,” a surprisingly restrained doodle that follows the rudderless girlfriend (Ayako Fujitani) of an ambitious young filmmaker. Marginalized and friendless, she undergoes a surreal Kafkesque transformation that, at first, horrifies but then satisfies her inability to find her place. The middle and craziest offering is Leos Carax’s “Merde,” a politicized monster movie and tongue-in-cheek spoof. A feral sewer dweller (the unnervingly bizarre Denis Lavant) terrorizes Tokyo’s downtown. Bong Joon-ho finishes with his austere and intense “Shaking Tokyo,” which, despite its more outrageous conceits, focuses on character instead of whimsy. An obsessive shut-in (Teruyuki Kagawa) catches a glimpse of a pizza delivery girl’s garter and falls in love. However, his attempts to re-engage with the outside world seem to cause powerful earthquakes.


Katana Nu-Asian Steakhouse Reviewed by Jane Slaughter (Restaurant)
Though its menu is Japanese — or perhaps “Japanese-inspired” — there’s nothing subtle about Katana Steakhouse. For teppanyaki — “hibachi table cooking” — diners are seated around big cooking surfaces, each manned by an aproned and toqued Chinese chef. There are 10 chairs at each cooking station, so you’ll end up sharing with others. The waitress takes your order for seafood (tuna, sea bass, scallops, etc.), meat or “Zen dinners” with vegetables, tofu or portobellos. The chef goes through some impressive banging and flipping of knives and gets to work on the fried rice ($3 extra), cracking an egg, chopping some more and adding soy sauce. Each diner’s selection is quickly sautéed, arranged on a plate with the vegetables and presented with three dipping sauces: a creamy one for the seafood, a hot mustard and a ginger. In addition to the main-attraction grills, diners can also sit at regular tables and order from the small plates menu, which has more of a fusion bent. The dishes are not that small nor subtle, but each dish is attractively presented and puts out one big taste, despite the multiplicity of components.