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Issue of 6/16/2010

Cover Story:

Summer Guide 2010
by Metro Times staff
Who says there's nothing to do or see here?


A dejected dream by Josh Buckenberger
A couple of CCS grads create a product that erases the American Dream

Beer geek summer by Michael Jackman
The five types of beer geeks and where to please 'em

Blinded by the arts by Ryan Patrick Hooper
Midtown's huge 'Illuminated Mural' sparks consideration and controversy

Countdown to fun by Metro Times staff
A fast look at upcoming summer blasts

Day Tripper by Brian Smith
A one-day guide to jump-start a musical jonesin'

Life without cars by Sandra Svoboda
Or a cyclist's serious summer leisure rides

Mad music, media & DIY mayhem by Jonathan Cunningham
The annual Allied Media Conference is growing exponentially, and music's at its top

Modern movements by Sandra Svoboda
Technology meets activism at Allied Media Conference

Pointing to freedom by W. Kim Heron
African-American history by foot and by car

Sweat & struggle by Michael Jackman
A quick tour of Detroit labor and industry history

Tattered elegance by Norene Smith
Sweet vintage shopping on $20 and a half-tank of gas

The great movie resale! by Corey Hall
As Hollywood strip-mines the 1980s, can we expect a big-screen version of 'BJ and the Bear'?

The roads less traveled by Detroitblogger John
Off-the-path spots that you won’t find in any Motor City guidebook

Top Rahman by Meghana Keshavan
Two hundred million record buyers can't be wrong

Tour d'art publique by Travis R. Wright
Burb sculpture, Gen-X hieroglyphs, subversive signage and a trippy trip down Trumbull


Cheat Code by Bryant Franks (Cheat Code)
New game based on Shellhead's sequel not worth suiting up for

Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
Extra servings of culinary goodness

Solid gold by Jim McFarlin (Idiot Boxing)
Fast and funny, new show is more than potshots at flyover country

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
Our readers sound off on John Brannon, credit checks and more

Metro Retro by Metro Times staff (Metro Retro)
Looking back on 30 years of MT coverage

Hot topics by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Detroit meetings to address education and insurance reform

Southwest schools by News Hits staff (News Hits)
As Detroit school plan is implemented, we could see more contentious meetings

Street signs by Sandra Svoboda (News Hits)
Friends and foes of 'complete streets' bill square off in Lansing

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

Tax the brewskis! by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
Brew tariff could solve education budget woes

Ban the boner? by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
The best way to ease back into enjoying sex is to do it slowly

Up all night by Metro Times food staff (Short Order)
A shortlist of places open at all hours


 No Reviews


The Karate Kid Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
In place of Ralph Macchio, we get runty superstar progeny Jaden Smith (Son of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith) as Dre Parker, a pre-teen dragged along for the ride when his mom’s Detroit auto firm transfers her to China. You’d think his cornrows, hip-hop style and pouty-lipped cool would make him popular, but he becomes an instant target of the spin-kicking school-yard bullies, who don’t like his budding friendship with cute violinist Meiying (the adorable young Wenwen Han). Fortunately, after taking a few whoopings, Dre befriends the scruffy local handyman Mr. Han (Jackie Chan) who’s secretly a kung fu ace himself.

Born in Flames Reviewed by Greg Baise (Movie)
An early ’80s landmark of indie and queer cinema directed by Detroit-born Lizzie Borden, Born in Flames presents a fragmented narrative of the struggle of a disparate group of revolutionary women in a not-too-distant future dystopia. Set in New York City 10 years after a radical, nonviolent political shift toward egalitarianism and social democracy, the film finds a formerly progressive society heading back to patriarchy. Borden begins by showing isolated voices of resistance through two rival underground radio stations, the punky Isabel of Radio Ragazza and the soulful Honey of Phoenix Radio. Meanwhile, out on the street, the Women’s Army works to organize the community for direct action via labor protests, vigilante squads and guerilla tactics. The assassination of the Women’s Army’s charismatic black lesbian leader (at the hands of a government agency) catalyzes previously alienated feminist factions into taking collective action. Notably, the enemy oppressor isn’t framed as “flesh and blood,” but rather “the system.” Shot without a script and with a cast of, for the most part, non-actors (plus bit parts by pre-fame Kathryn Bigelow and Eric Bogosian), Borden’s film weaves documentary, neorealist and satirical elements into its episodic story, creating a whole that’s more energetic than the sum of its occasionally slow-moving, disjointed parts.

Gone with the Pope Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Lounge singer and writer-director-star Duke Mitchell created a glorious masterpiece of moviehouse craptitude, shot in 1975 but never finished (Mitchell died in 1981). Oscar-winning editor Bob Murawski invested 15 years chasing down every frame and puzzling together the film’s final cut. The result is an exploitation flick that has all the aesthetics of a home movie but the savvy editing cuts of a Hollywood pro. Mitchell plays Paul, a nickel-and-dime hit man for the mob who gets released from jail to kill a septet of people in two cities. In exchange, three of his best jailhouse buddies — disciples, if you will — are released as well. Together they decide to head to Italy on Paul’s private yacht and kidnap the Pope. The goal? To extort 50 cents from every Catholic in the world.

The A-Team Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
As Hollywood continues drilling deeper and deeper offshore for exploitable properties, it’s not surprising that they’ve tapped a memorably trashy TV show whose explosive popularity fizzled nearly 25 years ago. The film update delves into the origins of the unjustly accused crack special-forces unit; Col. J. Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson). Lt. Templeton “Face” Peck (Bradley Cooper), Cpl. Bosco “Bad Attitude” Baracus [cq] (Quinton “Rampage” Jackson) and Capt. “Howling Mad” Murdock (Sharlto Copley). After getting set up by vicious Blackwater-style mercenaries, the guys must bust out of prison, recover stolen treasury plates and regain their good names, all while kicking the crap out of a few bad guys. It's a lot of fun.

Videocracy Reviewed by Paul Knoll (Movie)
Videocracy is a Swedish doc that shows Italy’s own obsession with fame’s idiot wind, and, in particular, television, and how celebrity, sex, gender, politics and power have all become horrifyingly intertwined in modern Italian culture. Director Erik Gandini — who also narrates — opens this doc with a zany archival clip from a call-in quiz-show that featured masked housewives stripping to a contestant’s correct answer. Flash forward 30 years and Italian TV is still peddling female anatomy for ratings. A league of ragtag fame-chasers are profiled, leading to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who also happens to be a media mogul who owns three Italian TV channels and countless publications. From there, it gets weirder and more incisive.


Wah-Hoo Reviewed by Mel Small (Restaurant)
Wah-Hoo is the latest enterprise of the Gatzaros (Fishbone’s) family. Opening in April as the special project of son Nico, the stylish restaurant features an extensive sushi menu, as well as a full complement of familiar Chinese dishes. It has two noisy dining rooms that seat 75 and the mezzanine that offers privacy to an additional 15 patrons. The small plates and salads, which average around $7, feature crisp and succulent pork-stuffed potstickers lightly spiced with chili-sesame sauce, interesting crab-and-cheese won tons and a pleasantly chewy rendition of seaweed salad awash in sesame oil and rice vinegar. Spring and egg rolls, lettuce wraps, Shanghai calamari, an especially eggy egg-drop soup, wonton, and a hot-and-sour laden with vegetables and krab reflect the attempt to appeal to Western and not Eastern palates. Wah-Hoo offers eight lunches ($7-$9.50). The mains are divided into Garden, Sky, Ocean, and Land, including sesame chicken, scallops in oyster sauce, miso salmon, fried eggplant, Mongolian beef, and shrimp with lobster sauce. Wah-Hoo also boasts a handsome wraparound bar with the requisite colorful island drinks, a handful of reasonably priced bottles of wine, sake and bottled beer.