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Issue of 6/30/2010


Cover Story:



Meet the fellows
by Travis R. Wright
18 Detroit composers, authors and performers reap rewards in Kresge program

Features:

Bird's eye by Detroitblogger John
How an east side artist brings life to dead buildings and bed sheets

Renaissance state by William E. Ketchum III
Monica Blaire and Ro Spit talk the new Detroit 'tude toward community and spirit

Columns:

Scenes from the social forum by Curt Guyette
But what did it accomplish?

Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
What's on this week's menu of things to do

Detroit TV city by Jim McFarlin (Idiot Boxing)
A Muslim (from Dearborn) on MTV's Real World? Plus, the 411 on Detroit's spanking-new ABC cop show.

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
Readers sound off on what's in our pages

Metro Retro by Metro Times staff (Metro Retro)
Surveying what happened this week over 30 years of MT

Beam us in by News Hits staff (News Hits)
John Bennett gets in a zinger or two on the charter commission. (Remember them?)

Carping on by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Astroturf group wants to solve Asian carp problem ... without closing the locks

Missing a beat by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Somebody started the media on Kilpatrick's political piggy bank. Who was it?

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

Al Gore, a 'sex poodle'? by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
The Internet: Where you can make fishy, anonymous charges until your dreams come true

Daddy issues by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Does creepy role-playing owe to some childhood trauma?

Fish story by Sandra Svoboda (The Mixing Bowl)
Can we eat our way out of the Asian carp crisis?

Reviews:

Music/Books:

Recovery - Eminem Reviewed by Hobey Echlin (Record)

W.ants W.orld W.omen - Dwele Reviewed by Jonathan Cunningham (Record)

Movies:

Grown Ups Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Adam Sandler basically gathered a cadre of his famous cronies, invited them over for pick-up basketball and an extended pool party, and declared this home movie good enough to open on thousands of multiplex screens. The results are exactly the sort of inside-jokey, juvenile and glorified skit you may imagine, which isn’t as fun for the audience as it is the cast. The rudimentary story finds a team of youth basketball champs, reunited for the funeral of their beloved coach. This sad passing manages to harsh their mellow for upward of five or 10 minutes, before these oversized lads resume fart-giggling and giving each other noogies. The alleged “humor” revolves around breast milk, flatulent dogs and grandmas, vegans, man-boobs, regular boobs, and more “pee-pee” jokes than you’d hear in the back of the 5th grade bus. Chris Rock continues to be a dreadful screen presence, but he’s generally covered by the ineptitude surrounding him. The 50ish David Spade is especially creepy as the unmarried playboy chasing young skirts, even if they are his friend’s daughters. Spade gets kicked in the nuts and slapped around, and Rob Schneider takes even more abuse. Salma Hayek and Maria Bello are on hand to wear bikinis and gripe, but Maya Rudolph gets all the laughs as Rock’s sassy pregnant wife.

Ondine Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Colin Farrell is Syracuse, an Irish fisherman and recovering alcoholic divorced from his wife and struggling to remain connected to his precocious but sickly 10-year-old daughter, Annie (played by the terrific Alison Barry). One day, Syracuse discovers a gorgeous, barely conscious young woman (Alicja Bachleda) in fishing net. Is she a selkie (half-seal, half-woman)? Or is she just a girl on the run? Naming herself Ondine, she shies away from other people, sings in a language Syracuse has never heard, and seems to bring him good luck. Inevitably, sparks fly between the two, and Syracuse doesn’t care who or what this bewitching young woman is. That is, until an outsider comes looking for Ondine and his daughter is threatened.

Solitary Man Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
In Solitary Man, Michael Douglas plays Ben Kalman, a reduction of his most famous characters, like Gordon Gecko, a vain, one-time hot shot laid low by the vicissitudes of time, and mostly by his own epic failings. In his glory days, Ben billed himself as “New York’s honest car dealer,” then stopped believing his own pitches, started scamming and cooking the books, losing his mini-empire and, for a while, even his freedom. Time in the joint tends to sober a guy up, but not our Ben, he’s still tousling his mane and chasing after anything in a skirt, preferably those with the freshest sell-by dates. He won’t let his grown daughter call him “Dad” in public, and makes his grandson call him “Captain Ben,” so as not scare off the chippies. He’s the sort of reckless old cad who isn’t satisfied with dating a smokin’ hot lady like Mary Louise Parker, but chooses instead to make a move on her nubile daughter while escorting her on a college tour of his alma mater. That colossally bad decision is just one mishap for a man who seems genetically adverse to any growth or maturation, and the film never wavers in exposing the warts behind the matinee smile.

Ajami Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Co-directed by an Israeli (Yaron Shani) and a Palestinian (Scandar Copti), Ajami’s grim and violent La Ronde is yet another interesting example of Israel’s emerging international film presence. The setting is an Israeli border community that straddles Tel Aviv and Jaffa, where interweaving flashbacks and flash-forwards of violence, revenge and corruption directly impact the lives of four different characters. There’s 19-year-old Omar (Shahir Kabaha), who has been targeted for assassination by Arabs with a grudge against his uncle and struggles to hide his love for the Christian daughter of his benefactor. Working for the same man is Malek (Ibrahim Frege), a teenage Palestinian refugee desperately trying to raise enough cash to get his mother treated for leukemia. Meanwhile, beefy Dando (Eran Naim), is a thuggish Jewish cop bulldozing his way through Jaffa in search of his missing soldier brother. And finally there’s Binj (played by Copti), a middle-class Palestinian who wants to move to Tel Aviv with his Jewish girlfriend but gets swallowed by the endless spiral of crime, identity conflict and senseless brutality.

Twilight: Eclipse Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
This gooey stew of ham-fisted hormonal longing, supernatural soap operatics and bare-chested hunks is really just a trilogy dedicated to overwrought teenage indecision and abstinence. Of the three films so far, Eclispe is certainly the best in the series but ... could the dialogue, plotting and characters be more turgid? Director David Slade makes a valiant effort to bring this heap of ridiculous clichés to life, giving this third chapter a slightly darker and grittier edge. At least scripter Melissa Rosenberg finds a narrative spine to follow this time out. Unfortunately, all her character interactions are predictable, lifeless and redundant. The worst sin of Meyer’s stories is that her take on supernatural legends is clearly made up as she goes along. Plus, is it just me or is Bella the mopiest cock-tease of all time? And, Edward, dude, a little advice: The whole no-sex-before-marriage thing makes vampirism totally unsexy.

Restaurants/Places:

Addis Ababa Reviewed by Jane Slaughter (Restaurant)
At dinnertime, there’s just one way to order: the all-you-can-eat meat-and-vegetable platter for $16.90 per person or the vegetarian platter for $14.90. Patrons of the Blue Nile, Taste of Ethiopia or Windsor’s Marathon are familiar with the routine: Little heaps of fabulous dishes are placed on a giant circle of spongy injera bread, which everyone shares. More injera is alongside, folded like napkins, to use as your eating utensil until you’re ready to eat the tablecloth. At lunchtime, you can keep the meal smaller and order one meat with two vegetables for $7.95. But what makes Addis Ababa different from other Ethiopian restaurants is that it has a take-out menu. Twelve ounces of the vegetable dishes are $2.95, meat $3.75, injera free. You could create your own feast at home or for a picnic. It’s open every evening and for lunch Tuesday through Saturday.

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