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Issue of 7/14/2010

Cover Story:

Holding court
by Travis R. Wright
A pick-up poem and photo essay on B-ball


Crude awakening by Curt Guyette
Proposed pipeline would connect Canada and Texas; Detroit protesters say the issue is here too

Rebuilding the temple by Sallyann Price
A downtown Detroit synagogue is rediscovered - and reborn

Valley of the doll parts by Brett Callwood
Two glam-punk guitar heroes shimmy it up, doin’ a thing called Batusi

You ain't alone by Chris Parker
Mavis Staples on the tea party, her new album with Jeff Tweedy, MLK and kissin' Bob Dylan


Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
Full plates for local food enthusiasts

Enlightened age? by Jim McFarlin (Idiot Boxing)
NBC finally pulls its head out of its ass

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
Your thoughts, from Julie Hecker to Nolan Finley

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

Motor City Cribs by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
Andre Williams' South Side Chicago digs

Fun with funds by News Hits staff (News Hits)
How pols get unlimited donations via 527s

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

Give vets their park by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
They have the plan, but the city won't give them the time of day

Risky business by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Work-related sex quandaries abound

More than hummus by Metro Times food staff (Short Order)
A short list of Middle Eastern spots in metro Detroit



Permalight - Rogue Wave Reviewed by Tim Grierson (Record)

Deadmalls & Nightfalls - Frontier Ruckus Reviewed by Travis R. Wright (Record)


Cyrus Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Seven years after his divorce, film editor John (John C. Reilly) is still a wreck. Hidden away in his featureless apartment, he has all but given up on social interactions. Prompted by his ex (a mostly wasted Catherine Keener) to attend a hip party, he fumbles his way through one clumsy interaction after another. Then he meets Molly (Marisa Tomei), who not only saves him from an embarrassing bout of drunken karaoke, but shows genuine interest in him. Holy crap! John can’t believe his luck; after a few promising dinners, he meets Molly’s 21-year-old son, Cyrus (Jonah Hill). Unfortunately, mom and son have developed an unhealthy relationship based on profound and mutual separation anxieties. Worse, Cyrus is conniving and jealous, hell-bent on stealthily sabotaging John’s newfound chance at romance. When Cyrus is good, you marvel at what the Duplasses and their cast have pulled off. When it stumbles, its limitations are all-too obvious.

Despicable Me Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) is a suburban-dwelling, third-tier evil mastermind whose recent exploits have failed to excite the criminal underworld. Worse, Vector (Jason Segel), a younger, geekier upstart, has set the bar for nefarious deeds by stealing the Great Pyramid of Giza. Why? Who knows? Despicable Me’s world is a nonsensical mirror image of The Incredibles, where super villains struggle to upstage one another for no apparent reason. With his reputation and bank account on the line, Gru concocts a plan to steal North Korea’s shrink-ray gun, miniaturize the moon, then demand an outrageous ransom. Unfortunately, Vector swipes the gun and hides it away in his impenetrable fortress. Desperate to gain access, Gru adopts a trio of cuter-than-cute orphans in order to sell Vector his favorite Girl Scout cookies while he sneaks in unnoticed. Adventure (in 3-D!) ensues.

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Next to the snake, insects are probably the least loved of the planet’s creatures — especially if you’re an adult. How else to explain the $4 billion a year Americans spend to eradicate them? Leave it to the nation that practices Shinto — with its belief that there are spirits in all creations — to put these tiny critters in perspective. First-time documentarian Jessica Oreck (a docent at the American Museum of Natural History) does a better job of connecting and contrasting the natural world with modern human society than a dozen talking head eco-docs. Choosing breathtaking macro photography, colorful characters, discussions of poetry and philosophy over guilt-inducing narration and melodramatic orchestration, Oreck suggests that bugs are nature’s version of the haiku — beautiful and short-lived, a gloriously simple reminder of our mortality.

Micmacs Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Boy, if filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet could bottle and sell his whimsy and quirk, the world would be a far zanier place. I’m just not sure it’d be any better. Like Michel Gondry or Terry Gilliam, the French stylist fills his movies with inventive set pieces, concocting frantic and elaborate visual gags. In French, the full title is Micmacs a Tire-Larigot, which roughly translates into “nonstop shenanigans.” It’s an apt description, since Jeunet has created an exhausting fantasia of cartoonish jokes, characters and gadgets. Every three minutes the filmmaker hits you with another ingenious, theatrically intricate action sequence. It’s like watching a talented kid who doesn’t know when to stop showing off.

Predators Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
The movie literally jumps into action: Adrien Brody’s mercenary awakening sees him parachuting against his will into a strange jungle. On the ground he quickly makes an uneasy alliance with a motley crew of earth’s roughest murderers, a killer elite culled from a variety of lethal backgrounds, including Russian Special Forces, drug cartel enforcers, psycho convicts, Rwandan death squads, etc. They are joined by Topher Grace’s hipster doctor, whose special weapon is wisecracks. These aren’t exactly the funniest suits at cocktail hour, but they’re handy in a fight, and armed to the teeth. And they need all the firepower they can get, as it’s soon clear that they’ve all been shanghaied to a lush planet that serves as an alien game preserve. And they are the prey of the day. What follows is a predictable but enjoyable game of live action Duck Hunt, as captives get picked off one by one, occasionally in clever ways.


2Booli Fresh Mediterranean Eats Reviewed by Jane Slaughter (Restaurant)
For many diners, the lack of a liquor license is a deal-breaker. That proclivity can relegate most Middle Eastern spots to a lunchtime treat rather than an evening pleasure. Farmington Hills’ 2Booli addresses the problem with not only a full bar but a happy hour that lasts all evening long, Monday through Friday. Draughts are $2.50, margaritas and martinis are $4, and featured wines of the week are also about $4, or $12-$15 a bottle. As the name makes clear, the restaurant has aspirations to address several cultures around the Mediterranean, rather than just the Lebanon from which the owners’ parents emigrated. Bruschetta, polenta, fritto misto, clam linguine, and a meatball sub share the menu with tabbouleh and falafel.