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Issue of 8/25/2010

Cover Story:

College Guide 2010
by Metro Times staff
Our guide to navigating higher ed


A season in Detroit by Simone Landon
And no, it's not about people coming to 'save' the city

Add it up by Sallyann Price
Biker speed has come a long way ...

Diary of a schoolgirl by Natalie Wright
You have options and you want to attend a worthy college? This high-schooler does too.

Down on the corner by Detroitblogger John
One man's grill is another man's hangout

Farewell to arms by Robert Guttersohn
How do young Iraqi war vets quell classroom angst?

How green is my campus? by Metro Times staff
Student dispatches from five area universities that gauge the new 'greening'

Radio, Radio by Simone Landon
Campus broadcasting is a lot more than just navel-gazing programming

Roads less traveled by Sallyann Price
To Detroit, or not to Detroit: That is the question

Rock wall by Amanda Le Claire
Poster pros the Silent Giants go all gallery on us

Some campus essentials by Metro Times staff
The crash course you won’t find in the university catalog

Two-drink minimum by Chris Handyside
On Drunken Barn Dance's time-honored rules of adult beverages and live-show spontaneity


Searching for Kesler! by Bryant Franks (Cheat Code)
NHL 2K11 is out and we spend an afternoon with hockey stars inside a virtual PR machine

Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
From green alleys to neighborhood noodle shops, what's on the menu this week

Makin' the local scene by Jim McFarlin (Idiot Boxing)
A Raimi homecoming of sorts; local Hardcore Pawn sets a TruTV viewing record

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
Our readers sound off on what's in MT

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

Glow job by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Plan to ship radioactive materials on Detroit River raises concerns

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

Arts, Beats and Ammo by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
How pistol-packers got Royal Oak to let them come in locked and loaded

First-time bummer by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
It's rarely all you'd thought it would be on the first try

Less than ten by Metro Times food staff (Short Order)
A shortlist of eateries where you can feed for cheap



The Orchard - Ra Ra Riot Reviewed by Michael Gallucci (Record)

Black City - Matthew Dear Reviewed by Walter Wasacz (Record)

Sugar - Dead Confederate Reviewed by Chris Parker (Record)

Tomorrow Morning - Eels Reviewed by Chris Parker (Record)

Warp Riders - The Sword Reviewed by Phil Freeman (Record)

Dark Night of the Soul - Sparklehorse, Danger Mouse Reviewed by Tim Grierson (Record)


The Switch Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Stars Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston lack serious romantic chemistry, but they do create mild comedic sparks together and make for a believably warm pair of best pals. Aniston’s perpetually single gal Kassie is smart, gorgeous, loving, and — due to fractured-mirror rom-com logic — she’s totally unable to score the right man. Meanwhile, Bateman’s Wally is a bottomless pit of kvetching and neurosis. Devoid of ethnic identity or physical impediments, we’re left to infer that Wally isn’t mate material because he’s an uptight fussbudget. Tired of waiting for Prince Charming, Kassie wises up and hires a dim but handsome sperm donor and throws an “insemination” party where all her friends get shitfaced, while the donor makes a special deposit in the bathroom. This is all too much for sensitive Wally, and in a drunken stumble, he spills out the sample and replaces it with his own. I know — gross. Cringe-worthy humor ensues.

Lottery Ticket Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Onetime novelty rapper-turned-actor Bow Wow (no need for the “Lil” anymore) stars as a nice, honest kid in an Atlanta housing project who buys a lotto ticket on a whim, only to win the mega-millions powerball jackpot. Suddenly blessed with huge Jed Clampett screw-you money, our hero must keep his head together and keep this golden ticket from falling into the hands of the many thugs, hustlers, needy relatives, busybodies and gold diggers lined up to snatch it away.

Nanny McPhee Returns Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
If there’s one thing this sequel to the 2005 charmer brings, it’s lots of poop. And burps. And quarreling kids. Set in the bucolic British countryside, some 70 or so years after the first film, the anti-Poppins governess drops in just as young mum Isabel Green (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is about to come undone. See, her husband is off fighting in World War II while she’s left to raise three precocious tots, bring in the harvest, take care of her snooty niece and nephew, and fend off her conniving brother-in-law (Rhys Ifans), who needs the deed to the family farm to pay off a gambling debt to a pair of psychopathic woman out for his kidneys. Good thing the crockery in Mrs. Docherty’s shop begins chanting: “The person who you need is Nanny McPhee!”

Farewell Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
French filmmaker Christian Carion (Joyeux Noel) filled his lead roles with a pair of celebrated directors and the result is far from gimmicky. Instead Frenchman Guillaume Canet (Tell No One) and Serbian Emir Kusturica (Underground) give heartfelt and engaging performances that underline the grudging then growing friendship of two very different men. With the sensibilities of a John Le Carré novel guiding, this real-life Cold War espionage film is more character study than political thriller, trading in both humanity and history. Based on the little-known actions of Vladimir Vetrov, Carion begins in 1981, telling the story of Sergei Grigoriev (Kusturica), a disillusioned KGB colonel and true believer in Communism. Despairing over the corruption and malaise of the Brezhnev-Andropov regime, he decides to pass critical state secrets to the French — most importantly, the name of every intelligence operative in the West — in hopes it’ll force his country into radical change. Wanting to keep a low profile, the ogre-like Gregoriev chooses mild-mannered Pierre Froment (Canet), a Moscow-based French engineer, as his go-between. Over time this odd couple develops a relationship, and what emerges is a rich portrait of two melancholy men struggling to hang onto their marriages as they engage in high stakes espionage.

Mao's Last Dancer Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Bruce Beresford indulges in the genre’s worst clichés. An unabashed humanist, the veteran Aussie director’s filmography is a hit-and-miss litany of well-meaning films that tackle cross-cultural connections. His career has simmered into under-the-radar efforts, few of which have brought him notice. This ham-handed tale of Chinese ballet star Li Cunxin will do little to critically change that dynamic. Yanked from his family at a young age, Li Cunxin (adult dancer Chi Cao) was forced into grueling instruction at the Beijing Dance Company, transforming him into a master dancer and devout adherent of Communism. Chosen to tour with the Houston Ballet in the early ’80s under artistic director Stevenson, Li is seduced by the material and technological wealth of America, while falling in love with a hot young dancer (Amanda Schull). Surprise, surprise, he defects, which not only endangers his family in China, but challenges a lifelong allegiance to his country.

Vengeance Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
A young family in Macau is ruthlessly gunned down at home by a squad of hit men, leaving three dead, including children. Though critically wounded, the mother survives and leaves her grieving dad just enough information to begin hunting the killers in Hong Kong. Star Johnny Hallyday has had a long and varied career, though he’s still mostly unknown in this country. With his feline grace and haggard, world-weary features, he’s like some odd fusion of Leonard Cohen and Charles Bronson. We get hints that his Parisian chef character Costello has a violent past, including one particularly nasty old head wound that’s slowly erasing his memories. He encounters a trio of quirky Triad assassins and offers them wads of cash and the deed to his restaurant, as he literally has nothing left to lose. Keeping with HK-action tradition, Vengeance quickly dispenses with logic in exchange for extravagant, stylishly filmed gun battles, heavy on smoke effects and slow motion. Director To is the kind of dude who finds poetry in blood squibs, and his elaborately staged action set pieces recall “bullet ballet” master John Woo, though, thankfully, there are no floating doves.


Rub BBQ Reviewed by Jane Slaughter (Restaurant)
The stars are the meats, of course, and Rub does better on those that on its sides. Fabulously tasty is an appetizer of “pig wings,” though they come with the sauce cooked on instead of letting the diner choose. These petite pieces are braised shanks, with a slightly crisp exterior and a bit of maple flavor. There’s only a tiny bone, which isn’t visible till the meat is gone, so it looks a little unmannerly to pick them up and eat them out of hand. Prominent in each booth is a six-pack of squeeze-bottle sauces. Also pleasing are the pulled items, both mellow pork and smoky chicken, moist as can be. A big drawing card is the 29 drafts — from PBR (unaccountably popular) to Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale — and the 42 domestic and 38 international bottles of beer. My party loved the tangy Two-Hearted (such a kinder concept than two-fisted) and Magic Hat #9 from Vermont, mild with a touch of bitterness and a nice finish, as well as Berghoff’s Famous draft root beer.