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Wednesday, August 25,2010

The Screening Room

Coming soon to a backyard theater near you

by James Sanford
Matthew Jason would like to invite you to explore what he calls the “chicken underground.”No, our feathered friends have not formed a resistance movement to protect their precious eggs from omelet lovers or to save their drumsticks from the Thanksgiving table. Jason is one of the Lansing residents who’s been practicing “urban agriculture” by raising chickens in his backyard. He’ll be showcasing both fowl and
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Wednesday, August 25,2010

You be the judge

This year's crop of Stages of the Law shows are announced

by James Sanford
This year’s Stages of the Law Theatre Festival, sponsored by the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, will feature a quintet of plays dealing with legal issues.
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Wednesday, August 18,2010

Sandra Seaton brings a personal touch to 'Music History'

by James Sanford
Sandra Seaton recalls once seeing a film about Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall that celebrated his achievements while ignoring everything else.“The other attorneys (in the film) had personal lives,” Seaton said. “You saw (Marshall) in his judicial robes, but you didn’t learn anything about his personal life.”
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Friday, August 13,2010

The ex files

Love is truly a battlefield in hilarious

by James Sanford
We live in a world of pop-culture references, some old, some new. Check your Twitter feed: You’re as likely to find comments about a 1980s band or a 1990s TV series as you are discussions about the significance of the spinning top of “Inception” or the cultural impact of Pop-Tart Sushi.For unemployed Toronto native Scott Pilgrim, however, the world really is pop culture. Not only does he live in an environment that looks exactly like a comic book — every time his phone rings, an animated “R-I-I-I-N-G!” floats through the air; little commentaries and asides constantly materialize around him and his friends, just like VH1’s “Pop-Up Video” show — he is frequently plunged into frenzied fights that play out like a mad mash-up of “Mortal Kombat,” “Super Mario Brothers” and “Double Dragon.”
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Friday, August 13,2010

Slice of life

Julia Roberts suffers in style in glossy

by James Sanford
Who is the real star of “Eat Pray Love,” adapted from Elizabeth Gilbert’s spectacularly successful memoir about finding yourself through the magic of Italian cuisine, Indian gurus and the wisdom of Balinese medicine men? Is it Julia Roberts, who is in every scene of the film? Or is it Susan Spungen, the food stylist par excellence, who has created the movie’s jaw-droppingly perfect portraits of pasta?
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Wednesday, August 11,2010

Ex-rated

’Scott Pilgrim’ stars drew on real life while creating roles

by James Sanford
As she maneuvered her way through a full day of interviews in a suite at Detroit’s MGM Grand hotel/casino with a bottle of water and a cup of tea close at hand, Winstead didn’t look like she was ready to rumble.
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Wednesday, August 4,2010

Red, white and Greenwood

Country star plays Sept. 11 concert

by James Sanford
“We wanted to do more to involve the community, and the typical gala ' the way a lot of nonprofits do them ' is a black-tie, high-priced, high-end social event for businesspeople who want to network,” Sturdy said. “We said, ‘There’s enough of those; let’s tone ours down.
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Wednesday, August 4,2010

The Screening Room

Hollywood gets summer-schooled

by James Sanford
“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” burned brightly: It may yet reach $300 million. But the much-hyped, all-action, no-brains “A-Team” failed to get a passing grade from moviegoers; it’s brought in $76 million, about half of what it was projected to make.
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Friday, July 30,2010

Rudd and Carell add spice to 'Dinner'

by James Sanford
The 1998 French film “Le Diner de Cons (The Dinner of Fools)” was a modest farce about high-rolling Parisian Pierre Brochant (Thierry Lhermitte) trying to take advantage of dorky Francois Pignon (Jacques Villeret), whose odd hobbies make him a prime candidate for ridicule at the weekly banquets hosted by Brochant and his arrogant buddies.
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Wednesday, July 28,2010

A fresh coat of paint

The Deluxe Inn once put the ‘ho’ in ‘hotel.’ Can the site now put the ‘hot’ in ‘hotspot’? The revitalization begins this weekend — with the help of a few graffiti artists

by James Sanford
The Deluxe, at I-496 and Washington Street, could use a bit of touching up; to quote the old TLC song, it’s “damn unpretty.” Hundreds of windows are boarded up to discourage vandals. Many of the wooden numbers on the doors of the rooms are broken or missing.
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