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Wednesday, December 3,2014

On ego’s wings

Michael Keaton soars in the gravity-, genre-defying ‘Birdman’

by Allan I. Ross
The sooner you see “Birdman” the better. Like the latest episode of “South Park” or “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” it is utterly of the moment and its urgency, its insistent need to be consumed, is evident in every frame. Who knows how long it will be before this revolutionary style — an entire movie constructed as a single take! Meta commentaries of today’s marquees! — feels passé.
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Wednesday, December 3,2014

New in town

by Allan I. Ross
On Oct. 20, Uli´s Haus of Rock, 4519 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. on Lansing’s south side, announced on its Facebook page that it would be temporarily closed as the venue´s management dealt with “some legal issues.”
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Wednesday, November 26,2014

Annual gift guide: December loving

A guide to the season’s best apps, gift parties

by Allan I. Ross
Well this is interesting. For the first time in over 30 years, the 2014 gift-giving season will consist of a single stretch of holiday revelry, from the lighting of the shamush on Dec. 16, the first night of Chanukah, to the lighting of the black candle on Jan. 1, the last day of Kwanzaa. That’s the longest the holiday season can be — lucky us!
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Wednesday, November 26,2014

Be great or disappear

Indie sensation ‘Whiplash’ pounds out a provocative rhythm

by Allan I. Ross
It’s one thing to want to be something — a novelist, a cartoonist, a theoretical physicist — but it’s another to want to be Something — a Vonnegut, a Watterson, a Stephen Hawking. In the Sundance hit “Whiplash,” we see the brutal side of the pursuit of excellence, particularly in those who are self-imposed with nurturing it.
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Wednesday, November 19,2014

Beyond the lights

State Christmas tree’s LED lighting design revamped for 2014

by Allan I. Ross
In 2012, City Pulse wrote that the Michigan State Christmas tree looked like it had been “stuffed in an ugly Christmas sweater … (and resembles) the tip of a nuclear missile.” Last year, we compared it to “a lunch lady’s hairnet.” Harsh words, but take ...
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Wednesday, November 19,2014

Outside the (invisible) box

Local mime competes on national TV, launches entertainment company

by Allan I. Ross
Mimes are up there with lawyers and female Republicans as socially acceptable targets of public ridicule. There’s no good reason — what’s so deplorable about invisible walls and stiff winds? — but it’s possible that their white faces and gleeful silences put ...
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Wednesday, November 19,2014

New in town

Restaurant Mediteran

by Allan I. Ross
After 10 years of business, downtown Lansing’s Restaurant Mediteran will close in February. Owner Igor Jurkovic said that his parents, who both operate the restaurant, wanted to retire and it would be impossible to hire replacements for them.
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Wednesday, October 1,2014

Saving Halloween

Turning the holiday back over to its rightful celebrants — the kids

by Allan I. Ross
Once upon a time, Halloween meant two things: Candy and costumes. Oh, and also: It was for kids. But as America has become increasingly immaturized — where movies based on toys from the ‘80s rule the box office and video game systems have become basics of home entertainment — so too has the ultimate children’s holiday been usurped by grownups.
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Wednesday, October 1,2014

Women in power

by Allan I. Ross
The Indie Film Series at Studio C! continues this weekend with six new titles, blazing an art-house movie trail that will lead into the 17th Annual East Lansing Film Festival at the end of the month. Series programmer Susan Woods once again cherry-picked the films from the buzziest international, independent and documentary fare making the festival circuit rounds. “These are some of the best movies out there, and if it weren’t for (the Indie Film Series), Lansing audiences would never get to see them on the big screen,” Woods said.
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Wednesday, October 1,2014

New in town

O'REILLY AUTO PARTS/STOCKYARD COMEDY ZONE/JOKERS ARE WILD

by Allan I. Ross
Speculation and rumors have abounded about what would happen to the former Paul Revere’s building since it closed last summer, but this week I confirmed with Missouri-based O’Reily Auto Enterprises that the building will be leveled and an O’Reilly Auto Parts store will be built on the property.
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