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  • Issue of
  • Jun 14-20, 2006
  • Vol. 26, No. 35

News & Views

Arts & Culture

  • The Scene
  • The Proposition

    Brooding musician Nick Cave’s second stab at screenwriting is a bloody, sun-stroked Western with all the yippee-ki-yay sucked right out of it. The setting is the 19th century Australian Outback, a small slice of hell on Earth, where British colonists, lawmen and indigenous people are never more than a shotgun blast or two away from anarchy. "I will civilize this place," mutters stout and determined Capt. Stanley (Ray Winstone), the beat cop of the Outback. Civility will surely be established, but the cost, it’s obvious, will be measured in blood, and much of it Aboriginal blood. See this blood-splattered and perfectly complex epic on the big screen, where you can best appreciate the beauty of the dusty desolation, and become enveloped in Cave’s haunting score.
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  • The Scene
  • Goal! The Dream Begins

    Though stateside enthusiasm for the world’s biggest sports spectacle is lukewarm at best, the hype machine is cranking full-blast in a continuing effort to turn us stubborn Yanks on to soccer — and what better tool than a rah-rah sports flick? Young Santiago Munez and his family leave Mexico to sneak across the U.S border with the INS hot on their heels ; ten years later, he’s an intense young hunk (Kuno Becker) in Los Angeles, scoring goals in park leagues and pick-up games when not busy landscaping with his overbearing father (Tony Plana). Fate steps in when Glen (Stephen Dillane), a former English big leaguer on holiday, happens to spot Santiago and is blown away by his untapped talent. Glen arranges for Santiago to try out with Britain’s Newcastle United squad. While dedicated footie fans will surely get a kick out of it, the film is unlikely to convert many Americans who prefer their football with helmets and cheerleaders.
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  • The Scene
  • Cars

    Narcissistic stock car rookie Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is the hottest competitor on the racing circuit. Hoping to land the juiciest contract, he travels to the Piston Cup Championship. But en route, Lightning gets unexpectedly waylaid in the forgotten Route 66 town of Radiator Springs. Over time, sexy sports car Sally (Bonnie Hunt), rusty tow truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) and a 1951 Hudson Hornet (Paul Newman) help turn self-absorbed, materialistic Lightning into a role model for teamwork and fair play. As the race cars jockey for position at breakneck speeds, you’ll find yourself forgetting they’re animated characters. Pixar also has a gift for finding just the right voices for its characters. Cheech Marin, George Carlin and John Ratzenberger supply hilariously well-drawn supporting players. The only performance, oddly enough, that doesn’t quite gel is Owen Wilson.
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  • The Scene
  • A Prairie Home Companion

    After five decades of filmmaking, five Oscar nominations and the adoration of countless Hollywood stars, 81-year-old director Robert Altman can make whatever kind of film he feels like. Oddly enough, he’s chosen Garrison Keillor’s long-running (31 years) radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, as a cinematic meditation on his own mortality. A variety show steeped in Midwest Americana, Keillor’s radio program revels in corny jokes, skits and lots of old-timey music. He mounts a loving and respectful tribute to defiantly do-it-yourself entertainment without getting overly sentimental.
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Food & Drink

  • Table and Bar
  • Same surf, new turf

    This tri-level establishment in an old TGIF, handsomely refitted in dark brown woods, can seat 190 diners. In warm weather, the patio, which seats 45, may be quieter, although it overlooks the parking lot and the traffic on Crooks. Although entrées come with a large house salad and a warm soft baguette, the appetizers are worth considering. The California fish taco seemed authentic. Other firsts include a smooth tomato bisque, crab cake, calamari and antipasto. As for the seafood dishes, they include sweet and mildly spicy tangerine shrimp over Asian pasta, three well-prepared whitefish dishes, three variations on salmon, and fried walleye. Moving to the land, one can select from a handful of chicken and beef entrées.
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