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  • Issue of
  • Aug 16-22, 2006
  • Vol. 26, No. 44

News & Views

Arts & Culture

  • The Scene
  • Lower City

    Set in the poorest parts of coastal Salvador da Bahia, the film tells the story of childhood friends Deco (Lázaro Ramos) and Naldinho (Wagner Moura) — one black, one white —who make a living ferrying people and cargo up and down the river. When stripper and prostitute Karinna (Alice Braga) books a ride, she pays them with sex. Predictably, both men fall for her and jealousy blossoms. Pledging to never let a woman come between them, the friends go their separate ways. Deco returns to his old career as a boxer and Naldinho turns back to a life of crime. Still, Karinna is a sexual force to be reckoned with, and confrontation becomes inevitable. Unfortunately, the storyline is unfocused. Instead of building on the two friends’ uncontrollable urges, Machado dilutes their desire with dead-end scenes and predictable confrontations.
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  • The Scene
  • World Trade Center

    Oliver Stone’s true-life, against-all-odds tale of 9/11 survival illustrates the director’s inability to tell a compelling, true-life story without ladling on a million florid, speculative details. The first half of World Trade Center is a fact-based horror show, reveling in mundane details and slo-mo destruction. Port Authority policeman Will Jimeno (Michael Peña) and John McLoughlin (Nicolas Cage) are the two suffering survivors trapped in a building for hours. The second half is a not-quite-compelling portrait of their two families’ angst. Unfortunately, no matter how hard he tries, the film is neither edifying nor emotionally engaging.
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  • The Scene
  • Step up

    Amiably fluffy, bouncy and almost proudly derivative, it seems the makers of Step Up want you to dance in your seat and don’t really care if you’ve heard the tune before, cribbing the too-familiar tale of forbidden love from across the tracks. Channing Tatum stars as Tyler, a tough Baltimore teen who specializes in acrobatic street dancing. But when Tyler gets busted and sentenced to community service at an arts academy, he meets haughty ballet student Nora (Jenna Dewan). When Tyler and Nora get together, Nora's friends accuse her of slumming it and Tyler's crew is upset he can’t spare the time to steal cars anymore. Tyler is faced with pursuing a dream or “keeping it real.” Cue the faux tragedy, melodrama and sermonizing.
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Food & Drink

  • Table and Bar
  • Hoagie heaven

    Sherri Abbulone, from South Philly, and husband Joey, from Woodhaven, have taken on the challenge of creating authentic Philly cheesesteaks Downriver. In their eight-seat storefront they display a testimonial from a retired Ford employee who moved here 44 years ago; he spent that time vainly searching for a real cheesesteak — until Joey’s opened in August 2005. The term “cheesesteak” is misleading, since the sandwich is mostly meat. At Joey’s, it’s made like this: Thinly slice ribeye steak and fry a heap of it on the griddle. Grill sweet Vidalias at the same time. If you’re using American or provolone, lay the cheese over the frying steak, to melt it. Turn the whole thing onto a roll flown in from Amoroso’s Bakery in Philadelphia. If you’re a Cheez Whiz traditionalist, that’s dolloped directly onto the roll.
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