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  • Issue of
  • Dec 19-25, 2007
  • Vol. 28, No. 10

News & Views

Arts & Culture

  • The Scene
  • I Am Legend

    By day, Robert Neville, military scientist (Will Smith), and his trusty dog Sam roam the deserted streets of Manhattan, scavenging supplies, waiting for someone — anyone — to answer their radio broadcast call for survivors and struggling to find a cure for the vampiric disease. By night, man and dog retreat to their fortified townhouse to listen to the howling bloodlust of starving cannibals rushing past their door. It also helps that Smith treats the material seriously. Though he’s too self-possessed an actor to convincingly wear the psychological strain of a man who refuses to surrender even when there’s no reason to continue, he grounds Neville’s superhero skills (he’s both a brilliant scientist and kick-ass soldier) with unassuming vulnerability. Unfortunately, the Hollywood blockbuster gears eventually kick in and a poorly conceived CGI spook-show rolls out. Even worse than I Am Legend’s final act onslaught are the messianic quasi-religious overtones that suddenly invade the narrative. What started as an introspective and existential tale of a lone human left to stalk the ruins of society like a vampire descends into visual and thematic clichés about hope, faith and heroism.
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Food & Drink

  • Staying power
  • Table and Bar
  • Staying power

    Enjoy waxed-paper-wrapped burgers, sandwiches and bar food with chunky crisp steak fries and creamy coleslaw sides. The hearty soups are house-made with a cheese-and-broccoli that's tangy, and a tomato that's silky-smooth and deftly seasoned. The savory chili is laden with meat and mildly hot. For a modest $5.75, you can have a cup of soup and then select a go-with sandwich from among ham, tuna, turkey, chicken salad and grilled cheese with bacon. Even more impressive in terms of cost-benefit is the surprisingly ample portion of succulent, deep-fried walleye ($5.50) that comes with fries and a coleslaw basket. Among other items on the menu are Reubens, a steak sub, buffalo wings, popcorn shrimp and, for the few kids who wander in with their folks, chicken fingers. This is primarily a beer-and-shot joint with a several TVs generally tuned to sports, two pool tables, a juke box, and a venue for some of the liveliest and occasionally profound conversations that you will ever hear.
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Music

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