Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Blotter

Posted By on Sat, Apr 3, 2010 at 2:00 PM

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PONY EXPRESS: Around 4:15 a.m., an officer spotted a dark gray Ford Mustang allegedly speeding on Ga. 400. The officer said he pulled behind the Mustang and the driver went even faster -- more than 90 mph in a 55 mph speed zone. The officer stopped the car and talked with the driver, a 25-year-old man. "He advised he had just left the Pink Pony strip club and was just trying to get home," the officer wrote. The man went to jail on an excessive speeding charge. Police impounded his 2008 Mustang.

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(Illustration by Tray Butler)

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vincere provides refresher course in Mussolini's rise

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 10:30 PM

NOT NECESSARILY A WIN-WIN: Filippo Timi (left) as Benito Mussolini and Giovanna Mezzogiorno as Ida Dalser
  • NOT NECESSARILY A WIN-WIN: Filippo Timi (left) as Benito Mussolini and Giovanna Mezzogiorno as Ida Dalser

At a time when epithets like "fascist" and "socialist" hurtle through our political discourse like bricks through windows, the Italian drama Vincere provides a torrid but useful refresher course on the rise of Benito Mussolini. These days, our culture tends to view Il Duce as Hitler's oafish World War II sidekick, but Vincere brings his brutality and dangerous charisma vividly to life.

Director Marco Bellocchio presents Mussolini (Filippo Timi) as a young rock star among Italian revolutionaries before the First World War. Beautician Ida Dalser (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) gravitates to him like a desperate groupie. Given Timi's smoldering resemblance to Raul Julia, it's easy to see the attraction. His impassivity in the face of her declarations of love, however, should come as a warning sign. Ida remains too besotted with Mussolini to question his changing ideals, including an embrace of war and a rejection of socialism.

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(Photo by Gianfranco Mura)

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The DVD List - 3/31

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 8:16 PM

DYNAMIC DUO: Robert Downey, Jr. (left) and Jude Law bring Sir Doyle's sleuth down to Earth in Sherlock Holmes available on DVD and Blu-Ray this week.
  • DYNAMIC DUO: Robert Downey, Jr. (left) and Jude Law bring Sir Doyle's sleuth down to Earth in Sherlock Holmes available on DVD and Blu-Ray this week.

I can’t explain, it but I’ve never taken a shine to Sir Doyle’s most enduring character – the super-sleuth, Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law). In my opinion, he’s an arrogant prick who has an obsessive personality and a major drug problem. That said, I’m glad Guy Ritchie didn’t disguise Holme’s true nature much in his version of Sherlock Holmes - an adaptation from an off-color comic book series by Lionel Wigram.  If unlike me, you actually are a fan of Holmes, you’ll be happy to know the DVD features not only a running dialogue about Holmes with the director Ritchie but also storyboard comparisons and a photo gallery.  RECOMMENDATION: RENT IT

If you need another fix to keep that monkey on your back, why not consider Charleston Heston’s take on Holmes in The Crucifer of Blood, a made-for-TV remake of Doyle’s story, “Sign of the Four”. There’s mixed reviews on whether Chuck channeled the great dick successfully but for true Holmes (sniff sniff) fans, why not give the yank’s version a try. RECOMMENDATION: SKIP IT

Okay, so let’s say you have had your fill of that bastard Holmes, Acorn Media has compiled The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes: Set 2, a collection highlighting n’er do well’s that tried their damndest to give that son-of-a-bitch his comeuppance. RECOMMENDATION: BUY IT

If I haven't convinced you to say no to Holmes just yet, you may want to check out another Britt detective just as good as (if not better than) Sherlock Holmes and his tagalong Watson with the Lord Peter Wimsey Collection: Set 1 (Ian Carmichael). Based on the character adapted from Dorothy Sayer’s novel, Lord Wimsey is an aristocratic detective who adds panache to high society crime solving. The DVD features interviews with the Ian Carmichael, the actor responsible for bringing the character to life on the Tele and a biography of author Dorothy L. Sayers. RECOMMENDATION: BUY IT

Try is segue … Britannia has inspired its share of super crime solvers but there’s one mystery none have been able to solve – that being the mystery of the heart.  In the critically acclaimed film An Education (Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgard) Jenny (Mulligan), a middle-class school girl is seduced and broken by her cultured, older love interest, David (Sarsgaard). The DVD includes deleted scenes, commentary with Director Lone Scherfig, Carey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgard, and a featurette: “The Making of An Education.” RECOMMENDATION: BUY IT

DAMN, EVEN MORE STUFF FROM ACROSS THE POND:

I Sell The Dead (Dominic Monaghan, Larry Fessenden, Ron Perlman)

British Invasion: Herman’s Hermits – Listen People, 1964 – 1969

British Invasion: Gerry & the Pacemakers – Its Gonna Be All Right, 1963 – 1965

British Invasion: Small Faces – All or Nothing, 1965 – 1968

British Invasion: Dusty Springfield – Once Upon a Time, 1964 – 1969

(The British Invasion series is also available as a 5-disc box set).

ALSO AVAILABLE THIS WEEK:

Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. RECOMMENDATION: BUY IT

Alice In Wonderland: The Un-Anniversary Edition (Kathyrn Beaumont, Bill Thompson, Ed Wynn). RECOMMENDATION: BUY IT

Baader Meinhof Complex (Stipe Erceg, Bruno Ganz, Tom Schilling). RECOMMENDATION: RENT IT

Lupin The 3rd: Episode 0 – The First Contact. RECOMMENDATION: RENT IT

The Killer (Willie Tsang, Sydney Fung, Danny Lee). RECOMMENDATION: RENT IT

DOCUMENTARIES AND SPECIALS ON DVD

IMAX Under The Sea 3D

Afghan Star

Robin Williams: Weapons of Self Destruction

Joe Rogan: Talking Monkeys In Space

The Murder of Mary Magdalene: Genocide of the Holy Bloodline

Masters of American Music: Count Basie – Swingin’ The Blues

Masters of American Music: Sarah Vaughan – The Divine One

Masters of American Music: The World According to John Coltrane

TV SERIES ON DVD THIS WEEK:

Deadliest Catch: Season Five

Rhoda: Season Two

iCarly: iFight Shelby Marx

Ben 10 Alien Force 6

The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty

Abbott & Costello Show – The Complete Series Collector’s Edition

Invader Zim Season 1

The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Season One

Sports Night: The Complete First Season

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Walking the Beltline part 1

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 6:19 PM

Yesterday, a group of us from Creative Loafing met up with Beltline advocate/guru Angel Poventud for the first in a series of walks along the proposed 22-mile loop of park, trails and transit. We hiked the 4-plus miles of trails south from Amsterdam Walk near Piedmont Park to Memorial Drive at the Glenwood Connector.

Some thoughts/musings from folks on the walk:

Chad Radford, staff music writer: "What’s most striking about the Beltine is that it offers a straight, logical path across town — too logical for the modern streetscape that causes us all so much frustration every day. Sections of town that require, long, winding drives, are really only a matter of yards away from each other on the Beltline, and after walking down just a small section of the tracks, Atlanta seems to make a whole lot more sense. It’s frustrating to think that this route has been here for more than 100 years, and some sections even date back as far as the Civil War, yet it has been totally forgotten. It’s even more frustrating to learn about all of the neighborhood associations that are fighting its progress."

Rodney Carmichael, music editor: "The history on Masquerade was cool. I remember when it was a club called Excelsior Mill but had no idea that name dated back to 1890 when it was an actual mill where packing materials were made."

Last February, the Beltline sent out an open call for proposals for public art along the loop. They received 178 submissions for visual and performance art, says Poventud, and will announce the 40 or so winners next week. Currently, tons of graffiti, Beltline art signs, and murals adorn surfaces along the route. Here are a few photos of some of the art we saw along the walk yesterday.

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WHOSE BELTLINE? This writing showed up, says Poventud, after the city (not in conjunction with the Beltline) painted over some graffiti under a bridge near 10th and Monroe.

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C-Tran shuts down today, many riders to be left stranded

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 5:40 PM

Mary-Middlebrooks-C-Tran-cease-opeartions

Meet Mary Middlebrooks. Thanks to a car accident two years ago, the 54-year-old Clayton County resident walks slowly with a cane. And because she experiences blackout seizures, she can't drive a car.

Twice a month, Middlebrooks catches a C-Tran bus to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Once there she walks straight to the MARTA station, pays her fare, and rides the train to Grady Hospital to see her doctors for check-ups and prescription refills. Some mornings she has to look for pennies to fund the trip. When she's not taking the train to Atlanta, she relies on C-Tran to get her to the grocery store or assistance centers.

"It's all I have," Middlebrooks said on Friday as the train coasted into the East Point MARTA  station.

After today, Middlebrooks will be without a ride. Thanks to the county's tight budget (and county commissioners reluctance to find other sources of cash), C-Tran will cease operations. An estimated 8,500 riders, many of whom live on low-incomes and don't own a car, will be stranded.

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Dodekapus gets collectively conscious

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 5:10 PM

Here’s the thing to understand about the young culture of creatives in Atlanta: The order of the day is advocacy minus dependence. Atlanta’s 20- and 30-something creative types are socially and politically active in beseeching the city to provide a more artistically nurturing environment, while at the same time feeling mostly untouched from any restrictions that a lack of that environment might impose – existing circumstances in this city might not be ideal for creative projects to flourish, but that isn’t stopping select groups of people. In that spirit, there have been a number of independent galleries, performance spaces and artist collectives springing up all over Atlanta.

photo by Matt Jones/courtesy of Dodekapus
  • photo by Matt Jones/courtesy of Dodekapus

The newest art/music/performance collective to join the party: Dodekapus, whose membership boasts the inclusion of “painters, sculptors, photographers, performance artists, fashion designers, videographers, lighting designers, writers, musicians, chefs, poets, dancers and multiple other artists of indiscriminate talents." Formed only a few months ago, the group is pushing forward at light speed with the seemingly inexhaustible energy of its members and a little help from their friends.

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The Sexorcist: Was Tiger Woods’ biggest mistake his cheating — or his cheating poorly?

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 3:30 PM

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Dear Sexorcist:

I’m tired of forgiving Christians and feminist doormats joining together in support of Tiger Woods’ return to golf. How about taking a nine-iron to his career, Elin? Hold a press conference and publicly ask the Masters not to let him play. Embarrass the fuck out of him (like he did to you), interfere with his ability to make money (like he interfered with your ability to raise the kids) and make every man who ever thought of cheating quake in his boots. If there were more consequences to cheating, men would never do it.

— Pissed Off

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(Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

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Time and Place: Sky walker

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 2:58 PM

11:09 a.m., March 26, 2010, 210 Peachtree St. N.W.
  • 11:09 a.m., March 26, 2010, 210 Peachtree St. N.W.

I got to spend a recent morning with the workers replacing the windows at the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel. The hotel plans to replace all 6,350 windows in the hotel over the course of the next year. Damage to the windows occurred a little over two years ago on March 14, 2008 when a tornado with 130 mph winds ripped through downtown Atlanta.

I am someone who is extremely scared of heights but I decided I would use this shoot as a chance to face my fears. My heart started beating rapidly as I was told we would take the freight elevator attached to the side of the building up fifty floors. I could see the earth below me getting smaller and smaller as the elevator climbed the side of the building. I felt like my head would explode. Once the elevator stopped I tried to play it cool as my leaders told me I was welcome to shoot through the one foot space between the elevator and the building. I positioned myself at the opening and I glanced down. I could see the street clearly 50 floors below. I pressed the camera to my face and started taking pictures.

For this shot I was leaning out of a doorway a couple of feet above the workers and wearing a harness that allowed me to be clipped into the inside of the hotel. Shooting this image was the culmination of me facing my fear of heights, I was leaning out in the air fearlessly high above the earth. I like the way this worker seems so nonchalant walking on the scaffolding 50 stories above downtown Atlanta and how his orange vest contrasts with the grey background.

(Photo by Joeff Davis)

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Vernon Jones will side with the robots

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 2:29 PM

If you're not following former DeKalb County CEO and current congressional candidate Vernon Jones' tweets, you're missing out.

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ROBOTS.

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The Televangelist: 'Lost' Season 6, Episode 10

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 1:56 PM

KEAMY WAS RIGHT: "I feel like I'm in a Godzilla movie."
  • KEAMY WAS RIGHT: "I feel like I'm in a Godzilla movie."

Let's be honest, on the list of interesting backstories the bottom three are probably Sawyer, Kate and Jin/Sun.  I don't know if it's because Jin and Sun were created after casting and added on to the original concept of the show, so their plot lines are always sort of last-minute fodder, but Darlton threw them a bone last night with "The Package" (minds out of the gutter, Losties!) and gave them a fairly important, if subtle, episode.

Jin and Sun "finding each other through time" has gotten tiresome, but at least we saw them together in their alt timeline.  And for once, the fates in the alt timeline are almost worse than the island.  It seems the question of "which Kwon?" was answered in the first segment where Jin makes an emphatic point to the hotel that he and Sun are not married - she is Miss Paik.  This might not carry any further significance (since on the island of course they are married), but because we got a hint that the universes/timelines may be merging.

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