Trending
Most Read
  • Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative

    So is the title of the press release we received this morning from The Satanic Temple. You may recall our interview with Doug Mesner from earlier this year. The Satanic Temple is, perhaps, best known for trying to build a child-friendly monument to satan in OKC: How Mesner and TST are rocking the Hobby Lobby ruling is interesting: The Satanic Temple Leverages Hobby Lobby Ruling to Claim Exemption From State­ Mandated Pro­Life Materials Reads the next line of the press release. And then their website: A number of states require that abortion providers give information to patients that may be inaccurate or misleading. Demands that members of the Satanic Temple, or those who share our beliefs, be subjected against our will to anything but the best scientific understanding are a violation of our religious beliefs. Thanks to rulings such as Hobby Lobby, we can take a stand against these practices. Mesner points out how the Hobby Lobby ruling bolsters their position: “While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact. This was made clear when they allowed Hobby Lobby […]

    The post Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio

    On Saturday we set out to check out the High Times Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio, Mich. — High Times did hold a Cannabis Cup in the Motor City back in 2011, but Detroit police flexing their muscles and making arrests at that event may have been to blame, at least partially, for the choice of a new host city. The event was held this year at the Auto City Speedway, (also known as “B.F.E.” to Detroiters). Nevertheless, the prospect of stopping at the Torch for the best burger in the Genessee County was compelling — and anyway, this was the Cannabis Cup we were talking about. Was it really going to be “work?” It turned out, just a little bit. An inexplicable lack of an on-site ATM meant hiking quite a ways up the road to the nearest gas station, and then waiting for an attendant to restock the ATM with cash. We spoke with plenty of Cannabis Cup attendees at the gas station — everybody knows that the local gas station is a stoner’s best-friend. The two-day festival, for which one-day tickets were sold for $40, was divided into two sections — a general area and a medicating […]

    The post Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list

    Yes, it’s true. Forbes says Detroit is one of America’s most creative cities: “We ranked these places based on four metrics: activity per capita on project-funding platforms Kickstarter and Indiegogo and music sites Bandcamp and ReverbNation. The goal was to capture organic creativity, since many artistic and musical types have “day jobs” outside of creative pursuits.” The Forbes list sandwiches #9 Detroit between #8 Seattle and #10 Oakland, Calif. If you are watching the art and culture explosion happening right now in Detroit, you probably think we should rank higher than #2 Boston and #1 San Francisco, if only for the fact that it’s actually affordable to create here and there is space for everyone to be creative. But hey, those metrics weren’t part of the equation. And there’s always next year.

    The post ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Food trucks go to the dogs

    Today, starting at 10am, Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck will be swinging by the  Cherry Hill Village at Preservation Park on  N. Roosevelt St. in Canton. They’ll be serving the pups (“gour-mutts,” as Milo’s calls them) treats and the dog parents the opportunity of “family portraits.” Milo’s is on a cross-country food truck trip, promoting their “grilled burger bites” and “chicken meatballs” to pup parents from L.A. to NYC, with stops in between, including Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, the Carolinas, and Arkansas. But watch out! Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck markets “real chicken and beef home-style dog treats” that are are “wholesome” and “authentic” without “artificial flavors or colors-made right here in the USA.” Authentic, processed food that is. Remember what George Carlin said about “home-style”? Their treats are also packed with soy, TVP, wheat flour, tapioca, rice, and sugar–fillers that make the meat go far and aren’t the best for your pup. They’re also packed with preservatives, like sodium erythorbate, nitrates, BHA, sodium tripolyphosphate, and potassium sorbate. Small amounts are probably ok, and no doubt the pup will love it, the same way it’s easy for humans to love carb- and sugar- laden, processed and preserved, treats.  

    The post Food trucks go to the dogs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych

    Coming up on August 16, former Detroit Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt will team up with the Navin Field Grounds Crew and Metro Times‘ own Dave Mesrey to honor legend Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. The festivities, known as the annual “Bird Bash,” will be held at the infamous Nemo’s Bar & Grill, and will benefit The Bird’s favorite charity, the Wertz Warriors, and also the Mark Fidrych Foundation. For more information, check out their website or Facebook page.

    The post Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • First Little League game at Navin Field today

    Today Navin Field (the Old Tiger Stadium) hosts its first Little League game on a new field made just to host the youngsters! Here’s a photo of the game happening right now, courtesy Tom Derry and Metro Times‘ copy editor extraordinaire, Dave Mesrey: Stop by the site (corner of Michigan and Trumbull) today to watch history in the making!

    The post First Little League game at Navin Field today appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

Calendar

Calendar

Search thousands of events in our database.

Restaurants

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Nightlife

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email

Screens

Review: Mama

Leap of wraith. Horror film is formula-filled

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Mama: Not a real horror film so much as a sporadic and unmotivated series of jolts.


Mama C

If you kick your cinema spookfest off with a title card that reads “once upon a time,” you’d better deliver the fairy tale goods. Executive producer Guillermo del Toro’s own work (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy) has mixed horror and fable to good effect, providing scares while enriching his fantasies with political subtext. Unfortunately, first-time feature filmmaker Andy Muschietti’s Mama isn't really worthy of the del Toro imprint. An expansion of Muschietti’s three-minute short, the movie (which Muschietti co-scripted with his sibling, Barbara Muschietti, and Neil Cross), while effectively creepy, is formulaic and woefully underdeveloped. In many ways, it feels like a modern update of last year’s Edwardian-era ghost story, The Woman in Black. But instead of a grieving and soulful Daniel Radcliffe, we get Jessica Chastain as a dark-haired, beer-swilling, tattooed anti-mom who wears a Misfits T-shirt and plays bass in all-girl punk band.

The film opens with a businessman killing his wife and fleeing into the snowy mountains with his two young daughters. Speeding along icy roads, the car crashes, stranding the trio. In the woods they find an abandoned cottage, oddly decked out with Eames-era furniture. Mad with despair, dad decides this is where he’ll put an end to his family —only to be stopped by a shadowy force. Flash forward five years. The girls, 8-year-old Victoria and 5-year-old Lily, are found in a dirty, feral state. Their dad’s twin brother Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, aka Jamie Lannister of Game of Thrones) and his girlfriend Annabel (Chastain) agree to take them in with the help of an ambitious psychiatrist, who sees a unique opportunity for research. Everybody assumes that the girls survived on their own and need only to be gently reintroduced to society. Unfortunately, that’s not quite the case. Something took care of them all those years, a possessive and vengeful wraith they call Mama, and it has decided to move in with them.

There’s a rich vein of maternal instinct and parental fear to mine here, but none of it is exploited —literally or allegorically. Lucas and Annabel are shallow characters who aren’t given much of an opportunity to explore, fight over, or fail at being care-givens. Similarly, Victoria’s guilt over embracing her new parents and the friction that results from Lily’s decision to remain loyal to Mama goes nowhere consequential. Instead, their apprehensions and worries are papered over with witless exchanges, story contrivances and unexplained events. The Muschiettis and Cross never convincingly expand on their original short, choosing to present a backstory we’ve seen before, plot mechanics that are beyond formulaic and supporting characters, like the psychiatrist, who serve only to explain what’s going on. As each contrivance piles on —a vindictive aunt, stolen files, a handy coma, a records office where dark secrets are kept, conveniently delivered dreams that fill us in on Mama’s origin —it becomes clear that the filmmakers are just padding an otherwise sporadic and unmotivated series of jolts.

In terms of scares, Mama is of the “what’s under the bed?” variety. There are vulvic orifices, big black moths, and sickening organic sounds. But the aesthetic mostly falls somewhere between the del Toro-produced Spanish horror The Orphanage and J-horror like The Ring or The Grudge. Muschietti does a decent job of conveying the sad eeriness of the situation, and strikes an effective balance between startles and suspense —even with his PG-13 rating. If a grotesquely contorted, bone-thin, scraggly-haired ghoul rushing at the camera gives you the heebee-jeebees, then Mama may provide enough creeps to justify a night at the cineplex. But if you’re looking for the kind of fantastical weirdness that del Toro is known for, the kind that haunts your dreams, you’re bound to be disappointed.