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December 02, 2010 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-12-02

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 3B

Dios mio, we're
going to Tios

Before the 1970s, Ann Arbor had more movie theater options than just the Michi,

and the State.

M.46-issing multiplexes
Why you had to Lecturer Jonathan Marwil of Ann Arbor's Most prominent is M-Flicks, which sporadi-
movie theaters, the author of "A History of tally screens movies. But these groups are
hitchhike to see the new Ann Arbor," among other works. nowhere near as popular or relevant as they
Marwil said that back in the WWII era, were back in their heydays.
'Harry Potter' film at least 80 million Americans out of 150 mil- At one point, the abundance of Ann
lion went to the movies once a week. Arbor film societies meant that you could
By LILA KALICK "Movies were a primary and inexpensive see a movie any night of the week at the
DailyArts Writer form of entertainment," he said. Modern Languages Building, Angell Hall or
At that time, Ann Arbor was teeming the Natural Science Building. Marwil, who
Well, Saturday night at eight o'clock, with movie theaters. Two theaters on Main attended graduate school at the University
I know where I'm gonna go Street, the Wuerth and the Orpheum, were in the late '60s, recalls how the whole busi-
I'm a gonna pick my baby up open in addition to the Michigan and the ness of student film societies worked.
and take her to the picture show. State. By the end of the 1940s, the Wuerth "For them, to rent the prints wasn't very
Everybody in the neighborhood and the Orpheum had closed. The build- expensive for either foreign or older films,"
is dressing up to be there too. ings they occupied on the 300 block of Main he said.
And we're gonna have a ball, Street now house the restaurants Gratzi According to Marwil, the business of stu-
just like we always do. and The Chop House. Where the Maynard dent film societies began to collapse in the
Street parking structure now stands, there late'70s.
So Motown sensation the Drifters used to be the Majestic, a grand movie pal- "The '60s and notably the '70s is the high
S crooned in the song "Saturday Night at the ace fashioned out of the skeleton of a roller point of interest in this country in film.
Movies" way back in 1964. It's a Saturday rink. The Majestic closed in 1942, and now Then it begins to die and it's been dead for a
night in 2010 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. You the Fifth Quarter nightclub occupies the long time," Marcnil said.
are not going to the movies. You can't get emptied space. So what happened? How did Ann Arbor
to the movies. You have no car and it's two Relatively more recently, South Univer- go from a cinema boomtown to a relative
degrees outside, so you don't want to walk sity was home to yet another movie theater, movie theater desert?
to the bus. the Campus. Built in the 1950s, the Campus Marwil cites a general indifference
LSA senior Ali Phillips recalls being continued to show first-run Hollywood among young people toward film. Around
stranded her freshman year with a group films until it closed in 1987. A strip mall the end of the 1970s when the hype around
of friends at Rave Cinemas in Ypsilanti. replaced it. the film societies had died down, the big
Her group had decided to take the bus to "Ann Arbor used to be one of half a dozen theaters on the periphery had already come
Meijer to go Christmas shopping and then most important towns in the country to into being.
walked the short distance to the theater to see film," Marwil said. "Robert Altman "They were getting the movies. People
catch a quick flick. came here several times to show his films. who wanted go to the movies had cars," he
"When we got out of the movies at nine He didn't go to Toledo. ... He didn't go to said. "The Campus went on showing first-
o'clock, we didn't realize the buses closed Princeton or Northwestern. He came to run movies, but what did the students do?"
so early," she said. "We had to call a cab." Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor had this reputation "They did the same thing they did to
The two movie theaters closest to cam- deserved of a serious interest in film." Shaman Drum," he said, referencing the
pus, the Michigan and the State, show Michigan's central campus once housed independent bookstore on State Street that
mainly independent, classic or foreign a strong collection of student film societies, closed in 2009. "They didn't go."
films. In order to see a blockbuster, stu- which reached their heights in the 1960s Marsil said the current student gen-
dents must drive or take the bus to either and '70s. One such group was the Cinema eration is relatively apathetic toward film.
Rave or the Goodrich Quality 16 on Jack- Guild, which showed old movies and for- The rise of television, home video and ulti-
son Road. But it wasn't always this way. eign films in the lecture halls. mately our use of computers has removed
"They were cheaper," Marwil said. "You the important function movie theaters once
The golden years of A2 movie houses would never see an old film at any one of the played in our lives, he claimed.
main theaters." So the movies moved out. They fled
"It involves a little of history," said LSA Film societies still exist today on campus. See THEATERS, Page 4B

I nthe past 15 years a neno eligiarn
has swept through the United
States. It has outpaced even the
boldest of movements wishing to con-
vert the masses with gesticulating,
gyrating shouts for
Yes, you've
guessed it. I'm talk-
ing about Burritoism;
rice, beans, some
kind of protein, salsas
cheese and of course
the messiah of all
ingredients, guaca- LILA
mole. Fortunately, an KALICK
abundance of options
exists for pious pil-
grims seeking this holy deliverer of
In Ann Arbor, students travel far and
wide, or perhaps two blocks from their
houses, to sample the burritos BTB
cranks out at a prolific rate until the
wee hours of the morning. Then there's
Chipotle, where the burritos are baby-
sized and the guacamole is undoubtedly
always worth the nearly $2 extra.
At Panchero's ... the food is not good.
In fact, it's really bad. Step away. Like-
wise, the burritos at Bandito's on South
Fourth Street are just plain weak.
On the high end, the Prickly Pear
on South Main Street offers the most
sumptuous southwestern game in town,
but it's hard on the pocketbook.
One establishment stands alone as the
appropriate middle option between the
burrito joints and the dimly lit ambiance
of the inaccessible Prickly Pear - Tios
Mexican Cafe on East Liberty.
The greatest thing about Tios is that it
doesn't try to be anything but itself.Yes,
it calls itself a "Mexican Cafe," but that's
just anon verarching theme. The cafe is not
Mexican, California-Style Mexican or
Southwestern - it is a solid mix of all three
with some seriously strange add-ons.
Inside, reproductions of Picasso's
The Old Guitarist (who is wearing a
Tios T-shirt) and Dali's Meditative Rose
(which is replaced by a bundle of chili
peppers), as well as a couple of large
southwestern murals, playfully pepper
the cafe's mustard-colored walls. These
are just the preliminary symptoms of the
contagion of multicultural confusion that
makes the Tios experience infectious.
More signs include the illogical com-
bination of gimcrack adobe and Span-
ish artifacts seated behind the hostess
stand. If you're not already baffled as
to the restaurant's identity, its schizo-
phrenic menu seals the deal. The cafe
offers an array of burrito joint main-
stays with a few outright outliers.
For example, it may seem strange

that there is a Jamaican Jerk Chicken
salad on the menu at a supposedly
"Mexican" restaurant. Then it pops
up again in taco form alongside an
edamame taco. Silly Tios, edamame is
what you eat before sushi, not what you
put in a taco! Another abnormal offer-
ing, sweet potato hush puppies, can be
found in the appetizer section. Then
there is the Tijuana cheese steak. Crazy
never tasted so good.
You'll also find the classics you'd
expect out of just about any Americano
Mexican mainstay: burritos, enchiladas
and chimichangas. The massive "wet
burrito," drenched in sauce and covered
in cheesy goodness, provides an excel-
lent homemade alternative to compete
with Chipotle's version down the street.
If the burrito drowning in sauce in
front of you isn't soaked enough, along
the wall to the right of the entrance sits
Tios famous collection of sauces and sal-
sas, more than 365 of them.
The wetter the
better ... when it
comes to burritos.
Two summers ago, Tios relocated to
East Liberty from its original location
on Huron after a controversial debacle
with its landlord. The move to Liberty
was unanticipated, but Tios added a full
bar in the process. As a result, an all-
over-the-place drink menu matches the
restaurant's unorthodox take on Mexi-
can cuisine.
The "Bloody Maria," made with Ann
Arbor's own Clancy's Fancy Hot Sauce,
is a perfect pairing for the huevos ran-
cheros. Diners might even venture to try
some South American favorites by sam-
pling an Argentine Malbec or Brazil's
best, a caipirinha!
But lest you be misled, this place stays
true to its Mexican roots in some sense,
offering a wide array of tequilas for your
consideration. A sign outside advertises
the "Best Margaritas in the State." This
statement is false. The margaritas are
good. They are not the best in the state.
Keep your hopes at an appropriate level.
What the margaritas are is huge, as
are the portions. The prices are moder-
ate. The happy hour is bumpin' and the
place is a stone's throw from campus.
It's definitely worth a try!
Kalick is scaling Mount Nachisrno
for the third time. To help her out,
email her at Ikalick@umich.edu.

* The Grinch of Christmas music

Daily Arts Writer
The best time of the year is when the
Ann Arbor city workers scurry along
South University like renegade elves
stringing up hundreds of lights along the
otherwise dingy street. One night in late
November, out of nowhere, I'll be trudg-
ing back from the Fishbowl at three in the
morning stressed beyond belief. I glance
up and notice the twinkling lights herald-
ing the start of the holidays, and my heart
grows three sizes larger. Suddenly, I'll
be inundated with the holiday spirit and
thoughts of snowman-shaped cookies,
reindeer, Christmas trees and cozy Santa-
patterned jammies.
Now, you might be wondering why
I'm babbling on about my favorite holi-
day treats. This is because I dislike, nay,
detest, one aspect of the holiday season
that a startlingly number of people enjoy.
I hate holiday music. I hate that I have to
hear it as soon as the last piece of Hal-
loween candy is gobbled up, but mostly I
hate that every pop star feels the need to
contribute to this ever-growing "genre"
of music.
Why does Mariah
Carey need two
Christmas albums?
I'm not immune to the charms of the
holidays or even Bing Crosby's smooth
crooning. I'm not here to proclaim a war
on Christmas or even its annoying carols.
I do, however, have a strong aversion
to pop stars putting out vapid holiday
albums. Maybe too many winters spent
stuck in traffic for hours with nothing
but Christmas pop songs on the radio has
hardened my heart, but I can't help but
feel cynical when some starlet tries to rev
up his or her career by cashing in on the
most wonderful time of the year.
I associate sugary-sweet pop rendi-
tions of "White Christmas" or any song
about that creep Jack Frost with trips to
overcrowded malls. This Black Friday,

my hometown mall was decked out with
tacky holiday cheer. As I dragged myself
to the perfume counter of Macy's, I was
greeted by Jessica Simpson's new Christ-
mas album Happy Christmas. I say "new"
because this is the pop star's second foray
into the world of Christmas music. It
seems like the perfect vehicle for Jessica
- she doesn't have to write her own music
or come up with anything original, save
for the songs "My Only Wish" and "Kiss
Me for Christmas," for which she takes a
co-writer credit.
For the most part, it's yet another for-
gettable cover of Christmas standards
done by the pouting "musician." Pop stars
should only be allowed to release one
Christmas album; their second one should
be met with derision and instead of profit,
they should only get coal.
Of course it would be rash to condemn
all holiday albums as a greedy way to
cash in on the season. Though it pains me
to compliment her, Mariah Carey's first
holiday album infused the concept with
some fresh covers like the well regarded
(by people who aren't me) "All I Want for
Christmas is You," which features Carey's
astonishing vocals and maybe even some
genuine yearning for something other
than fast cash. However, Carey's latest is
of another ilk. The cleverly named Merry
Christmas II You (get it?) has a blatantly
photoshopped Mariah on the cover sur-
rounded by every holiday-themed item
imaginable (snowmen, lights and what
appears to be the star of Bethlehem).
The terrifyingly decked-out cover art is
pretty indicative of the horrendous album
itself. It contains straight-up covers of
Christmas standards, never mind the
extra heapings of holiday bells and whis-
tles. The album is dull, unimaginative and
pretty much a poor follow-up of Carey's
first Christmas record. I'm sure there are
some innovative holiday albums out there,
but the ones I've heard make me want to
strangle all nine of Santa's reindeer.
This terrible trend of putting out holi-
day albums when one is in need of both
money and attention needs to stop. It
should have stopped when my beloved
(and Jewish) Bob Dylan put out a com-
pletely serious, un-ironic album entitled
Christmas in the Heart back in 2009. In his
defense, all the proceeds went to charity

Get a glimpse into Michael
Jackson's three-disc "Vision"
DVD collection. Starting off
with classic MJ and descend-
ing into mediocrity, it may or
may not be your perfect holi-
day gift.
Go to michigandaily.com/blogs/The Filter

'Tis the season to Photoshop your thighs.
(this doesn't excuse his baffling version
of "Here Comes Santa Claus") - unlike
those of Katharine McPhee, who you've
probably never heard of or mercifully
have forgotten (she won some season of
"American Idol").
On her Christmas album Christmas is
the Time to Say I Love You, McPhee cap-
tures everything that is wrong with mod-
ern Christmas albums: Some generic pop
singer lazily sings a couple of sentimental
Christmas covers, gets some radio play
and makes some easy money. The fact I
will be forced to listen to some of these
tracks anytime I step foot into an over-
crowded mall from mid-October until
early January sickens me.
All I want for Christmas is for the mad-

E-mail join arts oumichedu lot
information on applying.

ness to stop, for pop stars to write some
original music sans jingling bells or jolly
beats and please, for the love of the season,
stop bombarding me with sexy, breathy
versions of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" (I'm
looking at you, Nick Lachey and Jessica
Simpson). It just makes me uncomfort-
I'm not trying to be grinchy. I'm sure
there are lots of people who think that
the world needs another pop version of
"Jingle Bell Rock." But to quote my favor-
ite holiday movie "Love Actually," "On
Christmas you tell the truth." I can't help
how I feel.
However, Bob Dylan, ifyou came carol-
ing at my house, I certainly wouldn't turn
you away.

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