z CONTACT US z Call toll-free: 800-228-0429 Cara Recine, Lifestyles and special projects editor email@example.com / ext. 5075 Brenda Kirkpatrick, lists, live music firstname.lastname@example.org / ext. 5089 Rhonda Ethridge, cover designer email@example.com / ext. 5118 The Southern Illinoisan (USPS 258-908) is published daily at a yearly subscription rate of $178. It is published at 710 N. Illinois Ave., Carbondale, IL 62901. It is owned by Lee Enterprises of Davenport, Iowa.
WHAT’S INSIDE Concerts . . . . . . . . .4 Music . . . . . . . . . .4-6 Live music . . . . . . .6 Cover story . . . . . . .7
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Page 2 Thursday, February 25, 2010 FLIPSIDE
Top 20 Restaurant of the Week: Centralia House BY DAVID ZOELLER SPECIAL ADVERTISING COPY
CENTRALIA — The relationship between the Centralia House Restaurant and the railroad is part of a rich heritage that spans more than 150 years and continues today. In its early days, the restaurant was a fixture along the Illinois Central Railroad line before the advent of the dining car. Each train that passed through town was met by a waiter who announced the meals with a large brass gong. The fine dining experience that awaited those patrons is still available to today’s customers, in a setting that has changed remarkably little. And they can still arrive by rail, if they so choose. Centralia House draws customers from a wide radius, according to owner Chris Ramey. “We pull people from Effingham, Vandalia, all the way as far as St. Louis,” he said. “One of our major draws is people who come up from Marion, Carbondale and Du Quoin on Amtrak. They catch the train and come up and have dinner. The train is here at 6 p.m. and picks them up at 8 p.m. It provides them with a unique experience.” The main dining room is much like the original, including its pre-1900 bar and back bar. A banquet room and middle bar were added about eight years ago and are used to accommodate private parties and gatherings and to serve overflow crowds. The atmosphere is much like it would have been years ago, including the lighting, artwork on the wall and live piano music. Patrons can dress up for
DAVID ZOELLER / THE SOUTHERN
Fran Garrison (left) and Betty Boles of Centralia enjoy the food and the ambience at Centralia House, which features fine dining and Cajun cuisine.
‘I’ve eaten here since I was 16 years old. It’s almost like a step back in time.’ ANNETTE WALKER REGULAR AT CENTRALIA HOUSE
dinner if they choose, but more casual attire is also welcome. “The important thing is to be comfortable,” Ramey said. Just as he did with the look of the dining room, Ramey made few changes to the menu. “We made keeping the Cajun/Creole cuisine a top priority,” he said. As the times — and customer’s tastes — changed, other offerings, such as steaks and seafood, were added. That blending of old and new is what keeps local customers like Annette Walker of Centralia coming back. “I’ve eaten here since I was 16 years old,” she said, indicating her fondness
Buy one entrée and get one free at this restaurant and other featured restaurants across Southern Illinois with the 2010 Top 20 Dining Card. Top 20 Cards are available for purchase at The Southern offices in Carbondale and Marion by calling 618-529-5454 or online at www.thesouthern.com/top20. Cards are $20 each plus $1 per order for cards to be mailed. Some exclusions may apply. See card for details.
DETAILS Who: Centralia House What: Fine dining, steak, shrimp, Cajun cuisine Where: 111 N. Oak St., Centralia Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday; 4-10 p.m. MondaySaturday; private parties can be booked for Sundays. Phone: 618-532-9754
for the Centralia House shrimp. “It’s almost like a step back in time. That’s one of the things I like about it.” Her husband, Mike, frequently brings business associates to Centralia House. “It’s a nice place to sit and talk, and they have very good food,” Mike said. The commitment to
quality food, service and atmosphere is shared by his staff and is what keeps customers coming back, according to Ramey. “Everybody appreciates what we do and the kind of business we try and operate,” he said. “Centralia House has been here for 150 years and hopefully, if things work out, it will be here another 150 years.”
Keep the dogs puppy-free without surgery car, killing the occupant, while Wallace was distracted watching pornography on his laptop computer. z Too-swift justice: It is not Chuck Shepherd unheard of for someone to commit a crime and then immediately surrender, usually for safety or for hen Dexter Blanch’s dog the comfort of a warm jail cell (such nearly died from as Timmy Porter, 41, did in complications during spay Anchorage, Alaska, in October surgery, he decided to use the event immediately after robbing the First as inspiration and recently brought National Bank Alaska). However, to market a chastity belt to give pet Gerard Cellette Jr., 44, tried to be owners more control of their even more helpful. Knowing that he animals’ animal instincts. The Pet would soon be arrested (and Anti-Breeding System harness is probably convicted) for running a especially valuable to professional $53 million Ponzi scheme in the breeders who may want to keep a Minneapolis area, he walked into a female out of one or more “heat county judge’s chambers in cycles” without resorting to sterilization. So far, said Blanch, the December and offered to begin belts have been proven effective, but serving time. The judge explained that Cellette would have to wait he admitted to a San Francisco Chronicle reporter in February that until charges were filed and a plea recorded. horndog males pose severe tests by gnawing relentlessly at the leather straps that are crimping their style. Bright ideas
NEWS OF THE WEIRD
The continuing crisis z The importance of the dictionary: (1) When Donald Williams was publicly sworn in as a judge in Ulster County, N.Y., on Jan. 2, offices were closed, and no one could find a Bible. Since holy books are not legally required, Williams took the oath with his hand on a dictionary. (2) Merriam Webster’s 10th edition dictionary is so influential that the Menifee Union School District in Southern California removed all copies from its elementary schools’ shelves in January in response to a parent’s complaint that the book contains a reference to “oral sex.” z “Texting” while driving is not the problem: (1) Briton Rachel Curtis, 23, was sentenced to 12 months in prison by Bristol Crown Court in October for leading police on a high-speed chase while injecting heroin. (2) Authorities in Scottsboro, Ala., in December arrested a man after a high-speed chase during which he allegedly had methamphetamine cooking in the front seat. (3) Long-haul trucker Thomas Wallace was charged with manslaughter in Buffalo, N.Y., in January after his rig struck a parked
himself in January as he was practicing in front of a mirror. (Being in such a trance helps him swallow swords on stage.) His wife called Kichmeier’s mentor, Dr. Ray Roberts, who, as a “voice of authority,” was able to snap Kichmeier out of it over the phone.
Fine points of the law
(1) A death-row inmate has a right to question the fairness of the sentencing jurors if they appear to be so friendly with the judge that they give him (and the bailiff) posttrial gag chocolates shaped like private body parts. The U.S. Supreme Court in January ordered a lower court to consider a rehearing request from convicted killer Marcus Wellons of Georgia. (2) Seattle-area resident Patricia Sylvester, on trial for vehicular assault in October, was declared “not guilty” by the jury, but her sense of relief quickly faded. Polling the jurors individually, the judge learned that the verdict was not An official in Shijiazhuang, China, unanimous, as required by law. He told Agence France-Presse in sent them back to deliberate further, December that the city’s new and Sylvester was this time “women only” parking lot was unanimously found “guilty” designed to meet females’ “strong (although of a lesser charge). sense of color and different sense of distance.” That is, the spaces are 3 Least competent criminals feet wider than regular spaces and painted pink and purple. Also, Didn’t think ahead: (1) Two men attendants have been “trained” to tied up employees at a recycling “guide” women into parking spaces. company in Chicago in December, intending to take away the ATM on the premises, which is normally The fragrance of love used to pay people who bring in First, farmer Dick Kleis of Zwingle scrap metal. However, the two men in eastern Iowa, composing a fled empty-handed after realizing birthday note to his wife, arranged that they were not strong enough to more than 60 tons of manure in a carry the 250-pound machine out to pasture to spell out “Happy their truck. (2) Lloyd Norris, 57, was Birthday, Love You” in shorthand. arrested in Gwinnett County, Ga., in Then, for Valentine’s Day, farmer February and charged with Bruce Andersland created a halfmortgage fraud, after he tried to buy mile-wide, arrow-pierced heart a house with “cash” consisting of a from plowed manure at his farm nonsensical $225,000 “U.S. near the town of Albert Lea, Minn. Treasury” promissory note, “Now I’ve got my valentine!” supposedly “certified” by Secretary shouted wife Beth, when she first Timothy Geithner. Norris had viewed the aerial image. prepared $1 billion worth of the documents on his computer and Oops! apparently assumed that banks Helmut Kichmeier, 27, a hypnotist would not look too closely at them. “trainee” who appears as Hannibal SEND ITEMS to weirdnews@ Helmurto in Britain’s Circus of earthlink.net. Horrors, accidentally hypnotized
FLIPSIDE Thursday, February 25, 2010 Page 3
z MOVIES z POP CULTURE z ART z MUSIC zWINERIES z THEATER z THINGS TO DO z BOOKS z Concerts Southern Illinois Coffee concert: Featuring the Tri-State Harp Ensemble, 7 p.m. Saturday SIC, Harrisburg; adults $10; students, $5; 618-252-5400 ext. 2486. Pianist Greg Anderson: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Performance Hall, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, 2600 E. Richmond Road, Mount Vernon; Anderson has performed in Carnegie Hall, soloed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; 618-242-1236 or www.cedarhurst.org. Poor People of Paris: 10 a.m. Tuesday, Altgeld Hall Room 112, SIUC; Klassics for Kids concert; free. Poor People of Paris: Accompanied by the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Shryock
Auditorium, SIUC; French music, including songs made famous by Edith Piaf; tickets, 618-453-6000. Branson comes to Metropolis: Jim Stafford, 8 p.m. March 12-13, Harrah’s Metropolis; $29.99; 888-5127469 or metropolis. frontgatetickets.com. Kevin Skinner: Tickets on sale for 8 p.m. Saturday, April 17 performance, Harrah’s Metropolis Casino, Riverfront Event Center; winner of NBC’s 2009 “America’s Got Talent;” Skinner of Mayfield, Ky., auditioned last year at the Local Talent Search at Harrah’s Metropolis Riverfront Event Center and went on to win first place on the TV show;$15; metropolis. frontgatetickets.com or 888-512-7469; www.mykevin skinner.com. Joe Bonamassa: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 5, Shryock Auditorium, SIUC; 618-453-
Page 4 Thursday, February 25, 2010 FLIPSIDE
6000 or www.southernlights entertainment.com.
Kentucky Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Carson Center, Paducah; $19-$49; 270-4504444 or www.thecarson center.org. Paula Cole: 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday, March 5, Carson Center, Myre River Room, Paducah; $39; 270-4504444.
St. Louis Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons postponed: Saturday concert, Fox Theatre, 539 N. Grand Blvd., postponed; Rescheduled to 8 p.m. Friday, June 4; tickets for Saturday’s show will be honored in June; $44.50$59.50; 314-534-1111; www.metrotix.com; www.fabulousfox.com.
Saliva to rock Copper Dragon COUNTRY SCENE Vince Hoffard
Saliva 10 p.m. Saturday, Copper Dragon, 700 E. Grand Ave., Carbondale; doors open at 8 p.m.; $15, call 618-5493348 for tickets; must be 19 and older to attend; Silverstone and 30 Aut 6 are the opening acts.
gos get checked at the door with the band Saliva. Members were scattered all over the Memphis area in the mid-1990s. Individually, they were basically the dominant fixtures of various struggling local groups that broke up at the same time. “We were all in different bands around town and wanted to get together,” says frontman Josey Scott. “We were just the best of the best and finally had the opportunity to get together and do some writing.” Joining forces, they fused a hard-rock sound with commercial lyrics and a hip-hop beat to blaze a new musical path. They quickly gained recognition by advancing to the national finals of a Grammy Showcase talent contest in New York City, then released an independent album that sold huge numbers and led to a major record deal with Island Records. They have been a driving force on the national scene for more than a decade, cranking out tracks used in movies such as “SpiderMan,” “The Fast and The Furious” and “Talladega Nights.” World Wrestling
Saliva will play at 10 p.m. Saturday at Copper Dragon.
Entertainment (WWE) has used the band’s infectious hard rocking material as themes for two Wrestlemania events. Saliva will appear Saturday at Copper Dragon in Carbondale, and a new album isn’t far behind. Saliva is scheduled to release “Moving Forward in Reverse: Greatest Hits” on March 23. The recording contains 13 of the band’s most popular songs, including “Superstar,” “Click Click Boom,” “Your Disease,” “Ladies and Gentlemen” and “Always.” One new tune, “Time to Shine,” will be part of the package. Scott and lead guitarist Chris Dabaldo carefully weaved the band together in September 1996 by assembling powerhouse players Paul Crosby on drums, Wayne Swinny on guitar and Dave Novotny on bass. Tapping into influences such as Black Sabbath, AC/DC and Motley Crue, the band made a bold statement with debut album “Every Six Seconds” in 2001. With the release of “Click Click Boom,” Saliva entered the national charts for the first time, peaking at No. 25 on the alternative the chart.
Stoked with quality material, “Back In Your System” was released in 2002. It contained the No. 1 single “Always.” With the success, the band was invited to part of major tours by Aerosmith, Kiss and Nickelback. Scott and Nickelback lead singer Chad Kroeger were duet partners on “Hero,” from the “SpiderMan” soundtrack. After the release of “Survival of the Sickest” in 2004, the band developed growing pains. A disgruntled Dabaldo eventually left the group and was permanently replaced by Jonathan Montoya. The band has released three albums since 2007 and continues a non-stop tour schedule. “It’s all up to the fans, but I don’t really know why we’ve lasted so long,” said drummer Crosby. “I like to think it’s because of the good music we write.” With all the success, Saliva has proven it is worthy to be on a label with superstars Bon Jovi, Mariah Carey, Hoobastank and Fall Out Boy. VINCE HOFFARD can be reached at 618-658-9095 or vincehoffard@ yahoo.com.
z MOVIES z POP CULTURE z ART z MUSIC zWINERIES z
Paula Cole comes to Paducah next week PADUCAH — Grammy award-winning artist Paula Cole will perform Friday, March 5 at the Carson Center in Paducah. There will be two performances — at 7 and 9 p.m. — in the intimate setting of the Myre River Room at 100 Kentucky Ave. Born the daughter of musicians in Rockport, Mass., Cole grew up singing for fun; American songbooks, traditional folksongs, Christmas carols, a cappella harmonies. She received a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she studied
asked Cole to join his Secret World Tour after hearing Cole’s CD debut, “Harbinger.” Her 1997 album, “This Fire,” became a breakthrough smash yielding the hits “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?” and “I Don’t Want to Wait,” and also the 1997 Grammy win for Best New Artist. In 1999, she released her third, spiritually soul-influenced PROVIDED album, “Amen.” Tickets are $39 and may Paula Cole performs at the be purchased by calling Carson Center March 5. 270-450-4444 or online at www.thecarsoncenter. jazz singing and org. improvisation. — The Southern In 1993, Peter Gabriel
Pianist Greg Anderson to perform at Cedarhurst MOUNT VERNON — Cedarhurst Center for the Arts will present classical pianist, composer and writer Greg Anderson in a Chamber Music Series performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Anderson has performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Steinway Hall; he has soloed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Juilliard Orchestra, the Aspen Concert Orchestra PROVIDED and the Millennium Greg Anderson performs at Orchestra, among others 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Mount around the world. He also Vernon. Tickets are $18. performs regularly with As a composer, Anderson his piano duo partner, has filled in for John Elizabeth Joy Roe, known Williams on short notice, worldwide for their fourhad works premiered in hand piano technique.
Alice Tully Hall and the Rose Bowl, and been named “Composer of the Year” by the Minnesota Music Educators Association. His arrangements and compositions for The 5 Browns appeared on the EMI and Sony/BMG record labels. Ticket are $18 for adults and $5 for students and music teachers. Cedarhurst Center for the Arts is at 2600 Richview Road in Mount Vernon. For more information, call 618-242-1236, ext. 234 or visit www.cedarhurst.org. For more information, go to www.andersonpiano. com. — The Southern
SISO, Poor People of Paris present classic French cabaret CARBONDALE — Enjoy a cabaret night at the symphony when the Poor People of Paris return to Southern Illinois next week, accompanied by the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra. This St. Louis-based ensemble specializes in popular French music,
including songs made famous by Edith Piaf. The orchestra will contribute to the French theme with the “Toreador March” from Carmen and also feature several SIUC School of Music student soloists. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. March 2 in
Shryock Auditorium. Tickets are $20 or $6 for all students. Call 618-4536000 to purchase. Members of the Poor People of Paris will also a Klassics for Kids concert at 10 a.m. March 2 in Room 112 of Altgeld Hall. Admission is free. — The Southern
FLIPSIDE Thursday, February 25, 2010 Page 5
WEEK OF FEB. 25-MARCH 3
WANT TO BE LISTED?
Wineries Dan Wiethop: 6-9 p.m. Friday, Rustle Hill Winery Bill Booth: 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Rustle Hill Winery Wizardisland Duo: 2-5 p.m., Saturday, Von Jakob Orchard Andrea Stader: 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Blue Sky Vineyard Kristen Kearns: 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Rustle Hill Winery Dave Caputo: 2-5 p.m., Sunday, Von Jakob Orchard Elliott Raney: 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Blue Sky Vineyard Ray Martin: 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Rustle Hill Winery Blue Sky Vineyard: 3150 S. Rocky Comfort Road, Makanda; 618-995-9463 or www.blueskyvineyard.com Lau-Nae Winery: 1522 Illinois 3, Red Bud; 618-282-9463, www.lau-naewinery.com Rustle Hill Winery: US 51, Cobden; 618-893-2700, www.rustlehillwinery.com Von Jakob Orchard: 230 Illinois 127, Alto Pass; 618-8934600, www.vonjakobvineyard. com
Coffeehouses, Cafés and Eateries Joe Crookston: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Cousin Andy’s Coffeehouse, Church of the Good Shepherd, United Church of Christ, 515 Orchard Drive, Carbondale; www.cousinandy.org, RognboB and Doug Rees: 8 p.m. Saturday, Yellow Moon Café, 110 N. Front St., Cobden; www.yellowmooncafe.com; 618893-2233.
Call 618-351-5089 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Karaoke and DJ lists are online at flipside online.com.
BENTON Duncan Dance Barn: Spring Pond Band, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
CARBONDALE PK’s: Leveld
INA Ina Community Building: Friday Night Jam Band, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
MOUNT VERNON The Tavern on 10th: Live Blues Trio, 7-11 p.m.
WHITTINGTON Corner Dance Hall: Waste Band, 7:30-10:30 p.m.
SPILLERTOWN Track Side Dance Barn: Mike’s Band, 7-10 p.m.
SPILLERTOWN Track Side Dance Barn: Robert Ray and Yesterday’s Country, 7-10 p.m.
WEST FRANKFORT WB Ranch Barn: Little Egypt Country Band 6:30 9:30 p.m.
WHITE ASH The White Ash Barn: The Vintage Country Band, 7-10 p.m.
z SATURDAY CARBONDALE Pinch Penny/Copper Dragon: Saliva, 10 p.m. PK’s: Tawl Paul and Slappin’ Henry Blue MARION Marion Eagles: Black Lace, 8 p.m.-midnight MOUNT VERNON Double K’s Kickin Country: Gold Nuggets, 7-10:30 p.m.
z TUESDAY and Yesterday’s Country, 7-10 p.m. STEELEVILLE American Legion: Country Aces, 7-11 p.m. THOMPSONVILLE Lion’s Cave: Weekenders, 7-10 p.m. Old Country Store Dance Barn: Lil’ Boot & Classic Country, 7-10 p.m.
WHITTINGTON The Zone Lounge: SPILLERTOWN No Issues, 9 p.m. Track Side Dance Barn: Robert Ray to 1 a.m.
Page 6 Thursday, February 25, 2010 FLIPSIDE
CARBONDALE PK’s: Whistle Pigs Tres Hombres: UV Hippopotamus SPILLERTOWN Track Side Dance Barn: Robert Ray and Yesterday’s Country, 7-10 p.m. WEST FRANKFORT WB Ranch Barn: WB Ranch Band, 6:30-9:30 p.m. WHITE ASH The White Ash Barn: The Heartland Country Band, 7-10 p.m.
CARBONDALE Pinch Penny/Copper Dragon: Mike and Joe PK’s: Tawl Paul and Slappin’ Henry Blue MARION John Brown’s on the Square: Skinny Jim & the #9 Blacktops, 8:30-11:30 p.m. THOMPSONVILLE Lion’s Cave: Rebel Country, 7-10 p.m. Old Country Store Dance Barn: Country Sidekicks, 7-10 p.m.
z SUNDAY CARBONDALE Key West: Ivas John Blues Band
MARION Marion Eagles: Black Lace, 6-10 p.m.
z MONDAY CARBONDALE Tres Hombres: The Transpoetic Playground
MARION Marion Youth Center: Ragtag Band, 7-10 p.m.
z WEDNESDAY CARBONDALE Tres Hombres: The Giant City Slickers/Black Yodel
DU QUOIN Ten Pin Alley: Piano Bob, 6-9 p.m.
DIRECTIONS & DIGITS Anna VFW: 70 VFW Lane, Anna 618-833-5182 Corner Dance Hall: 200 Franklin St., Whittington 618-303-5266 Duncan Dance Barn: 13545 Spring Pond Road, Benton 618-435-6161 The Get-Away: 804 N. Douglas St., West Frankfort 618-937-3545 Ina Community Building: 504 Elm St., Ina 618-315-2373 John Brown’s on the Square: 1000 Tower Square, Marion 618-997-2909 Key West: 1108 W. Main, Carbondale 618-351-5998 Linemen’s Lounge: 100 E. Broadway, Johnston City Lion’s Cave: South Street, Thompsonville 618-218-4888 Marion American Legion: Longstreet Road, Marion 618-997-6168 Marion Eagles: Rural Route 3, Marion / 618-993-6300 Mollie’s: 107 E. Union St., Marion 618-997-3424 Old Country Store Dance Barn: Main Street, Thompsonville, 618-927-2770. Orient American Legion: 404 Jackson St., Orient 618-932-2060 Perfect Shot: 3029 S. Park Ave., Herrin / 618-942-4655 Pinch Penny Pub/Copper Dragon: 700 E. Grand, Carbondale / 618-549-3348 PK’s: 308 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale / 618-529-1124 Ramesse: 1754 Illinois 37, Lake of Eygpt, 618-995-9104 Steelhorse Saloon: 202 Dewmain Lane, Carterville 618-985-3549 Tavern on 10th: 224 S. 10th St., Mount Vernon 618-244-7821 Tomigirl’s Rollin-in: 14960 Illinois 37, Johnston City 618-983-7655 Trackside Dance Barn: 104 Rock St., Spillertown 618-993-3035 WB Ranch Barn: 1586 Pershing Road, West Frankfort 618-937-3718 Walt’s Pizza — Pasta Grill: 213 S. Court St., Marion 618-993-8668 Whisker Willy’s Bar & Grill 13510 N. Illinois 37, Marion 618-983-5300 White Ash Barn: 207 Potter St., White Ash / 618-997-4979 Wit and Wisdom Nutritional Site: 225 E. Poplar St., West Frankfort / 618-937-3070 Xrossroads: 101 Rushing Drive, Herrin / 618-993-8393 The Zone Lounge: 14711 Illinois 37, Whittington 618-629-2039
Life is funny... ... and comedian Ron White will be telling us why at two Shryock performances quickly, another show was added for April 18. 7:30 p.m. March 3 and In 2005, during his last April 18, Shryock visit to Southern Illinois, Auditorium, SIUC; White performed in front Carbondale; $75 and $45; of more than 5,000 people call 618-453-6000. at SIU Arena. These times around, he’ll perform for BY ROB CROW significantly smaller THE SOUTHERN crowds at Shryock, which seats 1,215. s one of the biggest And that’s just fine with comedy stars in the him. country, Ron White “I prefer the theater doesn’t have to go setting … the acoustics are searching for work. very intimate,” White said. He routinely sells out “If you can’t hear every theaters across the single thing I say, I won’t country. His television get my message across, specials have received and it’s not going to come some of Comedy Central’s across the same. If one highest ratings. He gets person can’t hear, it movie offers, most of sucks.” As for that “message” which he turns down to White hopes to get across, avoid the type of bomb starring his friend, “Larry well, it’s not much of a message, per say. the Cable Guy: Health Originally from Fritch, Inspector.” Still, on a weeknight last Texas (population roughly 2,000), White still month, White was in considers himself a smallOrlando, Fla., without a town Texas boy, which scheduled performance. So he went to work, clearly comes across in his looking for work. act. “I don’t take life very White has been doing seriously, but I take this comedy for most of his art form very seriously,” adult life, but didn’t reach White said. “I write every levels of stardom until the day, I try to do new stuff Blue Collar Comedy Tour every night. I do open-mic debuted in 2000. One of nights in Hollywood or four comedians on the wherever I am. I’ll do a tour, which was organized show tonight in Orlando if by Jeff Foxworthy, White I can find one, just so I can became most well-known work out some new stuff.” for his bit that involved a pair of arrests and his Wherever he does work sarcastic, self-given on material, White’s fans nickname, “Tater Salad.” are sure to show up in Since then, White has droves. His March 3 broken free from the Blue performance at Shryock Collar crew — with no Auditorium sold out so
hard feelings — but has maintained his status as one of the nation’s most popular comedians. A big reason for that is how honest White is about his life. The 53-year-old White has no problems discussing his arrests or his enjoyment of all things nightlife. Just before talking to The Southern Illinoisan, White had to visit a dentist to fix a tooth that was broken in “an alcohol-swimming poolrelated incident.” “It takes forever just to understand your relationship with the crowd, much less what they really do want from you,” White said. “But what they want is the truth, because they can hear babble and bull---from any comic on TV. “They want me to go live my insane life, which I do, and tell them about it. I think that’s why they come and see me.” Fans who do see White will also see the two items he’s rarely without: his glass of scotch — 18-yearold Macallan — and his cigar. And don’t think Illinois’ ban on smoking in public places will deter White from lighting up. Twice in the last two years, White has received a ticket and a fine for smoking while performing his act. The most recent offense came in Georgia, where officers wrote him a ticket before the cigar was even
Comedian Ron White performs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Shryock Auditorum. Because the performance sold out so fast, he will also perform at 7:30 p.m. April 18.
lit — simply because White assured them he would smoke on stage, no matter what fine may come. “They said, ‘You’re
going to (smoke), right?’” White recalled. “And I said, ‘Yeah, I am. I’m also going to speed tomorrow. Do you want to write me a ticket for that?’”
Of course, paying those fines isn’t a problem for White, who shows no signs of slowing down. SEE WHITE / PAGE 8
FLIPSIDE Thursday, February 25, 2010 Page 7
z MOVIES z POP CULTURE z ART z MUSIC zWINERIES z THEATER z THINGS TO DO z BOOKS z
Taylor Pensoneau lecturing at The Bookworm in Carbondale CARBONDALE — Veteran Illinois political and historical author Taylor Pensoneau has just published a new book about the infamous Southern Illinois gangster Charlie Harris. Pensoneau will discuss and sign copies of the new release at 1 p.m. Saturday at The Bookworm, 618 E. Walnut St. in Carbondale. “Dapper & Deadly: The True Story of Black Charlie Harris” recounts the lifelong journey of the last of the big-name desperadoes from Southern Illinois. Viewed by the FBI as a lethal
figure in American crime, Harris eventually landed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. His deadly falling out with the Shelton brothers and his involvement in sensational murders in his own neighborhood brought a reign of terror to Wayne County. Pensoneau leaves no stone unturned in a complete portrait of the man credited for the downfall of the Shelton brothers. And using FBI files, he covers from start to finish the sensational double murder that landed Harris on the FBI’s
list before his conviction and imprisonment for the crime. Harris rose from an obscure farm boy to a holy terror in a lifetime of crime that made him a fixture in front page news. The chapters of his intriguing life are revealed in a detailed and fastmoving narrative that leaves readers wishing the saga never came to an end. The book will be available for purchase and signing at event. For more information, call Carl Rexroad at 618-457-2665.
Even after 24 years of constant travel and tours, White said he loves to stay on the road, and gets antsy when he has to spend too much time at home. “I just love to walk on
stage and in front of fans. It’s the funnest thing,” he said. “I mean, I liked it when they weren’t my fans, when it was just at a comedy club for whoever was there. But that’s not near as fun as walking out in a theater full of
Page 8 Thursday, February 25, 2010 FLIPSIDE
Reckoning at Eagle Creek: the Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland: Author Jeff Biggers reads from his book, 7 p.m. March 6; Mississippi Flyway Restaurant, Murdale Shopping Center, 1925 W. Main St., Carbondale; dinner, 5 p.m.; www.jeffbiggers.com or 618-521-1030.
Black History Month Brown Bag Lecture: Popular Culture and the Nightmare on Black Feminist Street by Rachel Griffin, Department of Speech Communication and Novotny Lawrence, Department of Radio-Television, noon-
— The Southern
WHITE: ‘Tater Salad’ comedian adds show FROM PAGE 7
people that paid money to listen to you talk. That’s a big deal to me.” And it’s the mark of another successful day of work. email@example.com 618-351-5080
tickets must be purchased in advance; $35 per person; tables of eight, $280; proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale; 618-303-5974. Annual Monopoly Tourney: Sponsored by the Harrisburg Elks, Saturday, Southeastern Illinois College Foundation building, North Commercial Events Street, Harrisburg; all Artstarts Reach for the proceeds to the Saline County Stars Gala: Fundraiser, 7 p.m. United Way; $150 to enter Saturday, Marion American tournament; admission, $10; Legion Hall; music byThe 618-252-5000. Wayback Machine; silent Trivia Night: 7 p.m. auction, raffle, and food; $10; Saturday, Carbondale Civic 618-922-1592. Center; sponsored by Vogler A Tribute To The Oscars: Ford with all proceeds to the 6 p.m. today, Copper Dragon, Frank Black Cancer Fund; Carbondale; dinner; silent eight-person team, $120, auction; movie trivia games; includes chili; 618-457-8135. 1:30 p.m. today, Mackinaw Room, Student Center, SIUC. Finer Womanhood Banquet: 6 p.m. today, Student Center Ballroom D, SIUC; $20 single, $50 per couple, sponsored by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.; 618-5593669.
Broadway’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ comes to Paducah PADUCAH — Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” the award-winning worldwide smash hit Broadway musical, is coming to Paducah as part of the Broadway in Paducah series. The elaborate theatrical production will come to life on stage at the Carson Center at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 6, and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 7. Tickets are $29, $49 and $59 and can be purchased by calling 270-450-4444 or at www.thecarsoncenter.org. Discounts are available for subscribers and groups of 20 or more. The musical tells the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed
Justin Glaser plays the Beast and Liz Shivener plays Belle in ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ which is coming to Paducah.
for all eternity. It has become an international sensation that has played to more than 35 million people
worldwide in 13 countries. For information on the production, visit beauty andthebeastontour.com. — The Southern
z MOVIES z POP CULTURE z ART z MUSIC zWINERIES z THEATER z THINGS TO DO z BOOKS z Comic Book & Toy Show: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, March 6 and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, March 7, Harrah’s Riverfront Event Center, Metropolis; featuring Mark Goddard, actor from the TV show, “Lost in Space;” sponsored by Comic City; $5; 615-5734537. www.comic citytn.com. Geology of the Cache: 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, March 6, Cache River Wetlands Center, 8885 Illinois 37, Cypress; history of the Cache River; 618 657-2064.
Theater The Lion in Winter: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, Varsity Center for the Arts, Carbondale; by James Goldman; directed by Roy Weshinskey; $15; 618-549-5466; www.stagecompany.org. Annie Get Your Gun: 7:30 p.m. March 4-5, Marion Cultural and Civic Center; presented by the Marion High School Choral Department; the 1999 revival of Irving Berlin’s 1946 musical fantasy depicting the love affair between Annie Oakley and Frank Butler; $10; www.marionccc.org or 618-997-4030. Cabaret: ThursdaySunday, March 4-7, Rend Lake College, Ina; musical written by Joe Masteroff and featuring music by John Kander and Fred Ebb; 7 p.m., March 4-6 and 2 p.m., March 7; $12; 618-4375321, Ext. 1467. Great Falls: Directed by Mike Seagle, 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, March 5-6, O’Neil Auditorium, John A. Logan College, Carterville; intended for ages 17 and older; $8/$5; 618-985-2828 ext. 8287.
includes photograph of silent film siren Gloria Swanson; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 1-4 p.m. Saturdayand there will be a $20 MURPHYSBORO — Sunday; through May; free. entry fee. Chili chefs and A Warrior’s Story: Oglala Judging will be blind connoisseurs can both Sioux Buffalo Robe, 10 a.m.and the top six chilis challenge and enjoy 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and will be awarded their competitors’ 1-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, prizes. specialties at this University Museum, SIUC; For those hoping to weekend’s annual 17th through May; free. sample the winners and Street Bar and Grill Carolyn Gassan other entries, a $5 cover Chili Cook-Off. Plochmann display: Work and charge will include Anyone can enter life of Carbondale artist, music, appetizers and their chili recipe into Morris Library, SIUC; view the the contest, with entries chili tasting. display in the cases outside The event begins at closing at 5 p.m. the Hall of Presidents on the Saturday. Teams will be 4 p.m. Saturday. first floor of the library; see — The Southern limited to two people, artwork in the Special Collections Research Center reading room and other Southernmost Illinois, 1862Call for Art locations within the library; 1890 and Saving Shotguns: 618-453-2516 or archives. Juried Art Exhibition: Moving Towards a Better lib.siu.edu/index.php?pcollect Entries sought for exhibition Future, Saturday-Sunday, ions/controlcard&id2459. March 30-April 3, Surplus University Museum, SIUC; Ongoing art exhibit: Gallery, Glove Factory, 432 S. through Friday, March 5. Featuring photographs of Washington Ave., Carbondale; Gifts to the Collection: The Juhree Veach, mosaics from drop-off entries from noonIllinois State Museum’s Janet Altoff and sculpture 8 p.m. March 27 and 9 a.m.Southern Illinois Art Gallery, from Tom Horn, StarView noon March 28; advance entry the Southern Illinois Art and Vineyards, 5100 Wing Hill forms available in the SIUC Artisans Center, Whittington; Road, Cobden; 618-893-9463. School of Art and Design includes 42 paintings and Kat Shaffner: Central offices, Allyn Building. drawings dating from 1883 Showcase at Realty Central, through 2006 including 1825 W. Main St, Murdale several from southern Illinois Shopping Center, Carbondale; Displays, Exhibits artists; through Sunday, reception, 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Joan Skiver-Levy: Acrylics, March 7; open daily, 9 a.m. to March 4; gallery hours, 9 a.m.watercolors and mixed-media, 5 p.m.; 618-629-2220. 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 John A. Logan College, Ansel Adams — The Man a.m.-noon Saturday; through Carterville, B and C Wings; Who Captured The Earth’s April 3; 618-457-4663. viewing hours, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Beauty: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The MALE art show: More Monday through Friday and Tuesday-Friday and 1-4 p.m. than 40 pieces of art created 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays; Saturday-Sunday, University strictly by males including through Saturday; Museum, SIUC; $5; students works by Allen Carstens, Mike www.joanskiverlevy.com. free; through March 21. Faris, Kris Killman, and Tom Rachel Christine Nowicki: George Ions: Orlandini Rabideau, Little Egypt Arts Variety of drawings, paintings Vineyard, 410 Thorn Lane, Centre, Tower Square, Marion; and illustrations, Rend Lake Makanda; Italian landscapes reception, 5-7 p.m. Friday College, Ina; 8 a.m.-9 p.m. compliment vineyard décor; March 5; through March 31; Monday through Thursday through March 31; 618-995618- 998-8530, or and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays; 230; www.orlandini firstname.lastname@example.org. through Wednesday; 618-437- vineyard.com; george.ions@ Real and Abstract 5321 or 618-437-5321 ext. yahoo.com. Landscape: Reception, 5-7 1718. Mrs. B’s Illustrations: By p.m. Friday, March 5, Little Abstract Stitches: Quilts by Andi Butler, Beck Family Egypt Arts Centre, Tower Gary Estergard, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Center Gallery, Cedarhurst, Square, Marion; through Tuesday-Friday and 1-4 p.m. Mount Vernon; Butler, features March 31; 618-998-8530 or Saturday-Sunday, University whimsical/retro illustrations; www.littleeygptarts.com. Museum, SIUC; through through April 4; www. Homily: Qualis Vita, Finis Friday, March 5; www. cedarhurst.org; 618-242-1236. Ita: Oil paintings by Jed museum.siu.edu or 618-453Masters of Photography: Jackson, Main Gallery, Mitchell 5388. University Museum, SIUC; Museum, Cedarhurst Center Cairo Then and Now: highlights from the museum’s for the Arts. 2600 Richview African Americans of permanent collection;
Chili competition will be tasty
Get in free: Ansel Adams exhibit and photography panel Sunday CARBONDALE — Photography practitioners and historians will discuss the impact of Ansel Adams at SIUC’s University Museum from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday. Panel participants include Jordy Jones, Gary Kolb and R. William Rowley, all of the SIUC College of Mass Communication and Media Arts. The museum, which is open from 1 to 4 p.m. on weekends, will not charge for the exhibit or the panel that day. Road, Mount Vernon; opens Saturday; opening reception, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 6; hours, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday; free; through May 9. SIUC Photography Exhibit: Works from the Department of Cinema and Photography at SIUC opens Saturday in the Beal Grand Corridor Gallery, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Mount Vernon; reception, 6:30 p.m. March 6; through May 9. www.cedarhurst.org. Shrode Art & Craft Competition Exhibition: Paintings, drawings, printmaking, clay, fiber, mixed media, wood, fine jewelry and metal, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Mount Vernon; opens Saturday, Regenhardt Gallery of the Shrode Art Center at Cedarhurst; opening reception, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 6. Stewart Wessel: A Carpenter’s Son, The Gallery Space, law office of Joni Beth Bailey, 1008 Walnut St., Murphysboro; large wooden 3D sculpture; reception, 6:308:30 p.m. Saturday, March 6; through March 26; 618-6848668.
Admission to this special exhibit continues to be $5 on other days; all students are free. The exhibit will run through March 21. Except for the Ansel Adams exhibit, museum admission is free and open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday ant 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For additional information, view the Museum’s Web site at www.museum. siu.edu, call 618-4535388 or e-mail email@example.com. — The Southern
New on DVD The Informant The FBI investigates an agriindustry company based on a price-fixing accusation made by the business’ vice president, who has a bit of a problem telling the truth. With Matt Damon, Scott Bakula. R Everybody’s Fine A widower, realizing it was his wife who kept the family together, attempts to build a relationship with his four adult children. With Robert De Niro, Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale. PG-13 The Damned United It was a short and controversial reign, but for 44 days Brian Clough managed England’s champion football team, Leeds United. With Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, Colm Meaney, Jim Broadbent. R — McClatchy-Tribune News
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z MOVIES z POP CULTURE z ART z MUSIC zWINERIES z THEATER z THINGS TO DO z BOOKS z student during her spring vacation, and over the next Avatar James Cameron’s few years they meet only mega-expensive, sporadically and correspond technological marvel is also a through love letter. With whole lot of fun: A gamer Channing Tatum, Amanda generation’s “Dances With Seyfried, Henry Thomas, Wolves,” with a human soldier Scott Porter and Richard (and his avatar) falling in love Jenkins; directed by Lasse with a blue-skinned alien from Hallstrom. PG-13 the planet Pandora. PG-13 Edge of Darkness A (violence, aggressive action, veteran Boston homicide alien beasts, adult themes) detective embarks on a Crazy Heart Jeff Bridges mission to find out about his delivers an Oscar-worthy — 24-year-old daughter’s secret no, Oscar-required — life after she is murdered on performance as a whiskeythe steps of his home. With soaked one-time country Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, legend tryinmg to put his life Danny Huston, Bojana back together in this sublime Novakovic and Shawn American indie. Maggie Roberts. Written by William Gyllenhaal, Robert Duvall and Monahan and Andrew Bovell. an uncredited Colin Farrell all Based on the television series ofer up memorable turns. A written by Troy Kennedy low-key, down-home gem. Martin. Directed by Martin R (profanity, alcohol abuse, Campbell. R. adult themes) From Paris with Love A Dear John A young soldier low-level CIA operative finds home on leave falls in love himself the target of a crime with an idealistic college ring he’s trying to bust on his first real assignment. With John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kasia Smutniak and Richard Durden. Screenplay by Adi Hasak, based on a S HOW T IMES FOR F EBRUARY 22 ND - 25 TH Dear John (PG-13) 3:50 6:40 9:30 story by Luc Besson. Directed Edge Of Darkness (R) 4:40 7:20 10:10 by Pierre Morel. R. When In Rome (PG-13) *7:40 The Book of Eli (R) *4:50 10:20 Percy Jackson & the 3D Avatar (PG-13) 5:00 8:30 Olympians: The Lightning Shutter Island (R) 3:40 4:20 6:50 7:30 10:00 10:40 Thief A young boy discovers The Wolfman (R) 4:00 5:10 7:00 8:00 he’s the descendant of a 9:50 10:30
*Not showing Wednesday Met Opera - Bocconegra Encore Showing Wed. 2/24 6:30pm Only
From Paris with Love (R) 9:40 Valentine’s Day (PG-13) 3:40 4:40 6:50 7:40 9:50 10:30 Crazy Heart (R) 4:00 7:20 10:10 Percy Jackson & the Olympians (PG) 3:50 6:40 9:30 Tooth Fairy (PG) 4:20 7:10 Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (PG-13) 4:10 7:00 10:00
When In Rome (PG-13) 4:50 7:20 Edge Of Darkness (R) 5:00 7:40 Valentine’s Day (PG-13) 4:10 7:00 Dear John (PG-13) 4:15 6:50 Tooth Fairy (PG) 4:00 6:30 Shutter Island (R) 3:40 7:10 Percy Jackson & the Olympians (PG) 3:50 6:40 The Wolfman (R) 4:30 7:30
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Greek god and sets out on an adventure to settle an ongoing battle between the gods. With Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Steve Coogan, Rosario Dawson, Catherine Keener, Kevin McKidd, Joe Pantoliano and Uma Thurman. Screenplay by Craig Titley, based on the book by Rick Riordan. Directed by Chris Columbus. PG (action violence and peril, some scary images, suggestive material and mild language) The Book of Eli Albert and Allen Hughes’ haunting and inspirational allegory is framed like a spaghetti Western. It stars Denzel Washington as a pilgrim of the post-apocalypse fighting cannibals and scavengers in order to carry out a holy mission. With Gary Oldman and Mila Kunis. R (extreme violence, implied cannibalism) The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus Kaleidoscope meets calliope in Terry Gilliam’s carnivalesque tale of a magician (Christopher Plummer) who may lose his magic (and his daughter) to the devil. With Heath Ledger (in his last screen role). PG-13 (violence, sensuality, profanity, smoking) The Wolfman Lawrence Talbot, a haunted nobleman, is lured back to his family estate after his brother vanishes. Reunited with his estranged father, he searches for his brother and discovers his horrifying destiny. With Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving and Art Malik. Directed by Joe Johnston. R (bloody horror, violence and gore) Tooth Fairy When a hardcharging hockey player, nicknamed ``the tooth fairy’’ for separating opposing players from their bicuspids, discourages a youngster’s dreams, he’s sentenced to one week’s hard labor as a real tooth fairy; with Dwayne
‘The Crazies’ George A. Romero’s little-seen 1973 cult classic gets a slicker and much gorier remake. Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell (above) star in this story about a small Kansas town that is suddenly plagued by insanity and death after a mysterious toxin contaminates their water supply. When the ‘normal’ residents in this seemingly perfect small town suddenly freak out and start murdering each other, it’s up to the local sheriff (Olyphant) to get to the bottom of what may have driven his fellow citizens over the edge. The movie, which is rated R for bloody violence, gore and language, opens Friday at Illinois Centre 8 in Marion and University Place 8 in Carbondale. It also stars Joe Anderson and Danielle Panabaker and was directed by Breck Eisner.
Johnson, Ashley Judd, Julie Andrews, Stephen Merchant and Ryan Sheckler. PG (mild language, some rude humor and sports action) Shutter Island Two U.S. marshals are summoned to a fortress-like island housing a hospital for the criminally insane to investigate the implausible disappearance of a multiple murderess from a locked room. With Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Patricia Clarkson, Emily Mortimer, Jackie Earle Haley and Max Von Sydow.
Screenplay by Laeta Kalogridis, based on the novel by Dennis Lehane. Directed by Martin Scorsese. R (disturbing, violent content, language and some nudity) Valentine’s Day The stories of a group of Angelenos as they find their way through romance over the course of one Valentine’s Day are told in intersecting storylines. With Julia Roberts, Emma Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane and Patrick Dempsey. Written by Katherine Fugate. Directed
by Garry Marshall. PG-13 (sexual situations, brief partial nudity) When in Rome A young New Yorker, disillusioned with romance, takes a whirlwind trip to Rome, where she plucks magic coins from a fountain of love, inexplicably igniting the passion of an odd group of suitors. With Kristen Bell, Danny DeVito, Jon Heder, Will Arnett, Dax Shepard and Josh Duhamel. Directed by Mark Steven Johnson. PG-13. — The Associated Press, McClatchyTribune News, fandango.com
z MOVIES z POP CULTURE z ART z MUSIC zWINERIES z
‘Cop Out’ opens Friday at University Place 8 in Carbondale and Illinois Centre 8 in Marion.
Kevin Smith’s new film a ‘Cop Out’ to “Star Wars.” “These are not the Rated R for pervasive droids you’re looking for!” language including sexual “Cop Out” is a cop references, violence and buddy picture that brief sexuality; starring reminds us what awful Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, eye-rollers those movies often were. It’s got the Seann William Scott; generic “foreign” villains, directed by Kevin Smith; the chatterbox “perp” who opening Friday at is arrested and then comes University Place 8 in along for the ride (Seann Carbondale and Illinois William Scott steals the Centre 8 in Marion. movie in the Joe Pesci role). It’s got ’80s action BY ROGER MOORE icon Bruce Willis, as MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE NEWS Detective Jimmy Monroe, playing straight-man to an “It’s not stealing,” always over-the-top protests NYPD detective Morgan. Paul Hodges as he readies But poor plotting, inept for his “performance” staging and slack pacing interrogating a suspect. remind us that Smith “It’s called homage.” (“Clerks”) is better at riffs Since he’s played by than at making functional, comic Tracy Morgan (TV’s wholly realized films. “30 Rock”), homage is Willis and Morgan play mispronounced. Since the semi-competent movie is “Cop Out,” the detectives who botch a “homage” is to ’80s cop stakeout, get an informant movies — a fond killed and become mixed remembrance of those up in a plot that involves a jokey, bloody “Beverly stolen Mercedes, a stolen Hills Cop”/“Lethal baseball card and a Weapon” romps of Eddie baseball fanatic bad guy and Mel. (Guillermo Diaz) they can And since the movie was never seem to get the drop directed (though not on. written) by fanboy Kevin Scott is a parkourSmith, Paul’s “homage” practicing burglar who rant to a suspect is steals a rare card from snippets of movie dialogue Jimmy. The cop needs the — from “An Officer and a cash from it so that he — Gentleman” to “Die Hard,” and not the ex-wife’s “In the Heat of the Night” second husband (Smith
film alumnus Jason Lee, dialing it down) — can pay for his daughter’s wedding. So they chase the thief and shoot up the Mexican mob, even though they’re both “suspended.” Funny bits interrupt the dead stretches — a hysterical and heavily armed woman protecting her property while questioning the manhood of New York’s finest, Scott playing the “stop repeating what I say” game and an 11-year-old car thief who curses a blue streak but fears his mamma. As in the rest of the Smith canon, there’s a juvenile fascination with sex — a monologue about monkey sexual practices, for instance. But there’s a dated and played feel to much of this, from the “Black Betty” to Beastie Boys soundtrack, the jokes that don’t land, and situations and generic characters that add nothing to the film. “Cop Out” is still funnier than the dreadful later Eddie Murphy cop pictures. But it feels like an homage to a period best forgotten, just a chance for all involved to sell out and cash in with a crude comedy that reminds us how bad these particular “good old days” were.
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Published on Feb 25, 2010