• Issue Archive for
  • Dec 18-24, 2003
  • Vol. 11, No. 10

News & Comment

  • Opening Films

    by Inlander Staff **** 21 Grams -- The feel-bad film of the year is a masterpiece of non-linear storytelling. The three main characters -- Sean Penn's Paul is dying, Benicio Del Toro's Jack has accidentally killed some people, Naomi Watts' Christina has lo
  • DVD Review

    Ridley Scott is one of the best directors filming today. His work on the original Alien, and his follow-ups on Blade Runner all the way to Gladiator were marvelous. Scott is an old-school director who lays the atmosphere and detail on th
  • Wiring For Cash

    The New Year symbolizes a fresh start, but with it comes the onslaught of holiday bills, taxes and yet another rate increase for cable TV subscribers. It happened last January in Spokane, and it's happening again this year. Comcast Cable,
  • Book Review

    People often ask Noam Chomsky, one of the world's foremost intellectuals, why he continues to live in the United States. Why doesn't he just move to a place where his ideas have a larger audience? Chomsky's response is quick and firm. "This
  • David Vs. Goliath

    When Jason David was 12 years old and eye-level with a fire hydrant - back when he weighed as much as a bag of leaves -- he decided it was time to introduce himself to his future high school football coach. "I'm going up this ramp to the
  • The First Fellowship

    On a warm September night in 1931, three men went for an after-dinner walk on the grounds of Magdalen College, part of Oxford University. They took a stroll on Addison's Walk, a beautiful tree-shaded path along the River Cherwell, and got i
  • Now Playing

    *** Bad Santa -- Billy Bob Thornton plays a foul-mouthed, sex-crazed drunkard who, with his "elf" helper (Tony Cox) gets a department store Santa job each year, then robs the seasonally bulging safe after hours. The film is overflowing
  • Opening Films

    & & ** Mona Lisa Smile -- & & West Coast art history prof Katherine Watson (Julia Roberts) heads east for a teaching stint at stuffy, early-1950s Wellesley College, where she gets her charges to think for themselves, rather than
  • Letters to the Editor

    by Inlander Staff Remember the Troops -- Thanks for informing readers that due to heightened security, our military is no longer allowing packages, letters or cards addressed to "Any Service member." Names and addresses are needed, just like when I went o
  • 2wenty Ways To Waste Your Time

    I used to be irritated with the commercials that theaters screened before movies. After all, hadn't I paid already? Why was the theater selling my time - with me, held captive in a comfy seat in a dark room, weighed down with tubs of sod
  • Buzz Bin

    Sneak Preview -- With the exception of First Night and a smattering of holiday-themed events, the arts scene is a veritable ghost town these last few weeks of the year. But despair not, our l'il readers... 2004 is already looking like a ye
  • LOTR Video Games

    Fellowship of the Ring -- Of all the Lord of the Rings games, this is the one for everyone to skip. Allegedly there are scenes and characters included in the game that aren't in the movie, but you'll be lucky to m
  • Branching Out

    You typically don't "dine" at the food court. You refuel, shoveling it down in a desperate bid to avoid hypoglycemia so that you can maintain your shopping safari. Typically, you forsake your nutritional standards for the sake of convenie
  • Now Playing

    *** Bad Santa -- Billy Bob Thornton plays a foul-mouthed, sex-crazed drunkard who, with his "elf" helper (Tony Cox) gets a department store Santa job each year, then robs the seasonally bulging safe after hours. The film is overflowing
  • Mad At Meters

    In a nation of deteriorating urban cores, strip malls and surface parking lots, living in a city with a revived downtown center is pretty great.
  • Beyond First Night

    The planners of First Night Spokane knew in 2001 that most city residents had New Year's visions of frothy champagne and dancing until the ball dropped. While the imagery is nice, drinking and dancing on New Year's Eve often means findin
  • Interplaying With Fire

    If it's not falling off a cliff, it's certainly at a crossroads. And one of the paths ahead is missing its guardrail. With the resignation of Associate Artistic Director Michael Weaver, the recent installation of an entirely new Board of
  • Recently Reviewed

    The Clark House -- A relic of opulent turn-of-the-century times, Hayden Lake's Clark House offers more than just a meal. Its history is steeped in mystery and tragedy. Dinner here is by reservation only and is a five-course affair. Entre
  • DVD Review

    A review of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is destined to sound like an open love letter to Johnny Depp. And why not? Depp has been with us since A Nightmare on Elm Street and 21 Jump Street, and every step of the
  • What's in A Name?

    by Robert Stokes Earlier this month, President Bush signed the Healthy Forest Restoration Act (HFRA). He and forestry advisor Mark Rey call the law and related administrative actions the "Healthy Forest Initiative." Rey is Assistant Secretary of Agricultu
  • Fiction Contest 3rd Place - Confession

    I recall dancers chanting in high, children's voices. Drums, hid away from the light, beat fast like thunder, then the rattle of rain. The dancers leapt into the air and landed, all together, painted feathers like flying, buckskin turned
  • If You Liked LOTR...

    The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis -- While Tolkien never quite warmed up to the seven "fairy stories" written by his friend Jack (C.S. Lewis's nickname among friends and family), many readers found their way to
  • The Real Deal

    We've all been there - the dinner party from hell. The host is an anal-retentive control freak who insists on micro-managing every last detail and who flies off the handle if a single flower petal is not in perfect alignment. To your lef
  • Rock On!

    Things have been rockin' at locally owned Rock City Grill since it opened its new digs in River Park Square just 10 days ago. "It's been just like butter," owner Jim Rhoades says of the move. "We've got more business than we had at our o
  • Letters to the Editor

    This is news to me, as I suspect it would be to Stephen Hawking, Franklin D. Roosevelt (w
  • Fiction Contest 2nd Place - The Haunted Apartment

    The Riverview Court at First and Howard was as cold as a cave, even in summer. The gray apartment building stretched 17 stories up, like a gray caterpillar stretching itself to look at the Spokane River. It was a tall building for downtown
  • Hobbit, Elf or Orc?

    Long before the movies -- before, even, Bakshi's attempts, before Dungeons & amp; Dragons appropriated the character classes -- Tolkien's world was complete and fully peopled. The books captured my imagination, and I occupied their world throug
  • Humbugged

    Even Santa's helpers have fallen on hard times. In fact, for the first time in its 21-year history, Spokane's Tree of Sharing ended without filling all its gift orders. Other groups, facing the same grim prospects, are hoping for a Chris
  • Hello, Kitty

    In the national touring production of Cats (at the Opera House, Jan. 2-4), Anne Brummel plays the faded glamour cat, Grizabella. Disdainful of such sophomoric questions as, for example, whether the cast prefers Friskies or Meow Mix, we op
  • Recently Reviewed

    The Clark House -- A relic of opulent turn-of-the-century times, Hayden Lake's Clark House offers more than just a meal. Its history is steeped in mystery and tragedy. Dinner here is by reservation only and is a five-course affair. Entre
  • The Two Towers

    I. From a Tiny Spark -- For the past seven years, two towers have loomed large over Spokane. In their shadows, war has been waged -- a political civil war. At Riverside and Monroe sits the Spokesman-Review's Red Tower, headq
  • Fiction Contest Winner - Counting Zeros

    As a kid, you know you're already in big trouble when your name is Zero and you're one of only two ethnic guys growing up in a cast-off white neighborhood in the footprint of a proposed freeway. Duffy
  • Buzz Bin

    Tune In -- Remember that Velvet Underground song "Rock and Roll"? A young girl, growing up in the radio wasteland of America, discovers a whole new world when she tunes in a New York station: Then one fine mornin' she puts on a New Yor
  • Game Review

    A few nights ago, sleepless, I decided to settle down by tree light and lose myself in a video game. Current favorites Amped 2 and Manhunt beckoned. But instead, out of curiosity, I chose The Legend of Zelda Collector's Edition, which is
  • The Real Deal

    Lots of people are trying to live light on the planet these days. Demand for home products made from recycled or organic materials grew 66 percent in 2001 and continues to rise, says New Hope Natural Media. During the holidays, we often
  • Bleeding Green

    The capture of Saddam Hussein has taken center stage this week as President Bush's "America First" decision recedes into the background. That's our nation's policy to award prime contracts in Iraq only to those companies that "shed
  • New Year, New Way

    We're approaching New Year's resolution time again. I have none to offer; however, with apologies to St. Paul, I express a few things hoped for, even should the evidence for them presently go unseen I hope for a healthier politic
  • Quotes & amp;amp; Notes

    Greening Idaho --It's a long way to springtime, but Idaho might be greening up anyway. The Idaho Green Party has been gathering signatures (it needs at least 10,000) to get on the official Idaho state ballot for primary elections. "Our
  • Propped Up

    When the 2001 Nisqually earthquake shook up Washington's State Capitol building in Olympia, citizens across the state felt the vibrations, at least figuratively. With a tenant list that reads like a Who's Who of state politics, the Capit
  • In Brief

    Goodbye Smoky Bars? -- SPOKANE -- Are you one of those "proud" smokers who refuse to patronize an establishment where you can't light up? Well, you may soon be out of luck. BREATHE -- a cooperative among the American Cance
  • In Brief

    Brighter Smiles -- SPOKANE -- The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, which has been roaming the streets since 2002, will add dental work to its medical services beginning Jan. 5. Previously, the Care Mobile has provided physicals, treatment of
  • CD Review

    Let's just drop the "Spears." Say what you want about her, Britney's got impeccable marketing instincts. Rather than release an album retreading past territory (which is pretty skimpy, ridiculous stuff), she's taken a turn down a darker
  • CD Review

    Perhaps one of the more obscure genres in music is death metal. The pop music machine has deluded the mainstream and pushed more abrasive types of music to the fringe. It is in this outer realm that bands like Spokane's Pathos operate.

Music & Film

  • Good For Gus

    Playing rock 'n' roll can make you feel immortal. Up there on the stage with an electric guitar slung over your shoulder and a couple hundred watts of power at your command, or kicking out unholy, thunderous backbeats f
  • Get Your New Year's Rocks

    The third annual First Night -- Spokane arts festival in downtown Spokane this New Year's Eve promises more of the good stuff than ever before; more dancing, exhibits, installations, comedy, performance, roving gigantic puppets and clowns
  • The End Is At Hand

    I'm still in a haze. Until last week, I was a virgin to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, hoping that the once-mooted plans for a pre-release marathon would stay in effect. I had avoided even watching trailers for the film. Frankly, I have a pro
  • Whispers Of War

    Woodrow Wilson supposedly said that D.W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation was "history written in lightning." With that in mind, Cold Mountain is whispered in distant thunder. It's the hurt back home, what's left behind, what's deep inside. It th

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