"Entertainment" magazines are well and good for light reads and what have you. But if you really care about film as a medium and want to read magazines that reflect that, one of your best bets is Fade In. Despite a dull, "trade mag"-esque layout, this baby brings you good coverage/interviews of everyone from screenwriters to producers to major actors, all discussing their craft and the business of film.

This issue’s strong points:

  • Their "Situation Room" article on common problems that film professionals face and how to deal with them is must read material for anyone who wants to get in this biz.
  • "What You Don’t Know About Hollywood" feat. Aaron Eckhart is filled with solid, professional tidbits such as "People won’t eat meat because it doesn’t digest well with cocaine and Ambien."
  • Really meaty article with Mark Wahlberg that covers his career both as an actor and a producer.
  • Nice list of the 50 greatest opening scenes, and why – technically and emotionally – they work.
  • I could be at this all day, there’s so much quality content in this mag.

This issue’s weak points:

  • The layout is barely utilitarian. I understand the content is their king, but making it more eye-catching and distinctive would put this mag over the top in term of greatness.
  • Some of the final pages filler (Tech reviews, Where to do lunch) just seem extra flimsy given how strong the rest of this is.

Overall: 9.0 out of 10

2. WEEKLY #920

Sure, their film reviews are hated by geeks. Yes, they
follow trends incessantly. And yes, music coverage is generally an
afterthought. But it’s surely the most fun weekly read out there, and
they have television on lock. Plus, they’ll surprise with every now and
then with a great piece on overlooked entertainment industry plebs like
personal assistants and bodyguards. When it’s on, it’s an incredible
value. When it’s not…wait a week.

This issue’s strong points:

  • Good Justin
    Timberlake piece. What’s interesting about the guy is that he is not,
    and yet he remains one of the few genuine superstars left in the music
    industry anyway.
  • Paul Rudd and David Wain’s impromptu riffing in their Sundance sidebar makes me want to see their flick, The Ten, like, now.
  • I’ve always enjoyed their multi-page article of mini-reviews of Sundance flicks.

This issue’s weak points:

  • The actual article on Sundance is short on content and long on pictures.
  • A 3-page preview of about 40 spring movies? Why?
  • A Sally Field career retrospective? Isn’t there some American Idol filler they could have run instead?
  • Their "How to Create a Perfect Week of TV" includes The Simpsons. This list refers to current shows. Think about that for a sec.
  • Overall, way too many valleys and too few peaks.

Overall: 5.0 out of 10


Maxim, FHM, and Stuff
keep it coming month after month in terms of over-Photoshopped
genera-hotties in yawnworthy layouts. But what about those of us who
want women of color, backshots, and, most importantly, to keep it
gully? King magazine is our only monthly destination for the real.

This issue’s strong points:

  • Love the short, but great piece on the financial life of a video vixen.
  • Snoop
    video chick Kelly Borger in the buff on a bike. Now I am pretty sure
    you exist, God, but I…uh…need just a bit more proof. Please?
  • Interview with legendary (and incarcerated) NY urban gangster Lorenzo Nichols is fantastic.
  • The shoot with actress April Hernandez is the perfect mix of hood and sexy.
  • Funny and surprisingly direct article on getting a "happy ending" at a "massage" parlor.

This issue’s weak points:

  • Horrible cover and cover story. Ciara is boring. Her layout is tame. Her interview is snoreworthy. When Vibe magazine’s Ciara cover and layout smokes yours, something is wrong.
  • "Baaaaaaaaaallin" Jim Jones sitting down with a shrink should be funny, not introspective, damnit.
  • All in all, it’s still a pretty decent issue. It just could’ve been great with a much better cover story.

Overall: 6.5 out of 10