As the biggest, regular US movie mag still out there, this baby strikes a nice balance between pure entertainment and real filmmaking goodness. Unless you’re looking at the odd theme issue, chances are that there will be enough meat from across the Hollywood spectrum to make this worth a buy each month.

This issue’s strong points:

  • They don’t let "Oscar coverage" hijack the issue.
  • Gotta love the article on the new era of big time DTV moviemaking. Someone needed to explain to me how Behind Enemy Lines II: Axis of Evil came into being, damnit.
  • Yet another good Mark Wahlberg article to complement the one in Fade In this month.
  • Solid, short, yet substantial pieces on the likes of 300, Cillian Murphy, and Fincher’s Zodiac.

This issue’s weak points:

  • The Peter Jackson/LOTR/New Line saga is already played out. It didn’t need another 3 pages that added little new info.
  • Overall, one of their better outings as of late.

Overall: 8.0 out of 10

2. WEEKLY #922

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:

  • Nice little piece on a somewhat underloved show, Jericho. It’ll never get the mountains of hype given to stuff like Heroes, but Skeet Ulrich’s redemption must not go ignored.
  • The "Awww….it’s so hard being Chris Daughtry" piece was mercifully short.

This issue’s weak points:

  • The Oscar coverage is bloated and takes 30 pages to do what other, better magazines can do in 6.
  • Reviews were rather dull this time out too. I realize February isn’t a hot bed of entertainment activity, but reviews of Grammy performances ain’t gonna cut it.
  • Stephen King opines on Anna Nicole Smith and how she was crushed by fame. Riiiiiiiight.
  • Overall, a pretty pathetic showing.

Overall: 5.0 out of 10