The last issue of the best mainstream movie read from these shores. I wish this mag had a chance to properly say goodbye, but perhaps it’s best that they end it on an average, nondescript issue to give a true representation of the mag for the ages. Sadly, I think this is just another blip in a coming wave of closures that will weed out all but the very strongest print entertainment pubs as they find ways to compete with the immediacy and unbound sexiness of the Web. So for the last time…

This issue’s strong points:

  • Congratulations, your Grindhouse coverage is better than….Entertainment Weekly‘s. Actually, they didn’t do a shabby job either, but the sexier pics and layout here put it over the top.
  • Will Ferrell may have the final cover, but the actual final page of coverage is the back page interview with Jeff Daniels, and it’s beloved.
  • Sundance coverage was always one of my favorite parts of this mag, and the pictures and writeups here do nothing to harm that.

This issue’s weak points:

  • Will Ferrell’s cover story is in need of oil, mayo, or, hell,….maybe even AstroGlide. What I’m trying to say is, the shit’s dry.
  • Career advice to failing actors is fine. Idle ramblings from anonymous casting directors and producers on why Travolta should do a Batman movie or perfunctory observations on how Tom Cruise should reduce his visibility is not. Waste. of. Space.
  • Not that great an issue, really, but I guess as the last, it’s kinda essential? Maybe?

Overall: 6.5 out of 10

2. WEEKLY #927

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:

  • Love all of the little upfront tidbits on people who wouldn’t get interviews otherwise like Lena Headey and Mary McDonnell.
  • The Grindhouse cover story is actually pretty decent. It’s really only marred by all of the pics aside from the cover and inside cover being generic, plus a rather uninformative sidebar that "explains" B-movies. If we needed that, why on Earth would we care enough to buy the issue? Still, this is above their usual standards.
  • I liked the write-up on TV star salaries, especially the breakdown of who deserves them and who doesn’t. There should’ve been another couple of pages on who doesn’t.
  • Good and timely write-up of Timbaland. I like the guy a lot less than I used to, but he’s never been hotter.

This issue’s weak points:

  • Almost nothing. Assuming you care about the TV thing and Timbaland, this is the best issue of EW in many moons.

Overall: 8.5 out of 10


Ostensibly a music magazine, Blender is really more a somewhat music-based pop culture rag. You’ll get your share of record reviews and interviews as they copy much of the look/format of England’s far superior Q magazine, but there’s a distinctly American spazziness that makes this an unpredictable, light, and usually enjoyable read.

This issue’s strong points:

  • I stand corrected from a few media reports ago. This baby’s got the best coverage of Biggie’s death including where the investigation is now and a good look at his life in the words of his friends. And it properly puts into context how he changed rap music in life and in death. Good stuff.
  • It’s super-breezy, but I liked the article on how Guitar Hero has blown up and where it’s going in future installments.
  • Damned good, almost too good for Blender article on Lee Hazlewood. My only real experience with the guy was being forced at gunpoint to sing "Proud To Be An American" each week when I worked as a 4-H camp counselor. Wait, that may not be the right guy…

This issue’s weak points:

  • Ashley Tisdale. It’s only a two-pager, but what’s the point? I don’t think her demographic cares about this mag, and this mag’s demographic needs her to get a whole lot more undressed.
  • Goddamnit. MORE New York coverage in any magazine? At least it’s hidden away, but this is still a big negative.
  • All
    in all, it’s not a bad issue. We all know there’s very little coverworthy that’s currently going on in the music biz, so get ready for a lot more covers like this.

Overall: 6.0 out of 10