Thursday, May 06, 2004

Magazine: Movieline’s Hollywood Life, May issue

MOVIELINE used to be a fun rag. Gossipy, full of blind items and celebrity interviews that would occasionally go off the rails. No other magazine would have run Joe Queenan’s ‘Mickey Rourke For A Day’ piece.

Over time, the magazine’s focus drifted to younger actors, interchangeable faces I couldn’t remember long enough to forget. But I kept up my subscription because the magazine was ridiculously cheap. For a brief period, I think they were paying me to read it.

Last year, a glossy called MOVIELINE’S HOLLYWOOD LIFE appeared in my mailbox. It had been remade completely. The contents page reads that it’s now “published monthly except bi-monthly March/April, July/August and December/January.” That’s what, nine times a year? Is there a word for that? (Yes, there is: erratic.) Each issue is stuffed with 12-page fashion spreads and photos of boîtes on Sunset. I can make it through the written content in seven minutes. I timed it. And now that the publishing schedule has changed, my subscription has been extended far into the foreseeable future. I’d cancel it, but I get more satisfaction tossing the magazine into the trash than I would from forcing some beleaguered operator into sending my $1.87 back.

The May issue, though, is pushing it. There’s a list of ‘Young Hollywood Whatever-Happened-Tos’ like Wes Bentley and Rachael Leigh Cook, people who once were regular fixtures in the magazine. The cover story is on Alicia Silverstone, and in a violation of every rule of show business, she’s not promoting anything. Her TV series MISS MATCH has been cancelled, and her movie SCOOBY DOO 2, in which she only had a supporting role, opened weeks ago. Shouldn’t she have been on the ‘whatever-happened-to’ list? Hedda Hopper is spinning in her grave.

Music: Norah Jones

I’m used to hearing Norah Jones at the gym and in Starbucks. But on Country Music Television? Does she have to be everywhere now? I think I’ve stumbled onto a little-known provision of the Patriot Act.

Miscellaneous: Links

Dennis Lehane talks about life after MYSTIC RIVER and his new short story in the Atlantic Monthly. (From Sarah Weinman.) Proof that broad, uplifting comedies are popular everywhere, even in Iran. And thanks to the efforts of the New York State Attorney General’s office, the recording industry now owes the late Don Ameche the princely sum of $203.