Sunday, November 7, 2010

Reviewing the New Hollywood Reporter

The premiere issue of the revamped Hollywood Reporter has arrived.  When I first heard the news of the redesign of the classic show business trade publication, I wrote (in a somewhat snarky way) that it was rediscovering journalism.  I wondered if it would be a step in the right direction, and, judging by this first issue, the answer is yes. 

The weekly magazine format works well, allowing it to present some interesting articles in a pleasant-to-read full-color, broadsheet layout.

It looks nice, but content is king, and the new issue is loaded with informative, fun-to-digest articles.  The cover story is an "Actress Roundtable" featuring a conversation with Tinseltown leading ladies Amy Adams, Nicole Kidman, Hilary Swank, Natalie Portman, Helena Bonham Carter, and Annette Bening.  Other compelling features include a story on how Marvel Entertainment is changing Hollywood and how Dancing with the Stars struggled to become a reality. There is also a fascinating poll about late-night TV shows.

The smaller articles are just as much fun to read and full of news: a comparison of the box-office resultes for Pixar versus Dreamworks animation, a look at upcoming movies about alien invasions, a peak at the costumes from Tron: Legacy, a piece on brand-name 3D glasses, and more. 

The magazine still has the old staples from the classic edition, such as reviews of movies and television shows and summaries of industry deals, but it definitely has a mainstream feel that goes beyond the Hollywood insider base.  It is a great start to a promising relaunch.  Hopefully the momentum will continue in future issues.

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