April 14, 2009
Movieline is back
The 90's movie magazine Movieline is back, online only. The print magazine ran from 1989 to 2003, and it was a fun read. Looking back at it now, it serves as an interesting document about how people thought about movies and celebrities in our no-so-distant ancient past (for example, the 2003 "sex symbol" Kevin Spacey cover above, that frankly makes my skin crawl.) To help take you back, here's a 1996 cover with a quote from Heather Locklear about whether she or Teri Hatcher had the most downloaded images.
The original magazine was a good general-interest movie mag, but also compiled some smart and interesting lists, like their 1995 100 Best Movies Ever Made list, a few years before AFI started doing their own. They also did a 100 Best Foreign Films list in 1996. The Best Movies list has some good choices (Being There, In a Lonely Place) and included only 3 movies from the 90's. But one of those was True Lies. So I guess the magazine attempted to balance thinky film criticism with whatever was popular at the moment.
The new site seems to have a similar philosophy. They've got interviews with Emily Blunt and the guy who directed the new Grey Gardens, and also gossip about Leo DiCaprio and Zac Efron talking about heroin and a bit about Seinfeld porn. And stuff about TV like Parks and Recreation.
It looks like they're going for accessibility, balanced with some stuff for people who are really into watching movies and some stuff for people who are really into celebrity gossip. A bunch of the editors were hired from Defamer, which Gawker shut down as an independent site a couple of months ago. Hard to say if the world needs another site like this, but it's good to see the Defamer group is largely intact in a new home. Hopefully they'll resist the original Movieline magazine trajectory--in 2003 it changed its name to Hollywood Life, which was like a less interesting US Weekly that nobody read.
The new Movieline is owned by Mail.com, which is weird. Mail.com says that in addition to the email service they have "a growing number of essential online content destinations."
The Vault, an archive of all the print magazines, is coming soon. You can see a lot of old covers up there now, featuring a young Johnny Depp, a young Christina Ricci, and a really young Robert Downey, Jr.
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