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I first picked up a copy of Hotdog when it was first launched, back in July 2000. Admittedly, I was attracted by the low first issue cover price (£1.50), and simply by the fact that I was interested in a new film magazine on the market - but the clincher was the fact that it was a Robert De Niro special. Features on the man himself, as well as a special section listing and rating each and every one of the great man's films, complete with availability and classic quotes. Needless to say, I was impressed. The mag as a whole was fresh and informative, so I decided to buy the following month's effort. As I remember, it was decent enough, but no particular feature grabbed me like the De Niro special had. I decided to stick with my tried and tested Empire, and leave Hotdog for others to peruse. Recently, however, I have become somewhat disheartened with Empire. Since the major redesign (and apparent staff shake-up), my usual first choice has fallen by the wayside. A lack of meaty features, almost every blockbuster movie getting a decent rating - and, worst of all, the introduction of lightweight "funny" articles. Not so. I decided to give Hotdog a reassessment - I'm glad I did. Let's start with the basics. At £2.99 per issue, Hotdog is averagely priced within its market. The front cover is simplistic, with a main image and accompanying text, as well as minimal advertising for features within the magazine. This style ensures that the front cover does not become too cluttered or messy. For example, this month's issue (November 2001) displays the magazine's title towards the top, as is the norm, and one main image of three faces - Brando, Pacino and De Niro. We learn that these faces are displayed because the magazine carries a feature on what they deem "The Greatest Movie Ever" - The Godfather. This is where Hotdog's major strength lies. Yes, this is a magazine that brings you the latest movie revie ws and news from the world of film, but it is also unashamedly cult film orientated. Taking the Godfather issue into account once again, we get 10 pages devoted to the infamous Mafia movie, focusing on the production of the film, why certain actors were cast, and how the whole thing was pulled together. The feature is given further relevance by the fact that The Godfather Trilogy is to be released this month for the first time on DVD. This is just one example of the superb features contained in this publication - the only downside being that major plot points are discussed, meaning that if you haven't seen the movie, then you're going to know what happens before you get a chance to view it. However, it is fair to say that Hotdog isn't aimed at the casual moviegoer. Again, this is one of Hotdog's strengths. Whilst it may put off any members of the public who just want to know when Adam Sandler's next "hilarious" caper is scheduled to hit the silver screen, Hotdog makes up for that by attracting those who take pride in their film collection. This point is strengthened with the monthly short feature "What about..." - a double page piece profiling a cult character from the movies. This month sees the turn of Jesus Quintana, the result of John Tuturro's stunning cameo in The Big Lebowski. The Coen Brothers theme continues with an interview with Joel and Ethan themselves - a four page article mainly to do with their upcoming Cannes favourite 'The Man Who Wasn't There' starring Billy Bob Thornton. This continuity is pleasing; meaning there is form to the magazine, rather than simply a series of disjointed articles. Aside from the feature articles, (others this month include a 2002 preview, as well as other interviews with Tara Reid and Chris Penn), there are the regulars. You've got your standard letters page, something I'd like to see extended to at least two pages - as it is, this month's issue only manages to squeeze six short efforts in, the same as last month's edition. Next comes the excellent element - the "Must-See Triple Whammy". Six pages are given over every month to three movies that Hotdog highly recommends the reader checks out, be they out that month at the cinema, to rent, or to buy. Another standard feature, as you'd expect, is the movie news section - a healthy portion of snippets hinting at what certain actors/directors next projects may be, gossip from on-set, pre-production woes, or whatever is making big splashes in the movie world that particular month. I found the movie rumours section to be particularly interesting, although "Futurama", the section on new films in the can and ready to hit the big screen sometime soon, whilst informative, is woefully brief. So what's left? Ah, of course, the reviews. 30 pages plus are generally given over to rundowns on new movies at the cinema, to buy and to rent as well as film-related books, soundtracks and home cinema technology. The only annoying addition is the page of computer game reviews, which are just plainly out of place in a movie magazine - although Hotdog is not the only culprit here. Reviews are generally concise and to the point, with the odd exception for new movies at the cinema. The five star method of rating is employed, and therefore it is fairly straightforward at-a-glance to see if Hotdog deems a film much cop or not. The refreshing aspect of Hotdog's review section is its concentration on DVD in respect to its movies to buy/rent section. This ensures films aren't reviewed twice (on video and DVD), and opens up space to expand on any extra features the DVD may contain. This is done extremely well, with all DVDs being given two ratings out of five, the first for the film contained on the disc, the second for the quality of extras. Nice touch, that. Tucked away towards the back of the ma g, you'll also find a nice optional extra. Four pages are given to "Going Underground", an in-depth section on indie/short films, which also encourages readers to send in their short films in for perusal. Another nice feature that makes this particular publication stand out from the rest. All in all then, with quality regular sections and constantly interesting feature articles month by month, coupled with good competitions and first-class reviews, Hotdog is a magazine for the serious film buff - despite minor grumbles. At £2.99 a month, the magazine is reasonably priced, but take out a subscription and you'll be getting even better value for money. The current offer sees you receive your first three issues for just £1. Following that, it costs £9.99 for every six issues you receive - resulting in a saving of a whopping 44% on off-the-shelf price. If you're interested, you can fill out the coupon in the back of the magazine, or simply phone the following instant order phone number: 01454 642495 Now, I don't know about you, but to me that sounds like an offer I can't refuse...
There is a wide variety of film magazines available to the film buff. I?ve read most of them and feel that there isn?t that much difference between them. Obviously when films are released, all the magazines interview the stars, directors etc. Consequently, you get a sense of deja-vu when going from one magazine to another. Some magazines have one or two extra features that attempt to differentiate their publication from the others. Empire, for example, has a classic scene section at the end. Hotdog, however, truly stands out in terms of presentation, content and overall quality. What makes Hotdog different from others is that instead of focusing each issue on recently released films, the magazine celebrates classic films of the past. Every publication is guaranteed to have a feature on truly memorable movies, for example Taxi Driver, Apocalypse Now, Easy Rider. In these articles, the actors, directors, producers (just about anyone involved in the project) are interviewed and provide interesting perspectives and rarely known facts. Having said that, a great deal of attention is still paid to new releases. As a result, the magazine is a truly diverse read as it encompasses films from opposite ends of the cinematic spectrum, ranging from Bonnie and Clyde to Spy Kids. There are some funny quirky features too. A page that specialises in various top five tables, ranging from "The Top Five Actors With The Most Oscar Nominations" to "The Top Five Best Girl Fights" is always a source of amusement. A career-graph in every issues examines various stars?, such a Ray Liotta and Drew Barrymore, success and flops on a detailed graph! I believe that one of the reasons for this magazine?s success is its experienced group of writers. Every issue has guest contributors who have written from high profile newspapers and magazines such as The Times and Vogue. This leads to a detailed and informative yet easy read. Moreover the cover of the magazine is adds to further appeal. Most film magazines opt for a cover with pictures of the month?s new releases. Hotdog reflects it?s diversity by using pictures of the classic films that it may be featuring that month. If I were to be picky and to try to criticise the magazine, I could argue that sometimes it misses out relevant facts in its unique articles. For example, it once did a great article about Jack Nicholson- however it failed to list a full film biography. There have been times when it has been misinformed on certain aspects of film trivia too. This however does not detract from the overall quality of the magazine. It?s definitely the best film publication around at the moment. If you don?t believe me - get this month?s issue which has a huge feature on the Bond film series.
I have to admit before I start that Hotdog is not my first choice of movie magazine. I have been reading Total Film and Empire for a while now and whilst it makes a welcome change, it probably couldn't replace these two on my reading list. That is nothing to do with its quality however, just because you get used to a certain magazine and its style and it becomes like an old friend. Hotdog however, is excellent as an occassional accompaniment to either of these and something which I tend to buy every three months or so when they have a feature I am especially interested in. Another point to make clear - Hotdog is different to the competition! And it is this which makes it a worthy accompaniment to your usual mag. Whereas the others tend to focus on newer movies and DVD releases, gossip etc. Hotdog is somewhat more retro, looking at older movies as well as newer ones and as such is excellent for picking out some of the classic movies which you may have missed along the way - through such things as not being born etc...lol. The thing which really draws me towards this magazine however, is the reverance paid to actors and directors in each issue. This magazine is written, it would appear, by real movie fans, as well as professional journos. They really go in depth on their actor/director studies, paying homage to their life and work in a way which is somewhat more sanitised in other magazines - and they do this every month. I tend to flick through each month to see if they are covering someone who is interesting me in a particular month before deciding whether to buy or not. They are also very good at doing features on the top 10/50/100 whatever, best movies in a particular category, whihc lets you pinpoint some of the best which may have past you by. Some people have argued that Hotdog is like the 'Loaded' of movie magazines and to be honest this is a fair comment. A lot of the articles are written in a very 'blokey' style and they do include features like 'top movie babes' and 'movie babe of the month'...you know the type of thing - but I wouldn't say that they alienate female readers despite the relatively male dominated staff and angles. The movies covered are certainly seen as tradional bloke movies rather than 'chick flicks'...looking at the issue in front of me for example, there is a special feature on The Italian Job and there's a feature on why you should be proud to call yourself British...because we have some of the sexiest actresses and a bunch of photos and profiles - not something I could see them repeating with men as the subject! The rest of the magazine is devoted to the usual news, reviews, DVDs etc that you would expect to find anywhere else. What you get here is pretty much the same as in virtually every other movie magazine and they are all very hard to separate. If its new, it'll get a review, its as simple as that. Bigger movies will get larger reviews whilst smaller, lesser known movies will get a couple of lines. They are all the same in this respect. As far as I can tell, Hotdog has as much of a comprehensive list as anyone else, although cuts back on the gossip and news sections to bring you their in depth studies instead. Basically, Hotdog is a good magazine with a laddish spin. It covers what the others cover but also looks at the classic movies and plenty of top 10 style categories...again movies from the past however recent. It is not as impressive in terms of bringing you movie news and gossip but doesn't aim for that audience, which has been saturated by the other mags anyway. If you don't think you'll like the 'laddish' spin on a number of the reviews then steer clear, otherwise its well worth the look in terms of backing up your usual read, but if its news and gossip you're after then look elsewhere.
Hotdog fills a gaping hole in the movie magazine market between the highbrow 'Sight and Sound' and the mass market 'Empire'. All the movie, video and DVD reviews that you could possibly want are present and correct. But what really sets Hotdog apart from the competition, is its evident infatuation with great movies, actors and directors - both past and present. These articles are the highlight of the magazine each month. The 'Loaded' contingent will be well satisfied with regular movie-babe features - but Hotdog certainly does not belong in the bloke-mag category. It will appeal to anyone who loves going to the movies and wants to read a magazine that shares this love - Ah!!!
From the makers of Loaded magazine comes Hotdog, a new entrant into an already overcrowded and competitive film publications market. This mag continues the 'lad' culture theme that breathes life back into an area of printed media that was being endangered by the Internet. If you are interested in images of scantily clad women with a cinematic twist, then this is magazine for you. I am always on the look out for something fresh and interesting and each issue of Hotdog comes up with the goods. The old favourites are present, film reviews, star interviews, letters etc, but the good news is that the mag has a strong mix of the classic, mainstream and new comers. The editorial is a mixed bag of talent and includes James Brown (not the James Brown!) and Jonathan Ross. This can only bring good to Hotdog and it is refreshing to read reviews and articles that do not pull any punches. Movies of the 1960's and 1970's are an interest of mine, and Hotdog cover this timeline very well with quality articles and information. If you are looking for something different, try Hotdog. Pros Refreshing, takes no prisoners Good to see a magazine that does not suck up to film stars. Web presence. Cons Very competitive market - will it survive?
While there are many films magazines out there, in my opinion by far the best of them all is Hot Dog. In the first issue of Hot Dog it promised to cover the old classic movies as well as the new ones. And while it does cover the old films, it still has more than ample coverage of all the latest movies and upcoming stars. The first section of the magazine each month keeps you up to date with all the happenings in the world of film, aswell as having mini-interviews and small features. The middle of the magazine contains features, such as a top ten , of, for example of the biggest flops ever, or a feature on a certain actor, in the past this has been on stars such as Jim Carey or Al Pachino. There is normally also a few interviews with the stars of the latest movies. The last part of the magazine has reviews of the latest cinema, video and DVD releases, managing to cover a suprising amount of material from all genres.
Guns, Girls and Gangsters is the focus of this monthly journal, and it's all the better for it. Instead of merely focusing on new movies, it also looks back at classic gems of the silver screen. I've bought all 4 issues so far and I am ready to subscribe for a lower price. The De Niro profile was great, as are the Top 10 lists (Psychos, Impossible Missions, Cars) while the DVD reviews are a welcome advantage. The two supplements so far have been good (pin ups through the history of Hollywood and a classic poster mag including gems such as Apocalypse Now, Deep Throat, The Enforcer, Straw Dogs and Enter the Dragon), and the posters inside each magazine are good (one side a beautiful girly and on the other a classic movie - Taxi Driver, Carlito's Way, Goodfellas, Emmanuelle). Get this mag!!!!
Having just read the first edition of this new magazine, I am very impressed. Having an 11 hour flight ahead of me, I bought 3 magazines and 2 papers and expected them to last 2 hrs max! Nope, i was reading hotdog for 4 hours alone. This mag rocks. I love a mag that has a lads twist. First things first the size is perfect, some mags are to large, this one is managable and slick quality cover. The contents are indepth and interesting and wrote by people who really care about the movie's. Oofcourse the best bit in the mag was the de'niro profile. God this was heaven, every movie rated and listed that he has ever been in. The most famous quotes from each film and at the end a spook interview with the famously hard to interview de'niro. 2 large posters, reviews, previews and the normal movie mag stuff all add to an excellent addition to the rather thin on top quality movie mag genre.
It's all bells and whistles, with fancy design and ATTITUDE, which is probably what 'Hotdog' hopes will keep the boat afloat despite the fact that Empire and Total Film carve up the market betwixt them. Fact is, it won't. Grab Hotdog, with its smart-arsed text and big pictures of Laydeez while you can, because six months from now, it will be a distant memory. A lot of the reviews are too short, the articles dominated by pictures, and the general tone a bit laddish and underdeveloped. Remember Neon, anyone? Neon looked just as jazzy as this, and was infinitely wittier than either of the old favourites, and yet it died the death. Somehow, I think a magazine that is weakly written and over-designed will suffer the same fate.
Hotdog is a new movie magazine, more the style of Total Film than Empire. It seems to be aimed at the younger, trendy market, and is only a few issues old. I buy Empire and Total Film every month, and can't really recommend Hotdog above these. It's got a fun layout and good pictures, but isn't really as informative as some of the other film mags on your newsagent shelves. The reviews are alright, although not desperately detailed, but the previews are pretty good. This will appeal more to people who aren't major film fans, but still want to know what's going on from a different perspective than maybe Empire, which is slightly more sophisticated. Not a bad read, but nothing amazing.
HOT Dog magazine is only upto issue 2 - and i still can't seem to find it anywhere!! Can anyone out there help me - I was especially intersted in the magazine as one of the advertisements i saw mentioned them selling the scooter out of the GREATEST BRITISH MOVIE of all time Quadrophenia. If anyone knows where the best place to get the magazine from or any further details about the Quadrophenia scooter competitiopn / feature please make a comment about this review - or not a review - as i can't find the magazine anywhere !!