import_contacts Ain’t It Cool News

reviewed by Kimberly Villalba Wright

Published in Issue No. 17 ~ October, 1998

Ain’t It Cool News begs the question with its title: well, ain’t it cool? The old mustard color of the background is definitely not cool. In fact, it’s downright gross. However, it is an informative zine, chock full of scoops for television and movie sci-fi.

Most of the stories in the coax section are short newsbites, with the exception of the review of Babylon 5‘s last 5 episodes. That story was more detailed and emotional, which, as a B5 devotee myself, I completely understand. The reviewer managed to review the last 5 eps with as few spoilers as possible. One on hand, that’s great, but there’s a little demon on my shoulder that wants to find the reviewer, kick his butt, and take the B5 tapes. The end of October is much too long to wait for the next new episode of B5.

The coax stories also provide a forum for reader feedback for each story, which can be somewhat entertaining to read. However, such a forum is invariably a springboard for someone to attack either the reporter or the show. Whenever a public forum is opened, one person will, without fail, finger-paint with his or her excrement.

The movie reviews are a tad ponderous. The reviewer shares a lot of autobiographical detail about the day he had before he actually stepped into the theater. They do this for a purpose: an investigation of bias. They seek to share “who your reviewer is and what he was anticipating.” While that helps the reader to know why the reviewer thought as he did about the movie, it makes the review itself a little too long. Plus, the reviews I read used too many non-specific terms, such as kick ass and whup ass. I wish they could find more creative ways of saying that an actor or actress shined in a movie. It’s also slightly ridiculous not to use the actor or actress’s name in a review. By the time a reader reads the review, they will probably already know who stars in the movie. Why then handicap the review? I was also troubled by the run-on sentences I saw in the reviews, particularly in Armageddon‘s second review.

The movie reviews were the weakest area in the zine (besides the background color). Despite these problems, I found a lot of interesting information in here, including updates on the next X-Files episode. If you are a sci-fi fan who wants the latest scoop without spoilers, this is a place to investigate.

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Kimberly Villalba Wright was born in Hollywood, Florida, and has spent most of her life in Mobile, Alabama. She earned a BA in English at the University of South Alabama in 1997. Her poetry has appeared in the Epiphany, Arrowsmith, Doggerel, Dicat Libre, El Locofoco, as well as Poetry Café. This fall, Wright will begin working toward an MFA in creative Writing at the University of Memphis. Wright currently resides in Kennett, Missouri.