This week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly is the big, “special double issue” that comes out every year before the maelstrom of summer movies begins to hit. We’re scant weeks away from Speed Racer kicking things into pure popcorn movie summer, and this issue is always eagerly awaited in my mailbox.

However, I have a truly bizarre love/hate relationship with it. Why? Well, it’s really simple. This magazine holds the promise of everything this summer of movies could possibly be. It represents the best of all possible worlds. Believe me, I want Iron Man, The Dark Knight, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, Hellboy 2, The X-Files 2 and everything else coming down the pipeline (with the exception of Made of Honor which makes me want to hurl) to be an exceedingly great movie experience.

It’s just that I know that they won’t be. Inevitably, something will disappoint me and leave a terrible taste in my mouth. I keep this issue around for weeks after it comes out, mostly due to the fact that’s a great source of release dates, blurbs, and little known fact about the summer flicks. For instance, did you know that Steven Spielberg loves Diet Coke? Well, now you do.

Sometimes I’ll go back to the issue after the fact and deride it, and be all smug like “Ha! Entertainment Weekly, you said Hancock would be great. You were so wrong. You suck.” And then other times I’ll go back and read another article and think “Well, you were right, EW. Wall-E was pretty damn awesome. I was right there with all along.”

For some strange reason, I’m unable to ignore this issue. I mean, put out a normal magazine with a cover story and photo devoted to the upcoming Kutcher/Diaz vomitspectacular that is What Happens In Vegas, and I won’t crack the cover. However, emblazon the front with SUPER MOVIE SUMMER SPECTACULAR! and I’m in like Flynn. I’m the first to admit that it’s ridiculous as hell, but I have a collection of these in a dusty box somewhere. In fact, film historians could chart the pop culture taste of America pretty well by reading each year’s issue and comparing them against the actual box office receipts.

As for me, I have to go re-read the article about The Incredible Hulk. I’m going to have to call a big thumbs down on this one. You heard it here first.

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