Friday, February 04, 2005

Glossies: Color Complex

The postman always rings twice.

Most days—or those when bills outnumber the good news—his rings are short and fast. If the music is loud or the dogs are barking, I’ll miss him. But if my regular mailman sees a check, magazine or package addressed to me—his bell rings are loud and persistent. Today, two piercing rings announce the February/March Complex.

Marc Ecko’s new publication is subtitled “The Original Buyer’s Guide for Men.” It caters to most of my neuroses—shopping, gym, appearance, staying on top of trends—so I devour the glossy like candy. The icing on the cake: the mag has two covers, and you have to flip it to start over.

This month, we’re treated to Ashton Kutcher and Christina Milan on opposite covers. The hot new songstress stars as Be Cool's sexy femme fatale—opposite Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson as a gay bodyguard/actor type. (Sigh) You remember—about to weeks ago, we saw all the eye candy from his Details cover?

But unlike other upscale glossies targeted to men, Complex does not have a color complex. Every issue, expect considerable content directed toward the urban audience. In this issue, look for writeups on F. Gary Gray, RZA's film scoring, and the regular feature What's in Kanye West's Backpack?

[Bokeem Woodbine via]

Flip to pp 62-67 on the Christina side; there's another feature worthy of mention. Street Theater showcases five actors in photo shoots and here's the breakdown: two are black, and one is mixed race. I'm lovin' it.

The first brotha is Bokeem Woodbine, who I've wanted loved admired since HBO's Strapped eleven years ago. Then, his striking bronzed features and chiseled physique were his calling card. Today, he's matured into a respected character actor, and the editors call him "The Method Actor." Fresh from a well-received performance in Ray, he has several projects in development and post, like Blood of a Champion, about NYC's underground fight club scene. The stylists threw him in seersucker Nautica and an Ecko cover-up; it's a cute look, but I've never been a fan of that retro Kanye-hip hop-preppy look.

[Anthony Mackie in Brother to Brother]

It-boy Anthony Mackie is the second brotha profiled, and he's called "The Heart Throb." It's hard to believe that he's only been doing this for three years. He is doing. the. damn. thang. Roles in Million Dollar Baby, the Manchurian Candidate, She Hate Me and ... ? what did I leave purposefully leave out?

Back in December, you’ll recall my review of Brother to Brother—fortunately no relation, and that's among the reasons for the upcoming name change and redesign—and it was not good. The movie was slow, the plot contrived and the characters unsympathetic.

That aside, young Anthony is a fine actor, and the Complex editors do him justice. "Before you know it, "Ant' will be the next famous Hollywood name," the copy gushes. They're right. His first film was 8 Mile, and he delivered a stand-out portrayal of Eminem's rival Papa Doc. The fact that Clint Eastwood selected him for Baby speaks for itself. What is there not to like about this guy?