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Movie Website Reviews for the Weekend of April 17th, 2009

April 18th, 2009

A better than average week for movie websites, with no really bad sites, and only a few that are not at least better than average. There was a two-way race for the best of the best, with State of Play's Official Site coming out on top and winning the Weekly Website Award.

17 Again - Official Site
Not a bad site with enough sound and animation to not seem boring. There are a few extras including a couple music videos, and a Flashback game that asks you a series of trivia questions based on the year you turned 17. Got 100% right, but I did guess of the football one. (I'm more of a CFL man myself.) Overall it is a good site, but not an award-worthy site.

American Violet - Official Site
All the usual features are here, plus a few extras. Most notable are the seven clips, while there is also a rather active blog. There is also a section to give your stories, but that's still marked coming soon. On the other hand, there's not a lot of flash here, and it can't rise above average.

Crank 2 - High Voltage - Official Site
First of all, this site is hidden behind a age-verification device, but either it is set up to handle Canadian viewers, or it is running on the honor system. (Or maybe I got in cause I could correctly enter a swear word.) I'm of two minds on this site. On the one hand, there's a lot to see and do here. On the other hand, it is a bit of a mess. You are instructed to keep Chev Chelios' heart going by checkout the site, but quickly. Granted, the timer is slow and you can view it at a relatively leisurely pace, but even a slow countdown encourages you to check out all the features as fast as possible without actually reading anything. The extras are impressive with several clips, a handful of trivia questions, and even a few games, but it doesn't feel like a cohesive whole, which cost it the Weekly Website Award.

Every Little Step - Official Site
Generally speaking, most movie sites for documentaries don't have a lot of flash, and I go in with lowered expectations because of that. However, is a documentary about a musical, and I was expecting more. What's here isn't bad, but there's nothing that really makes it stand out either.

The Golden Boys - Official Site
For such a wide limited release, and one with a rather impressive cast, there's not a lot here. They don't even have the cast bios, just a cast list. There are a couple of songs you can listen to, but you can't listen to them while you surf the rest of the site.

Is Anybody There? - Official Site
Just the basics (synopsis, production notes, bios, images, and trailer) without any flash to help it stand out.

Lemon Tree - Official Site
Like the intro to this site and how the lemons fall off the tree to become the menu items. And it does have all of the usual features, as well as a good background song, but that's not enough to truly stand out.

Sleep Dealer - Official Site
It's rare for a limited release site to have something to really makes it stand out, but with this site, it is the image gallery. You can zoom in on the image, flip it around to reach its caption, flip it back and zoom out. It's not a lot, but it is certainly different, and unexpected. The site also has the usual features, as well as a video clip from Wired Magazine, and it is certainly better than most limited release sites.

State of Play - Official Site
A very in-depth site with most of the features found in the Experience. This section allows you to follow one of the characters throughout the arc of the story, and it even branches several times. There are plenty of video and audio clips, as well as downloadables. Add in the regular features (synopsis, production notes, cast & crew bios, image gallery, and trailer) and you have a top-notch site. It sets the tension high, it gives a lot of details without feeling spoilerish, and it sells the movie well. Perhaps it doesn't have as much content as Crank 2 - High Voltage's Official Site, but the content it does have is presented in a much clearer fashion.


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Filed under: 17 Again, State of Play, Crank 2: High Voltage