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Movie Website Reviews for Weekend of December 12, 2008

December 14th, 2008

One of the busier week's in a while when it comes to new releases, and there's a mix of wide releases and smaller Oscar hopefuls. It's the former category that has the best sites, with the widest release of the week, The Day the Earth Stood Still, having the best Official Site. On a side note, we also have a previous winner of the Weekly Website Award, Delgo - Official Site, and since the format of this column has changed since then, that will be the last time that happens.

$9.99 - Official Site
All the usual features are here, as well as a section on the making of the movie. Additionally, there are a number of short clips, very short clips used as intros or background animation. The overall effect is enough to not seem boring, but it also doesn't truly stand out.

Adam Resurrected - No Official Site
Nothing to review.

The Argentine - Che Part I - No Official Site
Nothing to review, again.

Dark Streets - Official Site
Why is there background music only on the home section? Besides that little idiosyncrasy, this is just an average site that doesn't stand out, especially during such a busy week.

The Day the Earth Stood Still - Official Site
There's a lot of sound and animation on this site. In fact, there's more sound and animation on this site than all other sites on this week's list combined. There's the usually features (synopsis, bios, production notes, images, and trailer) and each section has its own audio / video clip from the movie as an introduction. Additionally, there are three clips, a section for art work of Gort, and a side site where people listed their most vital things. In Canada, the number one item was Spam. Before you laugh, in the United States, it was Halo 3. At least you can eat Spam, which makes it a little more vital than a video game. As the widest release of the week, I was expecting more from the site. But what we have here is still pretty good, arguably the best site of the week, and the winner of the apocalyptic Weekly Website Award.

Delgo - Official Site
The usual features are here (synopsis, character bios, images, and trailers). There's also a behind-the-scenes featurette, a section on the world the movie takes place in, animation clips of the characters, a scrapbook, and more. It has been a long time since this site won the Weekly Website Award. A long, long, long time. However, in that time not a lot as changed on the site, but what was top-notch then is merely average now. Maybe a little above average, but the lack of sound really hurts. That said, once a winner, always winner.

Doubt - Official Site
An effective site that has all of the usual features, as well as a few clips from the movie. There's not much in the way of sound and animation to be found on this site, but what there is adds to its effectiveness.

Gran Torino - Official Site
Just yesterday I was thinking that for a potential Oscar contender, this is a very simple site with just the trailer. However, the full site launched since then and it at least now has all of the usual features, with a section for videos marked coming soon. I suspect when it opens wide in January, they will be added.

Nothing Like the Holidays - Official Site
The usual features are here (synopsis, bios, images, and trailer). There are also some extras including a few clips, a 'Price is Right' style game with groceries that I'm quite bad at, holiday tips, and more. Additionally, there's a full song used as background music and not just a short repetitive clip, which is normally a selling point, but not when it's a Christmas carol. On a serious note, there's plenty of style here and it's an effective site. Certainly one of the better sites of the week, but not quite award-worthy.

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi - Official Site
As with most sites for Bollywood films, there's a strong focus on the music here with different songs as background music for each section, as well as a section dedicated to the music. For that matter, many of the promo videos also deal with the music. (I had trouble viewing the videos on the site, but the YouTube page worked just fine.) The rest of the usual features are here, mostly (there are no bios, just a cast & crew list) as well as extras like a text based interview. Definitely worth checking out.

The Reader - Official Site
Frustrating site with nearly all of the media marked coming soon (images, clips, and interviews). Given the rest of the information on the site, which includes rather extensive production notes, and the style, it could have been a top-notch site.

Wendy and Lucy - Official Site
Just the very basics (synopsis, bios, images, & trailer) with no flash to make it stand out. Hopefully its recent nominations will do that.

What Doesn't Kill You - Official Site
All the usual features are here (synopsis, bios, images, and trailer), as well as several clips from the movie. However, it's a very static site, and a silent one, which hurts its effectiveness.

Where God Left His Shoes - Official Site
All the usual information is here, as then some. There's director's statement, Q&A, production notes, etc. There's a lot of information, but not a lot of flash.

While She Was Out - Official Site
Just the trailer.


Filed under: Gran Torino, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Doubt, Nothing Like the Holidays, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Delgo, Wendy and Lucy, $9.99