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Movie Website Reviews for Weekend of May 9, 2008

May 10th, 2008

Big week for movie releases, which means a big week for websites. However, what this week's list has in quantity, we lose in quality. None have what it takes to become the Weekly Website Winner, and while Speed Racer - Official Site comes the closest, it fails on medical grounds.

The Babysitters - Official Site
If you design websites for movies, do not have all of the bios in one big block of text. And if you do have all of the bios in one big block of text, make sure the surfer can scroll quickly to the bio they want to read. Otherwise, the site is just average in content and lacking is style.

Bloodline - Official Site
More flash that most documentary sites, but I don't think that they can sell this film on the substance. There's not a whole lot of content here, and if this movie were a work of fiction, the site would be better than most limited releases get. However, if just doesn't work for the genre.

Edgar Allen Poe's House of Usher - Official Site
The official site is just a page on the Here! official site.

The Fall - Official Site
Just the absolute basics, and even then the bios are missing. There are lots of images and the trailer is quite enticing, but overall the site doesn't have the same power as the movie.

Frontier(s) - Official Site
The movie is going out into theaters Unrated, and they're using that theme on the site. I'm pretty sure the MPAA would not allow this level of violence on a site. However, while the violence is high, the content is low. There are several clips, but the only regular features are the synopsis and the trailer.

Noise - No Official Site
No site, nothing to review.

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies - Official Site
Just a page on the distributor's official site.

A Previous Engagement - Official Site
All of the usual information (synopsis, bios, images, and trailer), as well as six clips that sell the film very well. There's not a lot of flash, but the background song is better than most. It is a full song and not a repetitive clip; however, it doesn't loop on its own. Finally, there is a contest that is open to Canadians as well as Americans.

Prom Wars - Official Site
Just the poster and a link to MySpace and Facebook. On a side note, I really like the song on the MySpace page. I'm going to have to hunt down the band's CD.

Speed Racer - Official Site
... Spinning graphic make brain hurt. If I look any longer, might have seizure. ... On a serious note, who thought the spinning disc was a good idea? The site does have a lot going for it, including all of the usual features, 360 degree images of many of the virtual sets, eight short video clips on the cars, even more on the special effects, a making of featurette that would not be out of place on the DVD, and there's even a racing game. Normally this would be enough to earn the site the Weekly Website Award. However, that spinning disc is making me nauseous every time I look at it and that's a large enough complaint to prevent it from winning the award. On a side note, after checking out this site I am no more interested in watching the movie, but I'm dying to play Carmageddon II: Carpocalypse Now again. Since that game was based on Death Race 2000, maybe when Death Race 3000 comes out, someone will release a similar game. One can only hope.

The Stone Angel - Official Site
Just the basics (synopsis, bios, images, and trailer). The only extra is a blog with only two entries.

Surfwise - Official Site
The heart of this site are the Webisodes, which are 10 short clips from the movie, most of which are at least hinted at in the trailer. The intros are the same for each, which means there's a lot of repetition and that really hurts the site.

The Tracey Fragments - Official Site
In terms of regular features, this site has just the synopsis, trailer, and lots of images. There is also a comic book version of the story you can download, a blog with plenty of entries, and finally plenty of video clips that were entered in the Re-fragmented contest.

Turn the River - Official Site
Outside of the trailer, there are none of the usual features. Most of the rest of the site seems focused on getting the surfer to spread the word about the movie rather than convincing the surfer to see the movie.

Unsettled - Official Site
Typical documentary site with enough information, at least it would have enough information is the character bios were not marked coming soon. However, there is a lack of style common with this type of sites.

Vice - Official Site
All the usual information is present, but there's no style. The best feature is the interview featurette, which wouldn't be out of place on the DVD release.

What Happens in Vegas... - Official Site
Most of the usual features are here, minus the bios. There are a couple extras like the madlib and some style in the form of audio clips in front of each section, but nothing that makes it stand out. Also, the background song is way too short and doesn't loop smoothly.


Filed under: What Happens in Vegas..., Speed Racer, The Fall, OSS 117, Surfwise, Bloodline, The Babysitters, The Tracey Fragments, Noise, Frontière(s), Turn the River, Edgar Allan Poe's House of Usher, Unsettled