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Movie Website Updates for July 29 - August 4

August 4th, 2006

Third week in a row where the number of sites featured on this list has topped 30. With such a busy week it would take something different to win the award, and that's something Michel Gondry excels at delivering giving The Science of Sleep - Official Site the Weekly Website Award.

Accepted - Official Site
A couple more features were added to the site, including a feature that allows you to fill out your yearbook and design your own curriculum.

Apocalypto - Official Site
This movie actually dropped off my radar screens until Mel Gibson's despicable anti-Semitic tirade. There have been some updates, namely an image gallery, the backlash over his comments and the non-apology means the film's release could be delayed. He has enough money and clout to release the film on his own should Disney drop the project altogether.

Artie Lange's Beer League - Official Site
A couple of new features were added including a rather fun pinball game.

The Barnyard - Official Site
Nothing new this week, but it's still a fun site that should attract its target demographic. However, it is not an award winning site.

Beerfest - Official Site
The trailer is on the site so you don't have to wait for 30 minutes of loading to be disappointed. Also, there's information about the World Tour, which includes a bunch of American dates and one stop in Toronto.

The Black Dahlia - Official Site
So far just synopsis, image gallery, trailer and behind-the-scenes featurette. This looks better than its September release date would suggest.

Bring It On: All or Nothing - Official Site
The main prize for the Cheer Squad was revealed... It's a walk on part for the next installment in the successful franchise. Not a bad prize.

Casino Royale - Official Site
The latest blog is about the main villain in the movie, Le Chiffre, played by Mads Mikkelsen, who is probably best known to North American audiences as Tristan in King Arthur.

Charlotte's Web - Official Site
I forgot to mention, they also added Samuel's section to Wilbur's barn.

The Covenant - Official Site
No updates this week, but I just wanted to note that the menu rotates the wrong way. It should turn counter-clockwise since that's the direction associated with witches and the like.

Crank - Official Site
The placeholder site was redesigned and the TV spots were added to the main site.

Crossover - Official Site
There's a new Dunk Game on the site that is a little too addictive.

The Departed - Official Site
The site is just a re-direct, but I recently saw the trailer. (It's not on any official site I can link to, yet.) It started out excellent and it significantly raised the film's stock, until the really bad Pink Floyd remake. Ugh. It was such a bad rendition of the song that it took me a while to just recognize it. The movie, on the other hand, looks excellent and I suspect there will be some Oscar nominations for the cast.

The Descent - Official Site
The full experience was added to the site giving it an only slightly more interactive feel.

Employee of the Month - Official Site
There's a new trailer on the site, but that's the only real new content on the site. As for the quality of the trailer, it's marginally better, but still feels like it earned its September release date.

Ghost Rider - Official Site
The latest video blog entry talks about the transformation from Johnny Blaze to Ghost Rider; but they only show stills and not a video clip. Without seeing the video of the transformation, it is too soon to tell if it looks realistic enough to help the movie or if it will kill suspension of disbelief. On the other hand, show an early animation test now could kill the film's chances just like it did with Hulk. On a side note, a regularly updated blog can really help keep the fanbase informed while selling the film. The Casino Royale - Official Site is doing a great job of this right now and perhaps the perfect example was the Clerks 2 - Official Site... Next week will be practically the first week in 10 months not to feature that site. But studios can't rely on the Internet to sell a movie since people have to be proactive in searching for the information meaning it only reaches the base and not the mainstream audiences.

Half Nelson - Official Site
The site has all the usual information including the trailer, but the links are broken. Hopefully that will change soon as it was an especially effective trailer.

Idlewild - Official Site
I was getting worried about the lack of updates for this movie, but this week the flash site launched. First of all, "A Story in the Key of Cool" is a terrible tagline. Unintentionally funny is how I would put it. The site has all the usual feature with the cast & crew bios marked coming soon. Extras include clips, (marked coming soon), and a Keys to the Church music mixer. I'm looking forward to the movie, but more for the music than anything else. The clips might change that, if they are added to the site before the movie opens.

Keeping Mum - Official Site
There's not much here, and what is didn't really sell me on the movie. Its is a shame since I really like the cast.

Lucky You - Official Site
The trailer finally worked for me, but it left me cold. The reason why poker is such an exciting competition to watch, (and it is a competition, not a sport), is you never know what cards are going to come up. However, movies about poker are lose that excitement since the viewer knows it is all scripted. Getting a runner-runner win isn't a big deal, nor is flopping a straight flush a once in a lifetime experience since they both happened as often as the screenwriter says they will. Therefor, the rest of these movies have to be stellar to compensate, and I didn't get that from the trailer.

The Marine - Official Site
Just the synopsis, image gallery, and trailer. As for the quality of the trailer, it looks like the film will stretch the limits of suspension of disbelief to the breaking point even for the most diehard fans of these movies.

Material Girls - Official Site
The trailer is online. On the one hand, it wasn't nearly as vapid or shallow as I was expecting, but nor was it as funny as previous Martha Coolidge films have been. There are also a couple of entries from Hilary's blog, but they are about her music career.

My Country, My Country - Official Site
The site has the basics for a documentary but there's not enough style or extras to stand out.

Night at the Musem - Official Site
While the URL has been registered there is still no site yet. However, the trailer is online. Shawn Levy has directed some terrible movies in his career with Big Fat Liar being the best. However, he has also never directed a film that flopped at the box office. This movie appears able to continue his financial winning streak and might even be able to become the film of his to earn overall positive reviews.

The Night Listener - Official Site
Not much has changed since last week, and not enough to sell me on the film.

Open Season - Official Site
They've revised the trailer, again. The trailer continues to improve, but I'm still not fully sold on the film.

Pulse - Official Site
The fourth clip was added to the site as were the Mobile features. Since I don't have a mobile phone, I can't check them out. This leaves two more clips and two more TV spots to be added for next week's release.

Pursuit of Happyness - Official Site
Just the trailer and a behind-the-scenes featurette, both of which helped sell the film.

Quinceanera - Official Site
The site has all the usual features as well as extras like the history of Echo Park and even a recipe for Champurrado, or Mexican Hot Chocolate. Sells the film well but is not up to the level of an award winning site.

Rocky Balboa - Official Site
The pictures are back so the problem must have been momentary.

The Science of Sleep - Official Site
The flash site is went live this week and is certainly filled with the same quirky surrealism we've come to expect from Michel Gondry. In addition to the regular features, (synopsis, cast & crew bios, image gallery, trailer), there are extras like three clips from the movie and even a create your own stop motion animation section. However, I was most impressed with the little things. For instance, clicking the menu causes the options to be randomly spread on top of the screen and when the section are loading you can draw designs. Little touches that add to the overall style of the site and really help set the mood are what sets this site apart and the main reason it is the winner of the eclectic Weekly Website Award.

Sherrybaby - Official Site
All the usual features are here, (synopsis, cast & crew bios, trailer), as well as several clips. But there's not enough here to set it apart for the vast number of other sites on this week's list.

Snakes on a Plane - Official Site
You can send a semi-personalized voice message from Samuel L. Jackson to a friend. It's a fun idea, but I'm not sure how well it will work as a marketing tool.

Spider-Man 3 - Official Site
The events section is gone from the menu.

Surf's Up - Official Site
No content yet.

Surviving Eden - Official Site
There's something wrong with the background music on this site as every time I switched sections it would start playing again. And I don't mean it would start over again, I mean there would be two, then three, then four songs playing at the same time, all out of sync with each other. Hopefully they will fix that soon. As for the rest of the site, it's not bad with all the usual features including a better than expected trailer.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby - Official Site
No real changes in a while, but the site does have all the right features to sell the film to its target audience.

World Trade Center - Official Site
The number of, "In their own words" clips has increased to 24 now.

Zoom - Official Site
The trailer was added to the site, but while it is not the disaster some where fearing, it is also not going to increase its box office potential either.


Filed under: Movie Website Updates, Spider-Man 3, Night at the Museum, Casino Royale, The Pursuit of Happyness, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, The Departed, Ghost Rider, Open Season, Charlotte's Web, Barnyard: The Original Party Animals, World Trade Center, Rocky Balboa, Surf's Up, Accepted, Snakes on a Plane, Employee of the Month, Crank, The Descent, The Covenant, The Black Dahlia, Pulse, Beerfest, The Marine, Idlewild, Zoom, Material Girls, The Night Listener, Crossover, Lucky You, La science des rêves, Half Nelson, Artie Lange's Beer League, Sherrybaby, Apocalypto