Author

James Oliver Cury

Rating movies and their websites

American Pie www.universalpictures.com/americanpie Movie Grade: B Website Grade: B- Four horny teenagers try to lose their virginity, but at least they can blame it on youth. The dull website, despite audio-video clips, photos, and trailers, has no such excuse.

Arlington Road www.arlingtonrd.com Movie Grade: B+ Website Grade: B+

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''The Stone'' Age

If the creators of Myst, The X-Files, and the Pet Rock joined forces for an Internet scavenger hunt, it just might look like The Stone. For $19.95, you get a rock on a rope that grants you access to a series of cryptic online puzzles. Go to www.thestone.net, enter the symbols carved into your stone, and take a crack at any of the mind teasers alone — or better yet, find the ”Stonemate” whose symbols match your own.

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Hollywood plugs in

Mickey Mouse and Goofy are chatting online. You can see them in their respective homes, cartoon hands typing away as music plays in the background. E-mails and thoughts pop up like bubbles in a comic book. Click where prompted, and you’re watching dissolves, flashbacks, screen wipes, and other animated special effects.

Welcome to interactive fun, Web-style. And it’s just one peek at what’s coming from many movie studios in what can now, officially, be dubbed the second wave of online entertainment.

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Rating movies and their websites

Rating movies and their websites

Election (www.electionmovie.com) Movie Grade: A Website Grade: B The teen flick for adults boasts a site with just a few pics and bios of Reese Witherspoon, Matthew Broderick, and others, but charms with its cute year-book and its hallway interface.

eXistenZ (www.existenz.com) Movie Grade: B Website Grade: B+

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Banner ads

If, as Frank Zappa supposedly said, writing about music is like dancing about architecture, what can we make of TV commercials for websites? Tough as it may be, advertisers have lately found dozens of ways to portray the world’s most interactive medium on the world’s most passive one. VictoriasSecret.com was overloaded after its Super Bowl ad, while spots for Monster.com and Netscape Netcenter reached 48.5 million viewers during Barbara Walters’ interview with Monica Lewinsky.

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A digital map to the stars

What happens when you mix Russian spy-satellite photos, Microsoft’s database technology, and America’s Hollywood-worshiping culture? Voila: an online version of ”Maps to Celebrities’ Homes.” The Neighborhoods of the Stars subsite at Microsoft’s TerraServer (www.terraserver.com/moviestars.htm) lets visitors see the abodes of Tom Hanks, Sharon Stone, Marlon Brando, Bob Dylan, Samuel L. Jackson, and others — from 120 miles up. What’s the catch?

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