If, as some posit, DVDs are the future of the movies, could this celebration of straight-to-DVD cinema be the future of the awards show? Probably not, but at least the DVDX's are ''the way the Academy Awards used to be when it was at a lovely hotel ballroom and it was just among friends,'' insists Family Ties' Michael Gross, a Best Actor nominee for Tremors 4. Indeed, the chicken was warm, the venue was freezing, and the glitches were really blessings in disguise: Hilary Duff won a special ''Triple Threat'' award, but honest to God they forgot to give it to her before she left.
''I'm enamored with the DVD format because I think you can make quirky niche movies, like what B movies were in the '30s and '40s,'' says the evening's big dog, Mark Hamill, whose Comic Book: The Movie beat Tremors 4, Species III, Bring It On Again, and Relative Evil for Best Live-Action DVD Premiere Movie. And Tilly was the belle of the ball after her Best Actress acceptance speech. ''I'm really hoping,'' she said, ''that this award will translate into many more straight-to-DVD roles for Ms. Tilly.''