Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content
Join Now
PetHero: Save 25% at the vet; get toys, treats, and a 24/7 lost pet conciergeLearn More

Article

What to Surf

Posted on

Movies

Hello, Harold Lloyd (www.haroldlloyd.com) Known for his bespectacled, proto-nerd persona and clock-tower climbing in 1923’s Safety Last, Lloyd actually made more films than Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton combined. This handsome, substantial tribute offers video clips, movie stills, lobby cards, and vid-store links — fitting testimony to a reel genius. A

Ultimate Movies (www.ultimatemovies.com) When it’s hard to guess the URL of a movie website, peruse this alphabetical listing, in which every title is linked to the film’s official online home. Thank the folks at program-listings site Ultimate TV, who spun off this auxiliary resource in their spare time. Result: Finding the Gone With the Wind site (at http://www.franklymydear.com) is a breeze. B+

The ‘Godfather’ Trilogy Site (www.jgeoff.com/godfathr.html) Talk about a family album: Carefully cataloging all three films and the combined video versions, this site yields quotes, images, trivia, and such details as a floor plan of the don’s office and a musing on the movies’ oranges motif. A

Oh, the Humanity! (www.ohthehumanity.com) Devoted to ”the worst films ever witnessed by mortal eyes” — like the 1990 lambada flick The Forbidden Dance. But these discerning moviegoers undermine their charm with too much silliness. Oh, the inanity. B- — Caren Weiner Campbell

MOVIES BEST OF BREED

Star Wars (www.starwars.com) Stellar. Sponsored by director George Lucas, this site overflows with clips, photos, trailers, trivia, the CGI origins of funky aliens, and enough background information to constitute a full-fledged cosmology. It goes beyond arcane factoids such as Lucas’ preferred way of writing (in the same red binder he’s used for all his scripts since American Graffiti) to include a Real-Video diary of the making of Episode I (complete with interview outtakes). If only there were a way to buy tickets to the premiere… A

TV

The History Channel (www.historychannel.com) Thankfully, the emphasis is on making history accessible rather than promoting the cable channel. Check out special exhibits, or listen to a RealAudio archive of speeches that changed the world (Amelia Earhart on flying; Paul McCartney dispelling rumors of his death). Is this the future of the past? A

Brady World (www.bradyworld.com) The fans behind this vast retro site are serious but not above a cheap laugh: Reprinted here is Maureen McCormick’s ’70s Tiger Beat manifesto ”Every Girl Can Be Popular,” full of such insights as ”You get yourself ready to date in almost the same way a concert pianist gets ready for a performance.” B

Politically Incorrect (abc.go.com/pi) Chime in on the previous night’s topic or create a celeb dream team at this official site. The games are all Clinton skewers — check out the Zippergate take on Mad Libs with its requests for ”Body Part (plural).” There’s serious stuff too, like a page of e-mail links to members of the Senate. B

Jump the Shark (www.jumptheshark.com) Brenda leaving 90210, Sam and Diane hooking up on Cheers, any appearance by Ted McGinley — these are all examples of what this site calls ”jumping the shark,” the moment when a good show starts to go bad. There are chances to vote on defining flops and ample space to vent (Re: Fantasy Island — ”Everything turned when Tattoo was relegated to his own little car”). B+ — Ann Limpert

TV BEST OF BREED

TV Party (www.tvparty.com) An ingenious tribute that elevates the TV past to artlike proportions. Site guru Billy Ingram has compiled RealPlayer archives of commercial (Dole’s racy banana ads) and program (Television’s Embarrassing Moments) clips from as long ago as the ’40s. With features both over-the-top (”Touched by a Death Angel: Della Reese’s Tough Career”) and museum worthy (an exhibit on TV’s first music videos by film archivist Jeff Vilencia), the site is blissful nostalgia for those born in the ’40s or the ’80s. A+

Romance

Cupid’s Network (www.cupidnet.com) If it’s not a case of love at first site, you have plenty more to choose from. With links to literally hundreds of Internet matchmakers, Cupid’s Net is the starting point for finding romance online. You can be pretty specific: Go regional with Spokane Singles Net, find religion with The Witches.Com Personals, or get committed with Marriage Magazine. The sites can range from the sophisticated (look for someone to love at match.com) to the smarmy (look for someone to lo-ove at IwantU Select Clubs). Who knew Cupid was such a player? B+

All About Romance (www.likesbooks.com) Yes, it’s a romance book site. No, it’s not a bunch of biddies blushing over the latest bodice rippers. Dallas-based columnist Laurie Gold heads a team of self-appointed critics at this sharp, funny, and highly interactive site. There are a slew of reviews, a historical-novel cheat sheet, and constant debate: Are feminism and romance novels mutually exclusive? Is this heroine too stupid to live? Sure, the site’s a bit overstuffed — but where to trim? Certainly not the Castle of the Week. A-

TheKiss.com (www.thekiss.com) The art of osculation is the topic of this cartoony-sweet site from Dallas’ Hays Internet Marketing, Inc., where even your cursor can become a pair of puckers. Start with a tip of the day, like how to ”French-kiss” fingers. Then send an e-valentine so grade-school goofy, you gotta smile (picture two happy rabbits with the words ”Honey Bunny”). Talk about your first kiss, or read a ”kissing-related” article. If all this gets too saccharine, there is, mercifully, a Shockwave game where you can clobber Cupid. B+

Anti-Valentine’s Day Central (www.wgn.net/~elson/me/columns) L.A.-based loser-in-love Elson Trinidad has created a site for those seeking a hearts-and-flowers respite. He offers essays entitled ”Love Stinks” and ”Rejection” and a personal candy-heart message collection that features ”I Need My Space” and ”I Love You but Not in That Way.” Trinidad also has links to 10 other anti-Cupid sites: Apparently, misery does love company. B — Gillian Flynn

ROMANCE BEST OF BREED

Lovingyou.com (www.lovingyou.com) Romantics, this is for your goo-goo eyes only. Founded by San Diegan Jennifer Good, the site is flush with 15,000 pages of tips. Want to show a little tenderness? Give your partner a bath! What kind of bath? A bubble bath. Or a bath by candlelight. Or a bath with toy boats bearing love notes. Want more? Get love advice in categories from ”Loving Two” to ”On-line Love.” There’s a support group for long-distance relationships and lots o’ lists: romantic movies (Somewhere in Time), nicknames (Pumpkin), even foods (fish?). Oh, the heart will go on — and on. A

Useful

Kvetch! (www.kvetch.com) An amusing cyber-collage of the discontents of late-’90s civilization: politics, the Web, financial debt, and ”I hope I don’t grow up to look like my mother!” Read others’ woes (”Why do they say they’ll call and they never do?”) or add your own. Fine whines, indeed. B

Dumb Laws (www.dumblaws.com) When in Rome, do as the Romans do — but when in Bangkok, don’t leave the house without your underwear. According to this compendium of ludicrous legalities, it’s illegal to kiss in front of a church in Boston, for Tucson women to wear pants, and for Miami men to appear publicly in strapless gowns. Jurisprudence — or jurisprudery? You make the call. B

Jargon FIle (www.wins.uva.nl/~mes/jargon) Now that you’re online, you’ve run across words like cruft, kluge, and foo. To help you translate, the tech-savvy minds behind Jargon File provide a window into that language and the culture it represents. Might as well read up: It’s their Web; we just live in it. A-

Allexperts.com (www.allexperts.com) You can’t believe everything on the Net — but if you consult one of the 2,500-plus experts here, your chances may improve. Volunteer sources include med school professors, auto mechanics, and book editors. A lifesaver for kids’ homework questions. B — Caren Weiner Campbell

USEFUL BEST OF BREED

The Word Detective on the Web (www.word-detective.com) Where does the word copacetic come from? When did people start describing things as ”bodacious”? And what’s so special about a ”Philadelphia lawyer”? Ask New York City’s Evan Morris, who, with each monthly update, plumbs a new batch of word origins with goofy charm and considerable erudition — an attitude echoed in the Alice in Wonderland line drawings that litter this Web page. Friendlier, funnier, and much, much hipper than William Safire’s weekly word news in The New York Times Magazine. A-

Family

Karaoke (www.pbs.org/kids/fungames/kar-aoke) Turn up your speakers and let your kids sing their hearts out at this PBS site that plays some of young viewers’ most beloved tunes. Click on ”Kids Songs” for lessons in songwriting that offer suggestions on what to write about and how to find the right words, as well as making the lyrics and music work together. It helps to have a RealAudio player and, in case memory fails, the ability to read. A-

Ropers Knots Page (www.huizen.dds.nl/~erpprs/kne/ kroot.htm) Every kind of knot you’ve ever heard of — and dozens you haven’t — can be tied with the simple instructions here. As long as you heed the warning that certain knots like the Hangman’s Noose are inappropriate for children, this is a great site for anyone who’s already mastered his or her shoelaces. B+

Marilee’s Paper Dolls Page (www.ameritech.net/users/macler/paperdolls.html) After spending a small fortune chasing down Spice Girls dolls and just the right Barbie, it’s refreshing to find their paper equivalents — and plenty of outfits — available free of charge with the click of a mouse. This extensive site offers links to paper dolls of celebrities, favorite characters, animals, and historical figures (bookmark these for school projects), all of which can be easily downloaded and printed out. Even the most modern girls will find cutting and folding down the little tabs of these decidedly low-tech playthings absolutely irresistible. B+

Joseph Wu’s Origami Page (www.origami.vancouver.bc.ca) The artist commissioned to create the official origami version of the ”Snowlets” mascots for the Nagano Olympics has put together a site that teaches the basics of this ancient art, and offers excellent instructions and illustrations for a variety of projects. Little fingers may not be able to get through the six pages of directions for making an origami crane, but they’ll be awestruck — and so will you! — when you do. B- — Lois Alter Mark

FAMILY BEST OF BREED

Myrmecology: The Science About Ants (members.aol.com/dinarda/ant/) Those kids who have permanently stained knees from lying on the sidewalk and watching their heroes try to move a rubber-tree plant will be sucked in by this fact-filled site offering in-depth insights into the world of ants. You’ll find detailed directions for building an artificial ant nest (no plastic containers here) and recipes to keep them thriving. Links to a colony of other entomology sites ensure that high hopes for further info aren’t shattered. More fascinating — if less funny — than Antz and A Bug’s Life combined. A

Music

RockOnTV (www.rockontv.com) If it’s music related and it’s on the tube, you’ll find it here. That includes a Live With Regis & Kathie Lee interview with Cher, a Snoop Dogg BIOrhythm on MTV — even a heads-up for an airing of Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead (seems Buddy Guy makes an appearance). Each day is laid out, grid-style, beginning as early as 5:30 a.m. and ending when the music does. You’ll never miss Beat Street again. A-

A Brief History of Banned Music in the United States (ericnuzum.com/banned) At this intelligently down and dirty chronology of censored songs, you can marvel over the fact that the Kingsmen’s ”Louie, Louie” was labeled smut in 1964 or brush up on Tipper Gore’s mid-’80s push for a record-ratings system. The site also provides RealAudio clips of ”troubled” tunes from the likes of 2 Live Crew, Ozzy Osbourne, and the Beatles (and you thought the Stones were bad boys…) B+

Poi Dog Pondering (www.poihq.com/poi/) Fervent fans have seen Poi Dog through several labels, and the group has paid them back with this follower-friendly website, soon to be revamped. Sound clips, including two Web-exclusive songs, will thrill Poi Pounders (as the group’s Internet legion call themselves). Also be sure to visit the chat area, and don’t forget to pose a question to the band — the answers are laugh-out-loud funny and worth Pondering. B+

Dan’s 80’s Song of the Week (www.erols.com/dsche/tttttttt.html) Each week, Brooklynite Dan Scheraga posts a new Xanadu-era ditty. While the tune plays via RealAudio, you can ogle the album’s cover art and read the blessedly short lyrics (”Video killed the radio star. Repeat”). Some choices are date sensitive (Prince’s ”1999” ushered in the new year). Others are personal — Gary Numan’s ”Cars” was dedicated to a friend with transportation troubles. Check out the archives, where you’ll get enough a-ha and Men at Work to fuel powerful daydreams of past roller-disco triumphs. B+ — GF

MUSIC BEST OF BREED

Danny Elfman’s Music for a Darkened People (members.tripod.com/~ELFMAN) If you watch The Simpsons for its opening theme, meet your kindred spirit. Elfmaniac (Ryan Keaveney) meticulously tends the ne plus ultra of Danny Elfman Internet homages — and, in the bargain, demonstrates what a good fan site looks like. There are more than 100 RealAudio snatches of Elfman-scored films from Pee-wee’s Big Adventure to the Oscar-nominated Men in Black, and Elfmaniac also trolls the Internet for the latest on his guy, whether it’s an old Elfman quote or the latest rumor on possible future projects like Sleepy Hollow. An Elfman fan without this URL is like Pee-wee without his bike. A

>>Hotlink to these sites at http://www.ew.com<&lt;