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What to Surf: Movie sites

We grade websites that are all about movies, from directors to musical scores

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Tribute to Humphrey Bogart
”Of all the websites on all the servers in all the world, you logged onto mine.” So riffs Florida computer consultant Mike Rosenberg in this elegant, comprehensive homage to Bogie. Going way beyond the standard-issue fan site, Rosenberg and fellow Humphrey-maniacs compile Bogie bloopers (a cigar reportedly shifting from mouth to hand in The African Queen), a straight-dope section on Bogie myths (no, the actor and Ed Sullivan were not brothers), and the Bogart Chain Game, an umpteen-degrees-of-separation exercise — all rendered in Golden Age of Cinema black and white. Rosenberg’s friendly tone and credit sharing make this feel like a cinephiles’ club where members affectionately quiz one another on movie minutiae. If you’re a fan, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship. A

Movietunes (sites.hollywood.com/movietunes)
Call it music to your eyes: This segment of the Hollywood.com family of sites orchestrates soundtrack and score info, searchable by movie title or composer’s name, on dozens of high-profile flicks. Among the most melodious features are downloadable audio files, an archive of music-related Oscar nominees going back to 1934, and such urgent dispatches as ”Movie Trailers: What Was That Music?” (Bet you didn’t know that the Mission to Mars trailer uses melodies from Vangelis’ score for 1492: Conquest of Paradise.) The site even offers a second listen to such reissued soundtracks as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Coal Miner’s Daughter, and Top Gun. A very sound resource. A-

The Cutting Room Floor (www. plastic-iguana.com/cuttingroom floor/main.html)
Play film editor along with Ontario’s Ian Rogers, who extracts outtakes from his favorite DVDs, posts the images and dialogue, and comments on whether the footage should have stayed. Rogers finds some nifty nuggets in the 22 movies featured here, ranging from latter-day classics (Ghostbusters, The Silence of the Lambs) to teen flicks (Go, Cruel Intentions) to spooky chillers (The Evil Dead, Seven, The Blair Witch Project). One sample gem, from Go‘s Simon (Desmond Askew): ”You know, in England we can’t even own a gun, but here it’s a birthright. Yup, if I was an American, I’d join the ERA.” Now, that’s a great throwaway line. B+

Gods Among Directors
Back in 1994, Kale Whorton dedicated this shrine to Quentin Tarantino; since then, he’s bestowed godhead on four more filmmakers: John Woo, Robert Rodriguez, Martin Scorsese, and Kevin Smith. Each directorial deity gets his own page, adorned with a lush portrait, a quote (”I only wanted to be an ordinary parish priest” — Scorsese), interviews, complete and partial screenplays, offbeat contributions (e.g., a chronological retelling of Pulp Fiction‘s plot), and, of course, a link to e-merchant Reel.com. The treatment’s a little uneven, and Whorton’s promised additions — including Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, and…Clint Eastwood? — have yet to join the pantheon. Even so, this acolyte deserves accolades. B+

Cinemachine (www.cinemachine.com)
Though fundamentally an archive of links to other sites’ reviews, this clean, up-to-date site (affiliated with the online music megalith SonicNet and such partners as the Film Festivals Server, Film Threat, and MovieThing.com) has an added attraction: the insightful, literate critiques posted by San Francisco reviewer Michael Snyder. If only this machine didn’t stall quite so often: Every few days, instead of accessing the main site, all you get is a gray screen with a link to SonicNet’s Streamland site. Paging the mechanic… B