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1997/06/18: Movie Web Sites   Lately, more and more movies have web sites. 
Most of them go away after the movie has had its run in the theatres. That's a good thing -- most of the sites can be kindly described as "weak". They contain nothing new, just a rehash of all of the traditional marketing material. 
That's the thing that bugs me most of all: the web sites are for marketing. I tell you, I don't need more advertising shoved in my face. I'll visit the web site to expand my enjoyment of the film, rather then be convinced to go see it. 
I go looking for some great behind-the-scenes images and stories, close-ups of makeup, special effects setups, interviews with the stars and the technicians, or a few decent extracts of the film. You know, the kind of material that you get in Cinefantastique, StarLog, or American Cinematographer magazines. 
Even though the average movie site scores about a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10, the "Batman & Robin" site scores a lofty 5. 
Maybe I'm being a little hard. 
It looks to me as if the web site was planned during the production of the film, rather than as an afterthought. Each of the main characters has a dedicated sub-site which typically includes images, sounds, a (lame) game, and even QuickTime VR renderings of weapons and gadgets. 
It is these QuickTime VR files which elevate the Batman site above the average movie site. Nevertheless, some of the VR images of the sets were difficult to figure out -- Poison Ivy's "lab" being a prime example. Too much going on and not enough pixel detail. 
I heard that the Batman site was one of the most-visited sites on the Internet at one point. That may be true, but I'll bet that many of those visitors never went back. I only visited again to confirm my impression of the site so that I could write about it. 
The Internet is still a new medium for the producers of these movie web sites, but eventually they will realize that they should get out the marketing fluff and put in more stuff.

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