Monday, May 4, 2009
No, I'm not
The first time I remember a movie website whose URL was something other than www.[moviename] -movie.com was The Matrix back in 1999. As you may remember, information about this ground-breaking film could be found at www.whatisthematrix.com. In fact, the site is still going strong.
And something about that website made everything a little more intriguing, didn't it? "Yeah, what the hell is the matrix?" You really wanted to know.
Countless movies have followed this trend since then, some of them bold enough to not even include the title in the address. I wish I'd kept track of them, because at this point, it's hard to recall them, and I don't know of a good way to search for them, either. I guess I don't go to movie websites all that much, even if some of them are really cool.
And so I can't discuss this trend with my usual cavalcade of evidence. But I can pick on the latest movie to follow it poorly: the recently released Obsessed.
If you want to use the worldwide interwebs to find out information about Obsessed, you go to www.areyouobsessed.com.
Blog interactivity compells me to do so, but I hate making this a link that you can click on from my post. I don't think you should go to this website. Not only is this supposed to be a really bad movie, but it's a damn stupid URL.
First off, it ascribes a certain grandiosity to what seems to be a pretty pedestrian thriller, just an interracial Fatal Attraction. With The Matrix, it made sense, as the Wachowski brothers were really introducing us to a whole new world. It's even more appropriate in retrospect, as The Matrix became easily one of the most influential films of the last ten years. (It's actually just about a month past being ten years old). Not only that, but the website itself heightened the themes of the film, gave you a sense of the big brother eeriness of a computer network that controls us all.
Obsessed? What are we supposed to learn here? It's pretty much just the story, cast and crew. And oh wait, there's a chat window that pops up from Ali Larter's character, that makes you think for a moment you might have ended up on some kind of social networking site that might be reading and stealing information from your computer.
Then there's the problem with the question itself. Do you want to be obsessed? Isn't that a bad thing? Do you really want to be psychologically aligned with a stalker who has potentially murderous intent? What's more, the website lets you figure out whether you are or not. There's a lame eight-question quiz that's supposed to help you determine your level of obsession with a person that may actually exist in your world. It's meant mostly to be whimsical -- I took the multiple-choice quiz, answering each question with the most stalkerish answer of the bunch, and at the end they told me that "Your crush might want to call the cops! You are over-the-top obsessed!" I'm fine with that being tongue-in-cheek, but doesn't it undercut the mood this film is trying to create? It's a thriller, not a comedy.
Then again, from what I've heard about it, maybe it's an unintentional comedy.