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OSCARS 2000 : Cybertainment

Movie Web Sites Offer Alternatives to the Hollywood Oscar Hoopla

March 24, 2000|ERIKA MILVY | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

So, who's gonna top Jennifer Lopez's modesty-defying gawk gown Sunday at the Shrine Auditorium? Word has it that ostrich skin will be in on the red carpet and that someone's famous footsies will be inside Salvatore Ferragamo's red rhinestone Marilyn Monroe stilettos.

While you can catch all this fashion dish and more at Oscar.com, don't expect any juicy trashing of the stars, a la Joan Rivers.

Come Sunday, Oscar.com is expecting to nab 4 million sets of eyeballs--twice last year's numbers. One reason may be that this year, the official Oscar Web site (brought to you by the movie academy, Disney's GO.com and ABC.com) will bring its visitors backstage, via Web cam, to see the winners gush and feign humility to the press.

But if you prefer to take your Oscars from a more Oscar the Grouch perspective, you may want to skip the glitzy mutual admiration society and head toward the bad attitude sites. Log on now and jot down some mean mots to make at your Oscar party.

"It was an especially good year for bad movies," said Michael Lancaster, co-founder of the Hastings Bad Cinema Society. Today at 6 p.m., the society will announce the films deemed to be the stinkiest--"the bottom of the barrel, the Oscar never-treds," as Lancaster puts it. At the society's Bad Movie Award Web site, http://www.thestinkers.com, the nominees for the Worst Film of 1999 include "Baby Geniuses," "Blair Witch Project," "Inspector Gadget," "The Mod Squad" and "Wild Wild West."

Less Oscar-like categories include Least "Special" Special Effects, Most Intrusive Musical Score, Worst Screenplay for a Film Grossing More Than $100 Million Worldwide and Worst On-Screen Hairstyle.

Meanwhile, I know that Angelina Jolie is a shoo-in for best supporting actress at the Oscars--not because I saw "Girl, Interrupted" or even read the critics' picks, but because I checked her price over at the Hollywood Stock Exchange Trading Floor (http://www.hsx.com). Here, actors and actresses are not only rapidly aging pieces of meat, they are also stocks that can fall and rise.

As of Wednesday midday, Jolie's (ticker number OSAJO) price was up, up and away at 18.39, while her closest competition was Chloe Sevigny at 6.95 (up 3 1/8 since the day before). A win for Sevigny--many critics' choice--could mean more than $440,000 for investors (in play money, that is).

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At the Felixes--an "anti-Oscar site" (get it? Felix Unger was the opposite of Oscar Madison)--voters can stuff the ballot for the best wiseacre remarks made about the Oscar contenders.

The folks at http://www.thefelixes.com make cracks as they weigh a nominee's worthiness to win in a pros-and-cons format. For instance, for Sam Mendes (nominated as best director for "American Beauty"), the Felixes say: "PRO: Nice work, wunderkind--first movie, and gets a nomination. CON: He's a nobody, comes from nowhere and gets all kinds of acclaim." For Hilary Swank in "Boys Don't Cry," the Felixes say: "PRO: Will be forced to outdress Cher to reassert her femininity. CON: Everybody seems to forget this 'actress' starred in 'Karate Kid IV: Resurrection.' "

For quips and commentary about the winners, log back on after Sunday.

For a more historic view of the best of bad cinema, check out the Golden Turkey Awards at http://cosmics.tripod.com/TurkeyAward. The site is a counterpart to a book by Michael Medved and his brother Harry. Categories are quite creative and include the Worst Vegetable Movie of All Time (winner: "Attack of the Mushroom People"), the Worst Performance by an Actor as Jesus Christ (won by Ted Neeley in "Jesus Christ Superstar") and the Most Ludicrous Racial Impersonation in Hollywood History (nominees include Robby Benson as a Chicano and Elvis Presley as a Native American. But the winner is . . . Marlon Brando as an Okinawan, i.e. Japanese).

And the all-time worst movie winner goes to . . . "Plan Nine From Outer Space," in which, as the tag line goes, "unspeakable horrors from outer space paralyze the living and resurrect the dead!"

Hmmm, and on ABC Sunday night, millions will helplessly watch as unspeakable egos from Hollyspace paralyze us and resurrect careers! So, remember the official Grouch anthem (at http://members.xoom.com/_XMCM/oroborus12/grouch2.html): "Grouches of the world unite! Stand up for your grouchly rights! Don't let the sunshine spoil the rain, just stand up and complain."

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Erika Milvy writes about the arts and entertainment from her home in San Francisco. She can be reached at erika@well.com.

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