Best & Worst: Movie Star Websites

These days, all the chatter online seems to be about social networking - your Twitters, your Facebooks and such.

But cinema stars are still maintaining websites hoping to entice fans to follow their work/buy crap with their name or face on it and pimp their latest musings.

We decided to trawl the depths of the magical intarwebs to take a look at some of the cream of the crop - and some that are just rotten.

Inspired by Jim Carrey's amazing contribution to online actor presences, here's our take…

Overall Design

Jim Carrey

Why It Rocks: It's Terry Gilliam meets the twisted portions of Carrey's career.

Whoever decided to frame the site like this deserves a medal. It's a hefty beast and you might have to wait for it to respond occasionally, but you're always rewarded for your patience.

Our particular favourite page is "Origins", which offers a blast into his past featuring pics of young Jim and a warped Canadian page.

Billy Bob Thornton

Why It Sucks:
Anyone who's ever done a media studies or information science course in the last few years has probably had to build a website.

When you're learning HTML, this is probably what it looks like. Perhaps BBT's trying to make a joke out of the fact that he's not really a computer guy. But it just comes off as amateurish, not hilarious.

It's listed as originally created in 1998 - we doubt the design has changed since then.

Next: Home Page


Home Page

Jim Carrey

Why It Rocks: Yeah, sometimes it's a little flash-happy, but we just love all the little touches - click on Carrey-as-bird to visit his Twitter ramblings, for example.

And, as a bonus, if you wait long enough, it gets trashed by a giant robot thing and you're hurled to a different looking version of the site. It's worth sticking around for.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Why It Sucks:
Dear Governator… 2001 called and it would like its website back.

He might not be so worried about effects and appearances these days, but does his site have to be quite so… old school?

Maybe he's just trying to save money so he can pump some back into California's struggling economy.

Next: News



Next: Biography



Jim Carrey

Why It Rocks: Sensing a pattern here? The giant eye is both creepy and genius and while the bio itself is fairly standard, the presentation counts for a lot.

Plus he's made an effort to actually make it a little bit funny and not so po-faced as some.

Benicio Del Toro

Why It Sucks: Not only does it physically look like the CV of someone applying to work at Waitrose, it's also just a standard list of credits.

And, in an extra annoying twist, it's also crammed with overeager praise about the man.

We get it Benicio- you're a good actor. But we don't need it pummeled into our brains, man!

Next: Fan Stuff


Fan Stuff

Next: Gallery



Jim Carrey

Why It Rocks:
Not content with offering basic pics, Carrey brings all sorts of pictures since someone has been raiding his archive.

We've already talked about his "Origins" pics, but that's only a small sampling. Carrey eschews the usual dull set of promotional shots and stills from movies for a much more personal glance into his life.

Christopher Lambert

Why It Sucks: Nobody needs to see Lambert posing with his shirt off. Okay, maybe some fans might enjoy it, but the site doesn't help anyone trying to find the images, lazily bodging several sections together on one page.

If you like frustrating, outdated web design, welcome to your personal nirvana.

We think he should've had more concern over some of the silly hairstyles on display here, too.

Next: Twitterings



Jim Carrey

Why It Rocks:
Carrey's link to his Tweet action is not only a freakish bird with the head of Ace Ventura, he's also a wry user of the 140 word site, blending activity announcements (such as going on talk shows) with funny insights into what's going through his mind.

He's worth following, and at least the link takes you to his actual page, instead of a "recent tweets" digest like many of his contemporaries.

Jamie Kenned

Why It Sucks:
He's supposed to be funny, but it never quite comes off that way.

There's a much higher ratio of pimping to laughs in Kennedy's feed, and the whole sponsored Twitter thing kind of gets on our nerves.

Next: The Talent Speaks!


Direct From The Talent

Jim Carrey

Why It Rocks: Besides the Twitter page and the YouTube bits, you also get the impression that Carrey had a say in just about every element here, including the strange tunnel ride you can take that blends the silly with what seems to be an honest peek into how Carrey views life with just a few words.

Combined with the wackiness of the design, it works well and keeps you entertained as you poke around the strange corners of the place.

M Night Shyamalan

Why It Sucks: We're going to give the man some credit - the site itself is pretty impressive, with an intriguing flash tour around a creepy mansion that leads to all sorts of interactive stuff.

But then it all gets let down when the site's designers allow M Night some space to gush about the people he's worked with and everything descends into an orgy of back-slappery and florid praise.

Thanks, but no thanks.

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Freelance Journalist

James White is a freelance journalist who has been covering film and TV for over two decades. In that time, James has written for a wide variety of publications including Total Film and SFX. He has also worked for BAFTA and on ODEON's in-cinema magazine.