- The Washington Times - Friday, February 13, 2004

Each month the Browser features pop-culture sites on the World Wide Web offering the coolest in free, interactive sounds and action.

Online dates

What does a guy do when he courts a girl who can never remember him? Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore reunite to answer the cinematic question in the romantic comedy “50 First Dates.” Moviegoers wishing to ponder its potential worthiness should stop by the film’s official site (www.sonypictures.com/movies/50firstdates/index.html) to get a taste of the on-screen wackiness and behind-the-scenes hijinks.

After viewing dancing tiki dolls and a wild witch doctor and listening to the soothing sounds of a ukulele with pounding waves, visitors can open the bamboo-constructed menu. Within it, romantics will most appreciate the downloadable e-mail template that allows sweet nothings to be sent across cyberspace with the “50 First Dates” artwork emblazoned top and bottom.

Next they can continue to Island Tour to learn about the production and get Mr. Sandler’s and Miss Barrymore’s memories of their first kiss viewed via Windows Media Player or QuickTime video, or hear full cuts of 311 performing the Cure staple “Love Song,” Wayne Wonder’s redo of the Thompson Twins’ “Hold Me Now” and Ziggy Marley’s reggae version of the Cars’ “Drive” from the film’s soundtrack.

A final interactive area, Boardwalk, features two games to keep the lonely video gamer happy. In Memory Booster, the player must find 15 nuances between two pictures (from the movie, of course) in fewer than 18 clicks and 60 seconds. In the second, Ask Lucy Out, a pixilated Mr. Sandler must be side-scrolled across and up and down a 12-story building (via the keyboard’s arrow keys and space bar) to locate five items Lucy remembers before he reaches her room in less than 60 seconds to pop the question. Look out for her brother, father and Jocko the Walrus, who wish to suck the energy from the animated boyfriend and keep him from accomplishing his goal.

Cyber Sandler

Those who appreciate Mr. Sandler’s fine comedic art can also cruise over to his official Web site (www.adam sandler.com) from the “50 First Dates” cyber-stop for a few additional moments of unfocused lunacy on the movie set. Then visitors can appreciate the comedian’s life and loves as he presents an avalanche of multimedia files to tickle the funny bone.

These include plenty of clips and photos in memory of his beloved bulldog, Meatball; short video features prepared especially for the site; stills, clips and games highlighting his work on such films as “Anger Management,” “8 Crazy Nights” and “Punch-Drunk Love”; and a 129-megabyte download of the “Chanukah Song” performed on the “Saturday Night Live” set. All video nuggets are available in either QuickTime or Windows Media Player versions for those connected at 56k, DSL or T1 speeds.

Netting South

The aurally dreamy London trio South stops by the 9:30 Club tonight, and fans can get into a beat-swaying mood with a stop at the band’s official Web site (www.south.uk.net), which combines a dazzling design with plenty of extended listening opportunities.

As the opening page loads, the tune “Loosen Your Hold” from South’s latest effort, “With the Tides,” begins to play. Visitors should notice the minicontroller in the top right-hand corner of the screen. Clicking on a tiny triangle will open up a drop-down list offering 12 complete tracks compiled from South’s last two albums. Quite a treat.

Additionally, a stop by the Downloads section provides five complete, multimegabyte MP3s that can be downloaded and uncompressed for listening pleasure. They include a few acoustic versions of the songs as well as a cover of Grand Funk Railroad’s “I Can Feel It in the Morning.”

Opening act Metric’s cyber-stop (www.ilovemetric.com) will not amaze, but its 1980s Blondie synth pop will. Check out musical nuggets from each track of the band’s latest album, “Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?” in the 30-second variety. The band even lets visitors view (via Microsoft’s Music Video Player) four music videos — “Calculation Theme,” “Succexy,” “I.O.U” and “Combat Baby” — on the Launch music site on Yahoo (https://launch. yahoo.com).

Have a cool site for the online multimedia masses? Write to Joseph Szadkowski at the Browser, The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002; call 202/636-3016; or send an e-mail message ([email protected]).

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