- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 24, 2007

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


Actor Mark Wahlberg goes from tough Boston cop in “The Departed” to a former Marine sniper falsely accused of attempting to assassinate the president in the film “Shooter.”

The movie’s official Web site (www.shootermovie.com) presents standard promotional fare but is distinguished by a pair of features to give visitors an interactive experience in the story and behind the camera.

First, under Game, a player takes part in a Sniper Training Academy set in an outdoor firing range. Through a first-person point of view, he looks though a scope, adjusts for wind and elevation and plugs some nonliving targets in four levels of action.

The trainee gets 10 bullets per level and two shots per target. Those who register with the game can see their scores posted online if they are high enough to make the leader board.

Next, Paramount Pictures has partnered with the digital media mixing and sharing Web site Eyespot (www.eyespot.com) to enable fans to freely put together a personalized homage to the film and post it for the world to see.

After visitors register and choose a user name and password, they have access to more than 30 clips and 40 dialogue and sound bites. Amateur directors can drag and drop together a masterpiece on a robust editing timeline and then mix in effects, transitions and title. They also can incorporate their own media elements uploaded to the site.

The process is easy, and the company accepts all types of digital formats that can be uploaded, seven segments at a time, with up to 100 megabytes in total. Users can publish, send and download their finished projects and, of course, store their raw footage on the site.

A contest is also being run with entries due by tomorrow. One inventive video maker can win the grand prize of an Xbox 360 console and a copy of the combat video games Call of Duty 3, Gears of War and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas. Judges are members of Eyespot’s online community.

‘Meet the Robinsons’

Disney Pictures allows cartoon fans to “Meet the Robinsons” through a dynamic animated Web site (https://disney.go.com/disneypictures/ meettherobinsons/) that backs up the release of the movie this coming Friday.

Amid active screen designs that include singing frogs and a villain of the Snidely Whiplash variety, visitors will appreciate a Characters section containing 17 bubbles’ worth of biographies. They’ll love the Games area, though, with a fantastic selection of 11 activities.

Players find the challenges as they rummage around the noisy bundles of papers and clutter in young inventor Lewis’ laboratory.

Among the choices, Time Traveler is a side-scrolling, spaceship-flying spectacle, while Lazlo’s Mural Mania enables artists to color eight pictures online and then print out a finished masterpiece.

Uncle Art’s Pizza Delivery is especially difficult and acts as a sophisticated version of Pac-Man that has the player maneuver through a maze in a spacecraft, avoid a hungry dinosaur and deliver pies to houses in a neighborhood.

My favorite is Dinosaur Dance Rhythm, which takes its cue from the video game Dance, Dance Revolution and has the player match directional keys floating by on-screen to watch a prehistoric beast pull off some hip-hop moves.

Additionally worthy of note is an eye-numbing version of Sudoku. Instead of using numbers, as is the case in the traditional gridded-layout game, the player must insert “Meet the Robinson” faces into the line sequences of character heads to solve the puzzle.

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, DC 20002; call 202/636-3016; or send e-mail to jszadkowski@ washingtontimes.com). Mr. Szadkowski also writes a Web-exclusive column for the Washington Times Web site where he reviews educational software and family-friendly video games. Check it out at www.washingtontimes.com/ familytimes/romperroom.htm.

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