Writing a film review and film posters

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Writing a film review and film posters

  1. 1. Writing a film review
  2. 2. Twilight: New Moon (12A) By E. Jones Plot After an unfortunate near-death incident at Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) 18th birthday party, vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) vows to leave his true love for her own good. Bella is devastated, but the help of her friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner) helps her through. But Jacob is dealing with issues of his own… Review Let’s assume that you’re going into the second episode of Stephenie Meyers’ vampire saga with an open mind, having been pleasantly surprised that the first film didn’t turn out to be Vampire High School Musical. If that’s the case, you’ll probably enjoy this slice of high melodrama. If not, stay away. This is a series almost entirely lacking in irony, one that takes its central tortured romance too seriously to waste good gazingsoulfully time on filling in the background or winning over naysayers. There’s moping to be done, after all. That’s not entirely a criticism. To berate the Twilight saga for indulging in moping would be like suggesting that perhaps John McClane and Hans Gruber could have sat down and talked their differences out. This is a series about the all-encompassing, deadly seriousness of first love, and judged on those terms the first Twilight did convey that feeling of mad romance and the second film picks up that theme and snogs it senseless. But in the same way that most second superhero movies are about our hero trying to give up the cape, this sequel is about the heartbreak that almost certainly follows such unthinking passion. Robert Pattinson’s upright, buttoned-down Edward gives up Kristen Stewart’s Bella for her own good (as it seems to him) and disappears from her life. After turning into a virtual zombie as a result, the heartbroken Bella finds some comfort in the friendship of Native American Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), himself afflicted with a searing crush on the self-effacing heroine. Unfortunately, it turns out that that’s not the only thing Jacob’s afflicted with, as he starts turning furry and lupine and also abandons Bella for her own protection. Amid such masculine faffing about, Bella’s character is the only constant, and she comes across as a little stronger this time around, gradually pulling herself out of the fog of depression and fighting to keep both men in her life – if only in hallucinations in Edward’s case. Stewart still relies a little too heavily on the tactic of blinking a lot, but then the same could be said of the male leads’ reliance on slight frowns, and all three are doing a good enough job to win over the fans and convey the high drama of the novel. Incoming director Chris Weitz, taking over from Catherine Hardwicke, is more reserved and perhaps slightly less attuned to his teenage stars, but handles the action and the effects well despite the breakneck production schedule. While there’s only a tiny and very occasional hint of humour from the love triangle members, however, the addition of Jacob’s fellow Wolf Pack members and more traditional high vampires the Volturi allow for a little looseness and the opening up of the Twilight world. The Wolf Pack are given, at best, momentary character sketches but receive just enough attention to establish them for future instalments, while the Volturi threaten to romp away with the film in just moments onscreen. Then what can you expect when they’re led by Michael Sheen’s deliciously dangerous Aro, and boast a psychic torturer played by an immaculate Dakota Fanning? The plethora of shirtless men (sometimes shot in – god help us – slow-motion) and general fetishisation of Bella’s love interests may raise a giggle or an eyebrow in audiences more accustomed to seeing women in their scanties, and the pace does sometimes slow to a crawl, but this is another faithful and largely successful adaptation of Meyers’ old-fashioned love story. Verdict If you buy in to the central romance, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll swoon. Otherwise, the lingering glances, lip-chewing and regular de-shirting may cause uncontrollable giggles. To learn what needs to be included when writing a film review
  3. 3. Twilight: New Moon (12A) By E Jones Full title of film is given. Age certificate of film included To learn what needs to be included when writing a film review Rating given to show opinion of film quality/ enjoyment Name of critic reviewing the film
  4. 4. Image shows the actors in the film – one selling point of the film – usually good looking leads or big name stars. At least one image from the film used to show film stars and indicate genre or action in the film. To learn what needs to be included when writing a film review This image shows the 2 main stars gazing into each others eyes, suggesting the film is a romance, or has romantic themes. The young couple also suggest it is aimed at teenagers.
  5. 5. Clear sub-heading Plot After an unfortunate neardeath incident at Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) 18th birthday party, vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) vows to leave his true love for her own good. Bella is devastated, but the help of her friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner) helps her through. But Jacob is dealing with issues of his own… Names of main actors given. Plot is very short (50 words). Briefly introduces character and establishes an element of the storyline. No spoilers are given. Very little plot line information revealed. Vague language. Ellipsis indicates there is much more to the story. To learn what needs to be included when writing a film review
  6. 6. Review Let’s assume that you’re going into the second episode of Stephenie Meyers’ vampire saga with an open mind, having been pleasantly surprised that the first film didn’t turn out to be Vampire High School Musical. If that’s the case, you’ll probably enjoy this slice of high melodrama. If not, stay away. This is a series almost entirely lacking in irony, one that takes its central tortured romance too seriously to waste good gazing-soulfully time on filling in the background or winning over naysayers. There’s moping to be done, after all. That’s not entirely a criticism. To berate the Twilight saga for indulging in moping would be like suggesting that perhaps John McClane and Hans Gruber could have sat down and talked their differences out. This is a series about the all-encompassing, deadly seriousness of first love, and judged on those terms the first Twilight did convey that feeling of mad romance and the second film picks up that theme and snogs it senseless. But in the same way that most second superhero movies are about our hero trying to give up the cape, this sequel is about the heartbreak that almost certainly follows such unthinking passion. Robert Pattinson’s upright, buttoned-down Edward gives up Kristen Stewart’s Bella for her own good (as it seems to him) and disappears from her life. After turning into a virtual zombie as a result, the heartbroken Bella finds some comfort in the friendship of Native American Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), himself afflicted with a searing crush on the self-effacing heroine. Unfortunately, it turns out that that’s not the only thing Jacob’s afflicted with, as he starts turning furry and lupine and also abandons Bella for her own protection. Amid such masculine faffing about, Bella’s character is the only constant, and she comes across as a little stronger this time around, gradually pulling herself out of the fog of depression and fighting to keep both men in her life – if only in hallucinations in Edward’s case. Stewart still relies a little too heavily on the tactic of blinking a lot, but then the same could be said of the male leads’ reliance on slight frowns, and all three are doing a good enough job to win over the fans and convey the high drama of the novel. Incoming director Chris Weitz, taking over from Catherine Hardwicke, is more reserved and perhaps slightly less attuned to his teenage stars, but handles the action and the effects well despite the breakneck production schedule. While there’s only a tiny and very occasional hint of humour from the love triangle members, however, the addition of Jacob’s fellow Wolf Pack members and more traditional high vampires the Volturi allow for a little looseness and the opening up of the Twilight world. The Wolf Pack are given, at best, momentary character sketches but receive just enough attention to establish them for future instalments, while the Volturi threaten to romp away with the film in just moments onscreen. Then what can you expect when they’re led by Michael Sheen’s deliciously dangerous Aro, and boast a psychic torturer played by an immaculate Dakota Fanning? The plethora of shirtless men (sometimes shot in – god help us – slow-motion) and general fetishisation of Bella’s love interests may raise a giggle or an eyebrow in audiences more accustomed to seeing women in their scanties, and the pace does sometimes slow to a crawl, but this is another faithful and largely successful adaptation of Meyers’ old-fashioned love story. To learn what needs to be included when writing a film review Clear subheading Addresses the reader directly (uses ‘you’) Comment on target audience. References to another film Actors names used to introduce their characters. Much longer (500 words) Describes the events of the film – but no spoiler. Good and Bad points of film. Use of OPINION words. Casual, sometimes slang, language.
  7. 7. Clear subheading Overall conclusion and clear opinion of film given. In this case it suggests it is ok, but not the writer’s personal choice Rule of three Who would enjoy this film Who wouldn’t enjoy the film (or what is wrong with the film) Argument/opposite connectives Verdict If you buy in to the central romance, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll swoon. Otherwise, the lingering To learn glances, lip-chewing and regular de-shirting may cause uncontrollable giggles.what needs to be included when writing a film review
  8. 8. The basic framework 1. An entertaining and catchy opening line. – The movie just keeps you entertained, excited and is an engaging extravaganza that you expect it to be. [Note use of alliteration here to sound 6. catchy.] – In the beginning, it sets the harmonious scene of innocent landscape where dramatic and bloody events will soon take place. [Note use of dramatic sentence.] 2. Who’s in it and who do they play? – 3. A taster of the plot - build to a cliffhanger question. – 4. How far will they go to demolish them off the earth? Comments on special effects and use of music/sound. – 5. The Steven Spielberg movie, "Jurassic Park," stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum as the heroes of this scientific entertainment, the three experts are called in to observe the astonishing comeback of extinct species intriguing them of the scientific fun of cloning and the consequences of playing with danger. The first appearance of the dinosaurs is as breathtakingly awesome as anything yet put on film, which takes place much sooner than expected for which the audience are still not prepared for. Comment on the performance of director and actors. – Spielberg directs his dinosaur scenes with a vigorous and absolute sense of terror and gore. What genre is this? Is it a good example why? Audience appeal? – – 7. – In a culture where science fiction is often full of gore and mutilation, Steven Spielberg's approach to Jurassic Park is a journey into a once existing past of extinct creatures on a human planet. Jurassic Park is rated PG for "intense sequences of sci-fi action with moments of suspense enough to keep you waiting for more.” acceptable for teenager viewing. Add personal opinion throughout. The last couple of minutes of the movie are awesome with fantastic effects and action from both humans and the dinosaurs. An entertaining sentence to conclude or sum up. 8. – Just as Jaws made us fear the water, War of the Worlds makes us wary of the weather. You'll think twice about science and technology from Jurassic Park.
  9. 9. You could also 1. Include dialogue from the film. – "A place where humans and dinosaurs don’t mix" one of the characters imply, somewhat worriedly, to the other palaeontologists Dr Grant and Dr Sattler as they learn about the dangers of cloning. However, the dinosaur lover John Hammond has no worries at all and is fascinated about his creation of dinosaurs, seemingly unstoppable amounts of dinosaurs about to be hatched. 2. Compare the film to others by that director/ starring those actors. – With War of the Worlds, Steven Spielberg returns to the scary territory of Jaws and Jurassic Park and once again proves himself to be the most gifted movie entertainer of his generation. – There are many moments of suspense and tension and the music just sets the scene, while the audience awaits trying to elude the peak moments of terror, that is a mini-masterpiece of sustained suspense for its own sake.
  10. 10. •Casual tone •References other films, popular culture and news events. •Lists actors in connection with character. •‘Nickname’ •Descriptive phrases depicting characters •Use of parenthesis to give little ‘asides’. •Byline in bold •Final Verdict •Personal, witty, casual tone, opinion based, adult in reference.
  11. 11. We have the following reviews from Empire (or you could scan your own)
  12. 12. Conventions of film poster Main Actors Main image – usually posed of main actors – not a shot from film. Film credits/info Genre is clear Release Date Film name Institution Other production info - Format
  13. 13. When analysing a poster, you should consider the following broad questions before you start to focus on the details: • What are the main colors used in the poster? What do they connote? • What symbols are used in the poster? Do you need audience foreknowledge to decode the symbols? • What are the main figures/objects/background of the poster? Are they represented photographically, graphically, or illustratively? • Are the messages in the poster primarily visual, verbal, or both? • Who do you think is the intended audience for the poster? Given that all movie posters have the same purpose - to get audiences to go see a movie - what persuasive techniques are used by the poster? • Which genre conventions are referred to? • Is a star used as a USP? • Are "expert witnesses" (ie critics) quoted? • What pleasures (gratifications) are promised by the poster? • How is attention gained (humour, shock, surprise familiar face of a star)? • How does the tagline work? (humour, pun, alliteration etc?)
  14. 14. For your Blog/CWK • • • • Conventions of film reviews Conventions of film posters Present analysis of at least 2 film reviews Analysis of 2 film noir posters. – Analysis to be in the digital presentation style • Plans and designs for your own review/poster need to be included. • Final versions of poster and review uploaded. • JUST as important as the rest of the tasks – can make the difference between grade

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